Colorful Seaside Wedding in Santa Barbara Photographed by Mirelle Carmichael

Colorful Seaside Wedding in Santa Barbara Photographed by Mirelle Carmichael


Photography by Mirelle Carmichael.

Happy Friday! Austin natives Taylor & Ryan wanted to escape the Texas heat for their August destination wedding, and didn't they luck out in choosing gorgeous seaside Bacara Resort & Spa in Santa Barbara. Everything about this celebration is relaxed California chic - including the bride's sheer, beaded BHLDN gown, bridesmaids in fuchsia and orange (just wait till you see them, they look so wonderful!), and that clifftop ceremony location in the afternoon sunshine! Some other great touches? The wall of greenery behind the bar, custom koozies, and a getaway golf buggy decorated with fun white balloons. Plus, Taylor & Ryan shared their full ceremony script with us, including touching tributes to their parents and their personalized vows!

What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? We really wanted an entire wedding weekend, so we kicked it off by planning a wine tasting tour for friends who were able to come into town on Thursday. We probably had about 40 who were able to join us then and it was the perfect way for everyone to get to know each other before the wedding. We loved that introduction to the relaxed climate in Santa Barbara and the incredible outdoor experience it offers.

The Ceremony

Why did you choose this location for your ceremony? We wanted a cool climate in August (its typically over 100 degrees in Austin then!) and I had visited Santa Barbara once and just loved the mixture of beaches, great food, wine country and its architecture. We wanted a destination wedding to ensure we got to spend the entire weekend with our guests, plus destination weddings have a vacation vibe we we just love.

Is there anything else that you'd like to share about your wedding ceremony? We served champagne before the ceremony, and that was really important to me. I really wanted everyone to relax and enjoy the entire experience. It set the mood.

Your ceremony in three words. Romantic, California-cool, vivacious.

What was your ceremony music? We choose The Beatles for walking down the aisle ( In My Life and All You Need Is Love) and Bruno Mars' Marry You to exit.

Who officiated your ceremony? How did you choose him/her? Miriam Lindbeck. We picked her because we did not want a religious ceremony and we really wanted it to be personal. She made our wedding extremely memorable and hit the perfect tone! We met with her four times when we were in town planning the wedding and she really got to know us. She praised and described our relationship with our parents in an absolutely perfect way (my dad cried!) and she included little tidbits about Ryan and I that I just loved. She even worked in a play on our last names ('Turkey' for me based on my maiden name, and 'Steed' for Ryan.) We had designed cocktail napkins with gold turkey and horse logos, so I was so pleased when she said "today, you marry your best friend, your sweetheart, your turkey for horsing around, your partner and your companion of your heart." It was a surprise and I remember feeling really emotional when she said it. It was perfect!

What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony? How happy my father was during it all, especially when we paid tribute to him, and when Miriam threw in that turkey-and-horse comment!

What were your ceremony readings? We skipped those, but Miriam threw in her own from Rumi and Hafiz.

What were your vows like? We looked at various examples that Miriam provided us and then merged them together to create our own unique vows. We put a lot of emphasis on love, partnership and a life long commitment.

You can see Taylor & Ryan's full ceremony script right here!

What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding? Really focus on what is important to you and your husband, while also acquiescing to your family's wishes. It a balance!

What was the best advice you received as a bride? Don't stress too much about all the little mishaps. Something will go wrong and it will be part of the memory, so just embrace it!

The Reception

How would you describe your reception? One big party!

Please tell us about any special details or moments from your reception. Our wedding koozies had a "turkey steed" which was a combo animal to symbolize our union!

How did you go about planning your wedding? We hired a wedding planner that would help us narrow down the options and who would appreciate our non-traditional wishes. For example, for the ceremony we wanted music like The Beatles, and for the reception we wanted to have a buffet, which is traditionally Southern rather than Californian! I just loved working with Danae Grace Events, she made all of that so doable.

Why did you choose this location for your reception? We loved the entire property at Bacara Resort & Spa and all of the gorgeous places to hang out.

What was your wedding menu? Seafood Martinis: Lobster, avocado and mango relish / Blue crab cocktail with horseradish sauce, lemons and old bay ailoi // Salad Station: Avocado, tomato / Classic Ceasar // Mashed Potatoes: Old standard (sour cream, bacon, cheese, chives) / Wild mushroom // Carving Station: Herb roasted rack of veal // Dessert: Wedding Cake / Cookies (chocolate chip, white chocolate chip, peanut butter, M&M) // Late Night: Brandy Freezes (spiked milkshakes)

What type of cake or dessert did you serve? We had the best cake! It had alternating layers, one with chocolate and cream cheese and the other with chocolate and peanut butter, and then the topper was lemon cake with lemon raspberry filling. We had buttercream frosting and the design was just gorgeous!

If you had it to do over again, is there anything you would do differently? Nope, we loved every minute!!

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