Jen + Maximo | Monique Lhuillier Wedding from Houston Costa Photography

Jen + Maximo’s destination wedding in Ojai Valley, California was a fun and joyful occasion filled with music, fun toasts, karaoke and a smiling corgi pup! I love Jen’s ivory Monique Lhuillier wedding gown made of Alencon lace with an ivory silk underlay…it perfectly compliments the sunny atmosphere and Spanish architecture.  Other details not to miss, Jen’s gorgeous and relaxed hair worn down, her beautiful bouquet of white florals and draped calla lilies or my favorite, the absolute joy beaming on the faces of today’s featured couple.  Enjoy!

Jen + Maximo | October 14, 2011 | Ojai Valley Inn and Spa, Ojai, CA

The Ceremony
Maximo is from Argentina, and I love colonial Spanish architecture, so when we toured the Ojai Valley Inn and Spa we knew right away it was right.  Plus, we both adore nature, and the mountains – and we were blessed with such great scenery and weather over our 3-day wedding celebration.  The ceremony location itself was storybook.  A veranda with a big magical tree, looking out over two valleys that turned peach and lavender as the late afternoon sun moved across the sky.  We had Maximo’s brother, Panchi, playing acoustic guitar while the leaves lightly rustled overhead. Everyone said there was something magical in the air… so much so that our minister even got chocked up!  Once pronounced husband & wife, “Eight Days a Week” was played on the guitar as we joyously walked back down the aisle and people threw the white rose petals.

The Reception
The reception was on the property, which is a great thing about a destination wedding.  We did a cocktail reception first, where Panchi and his long-term girlfriend, Manu, sung the best version of Johnny Cash’s “Going to Jackson” that you’ve ever heard!  We chose this song because the chorus says, “we got married in a fever…” And we did.  We just dated for 7 months, but we knew.   After the cocktail reception, we went out to a balcony where dinner was served, and people stood up to give toasts.  Then we proceeded to the dance floor, where we enjoyed a fabulous DJ – who even let us do some karaoke. Afterwards my dad brought everyone to tears with “I loved her first”.  Oh, and our friend Thad deserves an honorable mention for his AMAZING break-dance routine.  Who break-dance these days? Thad, that’s who. Wish we could do it every year!!

Jen’s Dress Search
I started my search with that EXACT dress in my mind.  I wasn’t aware that it was in existence, but I had an old world charm meets today’s elegance in mind.  My friend and stylist Nicole Pollard was the one who told me that Monique Lhuillier was the designer for me, and she was confident we’d find something that fit my vision and my more classic taste.

How Jen Felt in Her Wedding Dress
Magical, magical, magical!

Why Jen Decided to Sell Her Wedding Dress
I love to “pay it forward” – and I think that energy gets stuck when there are a lot of things that are left in storage.  On the flip side, I like to buy a lot of furnishings for our house at vintage stores.  This helps create a virtuous circle AND it helps to reduce needless consumption of cheap stuff.   

Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier | Photography: Houston Costa | Ceremony + Reception Venue: The Ojai Valley Inn & Spa | Event Planning: The Ojai Valley Inn & Spa  | Floral Design: Nicole Pollard of LaLaLuxe  | Cake: The Ojai Valley Inn & Spa