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A Gracie-Ful Tying of the Knot

Eve Torres, a three-time World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Diva champion, met Rener Gracie, a member of the Brazilian family that brought Gracie Jiu-jitsu Academy to the U.S. and created the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), when she took a self-defense class. It soon became a shared passion. “I would have nightmares that our ceremony would be on the green mat of the Gracie Academy, and everyone would be wearing white gis [jiu-jitsu uniforms].”

Luckily, the green mats were not the wedding site. Eve and Renner were married at the beautiful private polo ranch and fields, Zacara Ranch, followed by a stunning reception at the Bacara Resort and Spa. Drawing from Eve’s favorite color combo of coral and mint, Santa Barbara’s Spanish style and the couple’s Latin American heritage (Eve is half-Nicaraguan, and Rener is Brazilian), Amber Events infused bright colors and textures—such as Spanish tiles and iron lanterns--with distressed and romantic vineyard-style elements, such as distressed wood chairs and wine barrels.

Devoted followers of the 65-year-old Gracie diet created by Rener’s family, the couple chose not to serve alcohol or cake. They explained this and other family traditions in their “Gracie Weddings for Dummies.” As a nod to the Gracie diet, staples such as turnips, artichokes, jalapeños and tomatillos were incorporated into the decor.

Because jiu-jitsu is such a big part of their lives, the couple created a “tying of the knot” ceremony using jiu-jitsu white belts to symbolize their new journey. Following the belt-promotion process, the couple plans to tie new knots every 10 years until they graduate to black belts in marriage after 40 years.

The colorful decor and quaint rustic feel shed light on the glowing couple. The ceremony was a stunning celebration under the shining sun and the warmly-lit string lights, adorned with various fruits and festive florals. Eve was radiating in a beautiful Romona Keveza form-fitting gown with a lace lined veil, and Renner matched in a grey suit and light green tie.

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