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Where the Heart Is: A Bohemian-Chic Wedding At Sue Casa At Oakbrook In Templeton

Carrie Bell

Neither Dina nor Jeff were seeking a soulmate at the time of their chance encounter that led to a series of dinner dates. Six months later, they were already playing house in Playa Vista. Jeff decided to pop the question while the pair vacationed in Mexico and planned four different storybook nights in which he could do it. But the romance of Riviera Maya overwhelmed him and he popped the question mid-sentence on the first day.

These homebodies wanted a celebration that represented two of their favorite things to do together: eating good food and lounging in bed. They wanted their guests to instantly feel at home. This translated into an intimate and plush bohemian bash with macramé table runners, Moroccan lounge furniture, a swing perfect for social media snaps, a canine guest, long barn tables and a dance floor made of overlapping rugs. Most items were borrowed from local staging companies, but vintage mirrors and picture frames used for signage were sourced on Etsy and at thrift shops and vintage stores.

The couple wanted to minimize the amount of single-use flowers so they got creative. Only the bride carried a bouquet and the groom donned the sole boutonniere. They used the home’s existing branch-covered pergola and archway as a backdrop to their “I dos.” Navy hand-dyed tassels dangled from light fixtures and wall trim. Pepper tree sprigs added extra color to the cocktail hour’s raw bar and cheese and charcuterie station. The arrangements they did use were heavy on greenery with a few pops of deep burgundy, cream and orange blooms. Some of the chandeliers were also wrapped in leafy garlands. An admitted candle fanatic, the bride wanted her event to be lit. Tapers in brass and gold antique candleholders lined the reception tables. Each step of the outdoor stairway was outfitted with a pillar candle. The hall where dinner was served had hundreds of flickering sticks decorating the room and lanterns brightened the outdoor lounge area.

As mentioned, the food was one of the most important parts of the wedding. The couple asked Trumpet Vine Catering to create a six-course tasting menu with a wine pairing that could be served family-style slowly over the course of the evening. The final menu included decadent dishes like black cod in a tomato saffron fumé, charred broccolini spiced with Calabrian chilis and salted caramel pretzel brownies. A hutch was filled with goodies from local farms and wineries like olive oil, saltwater taffy, wildflower honey, lavender soap and bottles of white wine. Guests were instructed to fill their custom tote bags with one of each. 

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