Carpinteria, CA || Santa Barbara Polo & Raquet Club || 9.24.16
A couple with as much charm and thoughtfulness as Cristina and Mike needed a HUGE and quirky celebration to showcase their personalities and exquisite taste… and the Bealers found an amazing way to do that. The Southern California natives have been living in San Francisco for the past few years but chose to have their wedding in Carpinteria because they love the area. Cristina and Mike also thought this would be good reason for their family and friends to enjoy a weekend by the beach. (SO THOUGHTFUL, right?!)
I spent all day with the bride and her entourage as they got ready. They rented a house for a few days that allowed them to really soak in the coastal vibe and get comfortable. On Saturday morning, all of the ladies were in extreme chill mode. The bride-to-be was so chill, she was wearing watermelon socks. Music blasted in the background as they got their hair and makeup done. The best part– especially for me — was that it turned into a pizza party.
One of my favorite moments of the day came when Cristina was given a surprise from her groom (via her best friend). All of Cristina’s best friends gathered around to watch in anticipation as she unwrapped the gift: a camera for them to use for their honeymoon in Paris.
Then came the moment we were all waiting for: the debut of the dress. We were all blown away seeing the dress on display, but seeing it on her was breathtaking. That dress, designed by Hayley Paige, was one of only 10 created in that color. Cristina completed the look with a pair of gold Manolo Blahniks: perfection.
There was plenty to see at the Polo & Racquet club. As we arrived, a polo match was underway, which provided a perfect backdrop for guests who got there early. On the ceremony side of the venue, things were much more calm. Mountains provided a beautiful backdrop as the couple exchanged vows. Right when it ended, family and friends hit the ground running and began celebrating.
Cocktail hour included plenty of cocktails, but guests also got to indulge in treats at the popcorn bar. By the time the reception began, the polo players had just wrapped up their match and one of them had enough energy to pose for pictures with his horse (forget a photo booth)!
Cristina and Mike are obsessed with vintage circuses and used their wedding as a way to showcase that love. They found different ways to sprinkle circus-themed accents to their big day: mirrors as signage, a vintage-looking dancefloor, and lawn games. This theme also influenced the Bealers to go with a non-traditional dinner: chicken and waffles out of a food truck. Coming from someone who considers themselves a chicken and waffles connoisseur- trust me when I say this meal was AMAZING. The cherry on top was a funfetti wedding cake, made by Cristina’s stepmom.
A sense of euphoria filled the air all night long. Guests were treated to wonderful speeches prepared by Cristina and Mike’s loved ones (literally, #allthefeels). They saved the best for last. Cristina’s father channeled his inner Vanilla Ice and rapped for the crowd [click here to see him in action]
The night ended in the BEST WAY possible: the ultimate DANCE PARTY! Everyone gave it their all out there, especially the bride and groom! And they chose an amazing last song: “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen. Not only did everyone sing along, it all ended with a group hug. [no seriously, watch here!]
Congratulations and good luck to the Bealers. May you have a lifetime of love and even more dancing ahead of you.