First of all, we really really try not to pick favorites, but we have to admit… this is one of our all-time favorite venues! It’s gorgeous and timeless, private and intimate, and has an unreal view of Santa Barbara, and the staff is out of the world incredible too! Every corner we turn there is a perfect photo opportunity, and we are so glad so many of our clients choose the Belmond El Encanto!
Speaking of favorites, oh how we love this classy and elegant couple! Alex & Christina are from the bay area and came to Santa Barbara for their engagement session, and their wedding as well! We loved them from the first phone call, and our jaws just about dropped to the floor when we finally met them in person! They are just so cute! When they arrived for drinks at The Lark before their engagement session and we saw their incredible outfits we just couldn’t stop smiling! Trust us, you’ll love their engagement session!
Alex & Christina first met because they work together at Facebook. They originally met at a work event, and had absolutely no interest in each other…well Christina wasn’t into Alex quite yet, but Alex thought she was incredibly attractive. But can you blame him, she is such a babe! He went home that night and friend requested her on Facebook, and she was a bit reluctant but she accepted his friend request…but it all changed when they went on a work trip together. Prior to this trip they had maybe exchanged 10 words with each other. Once they arrived in Argentina for work, they ended up walking to dinner together. As they walked and talked, Christina loved the way he made her laugh, and thus started started a friendship. We always believe the best love stories start with friendship! Alex left the trip a few days early and he started messaging her about his flight delays that day, and he is proud to say he has messaged her every day since! Over the next few months they started hanging out more, but Christina continued to let him know it was just as friends. (And if you’re thinking this sounds familiar it’s because so far it’s very similar to OUR own love story!) And despite being friend-zoned Alex continued to pursue friendship and always asked her over for dinner to watch the Warriors game. (Nice move Alex!) After two months of being “just friends” Christina started to develop a crush on him, and when she finally told him how she felt it was like everything was meant to be. As they started going and dates it felt so natural, because they truly are best friends who fell in love! After a few years of dating, Alex planned a perfect proposal at the Ritz in Half Moon Bay (which is also where they mini mooned after the wedding). They went out on the patio to enjoy drinks at sunset, and while they were talking about their relationship and how grateful they are for each other, he got down on one knee and proposed! And Christina had been looking earlier to see if he had a ring box but didn’t see it, so it actually came as a surprise to her! Oh how we love this couple and their story, and we absolutely loved photographing their wedding at the El Encanto!
Their wedding day was flawless. And we can’t always say that, but this day truly went by without a hiccup, thanks to the fabulous Armando of AlegriaByDesign! When we walked into the girls getting ready room they were already finished with hair and makeup and had ALL of the bride’s details organized and on a marble table!!! (Jess was in heaven)! We were joined by the incredible husband & wife video team, Tye & Moriah of LikeALetter, and had so much fun photographing her gorgeous details, and we all laughed till our stomach hurt as we photographed Christina’s girls help her get her dress on! Course dresses take longer to put on, but somehow they always create lots of laughter! Alex and Christina had a beautiful first look by the wishing well, and then we took photos around the property and got ready for the ceremony! And just wait till you see the beautiful moss wall as a ceremony backdrop by Ambient Designs! We had never seen anything like it at El Encanto before and we loved it! After a beautiful ceremony they joined their guests for cocktail hour and celebrated all night long! We loved hearing the way their guests spoke so highly of them during speeches, and we both cried when the father of the bride gave a speech and kept crying and leaning on the grooms shoulder every time he teared up! It was such a special day and a perfect celebration! And we are so excited to share a few of our favorites of this gorgeous wedding with you!
Location: Belmond El Encanto
Hair/makeup: Dreamcatcher Artistry
Video: Like A Letter
Florals: Ambient Designs
Coordination/Design: Alegria By Design
DJ: AMS Entertainment
Dress: Maggie Sottero via Trudy’s Brides
Rentals: Town & Country Event Rentals