If you are looking for a classic, romantic couple who is madly in love, look no further; Michael and Gillian fit that description in every way! When Michael and Gillian dated long distance, they wrote love letters to each other. We are OBSESSED with this part of their story! Here is a snippet from a letter Gillian wrote to Michael to get a better feel for just how precious this love story is:
“Our first year together has been so joyous. Being by your side has always felt intrinsic and natural because I believe we simply belong together. I have never felt so comfortable with anyone else in my life. I know you are the man I am meant to love for the rest of my life.“
WOW oh WOW. Believe or not, the wedding day only gets better!
The wedding parties got ready at the Belmond El Encanto. Gillian already had all of her details perfectly laid out for Jess and Michael even had his details laid out too! Being organized makes for the best start to the day! After Gillian finished with hair and makeup, it was time for her to put on her dress. As soon as it was on, everyone in the room gasped! She was an absolutely stunning and classic bride and we couldn’t stop thinking about how much she reminded us of Grace Kelly!
The day somehow managed to take an even more romantic and lovely turn when they exchanged love letters before their first look. It was such a beautiful reflection on the part love letters have played in their relationship and we were so glad they chose to include it in such a meaningful part of the day! When Michael turned around and saw Gillian for the first time he couldn’t stop commenting on how beautiful she looked. It was evident how in love he is with Gillian and he was so quick to give kind and genuine compliments which made her glow! We could tell he does an amazing job of making sure she knows she is loved and cherished and it showed! After the first look, we took a few beautiful photos around the El Encanto property and then headed to the courthouse for their ceremony.
The Santa Barbara courthouse is one of the most beautiful buildings. The architecture is extensive and it’s such a gorgeous spot for a ceremony or just photos in general. During the ceremony they wanted to honor their friends and family who weren’t able to make it or who have passed. They did this by placing flowers under some of the chairs and when it was time they had people bring up the flowers and place them into a case that Gillian and Michael were holding. They had SO many flowers they even had to get a second vase! But it was such a special way to remember their loved ones.
We also loved how they incorporated a classy tropical theme into their day with their choice of leaves and florals! The bridesmaids bouquets were giant monstera leaves and we especially love this because we have THREE monstera plants in our house!!
After the ceremony, guests loaded onto the Santa Barbara trolley to head to the reception! Such a fun way to transport guests! The reception was at el Paseo and it was such a fun atmosphere! The dancing was amazing, the food was delicious, AND they even ended with a bubble exit!
Michael and Gillian are classy through and through. We adore the way their love feels like a classic, old-fashioned love story and we loved being a part of their incredible day!!!
Getting Ready Location: Belmond El Encanto
Ceremony Location: Santa Barbara Court House
Reception Location: El Paseo Restaurant
Officiant: Ceremonies by Nanette
Florals: Alexis Ireland Florals
DJ: Music by Bonnie