The first night Ilia and Eric met, they were at a networking party at Amazon. Ilia was slightly disappointed when she was separated from her friends and had to sit at the end of the table with this random guy. Then five minutes later, she was excited…ten minutes later she thought to herself that she wanted to go on a date with Eric…then in five more minutes, she thought she wanted to be his girlfriend…then by the end of the night, she knew that he was going to be her husband. She was going to marry him.
These two look at each other like they are the only ones in the room, and they will just laugh and enjoy every second of life together. They truly are best friends and we are so excited that they included us in their special day!
We first met them for their engagement session in Seattle. Ilia had a custom made dress for her engagement session and she looked incredible! She is the essence of classiness and elegance, and we love the way Eric makes her smile and laugh. We started with a few photos at their home with Eric’s cat and Ilia’s dog Rigger, and then headed over to a picturesque lighthouse for some gorgeous sunset photos. After spending an evening with them we were so excited for the wedding and couldn’t help but count down the days, as I’m sure they were doing as well!
They got married at the Santa Barbara Historical Museum, which is one of our all-time favorite venues. It also happens to be the closest venue to our home, and we get to walk there which is so fun too! We love that the Santa Barbara Historical Museum has a great space for ceremony and reception and a great getting ready space for the girls. When we arrived we could hear the girls laughing from outside, which always sets us up to be even more excited for the day. Lacey from 805 Makeup and Sierra from Blush & Bridal HMT did such a fabulous job getting the girls all glammed up and ready for the day, and while they got ready, Rigger (their dog) sat on the ground and soaked up all the laughter and fun.
Their first look was by far one of our favorite moments of the day. When Eric turned around he had the most incredible look of awe on his face. At first, no words were spoken, he just pulled Ilia toward him, held her tight and started kissing her over and over and over again. They had such a special moment, and we both couldn’t help but tear up just watching how sweet their love is for each other. They both cried and then laughed together as they talked about how excited they were that the day was finally here! Then their adorable Rigger joined them for a few photos!
We headed over to the courthouse for a few photos of just the two of them. The courthouse is such a beautiful location, and we even got to go up in the tower for photos overlooking Santa Barbara, which was such a treat! We headed back to Santa Barbara Historical Museum for family photo and bridal party photos, and then got ready for the ceremony to start. The ceremony took place on the lower part of the property which is already so green and beautiful. They shared personal vows that had us all in tears then after they were announced Mr. and Mrs., they had cocktail hour with 3 different types of margaritas (yes please), followed by delicious appetizers provided by Los Arroyos. They even had Mexican style corn, which is a personal favorite of ours. These amazing food and drink decisions were perfectly in line with our own foodie hearts.
Before we knew it, guests were seated for dinner and thoroughly enjoyed fajitas by Los Arroyos and heartfelt speeches. We loved Ilia’s dad’s speech to her because it made us and every guest laugh and cry, but also focused on the reality of a partnership. “Life is hard, marriage is hard. But you’re strong and you have to stay strong. A good marriage can be a struggle, and the struggle is real, but so is your ability to overcome it. When adversity comes, and it will come, don’t run from it, face it. Take it on and keep moving forward, life and marriage can be tough but you’re tougher together.” We ourselves found so much inspiration and truth to those words. It’s always so special when we can take things away from our couple’s day and apply them to our own lives.
Ilia’s best friend and maid of honor, MayLee, focused on how magical Ilia and Eric’s relationship is. Eric checked all the boxes for Ilia – it was perfect. And we definitely agree. They have something so special and it truly does feel like magic between them. After the speeches were over, guests enjoyed cake, cupcakes and *drumroll please*…a McConnell’s ice cream truck! Having something so Santa Barbara iconic was the perfect way to celebrate them here, and we are so happy that we got to be a part of the celebration of their love!
Planner: Hoste Events
Dress: Lisa Marie Couture
Hair: Blush + Bridal Hair and Makeup
Makeup: 805 Makeup
Venue: SB Historical Museum
Florals: Forage Ojai
Rentals: The Tent Merchant
Lighting: Bella Vista Designs
Catering: Los Arroyos Restaurant
Dessert: McConnell’s Ice Cream