Santa Barbara Courthouse Wedding by Jen Disney
Lorne and Chloe had a very classic vintage wedding at the beautiful Courthouse in Santa Barbara. The talented Jen Disney was there to capture their special day in this classy bliss. The burgundy, deep purple, and orange colors set the tone to give this wedding an autumnal feel. Mixed with some talented wedding vendors, this day was truly magical.
Girl Meets Boy…
Lorne and I met in early 2010 when he moved to Los Angeles from Toronto, Canada. He works in film and television, and he wanted to get in on some of that sweet, sunshine-y California show business after some years of work in Canada. While settling in and looking for gigs, he got a job as a projectionist at a small art house movie theater where I worked. For our first date, we went to the Santa Monica Pier to ride the Ferris wheel. From then on, we were inseparable and never failed to find something fun to do together since Lorne wanted to do everything there was to do in LA. For me, it made me feel like a tourist in my own city, which was great.
After a year or so of trying to get things going for his LA career, it wasn’t working out too well. He was constantly getting offers to work on shows that were filming pretty much everywhere but Los Angeles, and he was eventually forced to take the jobs and head back home to Toronto for months at a time. We’d visit each other in between blocks of shooting, and it was always hard for both of us to be apart. After almost two years of doing a semi-long distance relationship, we decided we’d had enough. I’d make the move to Canada with him so we could be together. Last summer he came to LA for a visit, and the day I picked him up from the airport he wanted to go see a movie in Santa Monica. I suggested we go to the pier afterwards, just like our first date. Little did I know that that was exactly what he had planned! He very nonchalantly suggested we go on the Ferris wheel, and when we got to the top and the wheel stopped, he got down on one knee in the little swinging gondola and asked me to marry him.
Wedding Planning Inspiration…
I’ve always had a fascination with the art and fashion of the first half of the 20th century, so I knew I wanted to incorporate a vintage feel. It was important to find a venue that reflected that, and the Santa Barbara Courthouse’s Mural Room definitely fit the bill. I just loved the colors, architecture, and mood of the room. For the reception, I wanted to incorporate two things: my love of books and Lorne’s love of honey.
I worked as a messenger clerk for the Los Angeles Public library (in addition to my theater job mentioned earlier), and absolutely positively love books. I gathered up as many vintage books as I could find, many borrowed from my grandparents, and incorporated them into the tablescapes and decoration. I set up a card catalog with all the guests’ names and table numbers for them to find their tables. Once at their tables, they found their names typewritten on a library checkout card slipped into a pocket on a little bag of goodies at their seats.
Lorne loves honey more than Winnie the Pooh does. It was lucky for us that my uncle, Joe Romance (that’s his real name!), is a major beekeeper and honey producer. We got loads of honey from him, which my bridesmaids and I bottled into small jars to give out as favors. We also included mini honey dippers and vintage Bit-O-Honey candies in the goodie bags.
We played jazz from the 1920s up through the 1940s in the dining room during the meal to set the mood. I also wanted to give it a bit of a personal DIY feel, so my bridesmaids, friends, and I made all of the decorations and favors for the reception. And a friend made the cake and the cupcakes! One of my uncles lives at Seabridge in Oxnard, and we were allowed the use of their beautiful clubhouse for the night to hold the reception.
One moment that sticks out to me was the first dance. We danced to Cole Porter’s “Let’s Do It (Let’s Fall in Love)”, and it was painfully obvious that we had not practiced at all. Ever. We were laughing the whole time because we were just kind of fumbling around and never quite getting it together. It was probably the longest two minutes of our lives.
When I asked Lorne what his most memorable moment was, he simply replied, “You.”
Other than that little detail where we became husband and wife, there was lots to be excited about. I was really excited about the reception decorations we had set up the day before, and I was just really excited to get all of the family together. I was also excited to see how the cake and the cupcakes turned out. I told my friend who was making them that I wanted flowers on both the cake and the cupcakes, and I think she did a really great job setting them up and displaying them.
Advice for Other “Newbie Brides”…
There are a lot of things that I could have done without in order to save money. Just keep mind that things may cost more than what you anticipate, so be sure to keep a buffer. One of the biggest oversights I had in the money department was on the dress; the dress itself was relatively inexpensive, but the alterations really added up.
Get as much help as you can from your friends and family (but ask politely, of course!). I found that I had a hard time delegating tasks to people because I wanted to do it myself and make sure it was done right. In reality, that made all the preparations a lot more stressful than they needed to be. Don’t worry, it’ll all come together beautifully! All that matters is that you’re marrying the one you love, all the rest is just the cherry on top
RADDEST Wedding Vendors
Our photographer, Jen Disney, was great. She drove up to Santa Barbara all the way from Orange County, then down to Oxnard for the reception. She was definitely a trooper doing all that traveling. She made us feel really comfortable even though we hadn’t actually met her in person until we arrived (separately) at the courthouse. Also, she did a great job wrangling my relatives for the family photos, which was quite a task.
Tom with Tours á la Carte was fantastic. His pricing was really reasonable, especially in comparison to all the other vintage car rental places I had contacted, and the car was beautiful (a 1957 Bentley). We also opted for the champagne service, which was a really nice touch. He drove us from the courthouse to our reception venue, which a lot of other drivers said was too far of a distance to go with an old car. Tom also obliged us when we said we wanted to stop along the way for some photos by the beach with the Bentley, and he even suggested the perfect spot in Montecito to do it. We were definitely impressed with his service.
We also had great experiences with the people affiliated with the courthouse and the ceremony. Linda, who booked our ceremony at the courthouse, was really helpful with my many questions, and (our officiant) Judge Clifford Anderson’s secretary Debbie was extremely accommodating and friendly in arranging our communication with the judge. Like Jen, we didn’t actually meet Judge Anderson in person until we arrived at the courthouse, and he was perfect.
Wedding Artists | Photography: Jen Disney | Ceremony Venue: Santa Barbara Courthouse Mural Room | Makeup Artist: Melissa Murdick | Hair Stylist: Brianna Woods | Car Service: Tom Reed of Tours a la Carte | Rentals: Event Rents | Dress: David’s Bridal | Dress Alterations: Reenee at In Stiches