This Greenhouse Wedding Showed Off Coastal Santa Barbara at Its Very Best
Despite attending Northeastern University in Boston at the same time, Lauren Steingold and Jake Makler didn't connect until Hinge brought them together in San Francisco—years later. "We met in December 2016 after seeing we had 45+ mutual friends on the app," shares Lauren. Her opening line of, "How do we not know each other?" hooked Jake, and after a four-hour first date, a once-in-a-lifetime romance followed.
With the help of Lauren's two young nephews, Jake proposed to his future wife in the community garden behind their first apartment in July of 2018. First on their list of wedding-planning tasks was finding a venue, and after settling on a destination location of Santa Barbara, California, the pair booked Dos Pueblos Orchid Farm. "We had never seen a venue like it before," says Lauren. "Each area felt unique and special—a ceremony overlooking the ocean, a cocktail hour in a stunning greenhouse filled with flora and greenery, and lastly, a reception in an empty greenhouse that could serve as a blank canvas to execute on our party's vision."
In lieu of a theme, the couple concentrated on the warm vibe that they wanted to create, choosing colors and décor that would make the space feel more intimate. Shades of blush, dusty rose, marigold, and rust were specifically selected to contrast the industrial-looking greenhouse. It was also critical to Lauren and Jake that guests felt like they were at their wedding—not just anyone's. "Since almost everyone was from out of state, we wanted to feature Southern California at its best," Lauren shares on personalizing their event. "We also wanted to highlight our obsession with food, and for the atmosphere to feel inclusive and inviting."
The duo loves to entertain, and made sure every culinary aspect of their big day was memorable, from the Santa Barbara tacos at their welcome party, to the dim sum brunch the morning after the wedding. Another highlight that put the couple's personal stamp on the event was a mentor table. "We invited a group of people who have had major personal and professional impacts on our lives in various ways," says Lauren. "We wanted them to all meet and interact, and so we sat all of our various mentors together. It was a great way to bring together some of the people we care about and respect the most."
The celebration ended with plenty of dancing. "Matthew Rubino from The Flash Dance was our DJ and we could not have been happier about that choice," says Lauren. "It was the best dance party of our lives."
A Modern Wedding Invitation
The couple worked with Ava Wachter, founder of Hall Creative Co., on their typography-driven stationery design. "We cared a lot about the fonts and color palette of our invitation suite," says Lauren. "We knew it was the first impression of our wedding, so we wanted it to have the same modern and warm look and feel that our event would have. It was a letterpressed, modern suite that we both absolutely loved."
Lauren started the day in glamorous pajamas; after hair and makeup, she took some time to write a note to her groom.
A Ball Gown with a Twist
The bride's Reem Acra wedding dress featured the timeless lines of a classic ball gown with soft jacquard florals throughout and a very modern twist: a slit in the front that revealed a flash of leg when she walked or sat down. "After trying on over 50 gowns, the silhouette and slit of this dress totally blew me away," she says. "I didn't want to take it off, and it made me, my mom, and my sister all cry."
A Breathtaking Bouquet
Moon Canyon created the bride's bouquet using a mix of roses and ranunculus in shades of dusty rose and cream. A raw silk ribbon tied the look together. "My late grandmothers both loved their nameplate jewelry, so I had them both with me that day by attaching their 'Anne' necklace and 'Rebecca' pin to my bouquet," adds Lauren.
Pink Suede Shoes
She also wore chic block heels in a shade of dusty rose by Stuart Weitzman for the ceremony.
Lauren asked her five bridesmaids to choose any tea-length or long dress within the wedding color palette, and she could not have been happier with their final choices. "Each dress had its own unique texture that added so much to the photos, and all of the bridesmaids looked happy and comfortable since they chose what they wore," she says. "I loved how cohesive, yet not matchy-matchy it looked."
Adorable Ring Bearers
Jake and Lauren's nephews served as ring bearers, who fit into the color palette with tan suits, blush shirts, and floral-patterned bow ties. "Their ties were made of the same fabric as our fathers' ties, further tying everyone's look together," explains Lauren.
Their younger nephew, Lincoln, broke his leg the week before the wedding, and Lauren's mother had to cut the leg of his suit pants to make sure his cast fit. "He was so nervous we wouldn't let him walk down the aisle with a cast!" says Lauren.
A Meaningful Service
Lauren and Jake had a Jewish ceremony that centered around themes of family and tradition. Most notably, they drank from the kiddush cup the groom's grandfather's family buried during the Holocaust and dug up following the war.
Chuppah in the Breeze
Jake and Lauren's chuppah featured a beautiful black-and-white tallit, a Jewish prayer shawl. "The view of the ceremony as we walked down the aisle, with the tallit blowing in the wind, the ocean painted behind it, and the chuppah adorned with the perfect selection of flowers, was more than we could have ever dreamed of," says Lauren.
Botanical Cocktail Hour
The cocktail hour that followed took place in a greenhouse filled to the brim—quite literally!—with greenery.
A Beautiful Bar
A blonde wooden bar was the spot to stop for drinks during the interlude.
Timeless Seating Cards
Guests found their dinner seating assignments from a table arranged with escort cards and decorated with a colorful statement floral piece.
Into (Another) Greenhouse
A towering greenhouse set the stage for the reception, where Green Ribbon Parties created a magical atmosphere from a blank canvas.
Dual Table Designs
"We wanted to create interest by having two table designs, one with trailing greens and candles and one with more organic arrangements," says Lauren of the reception setup. "Moon Canyon did a fantastic job of creating a warm and inviting feeling in the space." The casual, but elegant tabletops were created with a fabulous dinner party in mind; appropriately, guests were served family style to get conversations going and allow for maximum tasting.
The lighting was also a key detail, since they needed to fill the vast space overhead. "We used about 80 varying pendants," explains Lauren.
A Touch of Romance
In addition to the overhead lighting, cinnamon-colored candles gave the tables and the room overall a romantic glow.
Handsome Place Settings
Striped napkins—which Lauren and Jake purchased so they could have them forever—were paired with classic menu cards. Stemless glassware lent a casual vibe, while gold flatware evoked a sense of glamour.
Traditional floral arrangements featured rose and rancunculus blossoms in shades of peach, coral, and lavender accented with apricot and white blooms.
Following the wedding—which concluded with an epic dance party and plenty of coconut cake (the confection's top-secret recipe was given to the bride by lauded Boston chef Barbara Lynch, a close friend, and created by Hungry Bear Catering; the four-tier was gone in minutes)—the newlyweds spent a few days eating their way through Singapore before jetting off to Indonesia for two weeks.
Photography, Birds of a Feather Photography
Venue, Dos Pueblos Orchid Farm
Event Planning and Design, Green Ribbon Parties
Videography, Lovebud Productions
Flowers, Moon Canyon Design
Invitations, Hall Creative Co.
Officiant, Michael Woodnick
Bride's Gown, Reem Acra
Reception Dress, Zimmermann
Veil, Saks Fifth Avenue Bridal
Shoes, Loeffler Randall; Stuart Weitzman
Hair and Makeup, Team Hair and Makeup
Groom's Attire, Suit Supply
Groomsmen's Attire, The Black Tux
Engagement Ring and Wedding Bands, Jahan Diamonds
Music, Matthew Rubino for Flashdance DJs
Catering and Cake, Hungry Bear Catering
Cocktails, The Whaling Club
Rentals, Bright Event Rentals; Elan Event Rentals; Heather Taylor Home
Transportation, Jump On the School Bus
Lighting, Bella Vista Designs