One Couple's Beautiful Winter Wedding in Santa Barbara, California
Joc Pederson has a knack for making his dreams come true. As a center fielder for the Los Angeles Dodgers, he has the fantasy job of more than a few little kids. But that's just the beginning. One day in 2015, while he was driving to the San Francisco Bay Area, where he grew up, a detour took him through Santa Barbara. Struck by the city's beauty, he texted an old friend from home, Kelsey Williams, whom he had recently started dating: "I'm going to get married here someday." And this winter, sure enough, they exchanged vows in front of 250 guests at the Villa Sevillano in Santa Barbara.
What Joc wanted most, he says, was "to make sure Kelsey had the best day ever." For the bride, who had just finished her master's in kinesiology, that meant "a strong sense of family, friends, and intimacy"—and a meaningful ceremony. Then soon after they were engaged, the pair popped another question, handing Kelsey's father a baseball bat engraved with the words "Dad, will you marry us?"
"With the emotions of his daughter getting married," Joc says, "we weren't sure he would say yes." But again, things worked out. On January 6, 2018, after their grandparents; parents; 22 attendants, who included all their siblings; and pup, Blue, walked down the aisle, Kelsey followed to Elvis Presley's "Can't Help Falling in Love," a classic song made that much better because it was performed live by John Legend, in a surprise that her father had cooked up for Joc and everyone else. (Kelsey was in on the secret.) Then Dad led the ceremony, including a tree planting. "Our moms brought vases of dirt from home, partly to represent them nurturing us, then our planting this new life together," Kelsey explains.
The couple's first dance, to Legend's "Surefire," kicked off a night of revelry. "It was just fun to see everybody dancing—young and old," says the bride. "Everyone could feel the love." So, best day of Kelsey's life? Check. And Joc's, too. "Walking down the aisle after, with everyone cheering and rose petals flying," he says, "was like a dream." One he hadn't known he had, until it came true.
Gray All the Way
The gray letterpress and rose-gold foil invitation suite by Amber Moon Design introduced the symbols of the day: the K&J logo and circle shape.
Lovely Welcome Bags
The Bridal Bouquet
"I just wanted it to be lush," says Kelsey of the floral direction she gave Kimberly Curtis at Toast Santa Barbara for her bouquet. "But when Kim brought it out I was beside myself I thought it was so beautiful." The white and green bouquet consisted of dusty miller, sweet pea, peonies, garden roses, Liberstar tulips, paperwhites, astilbe, ranunculus, lilac, eucalyptus, and olive branches. It was wrapped in hand-dyed ivory silk ribbon from Adorn Company, and Kelsey's grandmother's locket, which was her "something old."
Surrounded with Love
Kelsey's bridesmaids, who included her two sisters and sister-in-law, teammates from her college volleyball team, and friends from childhood, high school, and adulthood all wore Joanna August dresses.
The party was swingin'—especially for this little girl, the daughter of family friends. Guests were asked to wear "creative black-tie" attire, and several just happened to match the days neutral color scheme, which paired various shades of warm grays with the greens and whites of Villa Sevillano's gardens. "The day ended up being a little gray and misty, which only ended up adding to the allure of the entire experience," says planner Kimberly Curtis.
Among the gifts Joc gave each groomsman was this sweet souvenir—a bat engraved with the friend's name and the wedding date.
The Monogrammed Programs
Prior to the ceremony, guests picked up programs with the day's K&J logo die-cut on the front, and toss bags which were filled with rose petals to shower the newlyweds with as they walked back up the aisle. The bags were decorated with olive branches and tags that said, "the best is yet to come," one of the couple's mottos, which also appeared on their invitations.
Gray faux fur and woven cotton blankets and pashmina throws bearing the newlyweds initials were placed on ceremony chairs to add to what Kelsey calls, "the crazy, comfortable vibe." After all, she adds, "even though it's the California coast, it was January, and it's crisp outside."
The Flower Girls
The bride and groom included seven children in their ceremony, the children of the bride's cousin and of a close friend of the groom. The six flower girls tossed petals while wearing dresses by Dessy topped with jackets the bride found online, and the one ring bearer walked the couple's pup, Blue, down the aisle.
They exchanged vows on a wooden platform in front of a flower-adorned wooden ring, symbolizing eternal love, as it has no beginning and no end.
Where the Fun Is
Next to the main reception tent stood a smaller tent that served as a lounge area with comfy couches, a photo booth, and fun and games including cornhole and swings.
In the Swing of Things
Guests at the reception were encouraged to act like kids in the reception tent's lounge area, which included a cornhole game and a swing, personalized with the newlyweds' initials.
Fun and (Stylish) Games
The cornhole game was painted with the day's logo and neutral color palette.
A Well-Lit Idea
The foyer of the reception tent was lit up with love, quite literally. Shelves were filled with candles that were wrapped in vellum calligraphed with guests' names. As everyone entered, they lit their candle while making a wish for Kelsey and Joc. "Kelsey wanted candles to glow everywhere," says planner Kimberly Curtis, "so that guests could shine in their light."
The Reception Tent
The reception took place on Villa Sevillano's polo fields, which, prior to the wedding, were just "a blank piece of grass," says Kelsey. Inside the tent, tables were arranged around the dance floor, with a long head table set for 46 including the newlyweds, their parents, and all 22 bridesmaids and groomsmen plus their dates. Garlands of Southern smilax hung overhead.
An array of floral centerpieces designed by Toast Santa Barbara included roses, ranunculus, and various foliage.
The Reception Décor
Velvet-covered tables, vine-topped plates, gold flatware, and a lush centerpiece of garden roses, peonies, astilbe, sweet peas, Liberstar tulips, burgundy ranunculus, chocolate cosmos, foxglove, scabiosa and huckleberry foliage, created a luxe, welcoming tablescape for the seated dinner at the reception.
A round menu filled guests in on the plan for dinner. The meal started with a plated first course of corn chowder with thyme and a bacon-wrapped diver scallop, then moved onto a family-style second course of butternut squash ravioli and a green salad with candied pecans, apple, feta, pomegranate and avocado. Entrées and sides were also served family-style, with the sides—garlic lemon spinach, duck fat fries with sea salt and crispy Brussels sprouts with cider—set on the table, and the mains, including petite filet, parmesan-crusted baby lamb chops, and white shrimp with pancetta served from skillets on carts.
Monograms on the Table
Loaves of bread topped with the newlyweds' logo served as both décor and a pre-dinner snack for guests.
Cutting the Cake
A Caffeine Break
Guests who needed a pick-me-up before the after party could make their way to the coffee cart in the reception tent for after-dinner cappuccinos and lattes.
Guests waved sparklers at the newlyweds as they drove off into the sunset (actually up to the main house for the after-party) in a vintage Rolls Royce from 1963—which, coincidentally, happens to be the year the bride's parents were born!
Location, Villa Sevillano
Event design, planning, production, and flowers, Toast Santa Barbara
Catering, New West
Bartending, Simply Cocktails
Photography, Jose Villa
Videography, Robert Michael Films
Stationery, Amber Moon Design
Calligraphy, Anne Robin Calligraphy + Design
Cake, The Butter End Cakery
Bride's gown and veil, Marchesa
Bride's reception dress, Atelier Pronovias
Hair and makeup, Mar R. of TEAM Hair & Makeup
Bridesmaids' dresses, Joanna August
Flower-girl dresses, The Dessy Group
Groom's tuxedo, shirt, and bow tie, Alba
Menswear, The Black Tux
Lighting, Bella Vista Designs Inc.
Valet, Signature Parking
Cotton candy, Bon Puf
Flooring, Special Event Contractors
Magician, Ben Silver Magic
Photo booth, MirMir
Pyrotechnics and petal cannons, Garden State Fireworks
Restrooms and sanitation, MarBorg Industries
Security, Black Box Security
Wine, Wine Source
Mother of the bride's dress, Carolina Herrera
Father of the bride's tuxedo, Tom Ford