This Couple Hosted a Classic, Elegant Outdoor Affair in a Beautiful California Park

wedding couple portrait on garden lawn
Taryn Grey Photography

The night Jenna Mackey and David Martini met, they were standing in line outside of a popular establishment called The Buffalo Club, where they chatted but failed to exchange contact information. "I left that night feeling bummed," admits Jenna. "I even texted family and friends about a cute crush I met and would never see again." But as fate would have it, the pair crossed paths a few months later—and from that second meeting on, the two were inseparable.

As they began planning their wedding, Jenna and Dave knew nothing but this: They wanted to get married in California, somewhere naturally beautiful. "We toyed around with the idea of a destination wedding, but wanted to have as many of our loved ones as possible join the celebration," explains Jenna. Gorgeous venues abounded up and down the coast, but the pair fell absolutely in love with Kestrel Park for the fun and unique experience it could offer their guests. "Driving in, you feel like you are going on an adventure in the middle of nowhere," the bride describes. "It's a shock to see this gorgeous green oasis amid empty rolling fields." On the big day, as the duo's loved ones entered the park, they were wowed by one stunning location after another, each of which was hidden from the one before. "We loved the element of surprise, and the ease of walking from one place to the next," says the bride. "We also wanted a venue that was effortlessly beautiful, so we could enhance the venue—not totally transform it."

The pair decided on a romantic, elegant event with a nod to the venue's garden elements, complete with European-inspired touches. "We also wanted everything to be classic and natural," says Jenna. A color palette of blush, mauve, white, and green accented with crepe and wood fit the bill, while personal touches (like having their dog walk down the aisle and Dave's dad officiate the ceremony) made the affair memorable.

As for the couple's best day-of tip for future brides and grooms? "If it's possible, try and see your ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception before any guests arrive," advises Jenna. "I managed to see the ceremony setup, and it was one of the most vivid and surreal memories from the day. It brought instant tears to my eyes. It made the day feel really real and the planning all worth it. When you start seeing guests it's hard to even say hello to everyone let alone look around and take in your surroundings. It's a great moment and feeling."

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Timeless Suite

simple elegant white and pink wedding invitations
Taryn Grey Photography

The couple's invitation suite from Lazy Creative Designs featured a handwritten script digitally printed on a textured ivory paper that was beautifully hand torn—the suite played right into the timeless aesthetic replicated throughout the day-of stationery designs.

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Exquisite Appliqués

bride preparing to put on wedding dress
Taryn Grey Photography

Jenna's strapless wedding dress by Rosa Clará featured intricate appliqué work and a dramatic train. "It was actually the second dress I tried on," says the bride, who visited 10 other salons before she went back to the first shop to try the gown on again. "When I came out in the dress, my parents' wedding song was playing and my mom was crying," she shares of the moment she knew the gown was the one.

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A Stunning Veil

ornate wedding veil draped over chair
Taryn Grey Photography

Appliqués also adorned the edges of the bride's cathedral-length veil.

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A Classic Look

groom in suspenders playing pool
Taryn Grey Photography

Dave paired a bow tie with a timeless black tuxedo from The Black Tux for the big day.

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The "Best Boy"

groom holding dog at wedding
Taryn Grey Photography

The couple's dog, Charlie, matched the groom in a black bow tie; he served as the couple's "best boy," and did a wonderful job trotting down the aisle.

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Beautiful Bridesmaids

bride and bridesmaids in pastel pink
Taryn Grey Photography

Jenna's bridesmaids wore fitted blush dresses from Dessy. "I let them select from various styles so there was variety," she says. "I thought the crepe material was flattering, classy, and elegant."

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Delightful Additions

flower girls dressed in white dancing through garden
Taryn Grey Photography

The trio flower girls were outfitted in white dresses and flower crowns for the occasion.

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A Stunning First Look

wedding first look on garden lawn
Taryn Grey Photography

Emotions ran high during the couple's first look, which took place in front of the castle at in Kestrel Park. "It was pretty surreal and just such a happy moment where I felt all of my nerves and jitters drop away," says Dave. "She looked so beautiful and it was fun to finally get a little bit of time with each other before all of the madness started. If we hadn't done a first look, I can't imagine how (much more) emotional I would have been when I first saw her walking down the aisle."

Jenna has special memories of the big reveal, as well. "I had a lot of nervous energy before I saw Dave," she says. "I was really excited to see him and taking those pictures was one of my favorite moments of the day."

  • How to Make Sure the First Look Stays Between the Bride and Groom
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Refreshment Stand

elegant wooden drinks station in garden
Taryn Grey Photography

Upon entering the park, guests were greeted by a charming drink display, featuring an array of iced teas, fruited waters, and Champagne.

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Flower Power

white floral bouquets with wedding ceremony chairs
Taryn Grey Photography

Seasonal blooms swathed in greenery stood sentry behind the vineyard chairs at the ceremony site.

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A Sentimental Ceremony

bride and groom holding hands during outdoor wedding ceremony
Taryn Grey Photography

The wedding was officiated by a very special someone: Dave's father. "He made our ceremony sweet, funny, and personal with a touch of seriousness," says the bride. A bridesmaid read one of Jenna's favorite poems, "I Carry Your Heart" by e.e. cummings, and then the couple exchanged personally written vows. "The ceremony was hands down my favorite part of the day, for so many reasons," reflects Jenna. "Walking down the aisle and seeing all of the guests for the first time was absolutely amazing. Hearing each other's vows and people laugh (and seeing people cry!) was so wonderful."

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Husband and Wife

wedding couple portrait on park lawn
Taryn Grey Photography

Jenna and Dave stole a few moments together to take portraits before heading to the last half hour of the extended cocktail hour.

  • The Pros and Cons of an Extended Cocktail Hour
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A Fabulous Fruit Display

simple paper escort cards on table
Taryn Grey Photography

As guests made their way from cocktail hour to dinner, they found their seating assignments from a table that displayed seasonal fruits, including figs, apricots, and blackberries—some of which were harvested from the venue's expansive orchard.

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Fantastic Feasting Tables

outdoor garden reception with pastel pink tables
Taryn Grey Photography

Tables swathed in blush linens and accented with hand-torn fabric runners featured fresh fruits, vintage gold candlesticks, sandstone pillar candles, ceramic vessels, and stunning centerpieces featuring garden roses, ranunculus, and more. "Bistro lighting bridged the space between the stable and the surrounding sycamores," Jenna describes. "As the evening progressed, the stable doors were opened to reveal the reception bars and coffee display."

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Pretty Place Settings

pastel pink floral centerpieces on table
Taryn Grey Photography

Vintage gold flatware and pressed water glasses highlighted the place settings, which featured hand-torn, raw-edge menus accented with olive sprigs.

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A Table for Two

bride and groom sitting at sweetheart table holding hands
Taryn Grey Photography

Jenna and Dave enjoyed their privacy during dinner at a sweetheart table adorned with bowls of fruit, flowers, and candles.

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A Classic Wedding Cake

bride and groom cutting wedding cake outside
Taryn Grey Photography

The couple cut into their three-tier cake, which was iced beautifully in white and accented with olive branches and fresh blooms courtesy of their favorite bakery, SusieCakes.

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wedding couple portrait under greenery hedge
Taryn Grey Photography

Photography, Taryn Grey Photography
Venue, Kestrel Park
Wedding Planning and Event Design, Festive Event Planning
Videography, Wild Whim
Flowers, Knot Just Flowers
Stationery, Lazy Creative Designs
Officiant, Alan Martini
Bride's Gown and Veil, Rosa Clará
Earrings, Mikimoto
Shoes, Vince Camuto
Hair and Makeup, Janet Villa
Bridesmaids' Dresses, Dessy
Menswear, The Black Tux
Engagement Ring and Wedding Bands, Lauren B Jewelry
Guest Book, Vorfreude Stationery
Music, Dart Collective
Catering, Omni Catering
Cake, SusieCakes
Rentals, La Tavola Fine Linen; Otis + Pearl; Party Pleasers; Ventura Rentals
Transportation, Santa Barbara Airbus
Lighting, SPARK Creative Events

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