One Couple Live Streamed Their "Plan B" Wedding as They Tied the Knot in Front of 34 Guests in the Santa Ynez Valley
Karli and Travis met at a sports bar in Denver on September 7, 2014, during the first NFL game of the season (Travis noticed Karli when she walked in with his friend's younger sister, a childhood friend of hers). After the game ended, he and his friends went to a second location; Karli and her friend went somewhere else. "But there was just something about Travis that I wanted to explore further," Karli says, "so, my friend and I rented bikes and rode three miles from downtown Denver to Governors Park." Once she met up with Travis again, the pair hit it off—and Travis offered her a ride to her friend's place, where she was staying. He missed an exit on the way, leading to an adventure that bonded the two even more. Shortly after they met, Travis traveled to California to stay with Karli for a weekend and the rest was history.
On December 19, 2019, Travis brought Karli to a private airport for a nighttime helicopter tour of Los Angeles. Karli thought he might be proposing, but Travis insisted that the trip was a part of her Christmas present. "As time went on I started thinking maybe this really is my Christmas present and he's not proposing," Karli says. "At the last minute, he surprised me!"
The couple had plans to tie the knot on August 8, 2020, with 150 guests in attendance; initially, they were optimistic that they'd be able to keep their wedding plans, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. About five weeks before their big day, they decided to postpone the big celebration until 2021 and host an intimate event with their immediate family only. "It was extremely important to me that my 97-year-old grandmother see me get married this year, no matter what," Karli says. "I am her only grandchild and she is one of the most important people in my life." In the end, the couple was able to invite 34 guests to their original venue, Kestrel Park, for an outdoor garden ceremony and an intimate dinner reception on their original date. The icing on the cake? They also had over 100 additional guests attend the ceremony virtually!
The couple's invitations featured warm clay ink letterpress on white paper and an illustration of the sunset and hills of Santa Ynez on the reverse side. Illustrated maps of the locale were added to mist paper; the reply cards were printed on cipria paper and paired with a light gray envelope. Instead of assembling the invitation suite with a ribbon, Karli and Travis decided to go with a modern copper clip. The dark green envelopes featured an illustration of their dachshunds, Willow and Jade. The finishing touch? A custom monogram by Swell Press, that was also seen on the other day-of paper goods, including the bar menu, dinner menus, and cocktail napkins.
Though Karli had already selected a wedding dress for her big celebration, she kept an off-white architectural gown from NEWHITE in the back of her mind for the small one. When she saw that the brand was offering brides the chance to try on gowns at home, she knew she had to take it. "I got in contact with them and let them know my timeline. Juliette, the owner, was very quick and responsive to me," Karli says. "I got the sample and immediately placed my custom order. Once our wedding was officially back on, Juliette quickly customized and squeezed my fitting in, getting my dress completed the Tuesday before our wedding."
Karli brought her grandmother, sister, and mother to one of the fittings. "We had a couple 'laugh until you cry' moments that will never be forgotten," she says. She added an overskirt to create a statement piece for the ceremony and removed it for the reception, so the garment was easier to dance in.
The bride paired her ensemble with a cathedral veil from Sarah Seven.
All in the Details
Karli held a loose bouquet of cosmos, daffodils, ranunculus, dried floral, and seasonal greens, courtesy of Of The Flowers.
Groom in Blue
Travis wore a custom three piece navy suit from Suit Supply, complete with a light blue shirt and floral tie. He finished his look with cuff links, brown shoes, and a matching belt; his pocket square referenced the bridesmaids' dresses.
The Wedding Party
Though Karli originally had seven bridesmaids, she paired it down to her sister and sister-in-law for the couple's smaller nuptials. They wore satin midi dresses in the shade "Sedona Sunset" from BHLDN, which each paired with a pair of cognac leather peep toe heels. Travis' two brothers stood in as his groomsmen, donning navy suits from Menguin and accessorized floral ties that matched the groom's.
The First Look
Karli and Travis shared a first look in front of a tower in Kestrel Park. "I was so ready to marry him and I missed him," Karli says. "I was really excited while walking up to hug and talk to him, since it had been a day or so since we had seen each other, which is the longest we had gone in five months, due to COVID-19."
The couple's intimate garden ceremony took place on the park's tree-lined driveway. A square floral arch was the focal point; aisle marker arrangements were placed along either side of the path to the altar.
Guests entered the ceremony space under an additional arch, which was arch embellished with dried palms and blooms for a dramatic welcome.
Karli shared a heartfelt moment with her dad, Bruce, before the service; he then accompanied her down the aisle. "He asked me if I was ready and I said Travis is the absolute best man I could ever ask for. He then said, 'Okay, let's get you married,'" the bride says. "The whole way down the aisle, he held onto my hand and seemed so proud of me and to be my dad."
The couple's friend, a pastor, officiated the religious ceremony, during which the duo recited both original and traditional vows, after Travis decided (the week before the wedding) that they should say some words of their own. "In my vows, I mentioned all the things we discuss that are important in our relationship," Karli says, "Supporting one another's dreams and ambitions, continually challenging each other to be the best versions of ourselves, and making him laugh when he takes himself too seriously."
A Sweet Dip
After the pair was announced husband and wife, Lord Echo's "Thinking of You" began to play. "This song represents the last year we were long distance and I was living in San Francisco in 2018," the bride says. "This was our favorite song and we honestly couldn't stop thinking about one another. Life together was always easier."
The Virtual Attendees
About 120 loved ones watched the ceremony from afar. After the ceremony, they joined the newlyweds for a quick celebratory drink! Their specialty cocktails were named after their dogs, Willow and Jade.
The Cocktail Hour
In-person attendees grabbed drinks from the bar and enjoyed passed hors d'oeuvres including mini ahi poke bowls, bruschetta with grilled crostini, and wagyu beef bao. Karli and Travis pre-selected a playlist for the interlude.
Karli and Travis took many precautions to make sure their guests were as safe as possible on the big day, including offering a hand sanitizing station.
Several lounge areas were set up for the cocktail hour and reception. Rugs were placed on the grass; comfortable couches, chairs, and cushions offered guests a place to mingle. Organic flower arrangements with dried florals accented each space.
The reception took place near Kestrel Park's stone stables. With a smaller guest list, Karlie and Travis decided to set up one long table with a wooden top and black metal base to make the reception feel more like a private dinner party. A modern light installation hung overhead and the poles were embellished with greens.
Although Karli and Travis joined their guests at the reception table, they worked with their planner, Jacqueline Hallgarth, to come up with a unique way of making their spots at the center stand out. Two oversized arrangements of greenery and florals replaced chairs on the other side and a hanging floral installation—that included both fresh and dried elements—floated above them.
Terra-cotta bud vases and amber votive candles were scattered throughout the center of the table, atop a pebble-hued runner.
Ceramic dinnerware, distressed copper flatware, and crystal glassware defined each setting.
Originally, Karli and Travis had planned on providing a family-style meal, but they switched to a plated service, in light of the pandemic. Swell Press provided light gray place cards and dinner menus with the couple's monogram at the top.
A First Dance
They skipped a band to minimize the amount of people present on site and shared their first dance to Chris Stapleton's "Tennessee Whiskey" via a sound system (that they manned, thanks to a pre-selected playlist), instead. "Karli grew up on a ranch in Colorado, and since I used to live in Colorado, country music is something that we both enjoy!" Travis says. "This song really speaks to us, and makes me think of Karli, since she is the calming potion in my life."
The reception was a highlight for both Karli and Travis, as it was the first time their immediate families were meeting and coming together. "They absolutely loved hanging out and they meshed so easily!" Travis says. "Bruce said during his speech that not only was our marriage a forever thing, but families being friends is a forever thing, too."
A Sweet Ending
Their two-tier white wedding cake from Solvang Bakery featured two flavors; the bottom layer was chocolate with vanilla custard and the top was lemon chiffon with a cream cheese filling. The confection was presented on a modern copper stand and embellished with dried florals.
Travis offers some wisdom to couples having to make tough wedding-related decisions due to the pandemic. "Planning a wedding should be special, despite what is going on in the world around you! At the end of the day, you still have your significant other, and although the wedding is the actual celebration of your commitment to each other, this is the beginning of the rest of your lives together," he says. "Smile, laugh, talk, and don't let COVID-19 distract from the reality of how much you love each other."
Photography, Jenny Quicksall Photography
Venue, Kestrel Park
Wedding Planning and Event Design, Jacqueline Hallgarth Events
Videography, Miguel Garcia Studios
Flowers, Of The Flowers
Invitations and Paper Products, Swell Press
Bride's Gown, NEWHITE
Bride's Veil, Sarah Seven
Bride's Accessories, Tiffany & Co; Marion Parke
Hair and Makeup, Page Beauty
Bride's Second Look, Rime Arodaky
Bridesmaids' Dresses, BHLDN
Groom's Attire, Suit Supply; Ted Baker
Groom's Shoes, Allen Edmonds
Groomsmen's Attire, Menguin
Catering, Tres LA
Cake, Solvang Bakery
Rentals, Found Rentals; Premiere Party Rents; Casa de Perrin; La Tavola
Lighting, Spark Creative Events
Live Stream, Miguel Garcia Studios
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