Spanish Bohemian Wedding at the Canary Hotel

From the bride:

This wasn’t the first wedding Tommy and I planned together. When we first met 6 years ago, we fell madly in love with each other. We were living together within three short weeks, engaged within seven and we were planning to have a wedding within four months! Then suddenly it all came to an abrupt end, our engagement that is. There’s an age gap between us, sixteen years, my family had a difficult time with that and I allowed them to step in between us. But we continued our relationship and what could have broken us forever only made our relationship stronger, our love was unstoppable. Fast forward to 4 years later, while on a summer trip to Paris, France we visited the Palace of Versailles and Tommy completely surprised me by proposing in the gardens. It was just him and I and it couldn’t have been more magical!??

We decided not to rush the wedding this time, we planned for a fall wedding a year away. We considered numerous places but it was Santa Barbara that stole our hearts. We visited their historical Courthouse to check out the Mural room. When we walked into that room we immediately felt like we were back in Europe, the room was breathtaking. Best part, it was $250 to rent out! We still needed a reception venue though. We were randomly staying at this adorable boutique hotel, The Canary Hotel, which had a roof top with breath taking views of the ocean and mountains. I did not think we could afford to have our wedding there and did not want to inquire on the pricing. But Tommy insisted we check it out and to our surprise it was within our budget. The best part, it was dog friendly so we could have our fur babies there who were also two of our flower girls!

We knew we needed some help for our big day so we met with a potential wedding planner, Leanne Elliott, owner of Soleil Events. She was so helpful in showing and pricing out the different venues and vendors around town for us. She was friendly, warm and welcoming and easy to work with, we knew we had to have her help us make our wedding day magical. She did indeed help when the hotel accidentally gave our wedding cake away (yes, gave it away but all is forgiven). Leanne ran to the nearest store to grab us a new cake and even decorated it with some flowers from our arrangements. She went above and beyond for us on the big day, she took all the stress and worry away from us.

We had no set style or theme in mind, we just wanted  it small and we wanted it done exactly our way. Figuring the style was easy after booking at the Canary. The town of Santa Barbara itself has that cool Spanish architecture and design and so does the hotel so we chose to keep with the same style but added our own flare to it. 

We labeled our style Spanish-bohemian. We booked a florist who canceled on us two weeks after, thankfully, because that led us to Becky who owns Haute Blossoms Floral! She got our vision immediately and was the sweetest to work with. We wanted bull skulls with flowers cascading around them and bright flowers mixed with deep rich colored flowers, succulents and candles galore, and that’s exactly what she gave us. We provided all the bull skulls and Becky did the rest. She even helped us pick out our linens at La Tavola, which wasn’t easy due to the wide assortment they have to offer! On the day of our wedding she worked her magic and made the Mural room and the roof top reception the most romantic, beautiful, and picturesque of places.

 Our most important task for our wedding was finding the perfect photographer because for us, these photos would tell the story of our wedding to our future children and grandchildren. Aurelia D’Amore Photography was recommended to us through some good friends who hired her for their wedding and after seeing her work we hired her without hesitation. I met her for the first time on our wedding day and I instantly felt comfortable with her! She showed up ready to work and I felt like she knew exactly what she was doing. Tommy hates to have his picture taken and was dreading that part of the day but it was easy and it was Aurelia who made it feel that way for the both of us. You can just see from her images, she is truly a very talented photographer and we feel so fortunate to have had her capture our memories.

Our big day was amazing and we could not have had a more perfect wedding. The ceremony was both our favorite, my sister played the piano as my father walked me down the aisle, we each wrote our own wedding vows and we had a close friend who officiated. There was no wedding party except for our two young nieces and our fur babies of course. We had a couple hours in between the ceremony and reception so we rented trolley cars to drive our guests around town while my new husband and I took photos around the stunning courthouse inside and outside. 

Everyone there who was special to us was there and we wouldn’t have a changed a thing. They say things will happen the day of, a hiccup or two but literally it was such a flawless day (minus the cake situation) and we know it is due to all the talented and great people we chose to participate in our wedding day. I can’t stop looking through our wedding photos and reminiscing on our magical day in Santa Barbara, I give myself the wedding blues every time! 

Ceremony Venue: Santa Barbara Courthouse | Reception Venue: Canary Hotel | Planner: Soleil Events | Photographer: Aurelia D’Amore Photography | Florist: Haute Blossoms | Linen Rentals: La Tavola | Bridal Gown: The Dress Theory | Bridal Shoes: Chanel | Veil: Blanca Veils | Groom’s Attire: Ted Baker | Groom’s Shoes: Aldo Shoes | Wedding Ring: Tiffany & Co.