With a sense of adventure and a love of natural surroundings shared between this next sweet couple, of course, their big day had to reflect those same things. So naturally, they chose a gorgeous venue that sat atop a mountain with a 360-degree view of the ocean, vineyards and even more mountains.
This fabulous day takes it back to this couples roots... literally, all the tables are named after types of trees that mean something special to them. Keep scrolling to find out more and then be sure to check out the full gallery for more amazing photos from Mandee Johnson.
Rustic Elegance in Malibu
Anna and Carmel were introduced to each other by Anna’s sister. At the time, they both lived in LA but Carmel had plans to go backpacking through Central America and then start medical school in New York immediately after. Their connection was so undeniable that Anna bought a ticket to Nicaragua so she could join Carmel on his adventures. After their trip, they decided to give a long-distance relationship a shot and they made it work.
Planning A Natural Wedding
When it was time to start planning their wedding Anna and Carmel dreamed of a destination wedding in the mountains. When they saw Malibu Hilltop Estate, they immediately fell in love. Nestled on top of a peak with 360-degree views of the Santa Monica mountains, vineyards, and ocean all surrounding the most magical rustic lodge, it was an easy decision!
The venue itself was a juxtaposition with a view of the pristine vineyards and manicured desert-like landscaping set in front of a rustic log cabin that belongs in NorCal. A perfect scene for the couple with deep love and respect for nature. Building on this look they added their own vision of green, earth-toned florals with farmhouse tables surrounded by elegant views and gold accents.
Unique Table Names
Throughout their travels and life experiences, Anna and Carmel have grown fond of many trees, each of which has its own specific memory or significance. To honor these, they used trees as table markers complete with a picture of the tree and a note. For example, Anna’s grandfather's family sat at the Metasequoia table, which was his favorite tree and the one he had his ashes spread upon after he passed. They also planted a little succulent by hand in a wooden planter for each guest as a party favor.
Favorite Moment & Wedding Advice
Overall the whole day passed by in such a blur, that looking back feels like trying to remember a dream. One memory that vividly stands out to both of us were the moments of peace and quiet that we enjoyed together on the balcony as we ate dinner.
No matter how much planning you do early on, the month before is going to be hectic so mentally prepare for that! If something hasn't been accomplished by the week before either delegate or let it go, focus on your family and try to decompress so you're rested for the actual day. The question I asked myself the week before is: if this doesn't end up happening would anyone notice it's NOT there?! The answer was always no.
Musical Choices:Processional: Girl from the North Country -Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash
A Case of You -Arranged and performed by one of my best friends, Elise Amato Recessional: 40 Day Dream - Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
First Dance: Look At Where We Are -Hot Chip
To get a closer look at this natural chic wedding, check out the wedding film Emerge Films created below!
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