Shortly after Lyndsay Meabon and Justin Pennington moved to Los Angeles from the East Coast within the very same month, a mutual friend set them up. “We agreed, went on a date at a wine bar in Venice, and had our first kiss that night overlooking the Venice canals,” smiles Lyndsay. “From then on, we were pretty inseparable.”
On a trip to Bear Mountain in New York for Lyndsay’s family reunion, Justin had a plan to propose to his beloved – though he made it seem like he was only attending last-minute. Though Lyndsay had just gotten over the flu, Justin eventually convinced her to go on a hike to the top of the mountain. “I admit, I complained the whole way,” she confirms of the chilly February hike; however, “once we got to the top, he told my sister to film, took out a ring, and surprised me by getting on his knee and asking me to marry him!”
Three weeks before their April 2020 wedding, Covid unfortunately forced the couple to postpone their nuptials – twice. Not wanting to delay the marriage itself, Lyndsay and Justin eloped on their original wedding date in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. “The shutdown happened three weeks before our planned wedding, and we had our wedding certificate from the courthouse already,” explains Lyndsay of the vow exchange that their immediate families watched via Zoom. “I wasn’t able to get my dress, so I wore my mom’s wedding dress and made my own bouquet and flower crown.”
One year later, Lyndsay and Justin were finally able to be wed in front of their friends and family. “The size of our wedding was drastically reduced, but we didn’t change any of the details because we knew how much everyone needed to have fun that day,” muses the bride. “Luckily, we were able to get testing for all of our guests and the majority of our guests were vaccinated, so we could celebrate safely.”
Loved ones found their seats for the alfresco ceremony in Ojai, California, which commenced with a processional of bridesmaids in champagne gowns of their own choosing, groomsmen in grey suits with green ties, all of the couple’s nieces and nephews, and their two dogs Juniper and Dobby. In order to maintain social distancing, chairs were arranged in twos to ensure everyone felt safe throughout.
The bride was stunning in a long-sleeve gown by Claire Pettibone featuring beautiful appliqués on the bodice and a veil attached to a crown of greenery and florals. She walked down a vintage-inspired patterned rug to meet her groom beneath the ceremony arch, which was created by her family. Lyndsay’s uncle constructed the wooden frame, while the mother of the bride crafted the macramé backdrop. “Justin’s Aunt Pia married us and incorporated a Native American blessing honoring the original people of this land,” explains Lyndsay, who exchanged handwritten vows with her groom.
“The size of our wedding was drastically reduced, but we didn’t change any of the details because we knew how much everyone needed to have fun that day.”
Following the heartfelt ceremony, an outdoor cocktail hour presented passed hors d’oeuvres, live oyster shucking, and the pair’s favorite cocktails – an Ojai Pixie Mezcal Margarita and an Old Fashioned – to 60 of the couple’s closest friends and family. Next, they made their way into the reception space. “I think the music and the vibe of the reception really reflected us,” notes Lyndsay, who confirms she and Justin carefully selected the band, the songs that were played, and the fare served throughout the fête.
Tables were decorated with neutral linens and lovely centerpieces in the multicolored, muted desert-inspired palette the bride envisioned. Bud vases were filled with florals in tones of marigold, apricot, and terracotta, and table numbers were presented by way of laser-cut wooden stands next to fresh fruit in punchy hues. “I made a lot of things myself, including the signage and name cards,” shares the bride of the décor, which her brother also helped with. “My brother hand cut all of the wood slabs for the centerpieces and made the sand candles.”
To further personalize the event, the couple’s own VW Vanagon was used as the photo booth, and cornhole was set up alongside lounge areas to create a laid-back vibe for the celebration. For additional entertainment, Justin’s brother, who is a poi fire artist in Hawaii, performed later in the night, and the bride and her sister surprised the groom by singing Alanis Morissette’s “Head Over Feet.” “Justin even referenced the song in his vows, and I didn’t know!” adds Lyndsay of the ‘90s love song.
The newlyweds had a small lemon vegan cutting cake; however, friends and family enjoyed churros and ice cream as the main dessert. Before the night came to a close, empanadas grilled fresh over a wood-fire stove were served as a late-night bite. The bride and groom were thankful to have had such a wonderful wedding day, even though a few of their original guests weren’t able to attend. Lyndsay’s best advice for brides about to be married is to try to delegate as much as you can on the day of. “Be in the moment as much as you can,” she urges. “It will be the best day and night of your life!”