Outdoor Wedding at a California Rose Farm

Kristi and Chris

Photographed by: Amy Kumler PhotographyLocation: Santa Barbara, California, United States

The most important day in a woman’s life often culminates into an extravaganza of formalities with little room for the natural charms of life. Kristi Dyer and Chris Bender, however, knew they wanted a wedding where there would be room to breathe, or rather, time to stop and smell the roses. The Belle Story Rose Farm was the perfect centerpiece for a day to be shared with family and friends joining the couple from all over the country, and offered the guests the comforts of home away from home without sacrificing any of the elegance and splendor worthy of girlhood dreams.

Chris’s desire for an outdoor wedding location that was personal and natural was fully realized when they found the Belle Story Farm in Santa Barbara. The family-owned working rose farm was the perfect fit for the couple and their 200 guests, accompanied by frogs, kittens, dogs, and the lush June scent of never-ending roses.

The wedding colors, petal pink and pistachio green, and “country elegance” style complemented the natural atmosphere and mood.

The polish of a custom-designed wedding gown and individually designed bridesmaid dresses in different styles was partnered with the richness and charm of one-of-a-kind pieces (such as urns, mason jars, and candelabras from the farm), giving each of the twenty-two tables a different centerpiece and one of five different patterned table cloths.

Kristi’s vision of a meeting of “whimsy and elegance” was successful in every detail, including a cake of cupcakes and a framed photograph of the couple’s Tibetan Terrier, appropriately named “Rosie,” placed in front of the bride and groom’s place setting.

Kristi and Chris were dedicated to creating a ceremony and reception that would celebrate their unique family backgrounds, including an officiant who incorporated both of their religions (Chris’s family is Jewish and Kristi comes from a large Catholic family, with ten children in her mother’s family alone!). At the officiant’s request, Kristi and Chris each wrote their own love story, telling of their friendship to the proposal and everything in between. Bits of these stories were revealed during the ceremony, giving everyone a glimpse into the couple’s history together. The reception dinner was prepared to serve family style, offering guests an intimate and interactive meal without the stress of choosing between mingling and eating.

The perfect ending to a perfect day awaited the couple at the romantic country cottage located at the Farm. At the end of this warm summer evening of family and friends, Kristi and Chris said their goodbyes to their guests as they walked up to cottage, which was filled with candles and vintage roses.

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