I had no idea what to expect when I opened this postcard wedding invitation. With that said, I was blown away when I arrived down in a canyon by Los Padres National Forest. Some 80 people were greeted with twinkling lights at dusk to celebrate Andrew White and Amber Cliett in an outdoor SoCal wedding with a Southern feel (a necessity to the bride and groom who both grew up in Mississippi).
The new Mr. and Mrs. White meticulously and flawlessly disproved their need for a wedding planner as they jumped on the DIY train last October. No planner, no florist, no caterer, no emotional drama for them. Here are a few contributions made by family and friends that made this dream come true.
This indie-hipster, breadth-of-nature location, provided by friends (contribution #1), was cleared out by what Amber referred to as “the men tank,” her husband-to-be and friends, who picked up fallen trees and used them as posts where tiny, white lights and baby pictures hung, all individually gathered and provided by family (contribution #2), creating a cozy atmosphere that resembled the warm Santa Barbara fall weather, and the couple.
The homemade food (contribution #3), from boiled peanuts to tacos, also took after the Southern comfort/California theme. Resources for the homemade teepee and decorative dream catchers, all bound with love by friends (contribution #4), came from Art From Scrap (contribution #5), the reuse store in town that sells scrap and discarded materials, inspiring eco-artists to get creative.
Rocking jeans, a crocheted white dress, cowboy boots, and a necklace from S.B.-based Blue Lotus, this duo proudly walked down the aisle to the songful voice of Marley Bernsen (daughter of best friends Michael and Victoria, and contribution #6) with Ocho Howl on the ukulele (who can be found playing on State Street and other festivals in town, and contribution #7) playing Bob Marley’s “One Love,” all the while cascarones (the confetti eggs you see during Fiesta, and contribution #8) flew through the air. And let’s not forget the humorous and memorable ceremony performed by best man Michael Bernsen, who got ordained (contribution #9) specifically for this night.
Sure, it’s budget-conscious and trendy, but that’s not the rewarding part. Entrusting others with the most important day of your life, “it actually made everything more special,” said Amber. Husband Andrew agreed: “You really appreciate who all your friends are.” The amount of work and love that went into creating this daydream of a wedding can’t all be listed here, but with the help of these friends and family, Amber and Andrew’s dream wedding surely became a reality. Besides it being one of the most genuinely fun weddings I’ve been to, it mirrors an honest testimony to what loved ones and Santa Barbara can do for you.