Ariel and Rick met when they began working together at a Veterinary hospital 3.5 years ago. While they were both a bit hesitant to date someone they worked with they eventually couldn’t help themselves. Fast forward to a couple years later Ariel and Rick spent some time designing Ariel’s engagement ring and set of bands using diamonds from her great grandmother’s engagement ring. After playing with some design options, they settled on the perfect one. When it arrived, they opened the package together, and Rick got down on one knee and asked Ariel to marry him. Of course she said yes!
Ariel and Rick stumbled upon a dilemma though as they began planning the elopement they had dreamed about.
While a small part of them wanted to privately elope, they knew how much it meant to their closest friends and family to be present at their wedding. And so they planned the most perfect SURPRISE wedding at the Historic Mattei’s Tavern in Los Olivos, CA.
I arrived early the day of the surprise wedding to take “engagement” photos of the couple. It was a gorgeous spring day during a rare super bloom event.
This yielded gorgeous photos with California poppy’s and other wildflowers that were blooming throughout the Santa Ynez Valley. Ariel wore the perfect dress from BHLDN while Rick wore a blue suit that contrasted beautifully with the wild flowers.
As we arrived back at Mattei’s Tavern after venturing throughout the rolling hills of the Santa Ynez Valley, Ariel and Rick began to greet their friends and family. They anxiously asked when the wedding would be. They shrugged their shoulders and responded with a simple, “We’re not sure yet.” Little did they know within the hour they would be witnessing their union.
After cocktail hour, a close friend of Ricks began to make a toast and announced that in fact Ariel and Rick were to be wed and that he was an ordained minister. Standing on the steps of the Hartley house with 33 of their closest friends and family, Ariel and Rick exchanged vows and were married.
Their friends and family were overjoyed with tears streaming down many of their faces. Ariel’s fathers response was that, he was just so glad that he got to be there. It was the most touching ceremony I have witnessed in my 3 years of being a wedding photographer.
Details from their engagement ceremony turned wedding included; a bouquet and table arrangements made collaboratively with Ariel’s close friend Rachel and local florist Breanna from Wild Poppy Florals. Blooms were sourced locally from Ballard Canyon Farms. Ariel’s friend Katie of KT Bake Shop made the gorgeous white confetti cake with mint and lemon frosting. Dinner, appetizers and small dessert was catered by Chef Mattias Bloom.