Destination I Do

A Hip California Destination Wedding

Words by Kate Darnell
Photos courtesy of Amelia Lyon

Love can happen just about anywhere. For Jay and Marissa, it happened on the set of the children’s television show “Yo Gabba Gabba,” where she is the lead makeup artist and he is the director of photography. Their eyes met on set and the rest was history.

A destination wedding on the Central Coast of California came about due to the desire to have a rustic, outdoor setting. “The [Central Coast] has some of the most unique and picturesque landscapes in the World and the historic Santa Margarita Ranch is one of those places…we even got a barn,” says Marissa.

The celebration perfectly reflected the couple’s personalities, down to their close friend officiating the ceremony. “The ceremony took place in the garden on the ranch property under a big 100 year-old oak tree,” says Marissa. “The combination of the warm golden sun rays, blue sky and lush green fields couldn't have been a more perfect setting.”

The reception was held in the barn with rustic, chic touches throughout and a “communal” vibe accomplished by using long wooden tables rather than the traditional round tables. In lieu of a standard wedding cake, the couple opted for a “cake” made out of wheels of cheese adorned with flowers. For those with a sweet tooth, fresh baked cookies were served.

Marissa and Jay had the help of a local coordinator to pull off the destination event. However, the distance did pose some difficulty which the couple took in stride. “It was a little tough having to travel 200 miles every time we needed to take care of little things like a food tasting,” recalls Marissa. “However, this whole area is so beautiful and inviting, that it felt more like a mini-vacation rather than stressful wedding 'work.’”

Favorite memories of the day:

Marissa’s: "When I got to see Jay for the first time on our wedding day, it felt like it was the first time that weekend when it was just him and I…it was a very intimate moment."

Jay’s: "When I realized there was nothing left to do but enjoy the moment with my beautiful bride. We had so many great people, (vendors, but also friends and family) in place to take care of things, I was able to concentrate on the reason I was there, Marissa."

Vendors: Photographer: Amelia Lyon Photography,, Ceremony/Reception Site: Santa Margarita Ranch,, Wedding Planner: Taffy Gonzalez from All Traditions,,
DJ: Got you Cover’d - Aaron Watene,, Floral: Debbie Deis - D&D Floral,, Catering: Gretchen LeMiere - In Good Taste Catering,, Gown Designer: Enzoani,, Grooms Clothing Designer: Jean Yves,, Bridesmaids’s Clothing Designer: Maggy London,, Lighting/Photo Booth - Kramer Entertainment,, Trolley Company: Central Coast Trolley Co.,

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