Bride Becca stands in front of altar

A Charming Carmel Valley Wedding


February 8, 2023
Words by Lauren Ertl
Photos courtesy of Holly Shankland Photography

In the summer of 2016, Kurt and Becca met in San Francisco via the dating app Hinge. They bonded over shared experiences of growing up skiing and attending college in South Carolina. The couple spent many of their initial dates together driving down the surrounding California coastline. In fact, the first trip Becca and Kurt took together was an overnight in Big Sur where they hiked and watched the sunset over the Pacific. The couple has continued to spend many weekends escaping the city for the beloved California coastal towns. Considering the area a huge part of their love story, it seemed only natural to choose Carmel Valley for their destination wedding six years later.

Kurt proposed in February 2021,” Becca says, “in peak COVID when we were temporarily living with my parents. This time period was special to them, as Kurt was able to get to know my family on a whole different level.”

Shortly after getting engaged, Becca and Kurt got right to work beginning to plan a 2022 wedding, hoping COVID restrictions would subside in a year. Kurt and Becca’s top priority when choosing a venue was simple, it needed to be easily accessible to family and friends from all over. 

When Becca stumbled across The Holly Farm in Carmel Valley, the tropical plants and bohemian aesthetic called out to her. Upon visiting, she learned that The Holly Farm allows its couples to rent the property for the entire wedding weekend and could even sleep up to 25 people on-site. Becca booked the venue and put down the deposit then and there.

“We fell in love with the venue and knew it was perfect for us,” the bride says. “Carmel Valley is a three-hour drive from our home, and we felt it was the perfect distance for a wedding weekend getaway.”

Becca and Kurt are equal parts homebodies and travelers, so they wanted their guests to feel transported into a bohemian tropical oasis. The bride pictured gorgeous plants and florals everywhere, cozy lounge furniture, rattan lanterns, party lights and candles. The couple knew the most important part of bringing their vision to life would be talented, dedicated vendors.

“Having a great wedding planner was key,” the couple says, “and staying as organized as possible with spreadsheets on spreadsheets! We found the fun in every decision, and didn’t dwell on anything.”

West Coast natives with a laid-back and relaxed style, Kurt and Becca chose cocktail attire for the event, and they encouraged their guests to wear whatever felt the most festive to them. The groomsmen wore beige linen suits with no ties, the bridesmaids wore sage green silk dresses in the silhouette of their choosing from Show Me Your Mumu.

The bohemian botanical aesthetic came to life thanks to Barefoot Floral who understood the assignment of bringing comfortable warm romantic florals in. Being a wine collector, Becca’s dad brought wines from his cellar for guests to taste with a hired sommelier. Their cake was Meyer Lemon (a nod to their last name) and decorated with dried florals and dehydrated citrus. Other beloved details were the custom stationery, day-off signage, napkins with Brixton’s face (the couple’s dog named after the location of their first date) and table signs with their favorite places. 

Becca and Kurt’s wedding was all they dreamed it would be and more. After a successful destination wedding in Carmel Valley, the couple leaves us with this sage advice:

“Embrace the wedding planning process as a way to get to know your partner better and really identify what matters most as well as your personal brand as a couple.”

Vendors: Photographer: Holly Shankland Photography; Second Shooter: Angie Silvy Photography; Planner: Garden Gate Events; Venue: The Historic Holly Farm; Cake: Edith Meyer Wedding Cakes; Makeup Artist: Kim Larson Bridal; Florist: Barefoot Floral; Rentals: Casa de Perrin, Found Rental Co., Urban Parlour Rentals, Shelter Co., BBJ La Tavola, Standard Event Rentals; Stationery: Summit and Sage; Videography: Steelhead Cinema; Dress Designer: Galia Lahav; Bridesmaid Dresses: Show Me Your MuMu; Men’s Attire: Island Importer; Band: Hip Service; Caterer: La Crème Monterey

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