A Serendipitous Wedding Journey in Santa Barbara
June 7, 2023
Photos courtesy of
Love stories often begin in unexpected places, and for Ruthie and Simon, it all started on Birthright Israel, a transformative 10-day trip to the land of their heritage. Little did they know that this serendipitous encounter would lead to a deep connection that would endure even as they attended different universities in North Carolina. Their love blossomed, and in April of 2022, they embarked on a new chapter of their lives as they tied the knot in a breathtaking destination wedding in Carpinteria, California.
The couple’s shared passion for travel and exploration played a significant role in their decision to have a destination wedding. After getting engaged in the romantic setting of Lake Como, Italy, they yearned for a similar ambiance for their special day.
“We also loved the idea of curating an entire wedding experience for our closest friends and family traveling from all over the country,” the couple says.
Santa Barbara, with its picturesque beauty, emerged as the perfect location for their dream wedding. Ruthie’s connection to the area, having attended boarding school nearby, added an extra touch of sentimentality. Moreover, the proximity to Los Angeles and the consideration for their older family members made Santa Barbara an accessible and meaningful choice.
The search for the ideal venue led them along the captivating California coast until they discovered Klentner Ranch. Instantly captivated by its stunning Italian-inspired villa and panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, Ruthie and Simon knew this was the place where their dreams would come to life.
“Beyond the setting, we had to bring everything in for the ceremony and reception,” Ruthie says, “which gave us and our planning team a blank slate to design the perfect day.”
When it came to decor and extras, Ruthie and Simon aimed to infuse their vibrant personalities and love story into every detail. Working closely with Tyler Speier Events, their vision came to fruition.
“Vibrant florals were just about everywhere you looked,” Tyler Speier says. “The chuppah, the escort card display, the tables, even the clear-top tent had large floral clouds hanging down from the ceiling. It was both breathtaking and energizing. This colorful design captured the energy of the couple and the guests.”
Being from Jewish families, Ruthie and Simon wanted to incorporate their heritage into the ceremony while infusing it with personal touches. Tyler created a stunning chuppah, and the couple used cherished kiddush cups passed down from their great-grandparents. The Rabbi recited select prayers in both English and Hebrew, and the couple’s heartfelt personal vows added an intimate touch. As Ruthie walked down the aisle, the melody of their favorite song played by their closest friends filled the air, making the moment uniquely theirs.
Planning a destination wedding from afar presented its own set of challenges, but Ruthie and Simon were fortunate to have an exceptional wedding planner. Multiple site visits, tastings, and design meetings in Santa Barbara also allowed them to envision their wedding day and created cherished memories along the way.
Reflecting on their decision to have a destination wedding, Ruthie and Simon agreed that it added an undeniable charm to their special day.
“We loved that having a destination wedding allowed us to design/plan an entire weekend experience with multiple different events for our closest friends and family,” the bride says. “It also really allowed us to feel like guests at our own wedding since we were in a totally different environment.”
As they look back on their incredible journey, Ruthie and Simon offer advice to couples preparing for their wedding day:
“Really think about what will make you and your partner happiest on your wedding day – this is a day for you, not for anyone else, and the most important thing is being intentional about what will mean the most for you as a couple on that special day and when you look back on it years later. As long as you do that, everything else will fall into place!”
Vendors: Photographer: Valorie Darling Photography; Event Planner/Designer & Florist: Tyler Speier Events; Event Venue: Klenter Ranch; Linens and Coverings: BBJ La Tavola; Caterer: Omni Catering; Rentals: The Tent Merchant; Day-of Papergoods: K Designs; Lighting & Production: Bella Vista Designs; Band: Rembrandt Band; Videography: Spin the Dial; Transportation: Santa Barbara Airbus; Stationery: Studio Soprano; Sweets: Baked by Sha Sha; Hair & Makeup: Cheek to Cheek Artistry; Gown Designer: Alexandra Grecco; Groom’s Clothing Designer: Suit Supply