OJAI WEDDING - MID SUMMER NIGHT DREAM - CALIFORNIA Tree + Jos
When Jos surprised me with a picnic on a secluded beach off the cliffs in Cinque Terra, Italy it set in motion a series of experiences that will forever flow through our veins. I remember his words saying “Out of all of history I find it magical that our feet found each other in this lifetime and we are standing here alone looking into each others eyes…” Golden sunset light cast over the sea when Jos proposed to me. With silver light in our eyes and a mutual nod our hearts took flight on the wind! We were engaged!
We poured the next two years into planning our wedding! Jos has been shooting weddings full time with JOS photographers for 12 years and I’ve been shooting with him for the past 4 years. Coupling these experiences with my ongoing passion and business for hat designs (Love and Sass) sparked endless ideas about our dream wedding. Our vision was to have a mid summers night dream wedding: sacred gardens, a community festival, authentic hand made touches, and a collaboration of inspired thinkers: artists, musicians, poets. After much research including a strong consideration for having a private destination wedding on an island in Greece we were given the opportunity of a life time by two of Tree’s most respected people in Ojai, California: Marc and Julia Whitman. They opened up their private gardens and estate as one of the three events they allow for the year! Their property includes two exotic gardens: a South African garden and an Australian garden all surrounding their Gaudi inspired home designed by architect Marc Whitman himself over the past 15 years and decorated by Julia Whitman. Our favorite time of year surrounds Summer Equinox, the longest days of the year. June 23rd was available and the perfect date for us since we both have June birthdays, so why not celebrate the entire month of June for years to come!
As our wedding plans evolved everyone kept asking the question, “So, who is going to photograph your wedding???!!!” We were asked this question dozens and dozens of times. We invited FOUR photographers and THREE cinematographers to capture our day. Having experienced hundreds of weddings we knew that having a personal connection with our photographers was paramount. We immediately knew our great friend and respected artist Tom Flint would be our lead photographer. Julianna and Ryan with Juliana Patrick Photography were our second shooters. And Cherry with By Cherry photography was dedicated as the detail photographer. Our extraordinarily talented cinematographers, Moetic Wedding Films, were a team we completely trusted since we’ve shot weddings side by side with them.
Our ceremony took place in a lovely natural amphitheater surrounded by majestic coastal oaks. This very special space was like stepping into a dream filled with playfulness, rich thought, symbolism, deep support and emotional connection. We didn’t want any microphones or speakers, natural voices felt much more authentic to us, especially for music and our vows. This special amphitheater perfectly enhanced sound for everyone to hear everything. We arranged the chairs in a labyrinth design for guests to sit and for us to walk through with an open center for us to stand. As a musical ushering, two opera singers sang Lakme’s flour duet a capella accompanied by a pianist. As Jos and I simultaneously entered from opposite sides walking through the circular path connecting with each other and everyone. We took time to “see” each guest… honoring their presence… as well as each other during this sacred entrance. The musical timing was magical because as we entered the center of the circle the song simultaneously finished. Our ceremony began by having our officiant invite anyone to offer a spontaneous “one sentence” blessing. This form of invitation was so lovely because people could spontaneously speak from their hearts. Among many moving comments Jos’ best man Danny read a poem, “I carry your heart with me (I carry it in)” by EE Cummings. During this time a silk ribbon was woven through all of our guests hands. We wove our rings thru the ribbon for everyone to bless. Both of our rings were custom designed and each carried the Oregon sunstone which Jos mined. The symbolism of the sunstone carries powerful meaning for us: vision, positive leadership, faith, honesty, clear communication… note: (the Vikings used the sunstone to find the sun amidst the fog and direct their ships). The heart of our ceremony was speaking our personal vows that we wrote. Speaking from our original words into each others eyes will stay with us forever! With a final water blessing all 130 guests raised their personal vintage silver plated goblets clinking joyously together in love and support. Everyone danced through the gardens with a 5 piece processional band in a musical promenade toward the Whitman’s estate! We were escorted into the exquisite back yard of the Whitman’s home on a giant copper art boat-car. Flames jet off the top front of the boat-car announcing our arrival! The experience was outside of time!
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The 130 unique silver plated vintage goblets were gifts to each of our guests. We picked, crushed, and made our own wine, custom labels, and corks that fit in our handmade wooden “memory” box (also carved with our J+T logo) where guests could place blessings for us to read on future anniversaries.
About Himalayan Dry Blackberry Wine: The recipe for this wine dates to the early 1970’s, when an Oregon south coast hermit/friend of the family gathered the abundant, sweet, complex Himalayan blackberries growing up the Elk river and perfected the ratio of berries, creek water, sugar and yeast in his hermitage to create this divine concoction. It was shared with Zoë Bradbury’s family and has been made every year for the past 36 years. Originally foot stomped by Zoë and Abby, they soon met men and divulged the secret recipe. Hence, it fell into the hands of Zoë’s husband Danny DeSurra, who unveiled the secret recipe to Jos and Tree. The batch of wine contained in this bottle was specially vinified for this wedding. Jos, Tree and Danny lovingly gathered five gallons of ripe, succulent blackberries up Floras Creek, Oregon on two, beautiful, early september days. Then Jos and Tree, with one clean foot each, in the same bucket,stomped every berry to a bloody pulp,stirred in the sweet water and sprinkled in the yeastsaying, “we shall meet again!” June 23rd, 2012 – Ojai, California
Together with friends and family we literally worked in teams to put everything together. Participation was a key theme for us because it invited guests to ‘interact’ in small ways and connect on deeper levels. People who had never met, left as new friends and everyone felt a part of the creation and experience. Every aspect invited guests to take part, from decorating (Marc Whitman painted our profiles on a 15 foot brass entrance arch), to building, juicing 100 oranges, and crafting 88 floating luminaries for the evening blessing around the pool where JOS sang “What a Wonderful World”. Forty different poems and sayings were scattered on our reception tables to inspire imagination and conversation. Escorted in on a copper art car with flames flying high, dancing, a late night taco cart at 12 midnight, Salt & Straw ice cream and infinite smiles made our Midsummer Night’s dream come to life!
Our destination wedding would not have been possible without our A-mazing wedding planner: Judy Gabriel: 805-798-4111 – firstname.lastname@example.org. Our dream was fulfilled by her deep care, meticulous thought, persistence, and brilliant talent! The immeasurable thought and effort everyone poured into helping create our wedding grew beyond our imaginations…. We are infinitely grateful! We are so blessed by our talented and caring wedding photographers, principal photographer Tomas Flint with Tomas Flint Photographers, supporting photographers: Juliana Patrick Photography (Juliana & Ryan) and By Cherry Photography. And the team with Moetic Wedding Films went beyond anything we could have imagined! Their talents are priceless! JOS+TREE
Wedding Planner: Judy Gabriel: 805-798-4111 – email@example.com | Lead Photographer: Tomas Flint Photographers | Associate Photographers: Juliana Patrick Photography | Detail Photography: By Cherry Photography | Cinematographers: Moetic Wedding Films | Reception: Whitman’s Private Estate, Ojai, California TREE’s dress: Urchin Redesign | TREE’s ring: Equinox Jewelers (mined by JOS & JEFF)
TREE’s headpiece: Tree Marie w/ Love & Sass | Shoes: RE-MIX Classic Vintage (Footwear) & Toms
JOS’ custom suite: Urchin Redesign – Sonia Kasparian JOS’ ring: Chris Mueller Jewelry
(stone mined by JOS and gold from JOS’ mothers wedding ring) | JOS’ custom designed shirt: Duchess Fine Clothier
JOS’ hat: Tree Marie w/ Love & Sass | JOS’ shoes: Adam Derick – To Boot New York made in Italy
JOS’ Suspenders: Wah Maker USA | Makeup Artist: Crystal Robinson | Hair: Nicole Darabi – Alchemy Hair Studio
Himalayan Dry Blackberry Wine (best-man): Danny Desurra – JOS & TREE stomped berries (custom corks by JOS)
Reception Signature Album: various photos by JOS photograhers, Misty Miotto Photography, RJ w/ Kern-Photo,
Tree Marie, Danny DeSurra, Viviana Parra | Reception Album Design by JOS photographers | Memory Box: JOS design – crafted by: ECOpdx
Memory Box Carving: Portland Engraving | Custom Vector Art Design of JOS & TREE logo: Matt Watson “Creative Director” – Blindside
Memory Box Sponsors: Steve and Laura Jacobsen | Full Bar – Les Gardner – The Attitude Adjustment Shoppe
Floating Luminaries: JOS/TREE designed & hand-made | Florist: Extraordinary Flora – Lavish w/ Adria | Catering: Joann Webb
Officiant: Clarissa Radoyce | Vintage Goblets – eBay: TREE | Art Cart Grand Entrance Vehicle: “Ganesh” – designed by Rocky
Giant Puppets: Designed by Marc Whitman | Brass Entrance: Designed by Marc Whitman | JOS & TREE dolls: Dolls of Cuteness
Bar: Les Gardner w/ Attitude Adjustment | Various Poetry: JOS’ favorite collections (Shakespeare, Rilke, Neruda, Dr. Suess, EE Cummings,
LaRusso, Marianne Williamson, Mia Angelo, JOS’ mens gathering quotes, TREE’s ladies wisdom/quotes/art)
Rentals: Ventura Rental Party Center | Save The Date: JOS & TREE designed – printed by Brown Printing
Save the Date Stamp: Rose City Stamps | Dresser Table for Goblets: Stephanie w/ Second Coat Fine Furniture Revamping
Succulents: local hand picked | JOS & TREE archway oil paintings: Marc Whitman | Corn Toss Sticker: No Limits PDX
JOS & TREE entrance painting: Loretta Smith | Vintage Honeymoon Suitcase: Vintage Postcards: Zazzle
Craftsmen Wood “LOVE” Sign: design by: Gregory Gardner | Signage Artistry: Ali Mae (former Trader Joe’s sign artist) & Jenny Metz
Accordion Player: Onah w/ noaccordion | Ceremony & Reception Soloists: Natalie Moran & Casey Solow
Musician: James Foster – Drumming Father | Surprise Band: Euphoria | Musical Director and Musician: Johnny DeSurra
Ceremony Director & Musician: Jaye Hersh | Ice Cream: Salt & Straw | Late Night Taco Cart: Wantacos – Jose
Transportation: Dutch Personal Service – “The Kool Buzz” – Ojai California – Ask for “Dutch” – 805-640-8141
Also, enjoy the Same Day Edit Experience of everyone watching the video at our wedding. This is a brilliant idea. Click on link below.
Be sure to see Moetic’s comments about how they produce their powerful same day edit experience.
Enjoy the Flower Duet singing from our wedding ceremony entrance here.
Visit our 3rd Wheel Session with our photographer Tom Flint.
JOS and JEFF sunstone mining adventure for engagement rings in Plush Oregon.