Classic Elegance at a California Villa

Elena and Geoff chose a truly stunning location for their California spring wedding: Hummingbird Nest Ranch. The beautiful Spanish villa is nestled in the rolling hills outside Los Angeles, and the stately home set the tone for the day. The couple chose classic details to enhance the location’s beauty. A palette of burgundy and blush, sophisticated attire, and that gorgeous California sunset came together to create the most lovely day! Chabeli of P.S. & Associates Event Planning made sure the day went off without a hitch, from the first moments getting ready at the villa to the cutting of the cake with Elena’s grandfather’s Naval sword, a family tradition carried on at Elena and Geoff’s wedding. We love all of the beautiful images captured by Katie Beverly!

In their own words

How did you meet?
We met as sophomores at Boston College, but didn’t get to know each other until about a year later when we joined a student-organized bus trip to Washington, D.C. to attend President Obama’s historic inauguration in January 2009. After exploring D.C. and spending time together back on campus, we became good friends, realizing that we shared many interests, including history, baseball, and the American Presidency (we even took a class together with that very name!). Geoff’s friends knew something was up when he began spending evenings at BC’s Bapst library and stopping at a vending machine on the way to buy Peanut m&m’s for a certain study partner. We finally became a couple during the summer before senior year when Geoff worked up the courage to ask, “Can I call you my girlfriend?”

What is your proposal story?
In February 2015, we had just moved into a new apartment, and we needed to buy a lot more furniture. Once we finally got a dining table, we planned a night in cooking dinner together to celebrate the new space and break in the new table. Neither of us is a great chef, but we’re trying to get better at cooking together. After dinner, Geoff got down on one knee. No flash, no frills, just us. We celebrated the next day with both of our families.

What was the most important to the two of you while planning? Was there anything that you chose to splurge on or skip?
We splurged on our wedding venue. It was a statement location, so we knew we could save on decor and rely on the natural beauty of the space. We chose to skip engagement photos to save on that expense. We posted photos from throughout our relationship on our wedding website. We don’t regret the decision at all because we absolutely loved our wedding photographer and the shots she captured throughout the night. Although she undoubtedly would have taken some amazing engagement photos, we thought the savings were worth it to secure our dream venue.

What were your favorite parts of the day?
Elena: It’s so hard to pick just one favorite part, so I’ll give my top three: 1) Immediately following the ceremony, we snuck away to do a private 15-minute photoshoot in the hills. It was so nice to have that quiet time together to soak in the moment before greeting all of our guests. 2) The Hora dance. Being thrown into the air on chairs was was exhilarating and a little terrifying. I can still hear my bridesmaids shrieking with pure unadulterated laughter as they lifted my chair. 3) My sister (and maid of honor) gave the most amazing speech. I knew she was nervous about having to give the speech and I was so nervous for her. She cried through the whole speech, but it was such a beautiful, heartwarming, and unforgettable speech.

Geoff: My favorite part was during our vows when we realized we had both independently written about the same daydream for our future: walking hand in hand into a baseball stadium as an elderly couple and enjoying a ballgame together on a warm summer evening, maybe not talking much, but completely comfortable in each other’s presence. Our guests raved about how our vows perfectly captured our union.

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