A Relaxed Garden Wedding
in Carmel Valley

Real Weddings

Photo: JL Photografia (Janet Moscarello & Lisa LefringHouse)

Matt, who's from England, met Talla during a surfing trip to California. "His last stop was San Francisco, and we met at my friend's boutique, where he was shopping for presents to bring home," says Talla. "It was love at first sight!"


Talla wore a gown by Amy Kuschel, and Matt wore a Theory suit. Talla's maid of honor wore a Rebecca Taylor dress.


The couple hosted their wedding at the Holly Farm because "my parents have a place nearby," says Talla, "so our guests traveling from Australia and the UK were able to stay on the grounds." The 3 p.m. ceremony was officiated by Ken Robins. Matt's godson, Noah, carried a ring pillow made by Talla's mother. The couple's 80 guests were given dried lavender and rose petals from cones fashioned out of vintage maps of California that they tossed during the recessional.


At the reception, tables were decorated with DIY arrangements of lilacs, jasmine, ranunculuses, and poppies, plus votive holders filled with sand, seashells, and candles. A friend made colorful garlands using Talla's own fabric designs and her vintage textile collection since the bride, a textile designer, also wanted the decor to showcase her love of printed fabrics.

The dinner menu was hand-painted on a wooden "belly board" (traditional English surfboard) by artist and illustrator Evan Hecox, a friend of the bride. "Matt and I are belly-boarding enthusiasts," says Talla. The meal included barbecued rosemary leg of lamb with olive tapenade and mango salsa, as well as artichoke chicken. All catering was by Grapes of Wrath Catering. For dessert, guests enjoyed coconut cake from Layers Sensational Cakes, along with cupcakes and Ukrainian wedding bread to honor the bride's Ukrainian heritage.


Photos: JL Photografia (Janet Moscarello & Lisa LefringHouse)

As favors, guests received jars of California honey decorated with gingham fabric and twine. The couple chose "Strangers" by the Kinks for their first dance. "Matt put it on the first mix he ever made me," says Talla.

Photographer: JL Photografia (Janet Moscarello & Lisa LefringHouse) || Ceremony and Reception Site: The Holly Farm || Bride's Gown: Amy Kuschel || Groom's Suit: Theory || Maid of Honor's Dress: Rebecca Taylor || Ceremony Officiant: Ken Robins || Catering: Grape of Wrath Catering || Wedding Cake: Layers Sensational Cakes

Visit our Real Weddings page to find more DIY style inspiration.

Give a Subscription to Brides Magazine as a Gift

Get personalized planning advice, exclusive offers and must-read wedding news.

Thank You
for Signing Up!

Check your e-mail inbox for the latest updates from brides.com