This California Couple Bucked Tradition for a Wedding That Was Uniquely Them

Real Weddings
Isha and Jeff Paso Robles Vineyard Wedding, Reception View

Photo: Allyson Magda

Isha and Jeff's relationship was a long time in the making. The couple met in the spring of 2005 as high school students, but the spark wasn't quite there. "He completely ignored me," laughs Isha. But a few years later, as college students, the couple bumped into one another again at a pizza place near campus. "Jeff stopped mid-sentence and his jaw literally dropped when he saw me," Isha remembers. She and her friend joined his table, and they spent the evening — and several evenings to follow — playing highly competitive Scrabble games. Says Isha, "On our third Scrabble night, he reached out to hold my hand. Game on!"

On New Years Eve in 2012, Jeff proposed to Isha on the beach, and the California couple spent nearly two years planning a wedding in Paso Robles that perfectly embodied who they are, both individually and together. They worked with Weddings by Sarah Angelique, who brought Isha's self-described vision of "controlled chaos and loose ends" to life, photographed by Allyson Magda.

Isha and Jeff Paso Robles Vineyard Wedding, Couple Outside

Photo: Allyson Magda

Isha is a wedding stylist, so dress shopping was both easier and harder for her. "I don't believe that there's just one dress out there for each bride, but I also know that trying on too many dresses will make you more confused," she says. So she listened to her gut and fell in love with a Marylin Monroe-meets-Jessica Rabbit gown by Victor Harper, with an embellished bust and buttons down the back. But even a stylist doesn't always get it right the first time. Says Isha, "I bought a different dress, and thought about this one for six months before I finally decided that I had settled and needed to get my dream dress!"

Isha and Jeff Paso Robles Vineyard Wedding, Bride and Groom Portraits Isha and Jeff Paso Robles Vineyard Wedding, Bride's Dramatic Bouquet

Photo: Allyson Magda

The bride paired her gown with dramatic earrings made by Renee Pawele, as well as a cascading bouquet of white roses and orchids. Jeff wore a classic charcoal suit with a black tie. "He doesn't accessorize," says Isha. "I love that about him, and I do enough accessorizing for the two of us!"

Isha and Jeff Paso Robles Vineyard Wedding, Bridesmaids in Mismatched Dresses Isha and Jeff Paso Robles Vineyard Wedding, Vineyard Ceremony Location

Photo: Allyson Magda

Isha's four bridesmaids wore mismatched tulle gowns in slate, blush, dark blue, and navy. Similar silhouettes and gathered tulle details tied the dresses, from Monique Lhuillier, Watters, and Amsale, together.

The wedding started out with a classic ceremony outdoors at Croad Vineyard. Pastel flowers decorated the patio, where Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra Tunes played before Isha and Jeff exchanged traditional vows.

Isha and Jeff Paso Robles Vineyard Wedding, Surprise Cocktail Hour Performers Isha and Jeff Paso Robles Vineyard Wedding, Reception Seating Area

Photo: Allyson Magda

Isha's background as an artist (she studied performance art at UCLA) became clear as guests moved from the ceremony to cocktail hour. Butlers wearing Renaissance Plague Doctor masks guided them to cocktails, where aerial dancers were suspended over the guests. Out on the patio, tables were set for dinner with themes ranging from Great Gatsby to Alice in Wonderland.

Isha and Jeff Paso Robles Vineyard Wedding, Bride's Dramatic Headpiece Isha and Jeff Paso Robles Vineyard Wedding, Window Display of Seating Assignments

Photo: Allyson Magda

Isha added a dramatic headpiece to her ensemble for dinner. "It was inspired by Indian headpieces, and Renee Pawele made the piece and named it after me," she says. "You can get 'The Isha' at Kleinfeld!"

Table assignments were written onto panes of an antique window.

Isha and Jeff Paso Robles Vineyard Wedding, Centerpiece of Branches and Flowers Isha and Jeff Paso Robles Vineyard Wedding, Tree Centerpieces Isha and Jeff Paso Robles Vineyard Wedding, Reception

Photo: Allyson Magda

The tables were topped with towering branches covered with lush flowers, moss, and ivy. Dark candles, intricate lanterns, and feathers gave a dramatic feel to each centerpiece.

Isha and Jeff Paso Robles Vineyard Wedding,  Place Settings

Photo: Allyson Magda

For dinner, guests dined on the bride and groom's favorites, from chicken Pad Thai and sashimi to 24-hour root beer BBQ ribs and mac and cheese to grilled veggies and fresh salads.

Isha and Jeff Paso Robles Vineyard Wedding, Reception with Lights Isha and Jeff Paso Robles Vineyard Wedding, Performers

Photo: Allyson Magda

Two burlesque performers entertained the group as servers passed lemon curd crème brûlée. The dance party took place inside the winery, then guests came back outdoors once more to watch a surprise fire dancer performance.

The couple took a mini-moon to New York City, and are planning a warm-weather honeymoon in the Bahamas. Says Isha, "Don't get caught up in what a wedding should be. Get weird with it! If you want soft, romantic, and traditional, go for it. But don't be afraid to explore what your wedding could be!"

Ceremony & Reception Venue: Croad Vineyards || Wedding Planner: Weddings by Sarah Angelique || Bride's Wedding Dress: Victor Harper, from The White Dress || Veil & Jewelry: Renee Pawele || Hair: Twist Studio Spa || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Monique Lhuillier, Watters, Amsale || Engagement Ring: Penny Preville || Florist: Jenny McNiece Flowers || Invitations & Paper Goods: Sealed With A Kiss || Music: AMS Entertainment || Entertainment: Suspended Motion, The Lalas || Catering: Crush Catering || Cake: The Cakery || Gelato Bar: Leo Leo Gelato || Rentals: Unlimited Events Inc., All About Events, Two Southern Girls Vintage || Videography: Jacob Lacey || Photography: Allyson Magda

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Want to see more vineyard weddings? See another couple tie the knot in wine country in the video below!

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