A Timeless Wedding With Emerald Touches in Santa Barbara, California

Planned by Tyler Speier Events.

Eva Su and Borislav “Bobby” Todorov’s relationship, at first, was a slow burn. They met in July 2016 at a mutual friend’s college graduation party. But, the interaction was, mostly, uneventful. “I had been in LA for just the summer doing an internship, and he was living there full-time as a personal trainer,” Eva remembers. “The only memorable interaction we had was when he handed me his business card, which didn’t really seem like a flirty move, at least to me. I also wasn’t very interested in his services given I was only there for another month or so.”

Nothing came of it, and even when Eva moved to LA full-time in April 2017, she didn’t see Bobby for a while. “That fall, the same mutual friend suggested I go with her to her boxing gym, which is where Bobby was working at the time,” Eva says. “I reluctantly agreed to go, as boxing was completely out of my element, and ended up loving the workout! I re-met Bobby there, and started going everyday. We maintained a very casual friendship; I remember not even exchanging numbers until months into knowing each other.”

Finally, in January 2018, a date finally occured. “After class one day, we were discussing hanging out outside of the gym. I remember telling him about my ‘dry January’—meaning drinks were not an option,” Eva says. “We agreed on a hike, and ended up getting lost. After the hike, he treated me to sushi and I remember thinking, ‘Wow, what a gentleman!’” Even then, their relationship remained friendly for a bit, until finally, something blossomed. “In May, he asked me to be his girlfriend. That summer, I had a trip planned to Croatia with some friends. He was planning on going home to Bulgaria around the same time, and suggested I meet him there after my trip. I ended up going, meeting his family, and having the best time!”

Finally, when things fell into place, Eva and Bobby were on the fast track. “Shortly after we got back from our trip, he moved in and we got our dog, Taz,” Eva says. A year after that, she was pregnant. Seven months after that, Bobby popped the question. It was June 2020, almost exactly four years after their very first meeting. 

Eva, however, was not expecting it. “Bobby had come home from work on a random Tuesday and said, ‘We’re going to Mastro’s tonight.’” She wasn’t entirely interested. “I was about seven months pregnant at the time, and really not feeling cute or up to do anything that required me to dress up,” she says. “However, he seemed excited about it so I thought, ‘Fine, why not.’ Nothing leading up to the moment felt out of the ordinary at all. We had briefly discussed an engagement in the past and said that we would wait until after the baby was born to get engaged. In the middle of our meal, he asked our waitress to take a photo of us—she was really taking a video. When I thought we were done, he was down on one knee and popped the question!” Eva remembers: “I was so caught off guard and emotional! I couldn’t stop staring at my ring the rest of the night. The kind family next to us paid for our meal, and it was just another nice surprise added to the night.” 

When it came to wedding planning, they briefly considered a destination wedding. Ultimately, the pair decided to keep it closer to home: at the Hotel Californian in Santa Barbara, to be exact. Picking the venue was the easiest part of planning. “I had reached out to a few places prior, but as soon as I came across to Hotel Californian, it was the one I was most drawn to and knew it was where we had to have our wedding,” Eva remembers. “My friends even said it was very me. I say ‘me’ because Bobby was very easygoing in the planning process—meaning whatever I liked, he usually liked too! Bless his soul.”

The venue had other advantages, too. “It was right on the beach and felt like a Mediterranean paradise,” Eva says. “Our families said the architecture of the hotel reminded them of Greece, which is where we had originally planned to host our wedding! We also liked how convenient it was for us to get there from LA.” It was the perfect setting for her vision: “Clean, classic, timeless, and elegant, with all the white flowers,” Eva says. “I remember telling our wedding planner, ‘No gold, and nothing rustic or boho.’ Both are just so overdone, in my opinion. I didn’t want to look back on our wedding day and think of the theme as a trend at the time.” Instead, they opted for a chic black-and-white palette with emerald accents. 

Eva and Bobby said “I do” on August 7, 2021, in front of 86 guests. Though she admits planning was “stressful at times,” Eva was grateful for the help of planner Tyler Speier. “Tyler and his team made everything as seamless as possible,” she says. “Always a few steps ahead, and just so knowledgeable about the planning process and weddings in general.”

Read on to peruse all the pretty, as planned by Tyler Speier Events and photographed by Natalie Bray.

Eva's lace corset wedding dress and tulle overskirt hanging in her bridal suite

Photo by Natalie Bray

Eva holding her baby in her white getting ready robe and her bridesmaids in black monogrammed robes

Photo by Natalie Bray

When it comes to beauty, “I’m a less-is-more kind of girl,” Eva says, so she didn’t want to make a bold statement with any particular element of her look. “I rarely wear makeup in my day-to-day, so I didn’t want to look like a different person on my wedding day,” she adds. She can’t even quite remember what nail color she opted for. “I either had OPI’s Funny Bunny, or something very similar," says the bride. She finished with a spritz of Glossier You.

Eva's sparkly strapless wedding dress that the mother of the bride is zipping up

Photo by Natalie Bray

“I had tried on so many dresses, to the point where I was ready to give up,” Eva remembers about gown shopping. “The dresses I had tried on prior to finding the one were either a definite no; ones that I liked, but didn’t love; or just had certain details that I liked.” Then, another stylist happened to walk through her appointment at Lovella Bridal with a corset-top Berta sheath dress with floral beading. “The moment I tried it on, I knew it was the one!” Eva says. “It hugged my body perfectly and definitely had the wow factor the others were lacking. We added an Ines Di Santo overskirt to complete the look.”

Eva's sparkly beaded strapless wedding dress with corset bodice and tulle overskirt

Photo by Natalie Bray

Her final fitting presented a bit of a surprise, Eva remembers with a laugh. “This may be TMI, but I literally gave birth a month prior to going wedding dress shopping. It was the first thing I did before doing anything else wedding-related; my mom was in town, so I was just eager to start looking. I had been breastfeeding, so I kept a bra on while trying on dresses.” Eva continues, “The great thing was, the bra gave me a little lift, in addition to the natural lift I had from breastfeeding. I was so surprised by how nice my boobs looked in every dress I tried on. By the time our wedding came around, I had stopped breastfeeding and was back to my normal cup size—small. I was so sad when I was doing my fitting and there was so much space between my boobs and the dress that was once so nicely filled out!” But, there was still no question: The dress was perfect. 

Eva's wavy ponytail, drop earrings, and natural makeup

Photo by Natalie Bray

“I wanted to keep accessories to a minimum since my dress had so much detailing,” Eva explains. “The only jewelry I wore, other than my engagement ring and wedding band, were drop earrings that I had a small business owner on Etsy, My Distinct Designs, custom make. I wanted to incorporate some green that would match Bobby’s look.” The bride loves supporting small business, as she’s a small business owner herself: She runs a sustainable athleisure brand, Eva.

Eva in her strapless corset beaded wedding dress and tulle overskirt with her bridesmaids in black dresses

Photo by Natalie Bray

Each bridesmaid wore a black dress of her choosing. “I sent my bridesmaids a few sites for guidance, and let them choose their own,” Eva says. “I didn’t want to choose a dress that I liked, but knew one of my bridesmaids wouldn’t. I also liked the idea of a little contrast.”

Bobby putting on his white button-up dress shirt

Photo by Natalie Bray

“It seems like the boys had pretty chill day,” Eva says with a laugh. “They started getting ready an hour before they needed to be ready—whereas the girls started getting ready at what seemed like the crack of dawn! They hit the pool in the morning, had beers, and basically chilled until it was time to get ready. Just another Saturday for the boys.”

Bobby in his green double-breasted suit, bow tie, and white boutonniere

Photo by Natalie Bray

“Bobby was pretty adamant on not wearing the traditional black,” Eva remembers. “I liked the idea of green to match the greenery in our florals.” He opted for an emerald tux by Suitsupply and added a couple of meaningful accessories. “He had on Alexander McQueen cufflinks that I had gifted him, and an IceLink watch that he had gifted himself.” The final touch? A splash of Creed Aventus cologne.

Eva and Bobby's first look

Photo by Natalie Bray

Eva and Bobby hugging during their first look

Photo by Natalie Bray

It truly felt like it was just the two of us in that moment.

Bobby hugging Eva during their first look

Photo by Natalie Bray

“We went back and forth,” Eva remembers about doing a first look. “Although we wanted that special moment of him seeing me for the first time while walking down the aisle, it felt more special being just the two of us. We also wanted to be able to join our guests for cocktail hour."

Ultimately, they were happy they did it. “It was just the two of us. We were both emotional, and even though I had been pretty stressed with planning and being a new mom leading up to the wedding, all those anxious thoughts went away in that moment,” Eva says. “Even with the photographers and videographers around, it truly felt like it was just the two of us in that moment. We were also able to bring in our daughter and dog for photos immediately after, which was the only opportunity for us to capture this moment as a family.”

Eva and Bobby linking arms during their first look

Photo by Natalie Bray

Eva and Bobby sitting with their child

Photo by Natalie Bray

In fact, their baby daughter, Mila, had an important role in the wedding. “The flower girl’s attire was special to me as it was my daughter!” Eva says. “I tried really hard to find a dress for her similar to mine, but ended up putting her in a little lacy dress with a matching headband and slipper-like shoes.” She found the look at Jolanta Diciu Dress Design on Etsy. 

As for the ring bearer’s attire, “I let his mom take the reins; I was surprisingly not too worried about this detail,” Eva says. “I guess because a baby can really make anything look cute.” 

Bobby in his green suit and his groomsmen in black suits

Photo by Natalie Bray

Eva in her strapless beaded dress and her bridesmaids in black dresses

Photo by Natalie Bray

Eva and Bobby walking across the street with their wedding party

Photo by Natalie Bray

“I wanted the groomsmen to look super classic—all black and white,” the bride says. “Luckily, Bobby let me take charge on this one. Otherwise, I’m afraid he would’ve wanted them in a color too, which I would not have wanted.”

Eva and Bobby holding hands while descending a geometric staircase outside

Photo by Natalie Bray

Eva and Bobby looking into each other's eyes outside

Photo by Natalie Bray

Eva and Bobby holding hands while they walk across the lawn outside

Photo by Natalie Bray

“Deciding on the small details that no one thinks about” was the toughest part of planning for Eva. “I’m a people-pleaser, so I overthought the guest experience from time to time. Sometimes, I had to remind myself that this was our day, and no one else’s.” Looking back, she’d advise other couples not to worry like she did. “Don’t think too much into the small details—because if you didn’t think of it before, most people probably won’t notice either!”

Eva and Bobby's ceremony setting outside with an aisle lined with white flowers and a black-and-white arch

Photo by Natalie Bray

“The ceremony took place in a black-and-white-tiled courtyard, so the florals were clean, lush, and bright white,” Eva describes. “The aisle was lined with a lush white florals including hydrangeas, roses, ranunculus, carnations, and tulips. The deconstructed arch was created with vines, textured greenery, and white roses, tulips, hydrangeas, carnations, and ranunculus.”

Eva and Bobby's black-and-white altar setup and asymmetrical floral arch

Photo by Natalie Bray

The groom’s parents and grandmother entered first, to the tune of Norah Jones’ “Come Away With Me”; next came the bridal party to “Your Song” by Elton John. But, when it was time for Mila to make her grand entrance as flower girl, things didn’t go quite as planned

“We had Mila and the ring bearer come down the aisle in remote-controlled G-wagons, which were controlled by two of the groomsmen,” Eva says. “When it was Mila’s turn, the groomsman accidentally steered her in the wrong direction so she ended up crashing into the flowers along the aisle! In the videos and photos we have from this moment, you just see our guests in the background with their jaws dropped, and Mila completely unfazed. Tyler, our planner, swiftly steered the car back onto the aisle. Our groomsman felt bad, but it was honestly the cutest and funniest moment of the night.”

Eva walking down the aisle with her dad while carrying her rose bouquet

Photo by Natalie Bray

After the laughter died down and things got back on course—literally—Eva entered with her father as Ellie Goulding’s “How Long Will I Love You” played. She carried a bouquet of white playa blanca roses, white orchids, ranunculus, astilbe, and dusty miller. 

Eva and Bobby holding hands at the altar during their ceremony

Photo by Natalie Bray

Eva and Bobby holding hands during their ceremony

Photo by Natalie Bray

Santa Barbara-based officiant Patrice Handley performed the ceremony, which included poems dubbed “The Soulmate” and “Love is Friendship Caught on Fire.”

Eva reading her vows to Bobby during their ceremony

Photo by Natalie Bray

“We went with traditional vows,” Eva says. "We did write personal statements for each other that were read during our ceremony," she adds.

Eva showing off her ring during the ring exchange ceremony

Photo by Natalie Bray

Eva and Bobby kissing during their ceremony

Photo by Natalie Bray

Eva and Bobby walking up the aisle during recessional

Photo by Natalie Bray

“You’ve Got the Love” by Florence + the Machine set a celebratory tone as the newlyweds kissed and recessed down the aisle. 

Eva and Bobby taking couple portraits after the ceremony

Photo by Natalie Bray

Eva and Bobby holding their baby in front of their black-and-white altar

Photo by Natalie Bray

Eva and Bobby holding hands and walking with their wedding party

Photo by Natalie Bray

The newlyweds took a few moments to capture photos with each other and their wedding party before heading to the reception.

Eva and Bobby's cocktail hour on the lawn outside

Photo by Natalie Bray

Guests enjoyed an outdoor cocktail hour with sips of the duo’s two signature cocktails. The EvaMelon featured Belvedere, fresh watermelon and lime juice, simple syrup, and mint; the Bobby Smash was a bourbon smash with Maker’s Mark and mint.

Eva and Bobby's bite-sized appetizers during cocktail hour

Photo by Natalie Bray

Waiters passed hors d’oeuvres like goat cheese hummus with blackberry on brioche, oyster shooters, crab cakes with charred pepper coulis, and fried chicken sliders.

Eva and Bobby's reception setup with string lights, votive candles, and white flowers

Photo by Natalie Bray

Eva and Bobby's rose bush decorated with white votive candles

Photo by Natalie Bray

Afterward, everyone headed upstairs to the rooftop reception, overlooking downtown Santa Barbara and the beautiful Santa Barbara Harbor. The newlyweds held court at a mirrored sweetheart table in front of the outdoor fireplace, surrounded by a seas of white roses and candles. 

Eva and Bobby's round reception tables with white chiavari chairs, white linens, white floral centerpieces, and white candles

Photo by Natalie Bray

Eva and Bobby's place settings with lucite chargers, crystal glassware, and calligraphed menu cards

Photo by Natalie Bray

“Guests dined under a canopy of bistro lights,” Eva says. “The tables were all covered in crisp white linens, set with white chairs, and white and silver china. The chargers were mirrors, white candles adorned the table, acrylic table numbers told guests where to sit, and the florals were lush and white.”

Eva and Bobby's seating chart decorated with white flowers

Photo by Natalie Bray

Eva and Bobby's mini personalized bottles of champagne for wedding favors

Photo by Natalie Bray

Vellum escort cards were affixed to a white wall; and, for favors, a white shelf was lined with mini personalized bottles of Moët Chandon Champagne

Eva and Bobby ascending a staircase outside

Photo by Natalie Bray

The duo was all smiles as they entered the reception, and their smiles got even bigger as speeches were made. “Our families’ toasts were given in Chinese and Bulgarian, which were translated by my sister—the maid of honor—and Bobby,” Eva says. “It was special because some of our guests’ first language is not English, so everyone in the room was able to understand what was being said and get a good laugh.”

Eva and Bobby holding each other during the first dance

Photo by Natalie Bray

Eva and Bobby dancing during their first dance

Photo by Natalie Bray

Bobby dancing with his daughter on the dance floor

Photo by Natalie Bray

DJ Gavin Roy spun Daniel Caesar’s “Best Part” as Eva and Bobby danced their first dance as newlyweds. Later, Eva danced with her dad to “Sunday Morning” by Maroon 5, and Bobby selected a Bulgarian song—“I Was for You” by Lili Ivanova—for his mother-son dance.

Eva and Bobby kissing at their sweetheart table during dinner

Photo by Natalie Bray

Dinner began with a kale salad with poached pear and candied pepitas, and tomato and burrata with pine nut relish. For their main course, guests choose California lamb with cauliflower, halibut with squash and potato latkes, or mushroom risotto. 

Eva and Bobby's three-tier buttercream cake with a cascade of white flowers

Photo by Natalie Bray

Eva and Bobby clinking glasses before cutting the cake

Photo by Natalie Bray

The three-tier wedding cake was adorned with white blooms to complement the reception florals. Inside was lemon butter cake with sweet raspberry preserves and lemon mousseline. But dessert didn’t end with cake. Waiters served tray-passed cake pops, milkshake shots, and mini mint chocolate ice cream bars dipped in chocolate

Eva and Bobby's reception setup with string lights and guests dancing

Photo by Natalie Bray

The dance floor was an international affair. “Since Bobby is from Bulgaria, both American and Bulgarian music was played at the reception,” Eva says. Another highlight? “Our photo booth was a hit! It was a nice activity to have aside from dinner and dancing. Shoutout to the iconic MirMir for making everyone look flawless in their photos.” 

Eva and Bobby in front of their sweetheart table decorated with flowers and candles

Photo by Natalie Bray

Bobby picking up Eva and dancing during the reception

Photo by Natalie Bray

When it was all over, the newlyweds—and new parents—got a well-deserved break on a romantic honeymoon in Bora Bora.

Wedding Team

Venue Hotel Californian

Planner Tyler Speier Events

Officiant Patrice Handley

Bridal Gown Designer Berta; Ines Di Santo

Bridal Salon Lovella Bridal

Bride’s Jewelry My Distinct Designs

Bride’s Shoes Badgley Mischka

Bride’s Hair & Makeup Sharon Y Park

Groom’s Attire Suitsupply

Groomsmen’s Attire Men’s Wearhouse

Flower Girl’s Attire Jolanta Diciu Dress Design

Rings Kristofs Jewelers 

Floral Design Tyler Speier Events

Invitations Minted

Signage K Designs

Guest Book The Knot

Music Gavin Roy Presents

Rentals Town & Country Distinctive Event Rentals & Services

Catering Hotel Californian

Photo Booth MirMir

Favors Personal Wine

Photography Natalie Bray

Videography Natalie Bray

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