A Bohemian Wedding at the Inn at Rancho Santa Fe in San Diego

Planned by RO & Co. Events

Updated 08/22/19

Whitney Darling Photography 

Chantal Yakou and Tyler Merritt threw the ultimate San Diego wedding. The SoCal natives decided to stay local, incorporating their love of California in every detail of the day—from the ocean views and beach-inspired floral designs to the Mediterranean food and Spanish-style venue. “We really wanted the whole day and experience to be personalized,” Chantal says of their vision. “It was very much an eclectic mix of us and our families.” 

Nothing reflected family more than Chantal and Tyler's reception venue, the Inn at Rancho Santa Fe. The couple chose the location after Chantal’s father suggested it: It's where he and Chantal’s mother married years prior. It didn’t hurt that it also offered a blank slate for their bohemian aesthetic. Similarly, Chantal and Tyler exchanged vows at Torrey Pines State Reserve, a location they selected for its panoramic views of the Pacific and proximity to their birthplace in La Jolla.

Both spaces were filled with neutral tones highlighted by pops of copper, amber, and fuchsia. Eucalyptus and pampas grass, accents of cacti and grapefruit, and canopies of bougainvillea added to the romantic boho vibe, while creative cuisine, music, and guest activities (hello, cigar rollers!) kept the couple's 150 guests entertained. “If I could do it all over again, I wouldn’t change anything,” adds the bride.

Keep reading for all the details on their bohemian wedding, planned by RO & Co. Events and photographed by Whitney Darling Photography

bride and bridesmaids
Whitney Darling Photography
slippers
Whitney Darling Photography

Chantal and her bridesmaids got ready together on the wedding morning. Her squad wore matching robes and fun slippers while sipping drinks.  

bride
Whitney Darling Photography

“I fell in love with my veil first, then I picked my dress to go with it,” Chantal says of the cathedral-length headpiece and Rue de Seine gown.  

shoes
Whitney Darling Photography
jewelry
Whitney Darling Photography

Chantal’s bridal accessories included floral touches, like her Lele Sadoughi earrings and Jimmy Choo shoes. She also carried her grandmother’s rosary down the aisle, a tradition upheld by every woman in her family.

groom and groomsmen
Whitney Darling Photography

Tyler and his groomsmen kept things classic in tuxedos and bow ties. That said, Tyler’s bespoke ensemble had two creative twists: It was forest green—his favorite color—and embroidered with the couple's wedding date.  

bride and bridesmaids
Whitney Darling Photography

The ruffled skirts of the bridesmaid dresses reflected the Spanish inspiration for the day.  

bride with flowergirls and ring bearers
Whitney Darling Photography
flower girls
Whitney Darling Photography 

“We had a brood of children coming down the aisle,” Chantal says. The flower girls wore ivory crochet dresses with chamomile crowns and the ring bearers donned leather suspenders.  

welcome sign
Whitney Darling Photography
wedding altar
Whitney Darling Photography 
Ceremony decor
Whitney Darling Photography

“Torrey Pines Reserve has always been a magical place to us and somewhere we went often,” Chantal says of their ceremony location overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Her florist created an asymmetric backdrop (made of eucalyptus and pampas grasses) to frame the couple as they exchanged vows.

bride walking down aisle
Whitney Darling Photography 
wedding ceremony
Whitney Darling Photography 
first kiss
Whitney Darling Photography 

After an escort down the aisle by her father to Youth Lagoon’s “Cannons,” Chantal shared personalized vows with Tyler in a seaside ceremony.  

newlyweds
Whitney Darling Photography 

“My favorite memory moment was being announced as Mr. and Mrs. Tyler Merritt for the first time,” Tyler says. “The confetti cannons went off, which was a surprise to Chantal and I. The energy was so high. You could feel the love.” 

Escort card display
Whitney Darling Photography

Once at the reception venue, guest found their seat assignments attached to modern gold rings hanging from a tree on the property.

Reception decor
Whitney Darling Photography
reception decor
Whitney Darling Photography

The couple's Spanish boho theme came to life in the reception deco with fuchsia bougainvillea adding color to the neutral outdoor landscape. Tables were set below rattan lanterns and decorated with arrangements of peachy blooms, fresh fruit, and copper accents

table setting
Whitney Darling Photography 
table setting
Whitney Darling Photography 
centerpiece
Whitney Darling Photography

“I wanted it to feel like a beautiful romantic feast,” Chantal says of the dinner decor. Tables were finished off with cut glass chargers, copper mugs, and speciality coupe glasses. Florist Bloom Babes filled low arrangements with pastel heirloom hydrangeas, roses, and jasmine, then placed them amongst sheer runners, grapefruits, and pillar candles.  

Table
Whitney Darling Photography
Table
Whitney Darling Photography 

Guests dined on a Mediterranean-inspired menu and sipped two signature cocktails, a margarita and a martini, inspired by Chantal and Tyler’s mothers: Jeesh-a-Rita and Tere-tini. 

Dancefloor kiss
Whitney Darling Photography 

Chantal and Tyler shared a first dance to “Danny’s Song” by Kenny Loggins.  

Wedding cake
Whitney Darling Photography

Hey There! Cupcake created the couple’s four-tier buttercream cake, which was filled with Oreo & confetti flavors. "Picking out the cake was the easiest part of wedding planning," Chantal admits.

Dancing
Whitney Darling Photography 

After cutting into their floral-covered cake, the bride pulled her hair back and threw on an embellished cape for dancing. "If I could offer one piece of planning advice, I'd say to focus on the items that make an impact," Chantal advises.

Wedding exit
Whitney Darling Photography 

The couple set off on a mini-moon to the Surfrider Malibu in Malibu, California. “It was just so surreal,” Chantal says of marrying Tyler in front of their closest friends and family. “We couldn’t believe it was real life.” 

Wedding Planner: RO & Co. Events || Ceremony Venue: Torrey Pines State Reserve || Reception Venue: The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe || Officiant: Marco Yakou || Bridal Gown: Rue de Seine || Veil: Untamed Petals || Jewelry: Lele Sadoughi || Shoes: Jimmy Choo || Hair: Dry Bar Del Mar || Makeup: Ashley Fierro || Bridesmaid Dresses: Plum Pretty Sugar || Groom’s Attire: Klein Epstein & Parker || Groom Shoes: Ted Baker || Groomsmen Attire: The Black Tux || Flower Girl Attire: Etsy.com || Engagement Ring & Wedding Bands: Custom || Flowers: Bloom Babes || Invitations & Paper Goods: Twinkle & Toast || Music: DJ Matt Phipps || Catering: The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe || Cake: Hey There! Cupcake || Rentals: Adore FolkloreAmber Event RentalsArchive RentalsBright Event RentalsHostess Haven, La Tavola Fine LinenTheoni || Transportation: KLTS TransportationVinty || Accommodations: The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe || Photo Booth: Union Booth Co. || Cigar Rollers: El Canito Cigars || Videography: The Hubs Films || Photography: Whitney Darling Photography 

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