There's no denying the universe made every effort to bring Kaitlin Lurmann and Danny Van Acker long before they first met in 2010. "We grew up in the same county, attended neighboring high schools, and even unknowingly lived across the street from one another in San Francisco," says Kaitlin. "It wasn't until a clever friend brought me to a party at 'the house across the street with all the cute boys' that I first noticed Danny."
Since the duo takes an annual trip to Sun Valley, Idaho, over the holidays, Danny knew it was the perfect opportunity to pop the question. "On the morning of New Year's Day in 2014, Danny ran ahead on the path during a snow-shoe hike. He scrawled a proposal in the pristine powder and waited on bended knee," she says. As the future Mr. and Mrs. started planning their big day, they immediately knew Santa Barbara, California, where the bride grew up, would be the backdrop for their wedding. "We envisioned all of our favorite people staying on one property, so it would feel intimate and like a vacation," the bride adds. Once they toured the Bacara Resort & Spa, they knew they had found the perfect space.
So, with the team Sterling Social ensuring the couple's vision of a sophisticated, high-energy wedding came to life, Katilin and Danny became husband and wife on May 16, 2015. You won't want to miss a single detail of this SoCal celebration, all captured by Sargeant Creative.
"We wanted a very soft, romantic, chic, and modern setting for our wedding," Kaitlin says. "Working from a base palette of white, nude, and champagne, we wove in muted metallic accents of gold, copper, rose gold, and bronze." The bride and groom's ability to meld neutrals with punchy metallic hues was first noted in their invitation suite from Wiley Valentine.
Kaitlin and Danny welcomed their 175 guests to Santa Barbara with a seriously well-stocked box of goodies, which included coconut water, a Voluspa candle, oranges, pistachios, and cookies.
The bride knew her strapless silk faile Oscar de la Renta wedding dress was the one when she came out of the fitting room ready to dance. "I was raising the roof when I walked out," she says. "Cheesy, but true." Since she wanted to let the structural silhouette shine, Kaitlin kept her jewelry simple, adding only her mother's oval diamond wedding ring and pear-shaped diamond drop earrings.
Her bouquet shined, too. Kaitlin asked her florist to create a composite arrangement commonly referred to as a "Glamelia bouquet," which makes one giant new flower out of the petals of many smaller ones. The all-white stunner was fashioned out of white and cream rose petals, accented with gardenia leaves and wrapped in an off-white ribbon.
Danny's classic tuxedo from the Black Tux was the epitome of sophistication. He completed his look with a pair of his father's suspenders (he forgot his own!), dress shoes, and a sleek black bow tie.
Kaitlin's 'maids wore a variety of different blush gowns from Amsale. "I wanted them to be able to choose the silhouette that they felt their best in," she says. "I thought this way they'd have more fun and be more comfortable standing up there on the wedding day." The ladies look great next to Danny's groomsmen, who all wore black tuxedos.
Since the bride and groom wanted their guests to have an unobstructed view of the Pacific Ocean during the ceremony, they kept their décor simple. Chiavari chairs were lined facing the ocean and two large floral arrangements flanked the top of the aisle. "Our ceremony structure was open and airy, draped in champagne-colored organza and strung with a romantic garland of flowers and greenery," the bride says.
The ceremony kicked off with an adorable entrance from the couple's ring bearer, who carried an acrylic sign that read "It's Finally Happening." Then, a string quartet performed "Isn't She Lovely" while the bride and her father made their entrance.
In addition to writing their own vows, Kaitlin and Danny honored the bride's late mother and the groom's late grandmother by releasing dozens of monarch butterflies. "Guests were brought to tears of joy when they discovered that two butterflies stayed behind throughout the ceremony," the bride says. "One was on my dress and the other was on Danny's tuxedo. Without a doubt, there were two special guests that made sure not to leave our side that day."
Cocktail hour was all about the bride and groom's favorite things, like a raw bar with oysters and shrimp cocktail (Danny's favorite) and three signature cocktails.
Escort cards were displayed on acrylic boxes and held in place with oversized pieces of white quartz and gilded geodes. Metallic vases were filled with white blooms, a nod to the day's overall color palette.
Kaitlin and Danny wanted their reception to feel dramatically different from their outdoor ceremony, so they transformed the Bacara's ballroom with long tables, loads of white flowers, and plenty of glamorous metallic accents. "It exuded elegance with a contemporary flair," the bride says.
White roses topped each table, and the room was cast in a warm glow thanks to taper candles in brass holders. Even the marble-topped bar featured a healthy dose of glam style, thanks to a structural gold backdrop that was filled with low candles.
Lanterns and additional low candles gave the space a lived-in vibe. Each place setting included a textured glass charger, gold-edged dinner menu held in place with a geode, and a fresh magnolia bloom. "We also personalized the reception with a circulating tequila cart, which offered shots to guests in every corner of the space," the bride says. "We also made sure to stay true to our dance-and-music obsessed souls, hiring the most party-igniting of wedding bands to keep things rocking."
For dessert, the bride and groom cut into a two-tier carrot and chocolate salted caramel wedding cake. And that single-tiered treat to the left? It wasn't actually cake at all! "The groom's cake was made of brie cheese," Kaitlin says. "I surprised him by placing a mini Green Bay Packers helmet on it as an ode to his favorite football team and his family's Wisconsin roots."
And if anyone needed another sweet treat, the newlyweds had a wide selection of mini desserts on hand, including red velvet cupcakes, lemon bars, triple berry crumble pies, and pumpkin caramel cheesecake bites.
The pair shared their first dance to a mash up of Van Morrison's "Into the Mystic" and "You Make My Dreams Come True" by Hall and Oates. "It was a dance off between the two of us," the bride laughs.
"Take a moment by yourself in private on the day of," the bride advises future couples. "Close your eyes, become centered and grounded while feeling the sensations in your body and heart that unfold on such a big day."
Venue & Catering: Bacara Resort & Spa || Wedding Planner: Sterling Social || Bride's Wedding Dress: Oscar de la Renta || Hair & Makeup: 10.11 Makeup || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Amsale || Groom's & Groomsmen's Attire: The Black Tux || Flowers: JL Designs || Invitations & Paper Products: Wiley Valentine || Music: Ybarra Music; West Coast Music || Cake & Desserts: Sweet & Saucy Shop || Rentals: R. Jack Baltahzar; La Tavola; Classic Party Rentals || Videographer: Artisan Production || Photographer: Sargeant Creative