A Malibu Wedding With a View

Talk about some stunning vows—and photos!

Bride and groom kissing at ceremony

Photo by Katrina Jayne

By the time Sabina Vargas and Carson Fulmer said "I do," they’d already been in love for nine years. “We fell into a serious relationship at an early age,” says the bride. “Many thought we were too young to carry it out, but our love was able to withstand the tumultuous years of our youth.” And after seven years together and thousands of miles apart, Carson, a pitcher for the Chicago White Sox, popped the question on a cold night in New York City—after several obstacles that day as well. “Much to Carson’s dismay, our plane arrived late, pushing everything he had taken months to plan off schedule,” Sabina explains. “One cab ride to our hotel, 11 blocks on foot in the freezing cold, a spontaneous rickshaw ride in the Central Park, and a very confused girlfriend later, we arrived at Bow Bridge, and the rest is a magical, happy blur!”

Carson’s baseball schedule meant a fall or winter wedding, and with that in mind, the Seattle-based couple set out to find the perfect venue south of home. “I wanted a location that took your breath away, and Malibu Rocky Oaks was just that, if not more,” she says. And with a venue that epic, Sabina turned to Kristin Alexander at Esoteric Events to create an equally gorgeous scene that matched her nontraditional vision. “I wanted something different, something that hadn’t been done before," she says.

And on November 3, 2017, she accomplished that with a moody, romantic event (created with a dark color palette!) overlooking the mountains of Malibu. “Watching the sun go down over the mountains was absolutely breathtaking, and being able to be in such a secluded area made the whole event feel so private and intimate, which we both wanted from the start,” says the bride. Keep reading to see exactly what she’s talking about!

Bride getting ready with bridesmaids
Photo by Katrina Jayne
Bride solo closeup
Photo by Katrina Jayne

Sabrina says as cliché as it sounds, the feeling she got when trying on her wedding gown was a “when you know, you know type thing.” “I had never felt more confident or comfortable as I did in that gown,” she says. The sheath gown (by Ester Haute Couture) featured beaded Chantilly lace, an off-the-shoulder neckline, and statement flared sleeves. “The dress itself was so intricate and detailed, there was no use to distract. I kept my accessories simple,” she says.

Bride putting on shoes
Photo by Katrina Jayne
Bride's wedding shoes
Photo by Katrina Jayne

The bride accessorized with nude Aquazzura heels—and only her engagement ring and wedding band.

Bride and groom first look
Photo by Katrina Jayne

Just before the ceremony, the couple slipped away to read their vows privately to each other. “This was such a special moment to both of us because we were able to share 10 years of our love to each other with no distractions, no audience, just us,” says the bride. “As if by some divine timing, the clouds separated and the moon shone down on us as we vowed to be each other’s forever.”

Photo by Katrina Jayne

Along with black satin bow ties, the groom and groomsmen wore boutonnieres by Honey and Poppies made of dark berries with sprigs of leaves.

Bride and groom on mountaintop
Photo by Katrina Jayne

With a crippling fear of heights, the bride admits that taking photos here was no easy feat. But she’s glad she made the climb! “It will remain one of our most cherished memories,” she says.

Wedding Ceremony
Photo by Katrina Jayne

“Everything about this wedding was meant to push the norm, and suffice it to say I think we succeeded,” says Sabina of their dramatic and offbeat nuptials in Malibu. Both her mom and dad walked the bride down the aisle.

Bride and groom at altar
Photo by Katrina Jayne
Bride and groom exchanging rings
Photo by Katrina Jayne

The coupe said “I do” under a floral arch shaped like a cathedral window, with guests sitting on top of the mountains in dark bent-wood chairs. “We kept the ceremony simple to not take away from the amazing views,” says the bride.

Reception venue stairway
Photo by Katrina Jayne

The day’s dark palette was mixed with wildly romantic elements, like a plethora of roses!

Wedding reception venue
Photo by Katrina Jayne

At dinner, a trellis was draped with cream fabric and adorned with chandeliers in alternating sizes. Below, tables were set with black velvet for a dinner of short ribs and old-fashioned cocktails.

Reception venue tablescape
Photo by Katrina Jayne

“I wanted a mixture of soft romance and dark mystique,” explains the bride. “We were able to incorporate soft nude roses, subtle greenery, and romantic lighting with opulent black velvet and lavish crystal and gold accents into our decor.”

Reception venue table setting
Photo by Katrina Jayne

The all-black tabletops featured black velvet linens, black dinnerware and silverware, and menus printed on black paper.

Rose Centerpiece
Photo by Katrina Jayne

The tables also featured black candles in etched glass hurricanes and roses enclosed in glass cloche cases. “I’d describe the look as romantic and moody, colorful but still demure, old-world romance with a modern edge,” adds the bride.

Wedding cake
Photo by Katrina Jayne

The couple kept their cake simple, topping the simple buttercream cake with coordinating florals.

Bride and groom kissing
Photo by Katrina Jayne

Looking back on the wedding, the bride says the ceremony was her very favorite part. “Nothing was more incredible than walking down the aisle with my mom and dad, walking toward my husband-to-be,” she says. “His tears brought me to tears, and the past 10 years suddenly washed over me. Our love brought us to this very point, and I think that’s a beautiful thing.”

Wedding Team

Venue: Malibu Rocky Oaks

Catering: Urban Palate

Cake: Vanilla Bake Shop

Planner: Esoteric Events

Bride’s Dress: Ester Haute Couture

Bride’s Veil: Mira Couture

Bride’s Shoes: Aquazzura

Hair & Makeup: Halcyon Agency

Floral Design: Honey and Poppies

Music: Clover Strings; Red Shoe

Invitations & Paper Products: Written Word

Guest Book: Claire Magnolia

Engagement Ring & Wedding Bands: Raineri Jewelers

Rentals: Premiere Party Rentals, The Oni Collection, Amber Event Production, Found Vintage Rentals

Photography: Katrina Jayne

Videography: Robert Michael Films

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