As a wedding videographer Samantha has seen her fair share of weddings and knew she didn't want to get married at any of the venues she'd previously worked at. Her favourite weddings were always the ones held at more intimate locations and not necessarily actual wedding venues. So the search began for a unique spot for her wedding to Mitch and VILLA MONTARA came out on top. BETSY BLUE PHOTOGRAPHY captured their day, the style of which reflected the bride's personal style with contrasting organic movement with simple geometric lines. The bride wore an absolutely gorgeous gown from FLORA and had stunning florals by MEG CATHERINE FLOWERS.

HOW DID YOU MEET? Mitch and I met during a documentary filmmaking course traveling through India.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR PROPOSAL: My family has a lake house that I grew going to in Indiana, and that we still visit every summer. This particular summer Mitch was unable to go (or so I thought). I was really sad that he would be stuck working in California. After landing in Indiana, I got a call from the hotel he worked at (when he was working he usually called me from the hotel as to not be on his cell phone). He sounded busy, but wanted to give me a heads up that he worked with my mom to set up a scavenger hunt for me when I got in. I honestly didn’t think it to be unusual, as he had done little romantic things like this for me in the past. When I arrived to the lake house, my family gave me the first clue and I went about the scavenger hunt. It went all around town, and the end of it led me to him in the middle of the lake on a floating platform decorated in lights and flowers! 

TELL US ABOUT FINDING YOUR WEDDING DRESS: It was the second dress I tried on! I actually saw it on the designers website before going in, and was thrilled when I spotted it in the boutique. 

DID YOU HAVE ANY DIY ELEMENTS? I made most of our decor, although we didn’t have a lot. I tried to keep it simple because it was a destination wedding for us, and I really wanted our venue to stand out. I made our welcome sign, our tripod alter, and all our escort cards. 

DESCRIBE YOUR WEDDING FLOWERS: Flowers were so important to me. They are usually my favourite part of wedding decor. My wedding flowers were organic and neutral, with bold pops of deep reds and purples. Our florist, MEG CATHERINE, flew in all the way from Indiana to flower our wedding. This was one of the biggest blessings for me, because for years I was only confident about one thing when I thought of my future wedding. That I wanted Meg to be the florist. 

FAVOURITE DETAIL OF THE DAY: My favourite detail was the gold tripod we made into the alter, because it was such a family effort. My aunt welded it and helped me put it together, my mom hand made a giant clay bowl for the flowers to sit in, and my aunt and uncle drove it all the way up the coast from San Diego. 

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE OUT TO A COUPLE PLANNING THEIR WEDDING? You’ve spent a year plus planning your dream wedding, and so much work and time goes into it. However, being in the industry I know how easy it is for the little things to not go as you perfectly planned. On the wedding day, my advice is to just relax and go with the flow. All the little stuff that didn’t go as planned, is nothing in comparison to the declaration of a lifetime you are making to your love. 

MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT? One of my most memorable moments from the day was standing with my dad right before I walked down the aisle. We were in the house looking out of this big window overlooking the ceremony. It was set up in a way that I had a perfect birds-eye view of ceremony and everyone else walking down the aisle without them seeing me. We just looked at each other and started to cry.

ANY OTHER DETAILS THAT HELP TELL THE STORY OF YOUR DAY? We both come from families where faith is very important, and it’s a big part of who we are as well. I’m not very traditional, but I knew I wanted the ceremony to reflect our love for God. So, we took a moment for our parents to come up and pray for us privately during the ceremony while we played some music in the background. It was a really special moment to look back on for all of us! 

TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR HONEYMOON: We went to Phuket and the Phi Phi Islands in Thailand. It was SO beautiful! However, It started out on a rough patch with some passport complications, and we were delayed in San Francisco for three days. We stayed with some friends, and adventured around San Francisco. But now looking back, those are some of my fondest memories of our honeymoon! 

IS THERE ANYTHING YOU WOULD CHANGE OR DO DIFFERENTLY? It can be really difficult to plan a designation wedding, and because of the distance we weren’t able to meet many of our vendors before hand. I wouldn’t change a thing, but I would have made an effort to go up there a few more times to meet with vendors, because so much can get lost in translation with only email communication!