Home » A Wedding Planner’s Earthy Wedding in Santa Barbara

A Wedding Planner’s Earthy Wedding in Santa Barbara

by Staff

When Mackenzie “Kenzie” Swift, a wedding planner, and Jacob “Jake” Marsh literally bumped into each other one night at church in 2019, Jake wanted more than just a fleeting encounter. So, naturally, he slid into Kenzie’s Instagram DMs. After asking her out several times, Kenzie finally agreed to meet for coffee and breakfast. “I went with the intention of planning to tell Jake that I wasn’t looking for anything serious at the time, but I was pleasantly surprised, and we ended up chatting for hours,” she reflects.

On July 29, 2020, the couple paid a visit to Kenzie’s hometown of Scottsdale, Arizona. Jake told Kenzie they were going to grab dinner with her parents at Royal Palms Resort and Spa, but little did she know he actually had a different agenda. On their way to dinner, the duo walked through the property’s “secret garden,” which Jake had decorated with flowers and rentals from Details, Darling, Kenzie’s wedding planning company. Before Kenzie knew it, Jake was on one knee, asking for her hand in marriage. 

Since Kenzie is the co-owner of Details, Darling, she knew she wanted to plan her special day. “It was truly so fun to be able to have the creative freedom to design our wedding day in any way that we wanted,” she notes. 

Even though Kenzie creates weddings for a living, she found that orchestrating her own event was a completely different experience. “[Wedding planning] was pretty difficult knowing all of the options out there and then needing to make decisions and narrow it down,” she discloses. “We felt a lot of pressure to have the wedding day feel super unique since our job is to design weddings.” 

To alleviate some of the stress, the pair hired Erica of Array Creative Design, who encouraged them to let their personalities inspire the event. “The day didn’t need to be something completely out of this world and new, but a day that reflected who we are as a couple,” Kenzie says she realized.

With that in mind, Kenzie still wanted to book a show-stopping venue. Once the couple stumbled upon Dos Pueblos Orchid Farm, they knew it would be the perfect spot for their nuptials. “We were able to have the most beautiful ceremony on the cliffs overlooking the ocean and then move into a stunning greenhouse for the reception,” she describes. “We loved that it was a completely blank space, and we could bring in all of our favorite vendors to transform it.”

On June 12, 2021, Kenzie and Jake invited 150 of their friends and family members to watch them say “I do” in Santa Barbara, California. Read on to see how their vision came to life, which was planned by the bride with coordination from Array Creative Design and photographed by Kaylee Chelsea Photography.

“We wanted our wedding day to be a reflection of our day-to-day lives,” the couple shares. “We wanted the day to feel natural, earthy, and very, very intentional with every detail. Our main goal was that our closest friends and family felt at home and part of the celebration.” The duo set the tone of their organic event with chic invitations in brown and white tones. “Our friends joke that we have a ‘Kenzie’ aesthetic, which consists of all the neutrals—whites, creams, and browns,” the bride admits. “So, we incorporated my aesthetic into the color palette of the day.”

On the morning of her wedding day, Kenzie sported a white silk robe with sheer sleeves while getting glam. Her bridal party also opted for comfort in floral pajama sets. 

The bride selected a glowy makeup look to accentuate her features. “I really wanted to keep everything super natural and me,” she explains. She wore her hair in waves and had her locks tied back in a half-up, half-down hairstyle with a boho-inspired bun. 

Kenzie donned an off-the-shoulder lace fit-and-flare gown with a long train from Lovers Society for her big day. “I tried on so many different styles, but this was the first one I truly felt my best in,” she reveals. “I kept comparing dresses back to this one, so that’s when I knew it was the one.” The bride accessorized with a pearl cuff bracelet, which her sister wore on her wedding day. To accommodate the dirt terrain, she pulled her outfit together with white boots.

After getting ready, Kenzie shared a sweet first look with her bridesmaids. To match the color palette, the bride had everyone wear maxi dresses in champagne, bronze, or gold hues. “I wanted the girls to wear a mixture of styles,” Kenzie mentions. “Finding these perfect dresses was definitely a challenge, but they all ended up looking so good together.”

For his wedding attire, Jake dressed himself in a beige Indochino suit with a brown belt, a burnt orange bow tie, and soccer ball cufflinks.

Jake’s squad matched the man of the hour in neutral suits. “We wanted to find something affordable for the groomsmen, and they actually found this amazing style at Zara,” Kenzie shares. 

“Since we met in a church, we definitely wanted to bring this element into the ceremony design,” Kenzie notes. “We wanted to feel like you were at a church service outside with the most gorgeous ocean view.” To execute this vision, the couple had their guests sit in white church pews, which faced an altar composed of a custom wooden triangular arch and an assortment of dried palm leaves and blooms. Similar floral arrangements framed the end of the aisle.

Since religion is such an important part of their relationship, the bride and groom said a prayer together before the ceremony began. They made sure not to see each other though until they walked down the aisle.

Kenzie’s dad escorted her to the altar while “Carry You” by Novo Amor played. “Walking down the aisle and locking eyes with the man I had prayed for for so long was so surreal and beyond emotional,” she expresses. “I cried the entire way down the aisle.” Her dad also shed a few tears while giving away the bride.

Kenzie and Jake both wrote their own heartfelt promises. “I asked God to make sure our kids would have his beautiful English accent one day,” the bride recalls.

Being able to worship with all of our closest friends and family was truly unbelievable and the most powerful thing to experience.

After locking lips, the newlyweds recessed to “You Are the Best Thing” by Ray LaMontagne. Looking back, the couple agrees that the ceremony was one of the biggest highlights. “Being able to worship with all of our closest friends and family was truly unbelievable and the most powerful thing to experience,” Kenzie shares.

After saying “I do,” the newly married pair joined their guests at cocktail hour. The duo wanted to include a nod to Jake’s British roots, so they engraved “Cheers Mate” on their drink menus and served mini fish and chip cones for appetizers. Guests washed the small bites down with “Desert Dweller,” a spicy margarita; “English Lad,” a vodka drink with pineapple, lemon, and ginger beer; or an Old Fashioned.

During cocktail hour, Kenzie and Jake snuck away to catch a glimpse of their reception space. “Not only were we blown away to see our wedding vision come to life, but we also got a chance to have a first dance—just him and I without anyone around,” Kenzie reflects.

“We wanted to create a statement piece that would wow guests upon arrival to the reception, so our team dreamed up an installation that included all natural elements, rattan pieces, and frames,” Kenzie says of her reception design. 

Once friends and family walked into the greenhouse venue, an escort card display with a “Grounded in Faith and Love” sign greeted them. “Jake and I both have a huge love for all things coffee, so we wanted the guests to feel as though they were walking straight into a coffee shop,” Kenzie explains. “We wanted to have the escort cards serve as a favor and also be something we knew everyone would actually use. So, every couple was given a bag of ground coffee beans from an organization called Generous Coffee.”

Organic floral centerpieces, single-stem flowers in boho vases, and beige taper candles lined the center of each table. The pair had each place set with neutral chargers, semicircular place cards, folded napkins with brown piping, and gold flatware.

After making their grand entrance, the duo enjoyed a delicious dinner with all of their favorite foods prepared by MIHO. They noshed on an arugula and quinoa salad as a starter. For their main course, they served black garlic-braised short rib and buttermilk fried chicken with miso glazed sweet potatoes and roasted cauliflower as side dishes.

Kenzie and her dad spun around the dance floor to “You Turn My World Around” by Frank Sinatra.

For dessert, the couple went all out. They had a donut wall with an assortment of flavors that Sidecar Doughnuts donated. Kenzie and Jake also presented a candy bar stocked with their favorites, from Sour Patch Watermelon to cookie dough bites.

The sweet treats didn’t stop there. The bride and groom also served a single-tier semi-naked cake topped with flowers. The flavor? Funfetti.

Even though designing their special day was no easy feat, the couple couldn’t have imagined a better setup that authentically captured all of their values and interests. “One of my favorite things to do for wedding clients is to bring their personalities and stories into the wedding day,” Kenzie remarks. “So, it was such a fun experience being able to do this for ourselves. With the help from our team of vendors, we were able to dream up fun ways to make the wedding feel true to who Jake and I are.”

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