Ojai Backyard Wedding

Updated: Jan 23

Colorado dwellers Megan and Nathanael found us through a Google search shortly after our long awaited website went live. Their inquiry was a huge confirmation that all the hard work Brooke put in to building our site was worth it!

Megan and Nathanael met at the Buddhist retreat center where Megan works. They were friends first, but quickly began spending more time together and found dancing and travel to be their favorite past times. Nathanael proposed in June 2017 as they enjoyed the patio at local wine bar, Bacchanal, while they were in New Orleans. (We’ve added this spot to the list for our next NOLA trip—it looks amazing!)

So why Ojai? Megan grew up in Ojai; her father and step mother still own her childhood home. We actually met for our consultation at her parents home, which would also be their venue. A smaller property tucked in the quaint Ojai downtown village, the landscaping and layout provided a perfect fit for their envisioned intimate gathering.

Over six months of planning from afar, Megan and Nathanael grew in confidence as all the little details from their dreams came together. Our collaborative planning platform and monthly checklists kept them on task and us abreast every step of the way.

Ojai, their Buddhist religion, and Nathanael’s childhood home of New Mexico, inspired a stunning pallet of cool sage green, eucalyptus blue, vibrant kumquat, and bright magenta bougainvillea—perfect for their June wedding. Also look for how they incorporated the beautiful personal monogram Nathanael designed for them.

We are so grateful to have had the opportunity to learn about and experience the Buddhist traditions they incorporated. The ceremony was held on a stage shrine adorned with many offerings. Initiated with chanting, a surprise bagpiper led the processional, the candle lighting, and the ringing of the ceremonial gong. White billowing incense was then burned representing the basic goodness of all beings. If you look closely, you will see six bowls containing the offering of six paramitas. We would love to share this excerpt from the six paramitas that resonated with us with significance:

I offer this flower so that we may develop transcendent exertion. I offer this incense so that we may develop transcendent patience. I offer this light so that we may develop transcendental meditation. I offer this perfume water so that we may develop transcendent discipline. I offer this food so that we may develop transcendent generosity. I offer this musical instrument so that we may develop transcendent knowledge.

Having offered these, may we attain wisdom and compassion so that we may help all sentient beings on the path of dharma ( truth )

Individual vows were then exchanged, and the Buddhist marriage oath was sealed with a drink of sake. Rings were exchanged, and finally the bride and groom were adorned jointly with a traditional ceremonial scarf called a khata before they sealed the union with a kiss. The ceremony was brought to a close with readings, the ringing of the ceremonial gong, and everyone joining in chanting the Dedication of Merit.

The reception went late into the night, starting with a dreamy sparkler-surrounded first dance that emanated so much love and joy. The intention, along with the symbolism of each detail, made this a unique and heartfelt experience for everyone in attendance.

Congratulations again, Megan and Nathanael!

Photography: Teri Kramer

Venue: Private Residence

Flowers: Ojai Blooms

Hair: A Secret Beauty Ojai - Ashleigh Zannon

Rentals: Amigo Party Rental

Bar Staff: Drinks with MJ

Cake: KNEAD Baking Co. & Lilac Patisserie

Catering: Nana's Kitchen

Dress: Vintage Morilee by Madeline Gardner

Restroom Rental: Luxury Loos

Cigars: Beehive Cigars

Bagpiper: Piper Bill

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226 West Ojai Ave. Ste 101 # 210

Ojai, Ca 93023