Santa Barbara Courthouse Elopement

From the bride:

“On my very first trip with my now-fiancè, we visited Santa Barbara and he suggested we stop by the courthouse. He had been there before and thought I might enjoy visiting. I remember thinking it was an odd choice, but as soon as I saw it I was blown away by its beauty.  It made for a perfect stop on our first of many vacations together; gorgeous architecture, California history, and a hint of romance as we witnessed many couples getting married there that day. I remember thinking to myself that maybe we would get married there one day, but shrugged it off in an effort to not jump the gun… 

“Five years later, we were planning our wedding and the courthouse was still on my mind. I have always been a fan of pomp and circumstance, so I took to planning a wedding pretty easily. I fell in love with another venue, and I remember feeling a twinge of sadness as I let go of my laidback courthouse vision and opted for a grander, more traditional affair. As plans progressed, one of the first things I did was try on my mom’s wedding dress. I had always loved it in photos, a sea of stark white taffeta with 80’s power sleeves, delicate floral accents, and a big statement bow at the waist. It felt surreal taking it out of the big gold box it had been tucked away in for decades and putting it on to discover that not only did it fit me perfectly, but it looked brand new. I knew I wanted to wear it in some capacity, but I had already accepted an insanely generous gift of a custom Versace wedding gown, from my boss at Versace where I manage the VIP and Celebrity department (another dress story entirely). So I brainstormed how I could honor it in some way and give it a moment to shine…”

“I took the dress to a tailor I often call on for red carpet assistance, and we redesigned it a bit to make it more wearable for the occasion. We removed the long train and made it tea-length, and modified the sleeves a bit while still keeping the spirit of the 80’s very much alive. The result was one of my favorite dresses I have ever put on. It felt so amazing to be able to wear such a unique vintage piece that held such personal significance.”

“That day at the courthouse is one I will never forget. Waiting in line to sign our license was so surreal and I was really glad I had insisted on celebrating the occasion with such a spectacle. It made us both reflect on how far our relationship had come, how excited we were to be getting married, and just how big of a commitment we were making to each other. Wearing my mom’s dress further highlighted the magnitude of what marriage means in the context of my life, and added a sweet layer of nostalgia to the whole occasion. I will cherish these images that Matoli captured forever.”

Film Lab: Photovision Prints

Location: Santa Barbara Courthouse

error: Copyright Matoli Keely Photography