Sunday, December 11, 2011

Design Lessons From a Country Formal Wedding

"When the one man loves the one woman and the one woman loves the one man, the very angels desert heaven and come and sit in that house and sing for joy."
 ~The Brahma Sutras

 Tivoli-Too is an enchanting garden event setting in the heart of one of Southern California's premier art communities, Laguna Beach. On rooftops at the foot of the lush canyon side courtyard, cupids stand arrows at ready should destined lovers not understand that it is their fate to be together.

It is at the outdoor altar that long-time sweethearts Tara McCreary and Matthew Campbell exchanged their wedding vows.

The bride's sister, Kaitlyn served as her sister's only bridesmaid.

Father of the bride, Dennis McCreary escorts his daughter to meet her husband with the approval of gathered family and friends.

The wedding suited the couple. Comfortable. Joyous.

While we could not stay for the reception, there was no way I was leaving without a few pictures and notes - particularly on how the landscape architect made use of the topography in designing the country formal event setting.

The altar area is raised and visually organized with symmetrical settings of pots. In a compact area- you can really get bang for your buck customizing just a few pots with seasonal or theme related color scheme at the focal point. 

The natural materials of rock risers, flagstone flooring and rough surfaced pots in neutral tones feel right at home. Timeless and rustic at the same time.

The statuary is appropriately unglazed.  Isn't an elephant spitting into a pond so much more elegant than those dreadful reincarnations of a little boy peeing?  There are some things best left unshown. The only place for those abominations might be hanging over a cliff on the back road in Maui- an ode to potty training on-the- go.  Anywhere else- niet-no. Oops- I digressed...


The little stuccoed hacienda on the side. Tiled rough over a long patio- green mullioned doors- natural hewn wood . This is charming California of old Hollywood movies.  

Statuary birds nesting on little shelves play up the theme of the opportunity for life in the garden. Ferns pull the site away from civilization- to a place more primal. Where one might hear frogs serenading fairies in the dark hours...

The designers understood that succulents are more authentic potted up than bright Disneyland  arrangements would ever be.

There is nothing wrong with mix and match. Here, the formality was where it was best. Where suited up people would dine and dance.


OldLady Of The Hills said...

What a BEAUTIFUL Setting for a Weddding....Having Officiated at many Weddings in so very many varied places---some quite odd, some quite beautiful--THIS is truly Lovely! I particularly loved what they did with the raised area where the actual Wedding took place....And, of course, I am very partial to Succulents....!

Lydia said...

Good morning, Naomi. On my 2012 bucket list is a wish to meet you.

Blessings, Lydia

Anonymous said...


Lovely place for a wedding! HOW do folks find these places? Very nice. So sorry that you and Ger couldn't stay for the reception. That is the most fun part.
Of course I am so excited about Daryl and Becky's upcoming wedding! Love their setting too. It is so much better to be having the wedding and reception at the same place than having to drive a distance for each.
Love the elephant! Cute cute!!

XO Trisha

Lydia said...

'Morning, Trish! The elephant was a bit of whimsy that made me laugh. SoCal is indeed graced with so many GREAT wedding locations.

nikkipolani said...

You are so right. I loathe sculptures of fat cherubs or boys as or on fountains. Love the impact of the pots around the raised altar area.

Anonymous said...


What a beautiful setting! Your pictures captured what must have been a wonderful and intimate event for the bride, groom and all their loved ones.