Real Weddings

An Eco-Friendly Destination Wedding in California


Bride and Groom

“Tonight: drinks, you, me and the girl.” That was all mutual friend Charlotte had to say to get Ryan and Diana to finally meet. “For months before we actually met, Charlotte would finish conversations about the dating topic by saying, ‘I know this girl that you totally have to meet,’” explains Ryan. Ryan eventually did go out to meet Diana, the woman he would marry two years later.

Ryan popped the question during a holiday trip in December 2011, where he took Diana to his home province of Alberta and planned an overnight romantic getaway to Banff. “Ryan took out a little velvet black box saying he still had another holiday gift for me,” recalls Diana. “He handed me the box saying he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. I cried and of course said I wanted to spend my life with him.”

When it came to their wedding plans, Diana and Ryan knew it was important for every detail to reflect their eco-conscious beliefs. “We considered the environment in many of our decisions surrounding our wedding and tried to use environmentally conscious local vendors whenever possible,” says Diana. The couple opted for recycled paper stock for their stationery, natural materials rather than synthetic, and locally grown, in-season flowers.

Mixing traditional Jewish rituals with a modern feel was also an important detail Diana and Ryan wanted to incorporate for their ceremony. “Having elements of a Jewish wedding ceremony was important to me, but since Ryan did not grow up around Judaism, we amended the traditional ceremony to include aspects that spoke to us,” says Diana. This included the couple’s decision to write their own vows, which Diana asserts honoured the commitment and promises of marriage as an institution, while also adding a more personal and meaningful touch.

The couple decided on an April wedding at California’s stunning Ojai Valley Inn and Spa — a location the two said was an ideal spot that created the perfect mix of comfort and elegance. “We decided if most of our friends and family members were going to have to travel and would consider our wedding a ‘destination wedding,’ it would be nice to feel like we were getting away too,” says Diana.

When it came to a colour scheme, Diana and Ryan chose blue and orange accents, adoring the vibrancy of the two colours when paired together. “That is our ‘official’ answer,” jokes Diana. “However, I suspect Ryan’s unofficial answer would be that those are the colors of his favorite hockey team: the Edmonton Oilers!”

Although both the ceremony and reception incorporated many unique touches to reflect Diana and Ryan’s tastes (including the option to forgo a band or DJ, choosing instead to use Ryan’s specially made soundtrack for the evening), Diana says one of her favourite moments was watching as Ryan performed Brandi Carlile’s “The Story” during the ceremony. “It was a song that really spoke to Ryan about our relationship and we had heard it for the first time at the first concert we went to together,” recalls Diana. “It was truly touching.”

Diana Fishman and Ryan Adams, April 13, 2013, Ojai Valley, California.

Photography courtesy of Maya Myers Photography.

Ceremony and reception location: Ojai Valley Inn & Spa
Bridal gown: Lea Ann Belter
Bride’s shoes: Kate Spade from Nordstrom
Bridal party attire: Aria
Groom’s tux: Brooks Brothers
Groom’s shoes: Cole Haan
Rings: Custom made by Icing on the Ring
Cake: Ojai Valley Inn & Spa
Wedding planner and event designer: Kristeen LaBrot Events
Harpist: Laurie Rasmussen
Hair and makeup: Susie Chhuor
Flowers: Dandelion Ranch
Invitations: Copper Willow Paper Studio

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