Carissa and Peter's wedding venue is just so magical that I can't even begin to explain it. They married at a private property on the edge of the cliffs at Big Sur California, with the sea beneath them, surrounded by ancient trees and exotic flowers. As dusk fell the gardens came alive with twinkling lights and they partied the night away under the stars. Images come from Matt & Esther Photography who are actually based here in the UK. The lucky things were flown out to California to shoot this special wedding day and we're thrilled to be featuring it this morning...

Our Story

Carissa the Bride: A few years ago, Carissa had decided to change course leaving her growing career in Washington, DC to move to the west coast to start a new chapter and also to satisfy a growing interest to learn about farming and agriculture in the US – after all, you can’t exactly do that in the heart of DC! Meanwhile 2,761 miles away, Peter was actively and faithfully carrying on his Swedish family tradition of farming sticky rice in northern California. The year the two met marked one hundred years for his family of farming for that rice. Needless to say, they have fed a lot of people over the years. When they met, they quickly felt their differences (urban & rural, upbringing, opinions) but it didn’t take long for the similarities to edge out those tiffs (shared spirituality, love for family, travel, friends, food, literature, gardening, caring for living things). Their greatest commonality was their deep desire to include, encourage, and love the people placed in their lives. After nearly three great years of dating, Peter proposed to love her always and Carissa, without hesitation, agreed to do so in return.

The Wedding

The couple wed on the last Sunday of summer at a friend’s private, historic home perched on Big Sur’s high cliffs along the California central coast. The ceremony, cocktail reception, grilled to order Alaskan salmon and steak paired with Salinas Valley gourmet salads and courtyard dancing deep into the evening were all held outside and friends and family from near and far (guests from Rotterdam and photographers from England to Carissa’s great Uncle just 11 minutes away) came to celebrate the blessed day. Everyone recognised and honoured the magnitude of what the covenant of marriage means – a lifelong love letter jointly drafted by the bride and groom praising their God.

The Food

We decided to close a balmy summer and nearly three years of dating with a September wedding on California’s central coast, perched on high cliffs overlooking the Pacific. Being sushi rice farmers, this was the last weekend free before autumn’s harvest began, and we knew we had to act now or wait until winter. While this was a day to celebrate our love and coming marriage, it was also a day to honour those who helped us get to this day and make such a commitment. A wedding is a perfect way to revere love in all forms: between couples, parents & children, old friends, and new ones too...with that said, we chose a long and lingering, Mediterranean-inspired afternoon-turned-evening ceremony & reception at a friend’s private villa in Carmel Highlands. Afterward, our cocktail hour served appetizers of goat cheese & fig wrapped in phyllo, BLT spring rolls, among others; followed by a dinner of grilled-to-order wild Alaskan salmon, free range chicken, and steak drizzled with tzatziki & garlic, parsley sauce, as well as Salinas Valley gourmet greens of tomato panzanella, butter lettuce, and artichoke hearts for our 129 guests. Followed by a beautiful buttercream cake of tiered floral petals for dessert. Vows were exchanged, rings worn, flowers adorned, cocktails served at sunset, and dancing in an open air courtyard late into the night. A most beautiful wedding day to be sure.
Fern Godfrey

Written by Fern Godfrey

Make Up: KIS Hair and Make Up | Hair: Emily Jane | Flowers: Carrie Thengvall | Stationery: Lisa Shirk | Catering: Aqua Terra Culinary | Bride: Willowby by Watters | Groom: Bar III

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