I know from personal experience how challenging it can be to find awesome vendors, so, each time I work with a vendor and have a particularly extraordinary experience of 'em, I put 'em on my list of fave's. Enjoy! Oh, and if you use any of them will you please let 'em know you learned about them through me so they're reminded of just how much I love 'em. Thanks!
Since I shoot in two primary regions (Santa Barbara & New England), I've broken the list up by region and added a "doesn't matter where y'are section as well for those vendors who provide services by mail or who will travel.
Sarah Love creates unique, hand-illustrated calendars each year, with a beautiful morsel of inspiration for each and every day. I've had one of her calendars by my desk without fail for the last five years and they've brightened my life immensely! The calendars make wonderful gifts for your wedding party or even favors for each guest!
(Wildly) Unique Jewelry Creations: Kittinhawk
Kittinhawk's creator and lead designer, Allison Dutra, is a long-time friend, and I've been mesmerized to watch her grow into a truly magnificent artisan, creating jewelry that is as much art as adornment. If you consider yourself an offbeat bride, you should most definitely check their stuff out
. She's even available for custom commissions.
(Sustainable, ethically-sourced, conflict-free) Rings: Brilliant Earth
My honey and I designed a custom engagement ring through Brilliant Earth and I gotta say...we love it. We knew we wanted to find a jeweler who used ethically-sourced gold and jewels
and we were thrilled with not only the incredible customer service, but with the outcome of the ring. I love their stuff and can't recommend them enough.
More and more, couples (and individuals) are finding themselves driven to use their weddings as a catalyst to contribute to the greater good. Well, WaterAid is an extraordinary organization whose mission it is to provide clean, safe water to the millions of people on earth currently living without it. Tobin Photography and our clients have been a supporter of their work
for some time, but I urge you to get involved and contribute in the spirit of your wedding on your own, as well!
(Organic, sustainable, incredible) Catering: Gage's Global Gourmet
Gage's incredible, eclectic, sustainably-sourced cuisine will knock your socks off. His food is thoughtfully created and I can't recommend him enough.
I absolutely love Willowdale Estate! The property and the mansion are extraordinarily beautiful year-round, and their staff is incredibly helpful, kind, thoughtful, and go WAY out of their way to create an unforgettable experience for their clients and their guests. I've photographed several weddings at Willowdale and it's a blast every time.
Liz rocks! Her work is extraordinary and she's a total love. If you're lucky enough to book her, you'll love how you look on your wedding day and the process of getting that way will be an absolute riot.
Sharon is currently teaching Jasmine and I to dance and she's wonderful. I was a bit nervous about taking dance lessons, but Sharon's made me feel so comfortable...plus, she's such a warm, kind, funny woman. You'll love her!
I got my suit for my wedding at Jackson & Connor because I was looking for an experience that was more personal than what I thought I might find, at say, Men's Warehouse or Nordstrom. I was right. The salesman who helped me was incredibly knowledgeable, kind, and helpful. While their stuff is very nice, their prices are totally reasonable and it made me feel really great to work with a local company!
Wedding Coordination: Immaginare Events by Giseli Spera
Giseli Spera of Immaginare Events and her wonderful team are simply incredible. Giseli orchestrates the events of the day with such grace, ease and fun that it seems more like a dance than mere wedding coordination.
There are lots of wonderful caterers in the Santa Barbara area, but the folks at Pure Joy take such great care and infuse such love and joy into their cuisine, that they rise to the top of my list. Plus, they source their ingredients from Santa Barbara's local farms whenever possible. You'll love their food and service. Promise.
These people know how to transform a space entirely. They do it with serious panache, and they're also just incredible people. Check out some of their handiwork at Elizabeth and Edward's Santa Barbara estate wedding.
Julie Skon and her team are magnificent! They go out of their way to create incredible, custom, SB-centric gift bags for your guests, your wedding party, or whomever you'd like to surprise with some sweetness. Working with Julie was a total dream come true and I can't recommend her enough.
Beth's work is truly exquisite and she's a total sweetheart as well. You can check out her beautiful arrangements in Steph and Tyler's wedding!
You'll love her work. Promise.