Whitney + Ian

How did you meet?

Best. Story. Ever. Wait… my supervisor, Kim, played (s) beach volleyball with Ian in Santa Barbara. I was living in San Luis Obispo at the time and recently out of a long term relationship (as was Ian) and not quite looking yet when I received a text from Kim as I was in clinic. “I have someone for you” she “I have someone for you!” she wrote, quickly followed by several more excited texts. “Everyone loves him” “He is the nicest guy” “handsome, athletic, good job”…At the time, I was not really looking per se, but Kimberly has always been a great judge of character, and I knew regardless of whether or not there was chemistry, we would have a fun time together.

…”Also, he just got out of a long term relationship too.. so you know you probably both won’t want to jump in too fast…”

Famous. Last. Words.

Our first date was in Santa Barbara on Sept 26, 2021. I met Ian at his new place before heading out for a marathon date day he had planned. He showed me around before heading out and I remember him saying something along the lines of “next time, I’d recommend parking here…” I thought, how is he so confident there is a next time!? Who did he think he was? He was charming though, with the kindest blue eyes and smile, and I was quickly put to ease. We drove up the 154 to Cold Springs Tavern where we enjoyed live music and prime rib sandwiches followed by e-biking (my first time!) to the ‘funk zone’ for drinks. We talked all evening…no subject left untouched. He was easy to laugh, a great listener, and unabashedly honest. At some point in the evening an inebriated couple struck up a conversation with us, “IT’S YOUR FIRST DATE? I THOUGHT YOU WERE MARRIED!”

We went on four more dates that same week. By that Saturday, we said ‘I love you’. In one week, I had never been more confident in something or someone (call me crazy but I knew).

Added bonus: We met in Cali but we are both from Oregon originally.

When did you know they were the one? 

The second date.. which just so happened to be the very next day after the first. Sounds aggressive but I was about to travel for 3 weeks and a friend suggested, maybe going on one more date before travel to establish a bit more of a connection, as I was definitely intrigued.. When I reached out he immediately responded his excitement. That evening we went out to dinner at a favorite Mexican restaurant with the matchmaker Kim and her boyfriend David — which then led to taking the dingy boat out in the SB Harbor at sunset. The chemistry was obvious… to Kim and David.. to a casual bystander. I remember waking up in the middle of the night that night – totally giddy – knowing I had found the ONE.

What are your three favourite attributes of your partner? 

1. His authentic kindness and big beautiful heart
2. Sense of humor – always laughing at how weird we are (or he would say how weird I AM) .. in a very fun “with you” way.
3. The way he creates space for me – a great listener, communicator, his transparency..
4. Sexy as Hell.
5. Adventurer / athleticism
6. Softy with his family/nieces/nephews
7. His Drive/intelligence/wisdom/devoted to his growth
Couldn’t stick to 3…

Who proposed and how? 


We had an upcoming trip to Peru where I imagined he’d pop the question as we had been designing a ring together. I was headed out to see my parents a few hours away from Santa Barbara and he was going to meet me there the next day as he had work to finish. I had to get to my parents earlier as dad had planned for us to see a Michelangelo starry night exhibit he was very excited to share with us. Anyway, I get to their house and we catch up for a bit and I could tell dad was a little distracted but didn’t think too much of it. He said we’d need to leave shortly and pick up my brother/sister in law/nephew at the clubhouse on the way out to the exhibit (They live in an over 55 community in Indio). We drive over and I open the door to the car and look up and see Ian standing under this large arch with the palm trees, golf course in the background and my heart stops/I feel like I’ve lost all my air and then my heart starts pumping like crazy again. Then I see my nephew, my brother, my aunt and uncle, mother in law…. I look over at my mom getting out of the car and we lock twinkly eyes at each other and I realize what is happening. Walking over in slow motion, to Ian already tearing up (him) – the first thing he said after grabbing my hands and giving me a huge hug complete with wet tears now that stamped my face, was “Well, there is no Michelangelo exhibit…” and he got down on one knee in front of my family and his mom and husband. It was better than I could have ever dreamed up and I was completely and utterly shocked.. I mean, I was wearing Birkenstocks. 🙂

Where did you fall in love with your dress and why? 

I am pretty detail oriented and had been searching several weeks on various websites/Pinterest/etc. There were a lot out of styles/fits out there I did not like to be honest, or simply just did NOT feel like me. I finally came across your beautifully made dresses and zero’d in on Ryder. The plunge neckline, the fit, the texture – oh my gosh, simply perfection! I originally was back and forth between the clean crepe version and textured detailing – both gorgeous. But in the end – It was a no brainer.

I made my appointment and went in with my matchmaker and great friend/sister, to The Dress in Santa Barbara… walking in I tried to lower my expectations..who ever heard of a bride falling in love with a dress online (the FIRST one she fell in love with) and it ACTUALLY being THE DRESS. I tried on several dresses from MWL that I loved but Ryder was the clear choice, it worked perfectly on my body and was everything I ever hoped for in a dress. Flattering, versatile (add wings/remove, +/- Bustle).

What was the best moment for you at your wedding?

So difficult to choose: Our Ceremony, the officiant stories/laughs, the beautifully done vows, our incredible tribe energy… My proudest moment, was when we had our first dance. We practiced with a local dance network for weeks and we were so READY to show our friends and family our lifts, dips, and spins. About 1 min into the 3 min dance, the music stops.. Ian immediately tells me to keep on going – and WE DO, flawlessly on Ian’s side (mostly on mine hehe). And all of our friends and family LOVED it and their applause and outpouring of love CARRIED US!! Eventually the music re-started and we added our own twist to the song until it caught up, and ended strong with a dip.

Later someone asked of us if we wanted to try again.. we both looked at each other and smiled, this was how it was suppose to be. Some how it made it even better. <3

What were your favourite details?

MY DRESS. THE WINGS. THE TEXTURE. THE WAY IT BUSTLED SO EASILY (you would never know there was more fabric under there). How I could do this incredible dance and not feel like I was weighted down or stepping on it.The way I FELT in this dress.. Oh my gosh – like an absolute goddess celebrity beauty. My rust velvet Sam Edelman shoes with the dress – LOVE.

The Florals. The string lights over the entire reception area. The gold framed photos hanging whimsically from trees in the welcome area for a “photo booth” with the polaroid camera. The song choices. The Jazz Trio during cocktail hour. The bridesmaid fall color palette that came together flawlessly. The BMW motorcycle and side buggy for photos. THE VENUE ITSELF.

What advice would you tell other brides?

You’ll be doing things/tightening loose ends until the final minute unless you are super intentional about not doing this, its just how it is… but when you are finally with your bridesmaids getting your hair and make up done – its time to let go and simply enjoy every single moment and be as present as possible. Enjoy the love ride baby!

Any standout vendors?


BAND: THE ACADEMY @theacademyband
RENTALS: Elite Rentals @syveliteevents
CATERING: All Purpose Flower Company @allpurposeflower_
BAR SERVICE: Flair Project SB @flair_projectsb




The Dress – @thedressbride


Tracy Pacana


Private Montecito Estate


Ella and Louie


Marissa Melonuk @missmarissartistry


Jewelry Couture


Mismatched fall palette/textures/brands: Baltic Born, Show Me Your Mumu, Pink Blush Maternity, Vow’d


MCR Moda Crise