Santa Barbara Wedding Photography | Ivan & Irene

Their paths crossed for the first time five years ago at the Peabody Charter School in Santa Barbara. After graduating from U.C. Santa Cruz, Ivan returned to his childhood school to teach where Irene, a U.C. Santa Barbara alumni, was substitute teaching.  Joan Henry, a mutual coworker, suggested Ivan invite Irene to one of his Lakers hangouts to watch the game. There, a true romance blossomed.

Then on October 6, 2013 Ivan took the leap. They enjoyed a cozy lunch at Jalama Burger, after which Ivan suggested a walk on the beach. Irene explained, “We walked for what I felt was a really long time before Ivan decided we should sit and enjoy a bottle of wine that he had packed. It was a really hot day…too hot for red wine and after sitting in the hot sun I told Ivan that I needed to put my feet in the water to cool off. As we walked toward the ocean, he asked me for a hug and I noticed that his heart was beating really fast. Ivan asked, ‘Do you want to know why my heart is beating so fast?’ and when I asked ‘Why?’, he got down on one knee and proposed that he would love nothing more than to spend the rest of his life with me. He talked about not only myself, but said he would love to be a part of my family, too. I was so excited and happy to start the life together that we had talked about, I couldn’t hold back the tears.

Ivan’s family gets together for birthdays and it was a Perkin’s birthday celebration the evening of our engagement. We decided to go to dinner and on our way, Ivan asked me, ‘Do you want to see if they notice you have a ring on?’ I agreed, but walking into dinner, I couldn’t help announcing, ‘We’re ENGAGED!’ I was so happy to celebrate with his family, and his Uncle was thrilled to have his birthday celebration overshadowed by our engagement!”

Due to Irene’s grandmother’s health, and the fact they couldn’t wait to be married, Irene and Ivan decided to have a short engagement and were married on March 15. Sadly, Irene’s grandmother did not make it to their wedding day; however, Irene and Ivan knew she was there in spirit and honored her throughout their wedding day.

A home setting where family and friends could enjoy being together to celebrate their vows was the main inspiration for their wedding day. As a true testament to their giving nature, Irene explained “we wanted a setting that would create lasting memories not only for us, but also for our guests.” And the Hacienda Ocean Front definitely fit the bill for their intimate setting!


I just love this vintage postcard inspired ‘save the date’ from Lazaro Press!


Not only does Hacienda Ocean Front offer beautiful outdoor spaces for your ceremony and reception, but you also have access to the entire house. Including the stunning master bedroom, a perfect bridal prep location.

The gents got to hang out in the garage while they got ready. But it is not any old garage, it’s equip with TVs, couches, a pool table, and my favorite, a vintage Route 66 inspired collage barn door.

Talk about a beautiful front porch setting for your wedding day first look!

Their rings were from local jewelers at The Gem Shop. Irene remembered: “when I took my engagement ring to be resized, the attendant asked me for my name and wrote that down on the paperwork and then automatically wrote down “Ivan Perkins” on the paperwork as well.  I asked her how she knew that I was engaged to Ivan because I did not mention his name and she said that she recognized the ring…he had been in several times in the prior months before proposing to choose the perfect ring for me.  I was really touched by his planning of it all!”


Their programs were designed and printed by Irene’s maid of honor and delicately finished with the burlap note tags by Irene’s parents.

Continuing to illustrate the importance of family and friends, they had an array of family portraits displayed atop the piano in honor of all their family. In addition, the aisle was adorned with wedding portraits from all of their guests attending the wedding. Such a loving display of thankfulness for everyone sharing in their big day!


Clearly lovers of kids, they had four little ones in the wedding. All of whom were completely adorable!


Could you ask for more spectacular sweeping views of the coast line and Pacific Ocean? I think not! Almost exactly the scene from their ‘save the date’ cards.


I just love the anticipation during those final moments before the bride walks down the aisle.

Such a loving moment just minutes after they became husband and wife.

Their stunningly classic cake by Your Cake Baker was artfully decorated with white roses and succulents by Ivan’s cousins. What’s more, Ivan’s cousins created all of their gorgeous center pieces from flowers they ordered online! Talk about family talent!


Following a cocktail hour in the front yard, guests returned to the backyard to the sounds of live music and waterfalls with a special gift waiting at their seat.



And little did I know, all day Irene and Ivan had a special little Superman watching over their wedding!

Congratulations Ivan and Irene on a simply stunning affair. Full of love, laughter and togetherness! Thank you to Elizabeth with Phase 4 Photography for all of your assistance! And a huge thank you to Jill & Co, who is so on top of event coordination, we not only finished on time, but even with a few minutes to spare!



Photographer // Leah Valentine Photography

Coordinator // Jill & Co

Caterer // Savoir Faire

Cake // Your Cake Baker

Bouquets // Anna LePley Taylor

Floral Arrangements // DIY from Ivan’s cousins

DJ/Band // Konrad Kono

Lighting // LBPS

Hair/Makeup // Absolutely Fabulous Glamour Studio

Rentals // Classic Party Rentals

Officiant // Jon Ireland

Venue // Hacienda Ocean Front


Wedding Gown // Justin Alexander Signature

Shoes // Kate Spade

Rings // The Gem Shop

Earrings, Bracelet & Hair Clip // Nordstrom

Bridesmaid Dress // JCrew

Groom/Groomsmen Tux // Banana Republic

Groom/Groomsmen Tie // Canali 

Save The Date Card // Lazaro Press

Invitations & Programs // DIY from Irene & Family

Santa Barbara wedding photography

Enjoy this Santa Barbara wedding photography provided by Leah Valentine Photography offering Santa Barbara wedding photography in the Santa Barbara  area.

Leah Valentine Photography is anything but your average Santa Barbara wedding photographer. Each wedding is treated with care and creativity not found with other Santa Barbara wedding photography studios. Your wedding day is carefully crafted to offer one of a kind unique photography in the Santa Barbara area.

This is Santa Barbara wedding photography at its best. Offering wedding coverage in Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and destinations worldwide.

Service Information

Leah Valentine Photography offers Santa Barbara wedding photography coverage in the Santa Barbara area, including but not limited Santa Barbara, Montecito, Goleta, Ventura and Thousand Oaks. In addition, we also offer wedding photography coverage in Philadelphia and New Jersey. Call for more information.

Not looking for a Santa Barbara wedding photographer? Please be sure to consider us for your newborn portraits, high school senior portraits and all your family photography needs in the Santa Barbara area.

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