Lauren Lucas & Nicholas Ashley with their special groomsman Olie
Unitarian Society in Santa Barbara
Trish Millard, Lauren Lucas, Jennifer Aery Millard, and Olie
Florals by Michael Mantalos of Lou Loudi Design
The bride's mother walks her down the aisle.
The altar at the Unitarian Society in Santa Barbara
Best man Brandon Lincoln, Lauren Lucas, Nicholas Ashley, Maid of Honor Jennifer Millard
The reception was held at The Four Seasons, The Biltmore in Montecito.
A charming wedding cake for the intimate gathering.
Michael Mantalos of Lou Loudi Design created the spectacular florals.
Wedding arrangements were made by Katie Seefeldt, aka Wedding Kate.
Attention to detail
Dancing followed in the historic Biltmore ballroom.
The first dance and a serious kiss, 22 years after their first.
The bride's gown by Monique Lhuillier is from Joan Pillow Bridal Salon.
Ah, that first kiss — whether it was the amorous first grader giving you a smooch behind the tree or a young teenager puckering up on the softly lit front porch, we would bet that hardly any of those early sparks of romance led to a walk down the aisle. In fact, when Lauren Lucas, at age 12, and Nicholas Ashley, age 14, shared her first lip lock, neither imagined an elaborate wedding in Santa Barbara.
But 22 years later, the friends since early childhood joined hands in marriage after having gone their own ways for many years.
After graduating from college in Boston and working as an event planner in New York City for five years, Lauren returned to her hometown and rekindled her friendship with Nicholas. That soon evolved into a relationship and wedding plans ensued. No place would do for the couple to wed other than Southern California, their mutual happy place. Lauren notes that she and her mother, Trish Millard, spent a year traveling back and forth from Houston to California to plan a dream wedding. By all accounts, they succeeded.
The couple was wed in late July in ceremonies, officiated by Pastor Chris Seay of Ecclesia Houston, at the Unitarian Society in downtown Santa Barbara. The reception followed at the Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore in Montecito. As is tradition, the day before the wedding, the groom’s parents, Marilyn and Michael Smith, hosted a welcome party at the Belmond El Encanto for guests who had traveled from across the country for the festivities. Included in the thorough planning, the bride and her mother made sure that all three venues were flush with magnificent floral displays.
The small wedding party included the bride’s sister, Jennifer Aery Millard, as maid of honor and the groom’s best friend, Brandon Michael Lincoln, as best man. Joining the party as special groomsman was the couple’s dog, Olie, dressed in a custom-made tuxedo and collar.
The couple are making their home in Houston where she is an event planner and project manager at Cadence Bank and the groom is in supply management at Lonestar Aluminum Specialties. And it all started with that first kiss — even if they didn’t know it at the time.
Wedding planning and production: Katie Seefeldt aka Wedding Kate
Floral design: Michael Mantalos of Lou Loudi Design
Bridal gown: Monique Lhuillier from Joan Pillow Bridal Salon
Groom’s suit: Bespoke tux from Norton Ditto
Mother of the bride gown: Custom gown by Les Habitudes of Los Angeles