Melissa + Andrew, The Holly Farm, Carmel California
Every time I get an inquiry from a couple who tells me they are planning to have their wedding at the Holly Farm, I drop what I am doing and check my calendar in hopes that the date is free! There are some venues that I get to work at that I love, some I adore and some that just absolutely speak to my soul. The Holly Farm speaks to me. The Moses family owns and operates this unique gem that their father curated a while back. The couple has two amazing children Erin and Ryan who help make the Holly Farm the special place that it is. They have such a personal touch to add to everything, like whiskey bars and vintage cars, which I love stationing couples for a photo in front of.
Ferns, orchids, palm trees, and lush greenery draped across every corner of the farm. It’s almost as if they took inspiration from the jungles of Kawaii. This all-inclusive wedding venue includes sleeping quarters, a bridal sweet and banana cabana where guys get ready and also a 10 person house for select guests. Melissa was even greater with a bottle of Vueve on her wedding morning. The Holly Farm is about 4 miles up from the Ocean and the beautiful, Carmel beach. Carmel is the perfect combination of wine country and beach town.
So Melissa and Andrew. Melissa is wild, she’s successful, she travels a lot for work and lives a dream life that so many aspire to have. When she and Andrew asked for my availability for their wedding, her Dad actually called me to have a special conversation to make sure I was up to snuff. Her family calls her Missy Joon, a nickname from her Dad that stuck around. They even had a lit-up sign at their wedding labeled “Joonstein” as Andrew’s last name is Berstein.
They had nearly 200 people at their wedding and everybody was absolutely gorgeous, like straight out of a movie alluring with California edgy style. I liked how they invited all the wedding guests to the rehearsal dinner at the Barns at Cooper Molero. It was basically a pre-party to the big party. There were speeches after speeches and everyone talked about Melissa and Andrew’s ability to get along with anyone. They told a sweet story about Melissa leaving the bars to buy pizza for homeless people.
Melissa’s side of the family hosted a traditional Persian Hana Bandoon the night before the wedding filled with incredible Persian Traditions. Andrew is Jewish and to see the combination of their heritages join together was a beautiful aesthetic. During the wedding, following Persian tradition, each wedding party couple danced down the aisle to the most epic playlist. They had Don Julio 1942 shots that welcomed people to the ceremony. Both Andrew and Melissa opened their vows up saying that when they met it felt like they had known eachother in another lifetime. In closing, they both mentioned that they hoped they could find each other again in the next lifetime. The tears were rolling down my face and I definitely wasn't the only one.
Haley was the wedding coordinator, she’s my badass favorite coordinator and absolutely crushed it; welcome packages in the rooms, a seamless timeline, organization of two giant parties, style tips, you name it, she does it. Two of my close friends and photographers helped me out on this wedding with Savannah assisting and Aubrey second shooting. Having spent a lot of time working together, we make a pretty great team, if I do say so myself :)
Melissa and Andrew dreamt up this breathtaking Persian and Jewish Holly Farm wedding and their hospitality to all of their guests and to me were undeniable. I first noticed it when at their engagement session at the Land’s End Sutra Baths, they put me up in a hotel room at the San Francisco Proper and I showed up to my room with a bottle of delicious Pinot Noir waiting for me, and from my favorite area, Anderson Valley. They knew me too well already. I absolutely loved working with Melissa and Andrew and their kind gestures went all the way to the moon last summer when they heard of my mom and sister losing their home to a house fire. Both families stepped in with cash donations and custom care-packages mailed to my sister before she was starting back at her first day of school. I was absolutely blown away by their love. Everyone was so right in their speeches. This couple and their families are not just successful, beautiful and fun, they are incredibly sensitive, caring, loving and generous. I am forever grateful that I got to be a part of this wedding weekend.
Venue: The Holly Farm
Second Shooter: Photography By Aubrey
Photo Assistant: Savannah McCrary
Video: Owl and Tree Films
Rentals: Chic Event Rentals
Florals: Laughin’ gal Floral
Caligraphy: Arrow Art Studio
Wedding Coordinator: Hitched By Haley
Catering: La Crème Monterey
Makeup: Blush Monterey