The Oceanside Nuptials of Natalie Kothe and Will Meredith
By Kelsey Goldberg
Photography by Jose Villa
Natalie Kothe and Will Meredith were recently married in one of the most intimately elegant weddings of the year. Although the couple were born and raised in Austin, Texas, they opted for a destination wedding in one of their favorite locations, Santa Barbara, California, where the groom attended the University of California at Santa Barbara and played soccer. The bride graduated from Texas State University in San Marcos. Natalie, the daughter of Joan and Patrick Kothe, has been teaching first grade for eight years. Will, the son of Lynn and Tom Meredith, currently has businesses in real estate development, construction, and community service.
The two dated for almost five years before making it official with an engagement at a private dinner on the beach during a surprise vacation to the One and Only Ocean Club in the Bahamas. When asked about the most special part of the wedding weekend, the couple said, “We loved having all of our friends and family in our very favorite place in the world. Everyone came to Santa Barbara on Friday where we had a great beach day at Santa Claus Lane.” The couple and their guests participated in surf lessons, body boarding, volleyball and football, then relished in a relaxing day with their closest friends who were all able to bond and share in an exceptional day together.
Overlooking the ocean, friends and family members of the bride and groom visited Will’s family home in Montecito on Friday evening for the rehearsal dinner. The event planner, Alexandra Kolendrianos, planned a magnificent night to celebrate the couple as they shared a beautiful meal and toasted their life together as they also prepared for the next day of milestone events.
The next day’s ceremony was held on the Bella Vista lawn at the Four Seasons Biltmore in Santa Barbara. Natalie adored the look of Santa Barbara’s gardens and wanted the colors and theme of her wedding ceremony to resemble the nature around her, incorporating breathtaking flowers by Mindy Rice design. The dress of the bride was a blush color so they included different shades of white, pink, and dusty blues to accompany the natural garden feel.
The bride wore a gown by Monique Lhuillier, accompanied by Jimmy Choo shoes, diamond chandelier earrings from the mother of the groom, a Tiffany diamond bracelet, and a Cartier wedding band that matched the groom’s. The Four Seasons created the wedding cakes to complement the elaborate décor, making one large strawberry vanilla cake and a small vegan chocolate cake, accommodating the bride’s vegan lifestyle.
The bride had five attendants, all her sisters and sister-in-laws, and the groom had four, all of his brother-in-laws who brought support and intimacy to the ceremony. The couple’s nieces and nephews were the flower girls and ring bearers. The couple also had their two dogs walk down the aisle. A few meaningful parts of the ceremony were when the couple’s older siblings and their spouses did a reading together, when both Will and Natalie read notes to their parents thanking them for all of their love and support, and when they threw rose petals to honor Grandmother Rose, for whom the bride was named. The presence of both of their large extended families made this occasion that much more special and significant with its 140 guests.
The wedding weekend continued with the reception at the historic Coral Casino next to the Four Seasons. The evening began with a cocktail hour on the veranda overlooking Butterfly Beach with a dazzling bar and lounge seating. As the sun set, guests enjoyed a four-course seated meal. After the couple joined the festivities, the night grew even more magical as the ocean was illuminated with spotlights. Then it was time for the guests to dance to the music of DJ Michael Smith. The event lasted all through the night while the entire weekend formed into a momentous event filled with friends and family and a surplus of celebration.
Although the couple had the challenge of finding a luxurious honeymoon spot where neither of them had previously visited, they decided upon Bora Bora for their perfect honeymoon. They bride and groom share a passion for art, so they enjoy visiting galleries and museums wherever they travel and they enjoy their two Hungarian Vizsla dogs, Champ and Lady, who they often include in all aspects of their lives where they now reside in Austin.