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A Los Olivos Wedding that Epitomized California Cool at the Legendary Mattei’s Tavern

“The best dinner party of our lives” is how Rachel Karten and Greg Costanzo wanted their friends and family to feel after attending their wedding at The Inn at Mattei’s Tavern, Auberge Resorts Collection in Los Olivos, California. And after an epic two-hour-long family-style meal – featuring dirty gin martinis (for the bride), negronis (for the groom), the couple’s favorite focaccia, the “best salmon ever” and a local wine selection curated by the father of the bride, they achieved just that. But nothing less is expected when the bride – former head of social media at Bon Appétit – and groom boast double-header dinners as their favorite date night. Needless to say, the classic California cool backdrop of legendary Mattei’s Tavern, paired with their love of food and gathering with loved ones, anchored the intimate vibe of their entire wedding weekend.

Post engagement, Rachel and Greg quickly decided on Los Olivos in the Santa Ynez Valley as their wedding destination. “My parents live in Los Olivos and it’s a special place for my husband and me, so we knew we wanted to get married in that area. Mattei’s Tavern wasn’t open yet, but my dad and I would walk over and check on the construction progress. When The Tavern finally opened, we went and it was unforgettable. Having worked at Bon Appétit, the dinner was an important aspect of our wedding and being able to achieve a family-style meal with great food was really important to us.”

“The amazing food, energy and coziness at Mattei’s Tavern immediately sold us.”
– Rachel Karten

With the venue secured, the planning began. “It’s really hard when you’re planning a wedding to not fall down the Pinterest trend wormhole. The immediate inspiration was Chez Panisse, a Northern California restaurant, similar in classic design to Mattei’s Tavern.” The couple tasked a typographer and illustrator to create stationery inspired by Chez Panisse’s iconic menus and played into existing elements of Mattei’s Tavern – like the striped green cushioned chairs and vintage-looking plates to complete the look.

To kick off the festivities, Rachel and Greg hosted their rehearsal dinner at Bar Le Côte in historic Los Olivos, where guests noshed on jamón, seafood paella and oysters. “There’s so many amazing restaurants in Los Olivos, I feel like it’s the best food per capita in the U.S. and of course, it’s wine country. It’s a beautiful area with so much food, wine and fun to be had – we make any excuse we can to visit my parents.”

“I tried to root myself in classic design, interiors and places I love that have everlastingly cool branding.”
– Rachel Karten

On a sunny California day, Rachel walked down the aisle alongside her parents in the first dress she ever tried on: the ethereal puff-sleeved Rosalie gown from Danielle Frankel. In hand was an oncidium orchid bouquet selected from the Los Angeles Flower Market the day prior by friend Elizabeth Jaime of Miami-based Calma Floral. She met Greg, who wore a custom Drake’s suit, underneath the floral-adorned trellis with the historic water tower and modern farmhouse serving as a backdrop.

An outdoor ceremony and reception was a top ask of the bride to highlight the natural landscape and laidback luxury of the property, and after working closely with the Auberge team, they were able to achieve just that – whisking their guests to the lawn for a long, leisurely family-style dinner. “We didn’t want guests getting up and dancing in between bites of food. We worked with Chef Rhoda Magbitang of Mattei’s Tavern to create a seasonal menu – everything was delicious. People said it was the best salmon they’d ever had. We were totally confident in the food that was being prepared.”

“It was important that it felt like you were at the best dinner party of your life.”
– Rachel Karten

DJ music, dim red lights and a disco ball beckoned guests to the modern barn on property following dinner. Rachel then changed into a bow appliqué Sandy Liang mini dress to cut into their epic wedding cake: a four-and-a-half-foot-long sheet cake created by Santa Barbara-based baker Roxanne Rosensteel, featuring plum jam sourced from the local farmers market. The communal tone continued as the extra-long cake was cut and served to guests on the spot. After disco barn dancing, an intimate afterparty at the couple’s charming cottage had guests mingling by the fire pits, on deck chairs and inside. “It was a fun, cozy, ‘come back to ours’ house party kind of vibe. It felt very us.” The perfect finale to a love-filled evening.

Wedding Contributors:
Venue: The Inn at Mattei’s Tavern, Auberge Resorts Collection
Photography: Bliss Katherine
Planning: Nina Moore
Hair & Makeup: Marla & Co.
DJ: Dart Collective
Florals: Calma Floral
Menus: Epoch Designs
Cake: Roxanne Rosensteel