For Kara Smith and Nick Walker, a night at The Magic Castle turns into an enchanted union.
As a stylist and one-half of the sister duo behind the fashion label Elkin, Kara Smith naturally noticed her future husband, Nick Walker’s outfit first. “We met at The Magic Castle. A mutual friend was hosting a party there,” she says of their initial encounter in 2008. “Nick didn’t know that guys have to wear suits [to The Magic Castle] so he had to borrow one from his friend’s dad—it was three sizes too big for him and he finished his look with a fuchsia beret.”
The sartorial gamble paid off, and upon learning that Kara had never caught a fish, Nick, a photographer and director, orchestrated their first date at Troutdale, a small fishing pond near Malibu. Six years later, the couple returned to the spot, where Nick got down on bended knee with an Edwardian ring as Kara reeled in her catch.
History also repeated itself when the couple wed in Santa Ynez, where Kara and Nick first declared their love. “There is a beautiful piece of land, surrounded by trees, that we walked by for years called Fox Run Farm,” says Kara of the ceremony location near her family’s vineyard, Rossi/Latt Ranch, the site of the reception. The duo popped a letter in the mailbox to the owners, and within a week, they replied, telling the bride and groom it would be an honor to watch them wed in their field.
Kara’s dress was not as easy. With two days to go before the big day, the bride had selected her after-party ensemble (an off-shoulder, black taffeta Elkin look), but had yet to find the perfect wedding gown. Luckily, Houghton sourced her dream dress, a delicate tiered number to complement her Elkin-clad bridesmaids. Meanwhile, “groomslady” and stylist Samantha Traina oversaw Nick’s outfit, a Ralph Lauren tuxedo jacket and bow tie, paired with Saint Laurent trousers.
After exchanging vows on a crisp fall day, the dapper newlyweds and more than 200 guests boarded vintage school buses and made their way to the vineyard. Cocktails and a family-style dinner ensued (complete with a Marie Antoinette-inspired dessert table), followed by dancing under twinkling lights. Hanni El Khatib serenaded the couple before Nick took to the stage for a surprise performance of “Simply Beautiful” by Al Green, dedicated to Kara. “It was pure magic,” she says.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY Corey Whitted and Patrick Martin.
WRITTEN BY Lesley McKenzie.
PLANNER Tamara Kesser at TOAST Santa Barbara. MENU Savoir Faire Catering. CAKE Decadence Fine Cakes & Confections. ENTERTAINMENT DJ Miles from Fortune Entertainment. GOWN Houghton. STATIONERY Emily J. Snyder. GROOMING Shane Middleton. TRANSPORTATION Jump On The Schoolbus. HONEYMOON Jamaica.