An Elegant Black-and-White Garden Wedding at Calamigos Ranch in Malibu, California

Monika Munoz (33 and a training program manager) and Virpi Manninen (40 and a senior website manager) met through friends while living in San Francisc

Monika Munoz (33 and a training program manager) and Virpi Manninen (40 and a senior website manager) met through friends while living in San Francisco, California, but were just close friends when a few strangers pointed out their chemistry. “I guess we needed a little push,” Monika says. After moving to Los Angeles and getting engaged, the couple chose Calamigos Ranch in Malibu, California, for their bucolic yet distinctly modern wedding. “We both like clean and minimalistic styles, so we decided to go with a classic black-and-white theme,” Monika says. “As a bonus, Calamigos Ranch was such a beautiful venue that we knew we wouldn’t have to spend a fortune decorating it.” After the outdoor ceremony in front of a stunning limestone waterfall in the garden patio, the 100 guests made their way to the Birchwood Room for a cozy reception that boasted indoor and outdoor space. “One of our mottos was ‘keep it simple,’” Monika says. She and Virpi designed their own save-the-dates, invitations and website, which their guests used to RSVP and get updates about the event. Monika offers some advice for other couples: "Hire a day-of coordinator. Hire a day-of coordinator. Hire a day-of coordinator. Did we emphasize that enough?” —Carolyn Meers

Virpi and Monika's clean-lined rings reflected their modern aesthetic.
"Our venue already had such natural beauty, so we just wanted to have our flowers complement rather than be the focal point," Monika says.
Each bride chose a dress that reflected her personality and style. Virpi wore a simple, elegant high-neck halter from the White by Vera Wang collection. Monika donned a romantic Maggie Sottero dress which she paired with a pearl necklace from her best friend's grandmother. For shoes, the brides went with comfort, choosing Converse and Toms.
Calamigos Ranch in the Santa Monica Mountains offered natural waterfalls, 100-year-old weeping willows and scenic grass meadows. "As a bonus, it was such a beautiful venue that we knew we wouldn’t have to spend a fortune decorating it," Monika says. "After seeing Calamigos Ranch, we canceled all our appointments with other potential venues."
A white aisle runner and flower petals were all that decorated the naturally stunning ceremony—where a limestone waterfall served as a backdrop. "Our venue already had such natural beauty, so we just wanted to have our flowers complement rather than be the focal point," Monika says.
Emma, the flower girl, wore a fluffy white gown with a black satin waist band to match the day's simple black-and-white theme.
Monika and Virpi said their vows before a gorgeous limestone waterfall and a forest of oak trees on the ranch's garden patio. "After exchanging our vows, which we wrote ourselves, we sealed the deal with our secret handshake and, of course, a kiss," Monika says.
Near the reception's bar, printed white calligraphy on elegant black signs explained "No great story ever started with someone eating a salad."
"After exchanging our vows, which we wrote ourselves, we sealed the deal with our secret handshake—and of course a kiss," Monika says.
Strings of lights were draped from the oak trees that surrounded the Birchwood Room's outdoor deck, where guests enjoyed dinner after the ceremony.
Crumb Fairy Bakery in Los Angeles, California, owned by Monika and Virpi's friend, created their refined, three-tier dessert. "For the cake-cutting ceremony, we used the heirloom cake-cutting set used by Monika's parents when they were married 43 years ago," Virpi says.