This Stylist Wore 5 Different Looks to Her Effortlessly Elegant Wedding in Montecito – Vogue

Fashion stylist Brit Smith first heard of film and TV producer William Hines, Jr. when friends attempted to introduce them. “They tried to set us up, swearing that we would be perfect together,” Brit says. “But the timing was never quite right.” They would be at the same parties, but he would arrive early and leave early, and she would arrive late and leave late. “We always just missed each other!” she says. “We followed each other on Instagram and texted a couple of times over the years, but never actually met up.”

Finally, two of their friends conference-called Billy and said they were going to throw a “Brit & Billy” party, just so they could finally meet. “I did not want a party to be thrown for our first meeting so I texted him and said, ‘Let’s go out on our own terms,’” Brit says. They went out the next night. “He picked me up like the gentleman he is and the moment I saw him, I knew he was the one,” she adds. “It was love at first sight. It sounds so corny, but I’ll never forget that feeling, knowing I was going to spend my life with him.”

At the end of their two-hour dinner, they both felt like they’d known each other forever. “He wrote on crayon on the brown table paper: ‘I love Brit’—I still have the video of him writing it,” Brit remembers. “From that night on, we were inseparable.” Five days later, they showed up at the “Brit & Billy” party very much a couple.

A year and a half later, Billy proposed in Paris at the George V hotel. “I was exhausted and and not expecting a proposal [on the trip],” Brit admits. “I thought it was too obvious for him to propose in my favorite, most romantic city.” When they got to the hotel, their room wasn’t ready, so they had some food and waited. “When the woman told us she was ready to show us the room, she quickly gave us the key and left Billy to open the door,” Brit says. “As I walked in, I saw white roses covering the room. As I kept walking further into the room, I kept seeing more white roses everywhere.” Billy had enlisted Jeff Latheam to do the flowers, and he went all out. “When I turned around, Billy was down on one knee,” Brit says. “He said the most loving words, asked me to marry him, and then opened a bottle of champagne from my birth year that he had sourced. We ended the engagement in Lake Como, which rounded out the best engagement trip ever. Everything that he planned—all the details—were so personal and thoughtful.”

Five months into their engagement, Brit found out she was pregnant. This changed the wedding plans significantly. They decided to wait and enjoy the engagement, the birth of their child, and then get married with all of their family, friends, and son celebrating with them. Their son Henry was born on Brit’s birthday, and after a few months, they started planning. “Rushing anything would have stressed us out,” Brit says. “We wanted to do everything calmly and for the right reasons.”

Brit always wanted an elegant, romantic, old European feeling wedding with lots of florals and vintage botanical prints—but she also wanted it to feel effortless and California cool. “I wanted it to be a fun soiree,” she says. “A big party with all of our friends and family celebrating and dancing under the stars.”

She and Billy enlisted the help of event planners Alexandra Kolendrianos and Mindy Rice. “I’m from California; Billy is from New Orleans; and we got engaged in Paris, so those three places were an integral to the planning,” Brit explains. They chose the Old Mission Santa Barbara as their church because of its history and beauty. “I’m eternally inspired by vintage and the Old Mission was built in 1786, a historic landmark,” Brit says. “I love the salmon color columns and how divine it feels inside.”

Being a stylist, Brit has a very personal relationship with clothes and accessories. “The process started with the getting ready look: Daily Sleeper made me and my honorary bridesmaids all custom monogram pjs, which my sister and styling partner Kara surprised us with,” Brit explains. “I’m in love with all of their stuff. My mom, Henry, and all my girls sat around getting ready—it was the most fun!”

On the day of the wedding, Billy sent over a surprise gift with a note as Brit was getting dressed. It was a sapphire and diamond ring. She wore it with her wedding gown. “It was my something blue!”

Brit worked closely with Dana Harel to create the dress. “I sent them old church photos and vintage wedding dresses and reiterated that I wanted it classic, elegant, to evoke a vintage feel but still have a romantic modernity about it. I think the words I used were ‘old world Roman Catholic mixed with an effortless beauty and strength.’ Somehow they understood that perfectly! They sketched it up and did one round [of fittings] and that was it.”

During the getting ready process, Brit fell a little bit behind. “I was running 20 minutes late,” she admits. “Billy actually texted me asking if I was coming! When I got there, I ran to my dad, and we waited behind the doors of the church while parents, grandparents, siblings, and friends walked down the aisle.” The bride processed to “Pachabel Canon in D,” meeting Billy and Henry at the altar. “My dad kissed me and gave me away, and Billy took my hands and then I held Henry for a couple of minutes.” After she and Billy said “I do,” they exited the church to Cat Steven’s “Morning Has Broken” and outside waiting on the steps of the chapel was a gospel choir. They sang “Oh Happy Day,” “Stand By Me,” and “Higher and Higher” while the newlyweds greeted everyone and hopped into a vintage white Jeep Defender to go to the reception at Billy’s parent’s house.

For cocktail hour, Brit changed into a dramatic feathered Giambattista Valli couture dress. “I loved the extreme contrast of going from my church dress to my cocktail hour dress,” Britt explains. “From my conservative high neck, long sleeve simple silhouette look to this very voluminous modern playful look.” Throughout the evening, the food was a mix of California, New Orleans, and French cuisine, and there was a Petrossian caviar station. “Petrossian is so special to us,” Brit says. “It’s one of our favorite restaurants, and we would always go there when I was pregnant. It was my last meal before I went into labor, so we wanted them to be a part of our day.”

For the first dance, Brit changed into a whimsical lavender Marchesa dress that she chose for the color, but also because she knew it would be easy to move in. Then for dinner, she switched into another Giambattista Valli couture dress—this one pale pink chiffon. “It was so romantic and the level of sheer was perfect!” Brit says. “In the Montecito setting, as day turned into night, the pink dress seemed the most fitting.”

From the botanical print linens to the dusty rose florals and tall candlesticks that lined the dinner tables, the decor was all exactly as Brit had envisioned it. There were three musical acts throughout the reception: a band playing 1920s New Orleans jazz during cocktails, another called The Walk Ons that played the duwop classics, and DJ Nikki Pennie, who played all the modern hits.

Late night, the bride made her final outfit change of the evening—this time switching into a black Monique Lhuillier dress with pearls. “Once I put this dress on, I was barefoot the rest of the night,” Britt notes. When the DJ came on, “no one wanted to get off the dance floor! Street tacos and beignets were brought out,” Brit says. “By the end of the night, the dance floor was still full and people didn’t want to leave—sadly there are noise ordinances!”