C a r o l y n K i r s t e n


T y l e r M o n t g o m e r y

are getting married

Saturday, October 4th, 2014

Mission Ranch, Carmel, California

How They Met

Carolyn and Tyler met in Boulder, Colorado in June of 2009. Carolyn was working as a manager at Anthropologie after graduating from the University of Colorado. Tyler was working as a software engineer for a local startup.

After a long day of work, a friend invited Carolyn to a casual dinner at The Kitchen Upstairs. Both Tyler and Carolyn frequented The Upstairs, as its known, but had never met each other.

As the dinner began to wrap up, her friend Katelyn texted some of her friends asking them to meet up for an after dinner drink . Tyler so happened to be...

As the dinner began to wrap up, her friend Katelyn texted some of her friends asking them to meet up for an after dinner drink . Tyler so happened to be one of those friends and had just walked into The Upstairs. He made his way over to their table, and since the table next to the girls was empty, Tyler took it upon himself to join Katelyn and Carolyn for the remainder of their dinner.

Before Carolyn knew it, Tyler was eating off of her plate and she was sharing sips of his fancy Belgian beer. They chatted together like good friends who hadn't seen each other in years. Tyler may have fallen in love when Carolyn told him she was in the Nerd Club in high school (he was in Math Club and marching band). That night turned into the worlds best, most natural kind of first date. They went dancing, ate a late night gyro on Pearl street, and shared a PBR at the dive bar in town. Ever since that first night, Carolyn and Tyler have been enjoying great food, beer, and conversation together.

The couple loves enjoying great food, drinks, and music together and with friends to this day. They hope to share a bit of that first night's magic with their wedding guests in Carmel this October.

About Them Now

Carolyn and Tyler now share a beautiful home together in Carolyn's hometown of Lodi, California. The couple moved to Lodi from Boulder so Carolyn could persue her masters degree in speech-language pathology. Tyler works remotely for LivingSocial.com as a software engineer. They enjoy cooking, running, yoga, wine, gardening, and traveling throughout California.

One of their weekend trips led them to Carmel and the BigSur coast. Feeling the sense of magic similar to Boulder, they knew it would be a great place to surround themselves with family and friends to celebrate their marriage.

The Proposal

Tyler proposed Friday, June 7th, at their home in Lodi, California. As a happy circumstance...

Tyler proposed Friday, June 7th, at their home in Lodi, California. As a happy circumstance this was their four year anniversary of meeting.

Tyler disabled their garage door so when Carolyn arrived home form school she would find his note directing her to the backyard.

When she arrived home, Carolyn followed his path of candles to a waiting and very nervous and excited Tyler. Tyler prepared a speech, none of which he now remembers, recited it the best he could through a shaky voice, and got down on one knee and asked Carolyn to marry him and spend forever together. She said "YES!" and they both hugged and stuff. There was champagne and lots of calling of family and friends.

Tyler proposed Friday, June 7th, at their home in Lodi, California. As a happy circumstance this was their four year anniversary of meeting. Tyler had planned an at home proposal for weeks, but he had to get the ring first.

Tyler had to drive to San Francisco (about 2.5 hours each way) to pick up the ring they had picked out together, but had to do it during a weekday so Carolyn wouldn't know he had the ring. His first attempt to pickup the ring failed, the jeweler called while Tyler was halfway to SF to say the ring was delayed. Getting caught in Bay Area traffic, he almost didn't get back home in time for Carolyn not to know something was up.

The next day, the jeweler confirmed the ring was ready and Tyler took off to the city again. He left Carolyn a message saying he was really "busy" so if she called him, he might not answer. Tyler made it to SF, had the ring in hand at the jewelry store and she called. She had finished school early and wanted to stop by his office and get a coffee. Now, Tyler is always up to get a coffee, but he was 2 hours away. In a panic, he answered the phone and explained, in a short tone that he was "very busy" and had "deadlines" so he couldn't get a coffee. Carolyn reluctantly said okay and hung up. That night she relentlessly questioned him, "Do you have the ring? I bet you have it, I know it!" Tyler not wanting to let on, answered with "Can I make up for our coffee date and take you out for a fro-yo?"

Diverting her questioning with the promise of sugary dessert bought him some time to plan the proposal. He still had to ask her Dad for her hand in marriage, but he was leaving on a trip for two weeks and Tyler knew he couldn't keep the ring a secret that long. Tyler asked her Dad the next day and he wholeheartedly gave his approval of their marriage plans.

Tyler got proposal ready for that Friday. He decided to propose at their home, its a place that is special to them both that they have worked together to make beautiful. He made a pathway of candles and oil lamps from the side yard through the backyard that she would follow when she got home from school. He made the mistake of putting the candles out too early in the hot Lodi sun (105°) and they started to melt! He unplugged the garage door so she'd be forced to go through the side gate and follow his path. Minutes after completing the setup Carolyn called and said she was on her way home.

Tyler got everything ready, and assumed his position outside in the heat. She should have been home in 15 minutes but she stopped for groceries, continued onto the cheese shop and then picked up some good beer (what an awesome girlfriend!). Tyler was literally sweating out each minute waiting for her to arrive. She drove up, and saw his note on the non-functional garage directing her to the backyard.

Not wanting the milk and groceries and beer to get hot, she loaded everything up and came into the backyard, stunned, she dropped the groceries, and proceeded down the pathway to a waiting and very nervous and excited Tyler. Tyler prepared a speech, none of which he now remembers, recited it the best he could through a shaky voice, and got down on one knee and asked Carolyn to marry him and spend forever together. She said "YES!" and they both hugged and stuff. There was champagne and lots of calling of family and friends.

The Big Day

The ceremony and reception will be held at the Mission Ranch in Carmel, California.

Getting to Carmel

  • By Air

    Carmel is located on California's North Central Coast. The two major airports serving the area are SFO in San Francisco and SJC in San Jose. SFO is about 2 hours away by car and San Jose is about an hour to 90 minutes, depending on traffic. An other option is flying into Monterey (MRY), only 7 miles from Carmel.

    Carmel is pretty small and you can get around easily without a car. If you want to explore the Big Sur coast, we recommend renting a car, maybe you can team up with friends and meetup in San Francisco and drive together. Airport transfers are available from SFO and SJC to Carmel. Check with your hotel about parking accommodations.

  • By Land

    From the Bay Area: Get to San Jose and pickup the 101 heading south for 50 miles. Follow signs for Monterey and Highway 1. Once on Highway 1 continue until you see signs for Carmel, about 17 miles.

    From Lodi: head south on I-5 and hang a right at Anderson's Pea Soup. Head up an over the Coast Range on Hwy 152/156 for about 45 miles. Jump on the 101 and follow signs for Monterey. Then head south on Hwy 1 for about 17 miles then hang a right on Ocean Ave. You'll come down the hill and into Carmel.

    The scenic coastal route: Make your way to Half Moon Bay and Highway 1. Follow Hwy 1 along the coast, make a stop in Davenport along the way. Cruise then next 60 miles through Santa Cruz and Monterey, then look for signs for Carmel and hang a left on Ocean Ave.

Travel Guide

Where To Stay

  • Lobos Lodge

    This hotel features spacious rooms with fireplaces and it's just 3 blocks away from the beautiful, rugged ocean. From $130-275. Located at Ocean Avenue and Mote Verde.

  • The Homestead

    This charming Carmel Inn is the sister property to Mission Ranch and it's located right downtown.
    E-mail us@carolynandtyler.com to reserve a room (we blocked off the entire property for our wedding). From $110-230. Located on the corner of Lincoln and 8th.

    sold out!
  • The Cypress Inn

    This hotel is super dog friendly. Expect to see ladies having afternoon tea at the restaurant with their furry friends by their side. You'll love the historic charm of this hotel owned by Doris Day. From $245-495. Located at Lincoln and 7th.

    our fav!
  • AirBnB

    Check out this website for unique vacation rentals at every price point.

  • Other options

    There are a multitude of charming inns and B&B's in Carmel. The link below will should list most of the lodging options available.

  • LivingSocial

    Also check LivingSocial Escapes as there are usually deals for Carmel or Monterey available. Most offers have an expiration date, check to see if it covers the weekend of the wedding before purchasing.

Eat & Drink

(reservations recommended for dinner in Carmel)

  • La Balena

    La Balena (the whale) serves some of the best Italian food we've ever eaten in the US, or maybe even Italy. Small and hidden like most things in Carmel, they are located on Junipero just north of 6th Street. Reservations highly recommended.

    our fav!
  • Coffee

    Grab a latte and pastry while you're hanging out downtown at the Carmel Valley Coffee Roasting Company. Located on Ocean Avenue between Lincoln and Monte Verde.

  • La Bicyclette

    This cute, casual European bistro is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The wood oven pizzas are delish! Located at Dolores Street and 7th.

  • Casanova

    Probably one of the most popular restaurants in Carmel located in a cute old house. Enjoy some delicious mediterranean food in this rustic, romantic setting. Located at 5th Avenue between Mission and San Carlos. Open for lunch and dinner.

  • Dametra

    This hole in the wall Greek restaurant is always packed and for a good reason! The food is tasty, but the atmosphere is the best part. The severs have been known to sing and dance with guests if you stay and linger after dinner. Located on the corner of Ocean and Lincoln. Open for lunch and dinner. Reservations are a must!

  • Mundaka

    Spanish style tapas are served at this fun restaurant that's a little off the beaten path. Try drinking your wine from a Porron for a very unique experience. Located on San Carlos Street between Ocean and 7th. Dinner only.

    friday night!
  • Flying Fish Grill

    Delicious seafood cooked with unique Japanese flavors. Although the restaurant doesn't look like much from the exterior, you will not be disappointed by the food! Located in the Carmel Plaza on Mission Street between Ocean and 7th. Dinner only.

  • Mission Ranch

    Just can't get enough of our beautiful wedding venue? Classic American food is served in the rustic cozy restaurant owned by Clint Eastwood. Enjoy cocktails by the piano bar or watch the sheep graze in the pasture overlooking the ocean while you eat on the patio. Located at 26270 Dolores Street. Open daily at 4PM.

  • Bruno's Market and Deli

    This small downtown grocery store is perfect if you need some snacks for your room or the fixings for a casual picnic on the beach. Located at 6th and Junipero Avenue.

  • The Cheese Shop

    Pick up some cheese, crackers and wine for a perfect picnic on the beach. Located in the Carmel Plaza at Ocean and Junipero. Open 9AM-5PM.


  • Yoga Center of Carmel

    Breathe in the fresh sea breeze while doing a yoga class in this cozy cottage. Daily classes are offered for a $15 drop in rate (cash only). Follow the link below for the class schedule. Located on the north east corner of 10th and San Carlos.

  • Refuge

    A unique silent experience in Carmel Valley. Warm up in the sauna, steam bath, and heated pools, then plunge into cool water (55° and colder!) before relaxing poolside. Rinse and repeat. $39/person, $99/person including massage.

  • Kush Day Spa

    This day spa specializing in massage and skin care services is hidden down one of Carmel's many quaint narrow alleyways next to the Cypress Inn. Massages start at $100.


  • Beach

    Carmel Beach City Park is located at the bottom of Ocean Avenue and features the only Frank Lloyd Wright residence in California at the south end of the beach. The Pacific stays a chilly 58°F year round. Surfing and swimming are allowed, but you may want to invest in a wet suit to keep warm.

  • Hiking

    There are a multitude of amazing hiking trails surrounding Carmel. We recommend heading over to Point Lobos State Park and hike the perimeter trail around the rocky point. Hopefully you can spy sea otters hanging out in the rough surf. Several more trails are scattered down the Big Sur coast further on down Highway 1.

  • Wine Tasting

    Stroll to the 13 tasting rooms located within the quaint downtown. You can purchase a Wine Walk Passport for $65 dollars that buys a $10 flight of wine at 9 of the tasting rooms downtown. Purchase a passport at the Chamber of Commerce located on San Carlos between 5th and 6th.

  • Golf

    Enjoy a round of golf at some of America's greatest public golf courses. Check out for more info. Tee-times can be hard to come by, check the website below for booking information.

  • Monterey Bay Aquarium

    Visit the country's premier aquarium on Cannery Row in Monterey only a 10 minute drive from Carmel.

  • Scenic Drive

    Scope some rediciulous mansions and native Monterey Cypress trees on 17 Mile Drive between Pebble Beach and Pacific Grove, $9/car (or tell them you're a guest of some plausible address to avoid the toll).

    Head south on Hwy 1 to wind along the coast through Big Sur. Checkout Bixby Bridge and the waterfall at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park.


It's easy to spend hours strolling around this town that looks like it is straight out of a fairy tale. As you meander through the hidden courtyards and look at the whimsical European architecture, you're sure to find a cute boutique or unique art gallery along the way. Here are some of our (editor: her) favorite stops.

  • Lloyd's Shoes

    One of Carolyn's favorite spots in Carmel. Here you'll find beautiful shoes from all over the world. You're sure to find a unique pair you're going to love. Located at Ocean and Dolores.

  • Elizabeth W

    Beautiful smelling bath products from San Francisco. Try the vetiver bath fizz for a luxurious bath experience! Located at Ocean Avenue between Lincoln and Monte Verde.

  • Diggity Dog

    Carmel is known for being super dog friendly which explains why it has one of the best pet boutiques we've ever been to! Pick up a unique gift for your furry friend. Located on the southwest corner of Mission and Ocean Avenue.

  • Paloosh

    Although a bit pricey, this boutique has an awesome selection of eclectic designer clothes that have that easy, breezy, effortless California style. Located at Ocean and Dolores Street.

  • Anthropologie

    Even though this one is not unique to Carmel, it's one of the prettiest Anthropologie stores Carolyn's ever been to. Located in the Carmel Plaza at Ocean Avenue and Mission Street.

  • Civilianaire

    California made clothes for him and her. Tyler loves their lightweight Hennley. They stock a nice selection of denim, hoodies, shirts, and casual wear. On Ocean Ave and Monte Verde.

The Registry

Heath Ceramics have been a part of the Kirsten family for three generations, nearly since Heath was founded. Continuing the tradition, Carolyn and Tyler have built their registry of this beautiful, but simple stoneware made by hand in Sausalito, California.

view Heath registry

The couple has decorated their mid-century modern home with several period and modern pieces. But, their bedroom furniture needs an upgrade in style and size. Gift cards are welcome.

view Crate & Barrel registry

Tyler and Carolyn love to cook. They have a lot of kitchen stuff, but a few pieces need updating. They also love coffee, you'll find some shiny new coffee gadgets on the registry at William-Sonoma.

view Williams-Sonoma registry