Sunday, April 5, 2020     Volume: 21, Issue: 5

Santa Maria Sun / Cover Story

The following article was posted on February 25th, 2020, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 20, Issue 51 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 20, Issue 51




The Kaleidoscope Inn offers a unique setting for a wedding with a Victorian house surrounded by gardens


Tucked in behind a tree-lined lawn in Old Town Nipomo sits a 130-year-old blue and white Victorian house with stained glass windows, a house that looks unlike any other on Dana Street. 

Get hitched
To find out more about weddings at the Kaleidoscope Inn and Gardens in Nipomo, visit or call (805) 929-5444. The inn is located at 130 E. Dana St.

The Kaleidoscope Inn is a bed-and-breakfast in a 130-year-old Victorian house on Dana Street in Nipomo.

The aptly named Kaleidoscope Inn and Gardens has served as a bed and breakfast for more than 40 years, but in its early days, it housed members of the Dana family and subsequently an antique store. The inn’s current owner, Kevin Beauchamp, said he purchased the property in 2001 from a family with children who lived in the home while operating the bed and breakfast.

“They ran the house like a house, so when I bought it, I was like, ‘Well that’s going to go,’” he said. “I turned it into an experience. I’ve spent a lot of time in Europe, so I knew what a European B&B experience was where they run it like a business.”  

After purchasing the inn, Kevin put in a lot of work expanding its gardens and converting an all-stone small bedroom in the backyard that was being used for storage into a place where guests could sleep. He also converted the inn’s garage into a large suite with its own bathroom to create the inn’s sixth bedroom. 

In addition to these infrastructure changes, Kevin really leaned into operating the inn as a special event and wedding venue. He said the previous owner held about six or seven weddings the year before they sold the property. In his first year, he booked 18.

About five years ago, Kevin’s daughter, Beki Beauchamp, moved onto the property to run the inn. Now Kevin takes care of the more logistical, background work, while Beki checks in guests and books weddings and other events. 

Beki said they continue to have a steady demand of people wanting to rent the space for weddings, partly because of the mix the venue offers of an outdoor garden and an old home.

The Kaleidoscope Inn features a spacious lawn surrounded by trees.

“A lot of the places around here, there are some gardens, but they’re barns or they’re vineyards, so [the garden] is something that a lot of people are drawn to,” Beki said. “A lot of couples like the vintage thing as well, so they’re drawn to the Victorian house and the vibe attached with that.”

She books up to 30 weddings a year, but no more than that. To make each couple feel at home and welcome, they only host one wedding each weekend.

“We refuse to do two weddings in one weekend, and that’s for the sake of the couples,” Beki said. “We want it to be, ‘It’s our wedding day, it’s our weekend, it’s all about us.’”

Beki said October is generally their busiest month, with every weekend booked over the last few years. But she’s also booked weddings in December and January. So far this year, the inn has 22 weddings booked from March through November, averaging around 125 guests per event. 

The venue can accommodate weddings with up to 250 guests, but Beki said they only book two weddings a year with that many people to prevent the lawn and gardens from becoming damaged.

“We want [the gardens] to be beautiful and nice for all of our couples,” Beki said.

Along with hosting the weddings, Beki helps plan and coordinate the events. She sets up meetings with couples who come visit the property for a tour and shows them photos of what it looks like on a wedding day. If they’re interested, the couples sign a contract and put down a deposit for one of two wedding packages. 

Beki said their standard package starts at $2,000 with an additional $8 per person. So for a 100-person wedding, the total would be $2,800. They also offer a premium package that starts at $7,800. Through this option, couples pay Beki and Kevin to take care of all the food—including the cake—as well as flower arrangements, and a DJ, which they do through local vendors. 

The inn can accommodate weddings with up to 250 people.

Couples who book weddings at the inn include Central Coast locals, people who’ve stayed at the B&B in the past and loved the charming house, or folks living in Los Angeles or San Francisco who are looking for a less expensive venue than those in bigger cities, Beki said.

Whether it’s a wedding for locals, or people from out of town, all six rooms at the inn are usually booked for each wedding, Beki said. This gives people a single location where they can have their rehearsal dinner, ceremony, and reception.

“Most people rent out the place because then it opens up their end time, and they can do a cozy after party with friends and family,” Beki said. 

Having a single location for all wedding-related events, also provides for more flexibility, which is something both Kevin and Beki try to emphasize. Kevin said they try to accommodate whatever couples have in mind, such as having one of their family members bring over a barbecue pit to cook dinner with, so the couple can save money on catering.

This flexibility also comes through with their approach to themed weddings, which Beki said she is totally on board with. They’ve hosted Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and 1920s themed weddings.

“It’s a family thing and we’re a family venue, so we really try to give that [flexibility] to people and be warm about it,” Kevin said. 

Staff Writer Zac Ezzone is all about a Lord of the Rings themed after-party. Get a hold of him at



Achievable ideas to make your wedding more eco-friendly


While we all want the memories of our big day to last forever, the fact of the matter is that behind the beauty of a wedding hides a dirty secret swept away after the last partygoers have left the dance floor. Throwing any event filled with food, drink, gifts, and merriment generally spells out the same result—a whole lot of trash, stripped of its one-time usage, and headed off to the dump just like all the other trash from all the other weddings, birthdays, and celebrations under the sun. 

Yet the movement toward sustainability chugs on, and it has never been as easy or affordable as it is today to throw a low-impact party without coming off as some hippie-dippy or totally throwing your bottom line for a loop. You could certainly go all gung-ho at getting to a zero-waste wedding, but for many that sort of all-or-nothing approach isn’t realistic. When it’s your turn to throw the soiree, a few subtle changes along with conscientious consumerism can change the event from big waste to small impact.

Reusable straws come in all sizes, colors, and are even customizable. Better yet, they don’t get stuck in turtle nostrils.

In a world where basically everyone’s calendar and communication is by their side 24/7, the idea of paper mail is arguably antiquated. Websites now offer custom electronic invitations, from sleek to boho chic and everything in between. When you factor in the cost of getting invites and return cards printed, envelopes and postage (heaven help you if you choose an off-sized envelope), we are talking some pretty pricey paper and a not so insignificant carbon footprint en route to your guests’ mailboxes. Add on invites for the bachelorette party, bridal shower, and rehearsal dinner, we’re looking at a chunk of change that could go to making your dream honeymoon a reality! 

If you don’t want to give up the tactile experience when guests feel the to-die-for embossing you chose, there is an alternative. Still order the invites, but change one element of it: A simple act such as asking people to RSVP online saves on your carbon footprint bottomline, and frankly, is a much more foolproof way to get your guest list together and digitized. If you’re worried that your less tech-savvy guests just won’t “get” the online process, why not print a small number of paper invitations for them and let the rest of your guests ride the wave of the future? A little compromise can go a long way at impacting your wedding’s carbon cost.

We’ve all seen the videos—a precious sea turtle groaning and grunting as a plastic straw is pulled from its adorable little nostril. Heck, some Central Coast cities, including San Luis Obispo, require eateries and gin joints to only provide straws if their parched patrons beg for them. We aren’t the only community restricting their use, and as such, plenty of alternatives have popped up. You can find paper straws like from the good ol’ days, biodegradable cellulose, hay, or bamboo straws, glass straws, metal straws, and countless alternatives. Whatever your budget, need, and aesthetic, there’s a straw for you! 

While the biodegradable versions do make a great alternative, they still add waste to the landfill, and unless you’ve got someone to separate your trash into compostables and non, they generally end up in the same place as all the rest of the trash—tied up in plastic bags at Cold Canyon Landfill. Might I suggest taking your waste-saving efforts to the next level while also pulling off a solid wedding favor that guests will use for years to come? Metal and glass straws come in every color you could dream of, and plenty of vendors offer custom engraving so your guests will be reminded of your perfect day every time they take a sip. 

Succulents are low-cost, low-maintenance plants that double as decor and a wonderful favor to send guests home with. These are a few I have brought home from weddings.

As far as what to stick those straws into, opt out of single-use plastic water bottles to keep your guests hydrated and happy; instead, set up a hydration station for them to refill as needed. If beer and wine are in your plan, go for kegs or magnums over bottles and serve in rented or thrifted glasses. There’s never a shortage of post-wedding tableware and decor for sale locally, so stop by your favorite thrift store or scan your Facebook marketplace and Craigslist for some killer deals. 

The striving for total perfection in this sort of endeavor can quickly become overwhelming. There’s no reasonable way to prevent trash from being a byproduct of any big event, but conscientiousness is key. Renting cloth napkins and tableware cuts out a ton of trash from the start. Look for ways to cut out plastic—pass around baskets of biodegradable confetti for guests to grab a handful of instead of individual baggies, forget the forgettable favors and send guests home with a potted plant or plantable wildflower seeds, locally sourced treats, or anything that will last long into the future. 

Buy from local vendors and makers wherever you can. Remember, when you buy from them, you are paying for dance lessons and schoolbooks, not throwing your money at a faceless corporation. Sure, you’ll probably need to order some things online for necessity or simply for ease. Counteract those purchases by supporting local business where it makes sense. 

Having a tough time finding what you want? Ask your trusted florist or the photo-booth guru you hired for some sage advice—the ones in the industry know more about local resources than anyone! 

Remember that small steps are still forward movement, and any choice you make to give Mother Earth a break on your day will be appreciated by all. 

Freelancer Anna Starkey still treasures the succulents she received at several weddings. Contact her through Editor Camillia Lanham at



How to tackle the dreaded “About us” section of your wedding website


You know what almost everyone hates doing? Yes, wearing wet socks. Yes, getting inoculations. Yes, waiting as your car’s oil is changed. Yes, yes, yes! But I’m talking about something really horrible! I’m talking about trying to write nice, funny, poignant things about you and your significant other. It’s, like, impossible! If you’re getting married, however, the couples’ bio is an inevitable part of the wedding website process.

It’s your wedding. It’s your wedding website. It’s your story. Have fun with all of it—the pictures, the bio, the details, everything is a reflection of you as a couple.

Whether you’re using The Knot, Wix, WeddingWire, or one of the many other wedding website builders, you’ll inevitably be prompted to write the dreaded “About us” section, in which you’re supposed to write about what an amazing couple you are without sounding like wooden automatons, humorless strivers, or narcissistic boobs.

Are you supposed to write separate biographies? “Jack was born in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, where he spent an idyllic childhood swimming in the neighboring lakes and avoiding water moccasins. He eventually attended Gogebic Community College, earning an AA degree in computer and information sciences. He’s now a proud member of Best Buy’s Geek Squad! Jill was born in nearby Lac Du Flambeau, Wisconsin, and raised on cheese curds, German brats, and the Green Bay Packers before attending Nailology Salon and Academy, where she earned her nail technicians certification. She has a thriving nail business specializing in custom designs. They met on Tinder, where they bonded over their shared love of hot wings and karaoke.”

Are you supposed to write about how you met or the proposal? “Jack and Jill actually met up a hill. Seriously! They were hiking Cerro San Luis, he on the way down and she on the way up, when his Corgi, Otis, broke free of his leash, ran full speed into Jill, knocking her into a sage bush. They knew immediately they were destined to climb ever higher mountains, and last summer as they ascended Mount Kilimanjaro on their vacation in Tanzania, Jack got down on his knee and asked Jill’s hand in marriage. She said yes, but while he was kneeling, he got ringworm, which is contagious and later spread to Jill, but they weren’t going to let a skin disease stop their love! Treatment is ongoing so avoid kissing the bride after the ceremony.”

In the “About us” page of your wedding website, keep it about the “us” part of you. Focus on the romance. And keep your blurb simple—no one needs your whole life story.

Are you supposed to write about your plans for the future? “After their pending nuptials and subsequent honeymoon in Barbados, Jack and Jill will make Somewhere In California home for the next two years as Jill, an ichthyologist, engages in a fully funded study at the Desert Studies Center of the Mohave tui chub, a small endangered fish found only in the Mojave River. Meanwhile, Jack, a high school dropout and amateur sociologist, will be commuting to nearby Las Vegas, where he’ll work as a croupier in the El Cortez Hotel and Casino. The ElCo is widely considered the worst casino in Vegas, but it’s great for people watching. Jack also plans to acquire Cambodian by listening to’s free language lessons during his 200-mile round trip commute. He hopes to act as Jill’s interpreter when they travel to the Mekong River in 2022 for Jill’s study of the giant freshwater stingray, which can weight up to 1,300 pounds and grow to 6 feet across. ‘Chomnuoy’ is Cambodian for ‘help!’”

Yes, it’s pretty much impossible to not sound idiotic, but there are a few suggestions that might make the horror and pain of writing a couples’ bio slightly less horrible and painful.

First of all, keep it short and simple. You don’t have to tell your life story. This is also about you as a couple, not your separate lives leading up to your coupling. 

Some people write about how they met, their first date, the proposal. Others write about where they’re currently living and what they’re doing for work, and what they plan to do immediately after the wedding.

It’s harder than it looks—in your wedding website’s ‘About us’ section, you’re supposed to write about and show what an amazing couple you are without sounding wooden, silly, or narcissistic.

Definitely break your writing into paragraphs. Big blocks of uninterrupted text can be intimidating.

If you each want to write something separate, perhaps about each other, it’s a good idea to set some guidelines regarding length and tone. If writing together, start by brainstorming some ideas. Have you had some adventures together? Any funny or poignant memories? Shared milestones? Shared personality traits?

What do you love about each other? What do you hope for your future together? What insights can you offer about your relationship?

Imagine what you write as an informal note to a friend—keep it light, hopefully funny, and most of all let your personalities shine through. 

You can write it in the first person: “We met over our shared love of dogs. I was walking Otis, and he wore a shirt that said, ‘Introvert but willing to discuss dogs.’ It just felt right.” 

If it’s more comfortable, write in the third person: “Jack and Jill met over a dead pig. It’s not what you think. They were lab partners in eighth grade science class.”

The bottom line is there’s no right or wrong way to write your “About us” section. Well, actually, there are a lot of wrong ways. Please see the examples above. Just forget it. It’s impossible to do well. You’re both doomed. But hey, you’re getting married! Congratulations! Have an amazing life, and don’t worry. In five years, no one will remember your awful wedding website bio. L’Chaim! 

Contact New Times Senior Staff Writer Glen Starkey, a happily married dude whose wife wrote their wedding bio, at



This beauty lounge is the perfect spot to feel pampered and confident


The venue is set, the RSVPs are counted, the photographer’s booked, the catering menu has been finalized, and the final fitting of the dress is done.

All that’s left are the final touches of prepping for the ceremonious day of two individuals promising to be forever partners. 

Pinkies Up is not just a beauty salon, it’s a creative and relaxing space for clients and the Pinkies team.

Yessie Nojas and her team promise each of their clients the best service they can provide and to leave their clients feeling confident.

For the bride, that could mean getting her nails, brows, and facial skin cared for to be camera ready and to feel good on her special day. The girl gang that Yessie Nojas has assembled at Pinkies Up in San Luis Obispo can provide all of those services and more to a bride and her bridal party. 

Nojas has been in the nail industry since 2012 when she lived in Japan for a short period of time. During her six-month stay, she was blown away by the fashion industry and its influence on nail designs. From glitter to 3D nail art, Nojas said she was hooked and instantly enrolled in beauty college to become a nail technician—she’s been making nail design dreams come true ever since. 

In 2018, she opened her own salon, Pinkies Up, that offers gel or acrylic services topped with decals, nail art, acrylic ombré, leaf foil, and other options if the client desires. Through her squad of nail technicians, a brow expert and makeup artist, and an esthetician, Nojas has the space to create a relaxing and joyous space for any lady to be pampered.

“We can really do any style. For instance, we’ll get a traditional bride that wants a classic French tip,” she said. “And now we have brides that are stepping out of the box now and getting crystals and pretty nail art.”

On Nojas’ team is Dacie Edholm, who joined the crew last year and is a nail artist who specializes in gel nails. Last summer was her first experience working with a bridal client, and while Edholm said it was nerve-wracking at first, she really loved it. 

“[Doing their nails] is just another way to make somebody’s special day a little bit easier and a little less stressful,” she said. 

Edholm recommends scheduling a nail service the week before the wedding because saving it for the last minute could ruin the experience. Brides sometimes come into the salon with the weight of the planning and scheduling of their big day. Edholm reminds her clients that this is their time to just relax, and she allows her clients the space to do so by scheduling a longer appointment time.

“All that other stuff can wait because this is important, too. It’s important to take time for yourself,” she said. 

The ladies of Pinkies Up include (from left to right) Zarith Anguiano, Kelsy Thorndyke, Dacie Edholm, Shakina Valencia, Yessie Nojas, Karine Alfonso, and Genesis Diaz.

In the event that a bridal client is working on a DIY project or setting up decorations for the wedding, Edholm provides the client with her private contact information in case there is any nail damage.

“One of my brides who got acrylics dropped a box on her nail and broke it. So I came into the salon really late at night, and I was able to fix it,” she said. 

It’s all about the little details that really make a bride-to-be feel like everything is falling into place.

“I feel like just the act of being of service to other women and helping them feel more confident, because I know when my nails are done I feel like I’ve crossed all my T’s and dotted all my I’s,” Edholm said. “It’s the icing on the cake.”

Zarith Anguiano couldn’t agree more; she said when she’s done working on clients’ nails, it’s a great feeling when they can’t stop marveling at their finger tips. Anguiano is an acrylics guru and sometimes, she said, a therapist. 

“This bride was really tense and she had a lot of stuff on her mind because the wedding wasn’t going according to what she wanted,” Anguiano said. “I told her, ‘OK, girl, you need to relax. You’re doing your nails, feet, and we’re going to relax. This is your day and this is your time.’”

By the end of that particular bride’s session, she said, the client was laughing and feeling good. 

It’s relaxing and enjoyable for Anguiano too. There’s something special about the process of constructing the nail, shaping it, coloring it, and adding on the particular details that are unique to her client’s needs.

“I had a bride actually send me a picture of [her nails], and it’s really cute because I feel that I’m part of her special day,” she said.

As important as the nails are to a client, esthetician Kelsy Thorndyke believes a bride’s facial skin is equally important. Thorndyke offers a variety of facials: custom, special treatment, and nano.

Whatever a bride desires for her nail set can be made possible by the creative nail technicians of Pinkies Up.

Her most recent specialty is the nano facial in which she uses a nano pen, a device with needle-like structures that only reach the surface of the skin. The skin is able to absorb more of a serum—used to brighten or hydrate—that’s applied to it.

“[The nano pen] opens up the channels of the skin and it penetrates 50 percent more than the serums would typically,” she said.

With any facial, Thorndyke has clients fill out a form so she can get to know their skincare routine and their skin type. If there is a certain issue the client wants to target, she takes the time to use products that reduce inflammation or pores. 

If a client uses her services once, a few times, or routinely, Thoryndyke is just happy to be a part of the process that helps women feel good in their skin. 

“I feel like more and more women are looking for that confidence booster,” she said. 

It’s especially important for a bride who will look back on her wedding photos and feel like she was glowing. 

Part of that confidence booster, according to brow expert Shakina Valencia, is having a clean pair of eyebrows. Valencia does it all, waxing (brows, chin, and upper lip), trimming brows, shaping brows, and microblading. 

She said having a shaped and clean pair of brows is important because the eyebrows frame the entire face. 

“When you have your brows as symmetrical as possible, it flows with the rest of your face and it gives you that perfect put-together look,” Valencia said. 

Whether the client is looking for fuller brows, an arch, a set that will be easier to fill in with makeup in the morning, or a trim, Valencia can make those visions come true. She said what sets her apart from other eyebrow specialists is that Valencia takes her time to shape and produce an end result that the client will be happy with. 

For a bride, she usually has that particular client come in about five months before the wedding. Valencia said the current trend is to have fuller and thicker eyebrows, so to achieve that look she has the client come in for a complete brow rehab. During those five months, the client grows out their eyebrows without tweezing or doing anything to them. A few days before the wedding, the bride-to-be comes in, and Valencia works her magic with a fresh set of full eyebrows.

“Pinkies Up is a place where you can come in and relax. You know, you can grab a drink, get your nails done, and afterwards get your brows done or your lashes, whatever it may be,” she said. “Ultimately it’s a place to unwind where we can make you feel gorgeous.” 

New Times Staff Writer Karen Garcia is glowing with confidence. She can be reached at

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