This one is good, lovelies. Like knock-your-socks-off, spend two-hours in the gallery, Pin every image good. Gavin Farrington Photography captured the Ynez soiree perfectly from the magazine-worthy bride + groom to the personalized touches and family traditions. Truth be told, I had a hard time choosing just which sun-drenched pics to share. Luckily, you can see it all for yourself right here!

From the Bride… The Santa Ynez area has always been special to Bobby and me, so the moment we decided on an Italian-inspired wedding, we immediately booked Sunstone Winery. It was the perfect venue for such an intimate affair, with a beautiful stone villa surrounded by rosemary, lavender and large oak trees. The rustic benches and chairs surrounding the villa were decorated with handmade pillows that we hand stamped with love poems and romantic quotes. We even had a guitarist play as guests arrived and mingled over our wedding scrapbook, filling in the blank pages with well wishes and pictures taken with our instant camera. As guests entered the courtyard for the ceremony, they helped themselves to hand-decorated parasols and muslin bags filled with fragrant lavender. Bobby and I could think of no one else but my grandfather, a WWII hero and husband of 65 years, to be our wedding officiant. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house as he recalled the intense love that he still has for my grandma and his family. Our flower girl walked down the aisle wearing a dress my mom sewed out of the dress she wore almost 40 years ago to marry my dad. After the ceremony, guests enjoyed the tasting room and nibbled on cream puffs from the “Eat Dessert First” bar (an ode to my father since he taught me that rule at a very early age). Guests were then transported to our outdoor reception at Santa Ynez Inn. The ambiance could not have been more beautiful, the food more wonderful or the love more apparent that evening. With a little help from mother nature and our very talented wedding coordinator, the day ran smoothly, and we were able to enjoy every moment. For me, the highlight of the evening was the father-daughter dance. After months of practicing, we put on a grandiose performance, incorporating ballroom, swing and hip hop into our routine. Bobby and I ended the evening dancing close to midnight and then departing as husband and wife, under a halo of sparklers created by our family and closest friends.

We drew inspiration for our wedding from many places: Etsy, SMP, favorite love stories, family traditions, etc. My job in sales allowed me to travel the entire coast of Northern California in search of antique shops and thrift stores that sold ornate objects I used to decorate our reception tables. Our florist made the most elegant displays for each table, integrating the items I collected with a combination of pink and white peonies, garden roses and succulents. Inspired by some lovely gift tags I purchased from Etsy, I decided to make my own name cards using vintage maps, old stamps, wax and twine. The name cards hung from an old wooden wine bottle holder that was brought to life with white flowers and lime green amaranth. I found inexpensive parasols from an online store and decorated them with antique lace, bows and silk flowers I had bought from a thrift store. Instead of numbering our tables, we hand painted the names of towns and regions in Italy we wanted to visit during our honeymoon. For the “rice” toss, I purchased small muslin bags, hand stamped them for a personalized effect and then filled them with lavender. Since we live fairly close to Napa, we couldn’t resist the urge to design a large heart made of wine corks. We placed it at the head table along with our initials crafted out of moss letters. My favorite DIY project however was the one that Bobby created. For two weeks, Bobby diligently hand-placed glass tiles to design the most beautiful mosaic of an Italian landscape, which we displayed at the ceremony. We had the mosaic and a photo framed into a shadow box using refurbished barn wood, creating a beautiful memoire of our special day.

I will never forget how amazing our wedding was, but it was the time spent with family and friends preparing for the big day that made it so special. Whether it was Monday craft night with Bobby, Skyping my mom over a glass of wine to discuss new wedding ideas, dance lessons with my dad or late night phone calls with my sister Jenny as we reminisced about the days gone and the journey that was yet to be. My wedding not only united me with my best friend, but it also gave me permission to indulge in my creative side and prioritize family above everything else. Getting to wear a beautiful white dress and feeling like a princess for the day wasn’t too bad either!

Wedding Photography: Gavin Farrington Photography / Second Photographer: Grace Havlak / Ceremony + Catering: Sunstone Winery in Santa Ynez, California / Venue Contact: Jenna (805-878-4129) / Reception: Santa Ynez Inn in Santa Ynez, California / Wedding Coordination: Tara Bassi / Floral Design: Tiffany Brown (tiftif444@hotmail.com) / Wedding Cake: Carol Pawlak of Cupcake Cuddlers / DJ: Gavin Roy Presents / Rentals: Classic Party Rentals /  Wedding Dresses: Tomasina + Monique Lhuillier / Hair + Makeup: Brianna Stewart / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Bari Jay / Groom’s Attire: Isaia / Flower Girl’s Dress: Made from the Bride’s Mother’s Wedding Dress

Monique Lhuillier is a member of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here. Gavin Farrington Photography is a member of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
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