I liken Santa Barbara to a little slice of beachy heaven, complete with sunshine for days. And if that combo isn’t a dream spot for a wedding, then I don’t know what is – especially if the bride and groom happen to be avid surfers. This little ditty captured by Stephanie Hogue Photography is the perfect example of infusing the Big Day with loads of personality and incorporating all the things you love, which in our opinion, never goes out of style. See more of this ranch fête in the gallery.
The fun isn’t over just yet. Feast your peepers on the cutest little film we ever did see courtesy of Hello Super 8…
From the Bride… It didn’t take long after our engagement in Sri Lanka before a wedding theme was born. We settled on the key elements over oceanfront cocktails … music, tropical colors, natural beauty, local, rustic,ocean, and most importantly FUN. Little did we know that we’d find such an idealic location and work with an amazing team to stich all these elements together in harmony. We’ve been to plenty of weddings where people have a blast but don’t really connect with one another. With friends and family traveling from all corners, we really wanted to create an environment that fostered interactivity between our disparate “teams”. We kicked off the weekend with a Game Day held at Cate, Ashley’s boarding school. 150+ guests competed in activities at 10 stations… from soccer and yoga to croquet; scrabble and fris-beer. The wedding party and parents manned each station and awarded points based on performance and creativity. We also did group games like sack races, egg & spoon relay, and tug o’ war. In the end, one champion team was crowned and won a ribbon awarding them “pass the line” privileges at the bar during our wedding reception!
We’ve marveled at magnificent sunsets + fleeting rainbows on many continents together. Taking in nature’s vibrant colors in surprise surroundings is one of our great loves… truly magical. So rainbow colors and whimsy were real driving factors in our planning and color palette. Bridesmaids were each given a color of the rainbow and asked to find their own dress in the corresponding hue. Flowers and arrangements also channeled this spectacular spectrum of color. We never wanted to leave Dos Pueblos after our first visit; it’s just 20 minutes north of downtown Santa Barbara but feels worlds away. In our eyes, you couldn’t find a better reflection of rustic, natural beauty and classic ocean vistas than this place. There’s an oceanfront lawn/beach nestled between two cliffs, a turn of the century barn, amazing trails with old bridges, and lawns lined with 100-year-old fig trees. It’s the California watercolor that we had painted in our minds in Sri Lanka. When guests arrived at the ranch on our wedding day, they strolled down a meandering path past the old barn … the site of the evening reception. Alternating rows of vintage southern church pews and burlap draped bales of haywhere arranged as seating on the grass fronting the ocean. The reception was communal seating at reclaimed barn wood tables with benches made from old ranch buildings. We set up a lounge area outside the barn with makeshift hay bale couches and a video screen.
Many of our memories together are shaped by live music … especially our first date. To commemorate, we distributed a two CD compilation of favorite tunes from a few of the 100+ concerts we’ve attended together. Our invites were designed as colorful 45’ albums with an LP cover. Side “A” had wedding details and side “B” covered game day. A matching concert poster was designed and printed for the big day. The album + color theme carried over to our reception tables and assignments – 13 communal tables were named after an album that included a color from the rainbow (Purple Rain, Yellow Submarine, etc). 45s of these albums accompanied the centerpieces to help identify tables. The head table was appropriately named after Radiohead’s “In Rainbows”.
Since Dos Pueblos is still a working ranch, we tried to incorporate products/history from the ranch into the day. Driftwood harvested from the property was used to adorn the ceremony aisle and create amazing driftwood chandlers for the barn and lounge areas. We used honey from the ranch for favors and Dos Pueblos avocados in the meal. Our good friend Nikki purchased, designed and arranged most of the flowers. She did an incredible job using native plants and flowers… the wedding party pieces and tables arrangements were stunning. Tricia Fontaine added her unique flare with table centerpieces that had succulents and moss in driftwood. We were even able to incorporate the historic ranch cattle brand. Alfonso Den, a ranch owner in the late 1800’s, had a cattle brand with his initials “AD” … which worked perfectly for “Ashley & Drew”. We used the brand on our welcome bags, tops of the honey jars, barn curtain ties, and our printed menus + programs. We’re both avid surfers. So instead of going with a traditional guest book, we had a local shaper craftan old school wooden surfboard. Guests signed directly onto the board. It’s the best board in our quiver. Looking back, we created a day that we (and hopefully many others) will never forget. A day that was true to us and true to the California + Sri Lanka vision we dreamed of.
Wedding Photography: Stephanie Hogue Photography / Wedding Cinematography: Hello Super 8 / Wedding Venue: Dos Pueblos Ranch / Event Design: Tricia Fountaine Design / Wedding Coordination: Simply Natural Events / Catering & Event Rentals: Command Performance Catering / Floral Design: Nikki Lee Collins / Hair & Makeup: Fiore Beauty / Wedding Dress: Amsale / Groom’s Attire: Hugo Boss / Groom & Groomsmen Ties & Hankies: Hugo Boss / Cocktail Music: Isaiah MacMenami / DJ: Brad Robinson / Visuals: James Green / Invitation & Poster: Ello There