A stylish Santa Barbara fete straight out of a dream, this what happens when an uber chic blogger ties the knot. It’s ultimate lovefest adorned with Plum Pretty Sugar robes and TEAM Hair & Makeup looks that are sure to leave you spellbound. Complete with captures from Brandon Aquino snaps and T&C Photographie filming, you can see it all unfold below!
From the beautiful Bride… Even though my husband and I and the majority of our families live in Chicago, we fell in love with the Santa Barbara area over several vacations there. For a time, we were also debating a European destination for our wedding, specifically, the French Riviera, and traveled there to research. Given the similarities of the areas, I was thrilled to bring a little bit of France to the “American Riviera” when we finally selected Santa Barbara.
In both places you can find a chic ocean paradise not far from rolling hills and wine country. Since our guests were flying all the way out to California, we wanted to give them as much of everything as possible.
Wine is pretty essential to both cultures, so we invited guests to join us on a tasting tour at three of our favorite wineries as a kickoff to the weekend on Thursday.
We also wanted provide our guests with a taste of Saint-Tropez, so we hosted our welcome party on Friday outdoors at the La Pacifica Terrace at the Four Seasons Biltmore, with views of palm trees and the water. We featured themed French cocktails, crepes, seafood and a lively French playlist.
Our wedding ceremony and reception was held at Sunstone Winery with mountain vistas, vineyard backdrops and rosemary and lavender scents in the air. Built with authentic stone and materials shipped from France, the Villa at Sunstone was the perfect way to transport our guests to Provence. We could not have ordered a more beautiful day in a more stunning setting.
Our menu, planned with the brilliant folks at New West Catering, featured a rich duck course, succulent cote de boeuf, a stunning seafood bouillabaisse, a cheese course and, of course, French bread with dipping oils. Planning (and tasting!) the menu was by far our favorite part of the planning!
My husband made one of the biggest contributions to the planning, right at the last minute. The weekend was in full swing and I still had not settled on a first dance song, too entrenched in other details. He stepped in and made the perfect decision: Louis Armstrong’s rendition of La Vie En Rose. It was a great choice for such a sweet moment. We’ve only heard it play once since, on Valentine’s Day at a romantic dinner in New York City. It brought tears to my eyes… proof to him that he made the right choice!
We also wanted to be sure to pay homage to our own families and cultures. We surprised my husband’s family with a hookah lounge outside after dinner and hired an Arabic drummer for our grand entrance. As family traditions, these were really special ways to incorporate their heritage.
And, as a treat for our guests, but especially for me, my mother serenaded us with the Ave Maria during a special moment in our ceremony, something I have been dreaming about for a long time.
We included several things that we were able to take back home with us and keep forever: a Moroccan wedding blanket hung over our bench at dinner now drapes our guest bed; a religious statue used during our ceremony will sit in my mother’s garden; wooden cutting boards for dinner service now get used in our kitchen!
The keepsakes are such a special way to remind us of that incredible weekend, everyday. We were so blessed to have such an amazing setting to begin our lives together, and, somehow, each day since has been even more beautiful!
Photography: Brandon Aquino | Videography: T&C Photographie | Event Planning: Rani Hoover | Floral Design: Renae's Bouquet | Wedding Dress: Vera Wang | Cakes: Enjoy Cupcakes | Stationery: Twin Ravens Press | Bride's Shoes: Oscar De La Renta | Catering: New West Catering | Hair & Makeup: TEAM Hair And Makeup | Groom's Shoes: Prada | Venue: Sunstone Winery | After Party Dress: BHLDN | After Party Shoes: Valentino | Bride And Bridesmaids' Robes: Plum Pretty Sugar | Calligraphy And Signage: Susan Silverberg | Earrings: BHLDN | Groom's Tux: Givenchy | Hookah: So Cal Hookahs | Rentals: Town And Country | Rentals: Personal Collection Of Anna Rice Of Sunstone