Intimate Sunstone Villa Wedding
October 31, 2014
RusticVillaSummer Weddings
The lovely Stephanie and I were chatting, and we've come to the conclusion (especially after seeing this gem prettied up by TOAST Santa Barbara!) that we absolutely must come up with an excuse to visit Sunstone Winery. It's impeccably gorgeous. And it just so happened to be the change of course destination this beautiful couple chose after their first venue was sadly flooded. Captured by Khanh Hogland and Made U Look, this day is filled to the brim, darlings. Filled with pretty.
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From the Groom (yes, the Groom!)...After a perfect proposal on the beaches of Mexico, we thought we had found our wedding site in Lyons, Colorado. Weeks later, a historic flood washed through the area and completely demolished our wedding venue. We took this as a sign and decided to completely change our idea of our perfect wedding from a large wedding to an intimate, destination wedding at Sunstone Vineyards and Winery in Santa Ynez, California.

Emily’s first walk down the aisle was on the airplane from Denver to LAX, where she walked down the airplane aisle from row 5 to 24 with a pile of brightly colored trash as her bouquet, accompanied by family singing “here comes the bride.” Our 8 total wedding guests shared laughter (the kind that makes your stomach hurt) that would set the tone for the rest of the weekend.

We arrived to Sunstone Villa and were immediately struck by the breathtaking views of the Santa Ynez mountains and the romantic ambiance. The Villa is built from imported limestone from a small village in France, and wood beams and roof tiles reclaimed from a 19th century lavender factory, once owned by Queen Victoria. The Tuscan-inspired Villa boasts 8,500 square feet of luxury living space on the winery’s 55 acre estate. After settling into our new wedding getaway, we had a tasting at the winery and enjoyed the final product of the perfectly manicured vineyards surrounding the Villa.

On our wedding day, we awoke to the beautiful misty landscape of the Santa Ynez valley and hummingbirds peering through the window. For breakfast, Emily’s Mom made her famous Dutch pancakes. Our Event Planner Kim from “Toast Santa Barbara”, began setting up the ceremony and floral designs. We saw them setting up our Chuppah with Birchwood entangled in elegant peony and rose bouquets settled under a massive tree. The vintage lace Chuppah cover was made from Ben's Grandma's beautiful wedding veil, the same Chuppah cover Ben's sister and brother-in-law were married under one month earlier. We knew the beginnings of the most beautiful wedding site we had ever seen was in full swing. The sun started to set as Emily walked down the aisle from the Villa to the Chuppah to the music of Chris Fossek playing acoustic guitar. Emily was very close with her ”nana,” who did not live to see her get married, but she was certainly there in spirit. We were reminded of this by Emily’s gorgeous wedding bouquet, which had a small picture of Emily’s nana pinned to it. We’re sure her nana was smiling with Emily when she walked down the aisle. Suffice it to say this was a much different scene than the airplane aisle walk! Our Ketubah, created by “Ink with Intent,” encompassed a blend between the outdoors of Colorado and Oregon. Chelsea, Ben’s sister, officiated our wedding with an amazing ceremony script and unique ring ceremony where each family member individually held our wedding rings and mentioned one thing they hoped for in our marriage.

We’re very grateful for making the choice to have an intimate ceremony and we wouldn’t have it any other way. It was a perfect day and we’ll remember it forever as we do our best to live by the words of our vows as we share the rest of our days together.