This Romantic Destination Wedding in Santa Ynez, California was one of our faves to date. From the heartfelt ceremony under the sycamore trees to an epic cocktail hour garden complete with wine bottle guest book and lavender escort cards to the romantic al fresco reception in a converted horse arena, it was packed full of pretty details. We are so excited it was recently featured in Destination I Do magazine! Read on for the full recap.
Our wonderful couple, Katherine and Ryan, recruited us to help them create a magical destination wedding for their guests coming in from out of town. As Katherine explains,”Because we were asking family and friends to travel to celebrate with us, it was really important that the wedding not take place in a nondescript, indoor location that could be anywhere. We wanted to show off California, and Santa Barbara/Santa Ynez was the perfect place to do that!” Kestrel Park instantly resonated with the couple, as the garden and structure reminded them of their engagement in Ireland.
We leaned into the European countryside vibe of the space and even used the slate-roofed barn structure as a design element in the invitation suite. The garden is brimming all year with the most amazing lavender, floral and veggies. The lavender became a reoccurring symbol of the wedding. Our color palette included soft blush and mauve along with deeper fall tones of plum and cranberry.
The couple exchanged vows under the sycamore trees along the property’s dramatic driveway with their wedding party close by. The ceremony was topped off by a sweet kiss and a spirited petal toss. We love a good post-ceremony toss!
Guests enjoyed cocktail hour in the garden as well as a plethora of nibbles like fresh shucked oysters and veggie spring rolls. The two bars were elegantly donned with signage to represent their backgrounds. The “Sláinte” bar was a nod to Ryan’s Irish heritage, while the “Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler” signage paid homage to Katherine’s New Orleans roots. What romantic destination wedding in Santa Ynez wine country would be complete without a wine bottle guest book? The couple, who are big wine fans, chose special bottles for guests to sign. The couple will then open one of the special bottles on their upcoming anniversaries and read the messages from guests. Guests made their way into the dinner space with an escort card display of lavender bundles, as the fragrant plant is so prominent on the space. We were hoping to capture the connection between scent and memory. Hopefully when guests smell lavender in the future, they’ll think back to this wonderful wedding evening.
DINNER & DANCING
It took a small village and a number of days to transform the venue’s horse arena into a romantic al fresco dinner and dancing reception. We started with a fresh sod base to soften the space. We loved designing the mix of round and rectangular dinner tables into a cohesive layout. Twinkling market lights overhead added to the romance. Everything was centered around the stage and dance floor where a live band played their favorite tunes into the night, but not before gathering around the champagne tower for a celebratory toast. Cheers to a beautiful union, Katherine and Ryan!
Want to create a magical wedding weekend experience like this? We’d love to help! Book your free consultation with us HERE!