Lush lavender fields, golden sunshine and the relaxed vibe of santa barbara provide inspiration for one couple’s laid-back and effortlessly beautiful wedding.
Golden sunshine and the relaxed vibe of Santa Barbara serve as inspiration for one couple’s laid-back event.
Michael, a commercial film director, and Alana, a wardrobe stylist, were brought together by a serendipitous nine-hour layover at the Toronto airport— an ordeal most would consider unromantic at best. The pair was set to begin work on a Sport Chek commercial in Florida the next day, but their flight was delayed, leaving them stranded at gate F64. When their flight finally took off, Michael ditched his first-class ticket to join Alana in the economy section, where they shared their first kiss.
“Since then we haven’t spent a day apart. We even got tiny matching tattoos that say ‘F64’ on our wrists as a nod to the place where it all began!” Alana reveals.
Fast-forward to their wedding day one-and-a-half years later: the couple knew they wanted a romantic and intimate affair inspired by the stunning gardens and natural beauty of Southern California, and a 40-person garden party at the San Ysidro Ranch in Santa Barbara fit the bill.
“The natural beauty of San Ysidro Ranch and its renowned manicured gardens set the theme for our wedding,” Alana explains. “From the beginning, we envisioned something relaxed, organic and infused with tons of wildflowers.” Just as she imagined, the flowers stole the show at the event, becoming one of her favourite details of the day. “The chuppah was covered in hanging flowers, and I loved the vignette arrangements and the dinner display. The florist also decorated the fireplace, and it looked so beautiful,” she says.
Taking inspiration from the gorgeous lavender fields at the ranch, the couple went with a loose colour scheme of pale pink, white, lavender, champagne and sage to match the celebration’s dreamy California vibe. Not only did the fields serve as a catalyst for the elegant palette, they also made the perfect photo backdrop. In fact, one of the bride’s most beloved moments of the day was when just she, Michael, their dogs and their photographer escaped to the fields to take photos. “The sun was just beginning to set, and it was so beautiful. We’ll cherish those photos forever.”
In keeping with the natural theme of the wedding, Alana made sure the food was another highlight of the day by incorporating plenty of fresh, organic treats into the mix. “Guests were greeted with organic house-made lemonade upon arrival, and during cocktail hour, the wait staff offered local, organic hors d’oeuvres and Santa Barbara organic wines as the sun set,” she says. After cocktail hour, guests made their way to the wine cellar patio, where they dined on light, farm-to-table fare by the wood-burning fireplace. “It was wonderful to dine under the twinkling lights with our friends and family. It felt so intimate and it was such a dreamy setting,” Alana says.
Instead of a traditional DJ and dance party at their reception, Alana and Michael opted to have a string trio play classical music while guests socialized. As the night wound down, the couple took a moment to soak in the day’s events.
“The wood-burning fireplace was lit and everyone was snapping Polaroids and mingling under the Southern California stars. It was a dream come true for us, and the perfect way to spend the day with the ones we love,” says Alana.
Just when guests thought the night couldn’t get any better, Alana and Michael surprised them with the most exciting part of the whole affair: “Revealing we were expecting a baby was hands down the best part of the night. Our family and friends were so elated!”