Experience Santa Barbara Catering & Artistry for Yourself

Firestone Winery Sparkle: Khalehla & Cody’s Wedding Story

Few wine country venues have the picture-perfect backdrop as well as the perfect amenities to accommodate and produce large events with such success as Santa Barbara’s own Firestone Winery.  From the panoramic views of The Mesa, where couples say “I do” under a historic ceremonial oak tree, to the incredible warm glow of the Barrel Room, to the Courtyard where most choose to host dinner and dancing under the stars in a setting reminiscent of a vintage Tuscan Villa “patio”, Firestone Winery is the stuff of which wine country wedding dreams are made.

Khalehla and Cody chose to have Solvang Trolley Company chauffeur guests to the Mesa and back to main winery for all the festivities.  One thing is clear, as you will see from all the photos below, there was incredible sparkle and glow at this winery wedding! Perhaps one of our favorite elements was that of the wine country-style menu this couple chose.  They selected some of the best flavor combinations for savoring with Firestone’s incredible wines (see menu below).

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Christmas Traditions for Catering Connection’s French-Born Philippe Berger

One of the most unique things about Santa Barbara’s full service catering company Catering Connection is that is quite intercontinental.  Its staff represents all different cultures and countries, and because of this, brings a wealth of richness to all they do.  Event Manager Philippe Berger was born in France, and we asked him what his favorite French or family traditions were this time of year.  Here is what he had to say:

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Catering Connection Delivers “A World of Good” with Direct Relief

Direct Relief, a humanitarian organization, active in 50 states and 70 countries with a mission to improve the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergencies was founded right here in Santa Barbara.  So when this incredible international organization asked us to be their preferred caterer for their new facilities ground-breaking special event, we were honored and couldn’t wait to support.

The event was held at the location that is to be their new Santa Barbara headquarters, and they had an incredible turn out.   What was extra fun about this event was the food and display design we came up with:  we had four food stations (Mediterranean, Live Action Chef Gnocchi Bar, Street Taco Station and Mini Desserts), and used all construction-type materials for our displays, including crates, glass blocks, slabs of granite, wood trays, red bricks , and more.   To top off the wonderful food and beverage , the tent was lined with flags from all over the world and pictures of children and people who have received Direct Relief’s signature orange box.  This event certainly showcased incredible needs of humanity all being met by this great organization, and we were so pleased to have been a part of it. 

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Maggie & Matt’s First Steps to Happily-Ever-After Under a Rockwood Vintage Oak

img_7115Tucked away behind the Queen of the Missions, Rockwood Woman’s Center has long been a Santa Barbara favorite wedding location.  With facilities made for large groups, with the intimacy and charm of a private estate, Rockwood also holds all the artistic lines of Santa Barbara architecture and history.  And with the plentiful landscaping and trees, is an especially welcome retreat during the warmer days of summer.

Maggie and Matt began the first steps of their marriage under the famous ceremonial oak tree (a name we have affectionately dubbed that beautiful tree) on the terrace, a location which has canopied in-love couples for many years as they said their “I do’s”.   We loved the menu they chose and also loved the colors and vibrant energy and hues of the gorgeous florals for this summer nuptial celebration. 

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Winery Wedding Romance at Firestone Vineyards: Natalie and Brian’s Story

img_6857Every couple has a story.  And their wedding day is a lovely way to celebrate the journey of this story thus far.  Choosing the perfect backdrop for nuptials helps showcase the love story that has taken place, and one of the most epic locations in Santa Barbara wine country is the fabulous Firestone Winery and Vineyards.  With ample guest self-parking, views of vineyards for miles, a beautiful courtyard reminiscent of something one would find in Italy, there is plenty to savor at this vineyard.

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Charming Church Wedding With A Touch of Country Elegance

img_6487Sometimes “Plan B” can lend the most charm and make for the best photos and memories downstream.  When Alisha and Nick had their July wedding and reception all set at Santa Barbara’s beautiful Unitarian Society, no doubt they never expected rain in the forecast.  While the Unitarian Society has a gorgeous courtyard for outdoor receptions, it was decided that Plan B should be implemented and everything got moved inside – including the string lights intended for the courtyard.  The result?  One incredibly charming home-town feel wedding with an artistic twist of bringing the outdoors “in”.  Alisha, Nick and their families were incredibly gracious with all the last-minute changes and rolled with all that came their way.  At the end of their beautiful day, beautiful memories remained and all had an amazing time (just check out those smiles in the photos below). One of our favorite twists about this wedding is that it had touches of country and they also did a delicious hybrid of style in their menu with sumptuous Italian and California-style favorites, as well as vegan and gluten-free options.   There was truly something for everyone.

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How To Be a Guest At a Wedding or Private Event


Photo: Landino Photo

While etiquette is more commonly known for being the Host/Hostess of a wedding or event,  there is often not a lot of information on how to be the perfect guest at a wedding or private event.  Here are some of the  most commonly-overlooked courtesies that , when practiced, will make your Host’s job much easier and make you a welcome guest every time.

  •  Always respond to an invitation.  “RSVP” means to let the Host or Hostess know either way if you are coming.  It is asking for a response. No matter what the event, the host spends  money on food, beverage and much more based on the guest count, so having the courtesy to let him/her know how to budget their spending plan is a basic thoughtfulness.
  • Do not invite a guest whose name was not on the invitation.  This includes calling to ask the Host/Hostess if you can bring someone.  The only exception is if you have a live-in partner, are engaged or married and your partner’s name was not listed on the invitation, it is appropriate to contact the Host to clarify.  Good etiquette on the Host’s part includes including live-in , engaged, or married partners of the invitee, but there may be a reason they were not included, so it is considered acceptable to call and ask if in doubt in that case.

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Why Pre-Event Communication to Guests Can Help Save the Day for Your Wedding


Photo by Landino Photo

So much of the success of a wedding is determined by the success of the ability to stay on schedule.  And here’s why:  every vendor working the event has a service to provide, including a start and end time.  With many vendors – and in particular with food and beverage – if the event is running severely off schedule, the service or product provided may be ruined and not eligible for recovery, or in other cases, the vendor may have to charge the the client hefty overtime fees for running late.  In a worst-case scenario, the vendor may have another engagement and not even be able to stay late and may have to leave, if the event is too far off course.

One of the ways to avoid all of this is to empower your wedding guests with strong communication on the event’s logistics and possible challenges in advance.  The time that the invitation lists as the ceremony start time should not be the time guests start arriving.  Here are some of our top tips for helping ensure your guests’ arrival is on time, thus ensuring the rest of the event – and its services- shine and provide everything you hired them to do:

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Kelly and Richard’s Stunning Santa Barbara Historical Museum Wedding

img_6121We love weddings at the gorgeous downtown Santa Barbara Historical Museum.  For those clients looking for a beautiful backdrop and setting that allows them to feel as though they stepped back to old time, historic Santa Barbara, there is simply no better location. Conveniently located from many boutique hotels, museums and shopping, many brides and grooms as well as their guests find this location charmingly perfect as a nuptial destination.

Kelly and Richard added all the “pops” and “wow” for embellishing this already gorgeous and immaculate site.  While the Santa Barbara Historical Museum doesn’t need a lot of décor, what this couple did was enhance it with vibrant colors, special touches, and lots of personalization.  We were so honored to be a part of it, and were especially thrilled with the menu they chose (see below), as well as working with some incredible event supply partners to start Kelly and Richard off to their happily ever after.

We are also happy to report that this wedding was just featured on Borrowed and Blue wedding blog! 

Special Touch Highlights: Personalized signs, dessert buffet and candy bar in addition to wedding cake, late night snacks that included an old family recipe (see below), and cable-car style transportation provided fun for guests so they could enjoy the views of Santa Barbara.

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A Santa Barbara Courthouse & Narrative Loft Wedding

imageOne of the best-kept “secrets” of Santa Barbara wedding locations is the historic Santa Barbara Courthouse.  With epic sweeping views of Santa Barbara’s coastline and rooftops from the tower, to the expansive dramatic Spanish architecture and gardens, which provide numerous areas for gorgeous ceremonies, the Santa Barbara Courthouse also offers incredible value.   One of the best parts of hosting a wedding at the Santa Barbara Courthouse is the fact that there are so many picturesque backdrops for photo opportunities.  It is truly a photographer’s dream, providing couples with beautiful wedding photos which will be fondly remembered for generations to come.

Michelle and Corey chose to host their wedding ceremony in the courthouse’s Mural Room, a room which surrounds guests with art on Santa Barbara’s history and sets the tone for any couple wanting to have a quintessential Santa Barbara wedding experience.

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