Our wedding story today starts out with three separate stages- all setting the scene for a celebration of love and triumph that lasted three days in Santa Barbara’s beautiful wine country, the Santa Ynez Valley.
Like most couples, Michelle and AJ wanted something unique and to spend time with friends and family , who were all coming to their destination wedding; however, unlike most couples, they had a special cause for extra celebration, as the the groom AJ had battled – and beat- cancer. All event partners agreed to donate a portion of their profits to cancer research and we are proud to say that they raised over $78K, which was $38K over goal. This three day event was truly a celebration of life and it was our honor to bring everyone together over delicious food that suited each gorgeous venue and theme. Day One: The White Party, where everyone gathered at Sunstone Villa (wearing white of course) for some light , fun fare and games ; Day Two: The Welcome Reception at Gainey Winery and Day Three: The Wedding back at Sunstone Winery and Villa.
Below are the photos and menu highlights from each day of their life celebration. You especially won’t want to miss the incredible wine-pairing wedding dinner menu we created, including one of our favorite ways to do hors d’oeuvres: the “welcome appetizer“, a mini antipasti platter cheese and charcuterie board with fresh and dried fruits and more displayed on a board at the table for when guests take their seats.
Heart felt appreciation to our Event Partner Team (who handled all three events, where applicable): Location One- The White Party: Sunstone Villa | Location Two – The Welcome Reception: Gainey Winery & Vineyards | Location Three- The Wedding: Sunstone Villa | Catering: Catering Connection | Rentals: Town and Country , Archive Rentals, and LaTavola Linen | Lighting: SPARK Creative Lighting | Restrooms: Bella Luna | Florist: The Flori Culture Florist | Wedding Cake: Solvang Bakery | Photographer: Justine Milton Photography | Video: Blue Kite Cinema | Music: Encore Piano | Band: JP Hunten Music | Hair/Makeup: TEAM | Security: Triumph Security | Transportation: Santa Barbara Airbus | Calligraphy: Perfect Fête Calligraphy | After-party entertainment: El Canito Cigar Company | Wedding Coordinator/Planner: Rani Hoover of Inspired Weddings & Events
Day One: The White Party at Sunstone Villa
Sunstone Villa “White Party” Above: Sandwich & Salad Buffet: Artisan Cheese Board with Seasonal Fruits, Walnuts, Fig Preserve, Local Honey Served with Crusty Breads & Lavosh Crackers; Charcuterie Display Cured Meats, Salamis and Pate, Served with Crisp Cornichons, Kalamata Olives and Dates. With Crusty French breads, Dijon mustard and Salted Butter; California Avocado Salad Ripe Avocado, Red Onion, Red Wine Vinegar and Crushed Black Pepper; Caprese Salad Sliced Tomatoes and Fresh Mozzarella, Fresh Basil and Virgin Olive Oil; California Baby Field Greens Crumbled Goat Cheese, Roasted Santa Barbara Pistachios & Fresh Strawberries, Champagne Dressing and Grilled Chicken Slices on the Side (added protein); Honey Ham Croissant Sandwich- Sliced Honey Ham with Swiss Cheese, Mixed Greens and Apricot Mayonnaise Served on a Flaky Croissant; Basil Chicken Sandwich on Ciabatta Bread- Grilled Chicken Breast with Brie Cheese, Fresh Basil, Lettuce and Tomato Cut; Hummus and Pita Pocket- Homemade Hummus with Sliced Cucumbers, Red Onion, Mixed Greens and Tomato in a Whole Wheat Pita Pocket; Southwestern Tri-Tip Sandwich with Chipotle Mayonnaise & Fresh Salsa on Baguette
Day Two: The Welcome Reception at Gainey Vineyards
Gainey Vineyard Welcome Reception Menu: Hors D’Oeuvres: Tray Passed- Arancini with Truffle Oil & Parmesan Caramelized Polenta Round with Tomato Jam & Goat Cheese ; Mexican Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno with Cream Cheese Stuffing ; Cuban Torta : Mini Torta Cubanas- Pork with Black Bean Mash, Queso Fresco and topped with Fresh Cilantro; Grilled Vegetable Torta; Ham & Potato Croquetas | Sweet Treats: Tray-Passed Desserts: Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Bites; Tiramisu with Raspberry Sauce; Lemon Curd Tartlets with Raspberries
Day Two: The Wedding Day at Sunstone Villa