img_7664Bride Megan’s family have been long time guests of the legendary and historic Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort, like so many of the couples who choose to exchange vows at the ranch.  Alisal holds a deeply meaningful place in the family traditions of so many.  Megan and Joe hosted their wedding ceremony in one of the ranch’s main pastures, with cocktails in the Sycamore Room, a gorgeous dinner at Creekside under the canopying Sycamore trees, ending with dancing and more fun back in the Sycamore Room for the rest of the evening.  We decided to put the majority of focus of design where guests would be spending most of their time:  cocktails, dinner and dancing.

Sometimes the best plans are unexpectedly enhanced when a change occurs.  With specialty lighting planned to showcase the gorgeous trees over dinner, as well as dripping magical white lights draping from the tree branches above, pinspot lighting on key areas such as the two bars indoors and outdoors to encourage guest flow and no bar traffic bottlenecking (a personal pet peeve of mine),  when rain came into the forecast, the vision did not need to be altered.  We decided on all clear ceiling and walled tents to allow guests to enjoy the foliage and views around them and hung the dripping lights from the inside of the canopy, which actually created more of a glow off of the clear tenting (sometimes a spontaneous change in plans actually makes things even better)!  Ventura Rental Party Center and SPARK Creative Events were true champions, personally measuring and remeasuring all aspects of the rain plan to ensure the original vision would translate to the rain-friendly one.


the glow of the celebration taken from across the creek. photo credit: SBWCWE

Menu Highlights:  Hors D’oeuvres: Passed Seared Ahi Tuna with Wasabi Cream on Wonton;  Chicken Empanadas with Alisal Salsa Cruda;  Spanakopitas with Filo Dough, Spinach, Feta Cheese Plated DinnerSalad Seasonal Greens, Pears, Dried Cranberries, Gorgonzola Cheese, White Balsamic Vinaigrette | Entrée ChoicesGrilled Certified Angus Beef Tenderloin, Horseradish Butter, Gold Yukon Mashed Potato, Seasonal Vegetables;  Organic Scottish Salmon with Lemon-Pinot Grigio Sauce, served on a Chive Potato Cake with Broccoli Rabe;  Grilled Vegetable Lasagna, Tomato-Basil Sauce, Italian Hummus, Grilled Garlic Bread | Ceremonial Wedding Cake for Two By Alisal Guest Ranch: Vanilla Cake with Vanilla Cream Filling and Whipped Cream Frosting (and Fresh Berries)Guest Dessert:  Cookie and Ice Cream Buffet  | Plus Two Premium Full-Service Bars Indoors and Outdoors, catering to both event areas and guest traffic.

Special Touch Highlights: Sign-in Wood Chip Frame (guests signed their names on small wood chips and these were inserted into a large frame that would be displayed in newlywed’s home- see photo below);  Fun guest transportation to/from the hotels in Solvang to the ranch with Jump On the School Bus (see photo below);  Long feasting-style wooden ranchero tables for dining to blend with the nature that surrounded them;  special children’s dining table for the “Cool Kids” covered in butcher paper for coloring with fun activities to enjoy while they ate (see photo below);   A “lounge” vibe in the Sycamore Room with sophisticated lounge couches, end tables, distressed wood dance floor to add a flare of “rustic chic” to the modern lounge feel;  and specialty uplighting to showcase the bar, room, grounds, outdoor trees and architecture, as well as the gorgeous riverstone fireplace, which serves as the main centerpiece attraction for all events in the Sycamore Room;  fun/silly “dance prop” accessories for guests to enjoy as they danced the night away, and much more…

Event Partner Cast:  Venue:  Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort | Catering:  Alisal Guest Ranch | Coordination:  K.Doehr & R.Korrey , Santa Barbara Wine Country Weddings & Events | Rentals:  Ventura Rental Party Center | Lighting Specialists:  SPARK Creative Events |  Florals:  Renae’s Bouquet  |  Guest Transportation:  Jump on the School Bus |  Ceremony, Cocktail and Reception Music & MC’ing: Entertainment Express   |  Photographer:  WonderTribe |  Officiant:   Father  Muller