When a historic ranch hosts a family who has made it their annual destination vacation spot for generations, it is only fitting that their grandaughter would host her wedding at this secluded sentimental American ranch jewel nestled in Santa Barbara’s wine country, the Santa Ynez Valley.

While Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort offers wedding guests several wedding location options and exclusive privacy, the bride and groom chose to wed at the Santa Ynez Mission and host their reception under the stars and canopying Sycamore trees with magical dripping twinkle lights at the ranch’s Creekside.

The bride, a teacher for  a private school completing her Master’s Degree, and groom, whom you would never know had a high-powered executive career because of his humble and down-to-earth nature before his duty serving our country in Afghanistan had been separated for a long time prior to their wedding.  And when they were together, it was evident it was and is true love. This fun-loving couple deserved every bit of gorgeousness and graciousness that rained on them that day.

Highlights of this incredible evening included the Father of the Bride Toast where Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster spoke of his daughter’s incredible natural joy and his deep love and affection for her and his new son-in-law.  It is not everyday in my career that I get to prep the NSA of the United States of America for his toast and have several candid and heart-felt brief conversations…or be embraced by him and his wife as friends by evening’s end.   Nor is it every day that I have the Secret Service surrounding every single moment of the day.  This wedding had some unique dynamics, but the entire evening was filled with a bride and groom who were madly in love, who had worked and waited long and hard for this day, as well as their incredible friends and family who surrounded them.  This was truly one of the most real, tender, fun and genuine families I have ever met in my career.  From the family priest who was there for the dinner blessing, to one of the most incredible bands with whom I’ve ever had the privilege of working (and listening to) who got and kept the guests dancing all night long.   The Blue Breeze Band was one of the secret essential elements to the vibe of this successful celebration.

It was an honor to be in service to the newlyweds and their families and we wish them every happiness and blessing on their marriage and new life together.

Special Touch Highlights:  Guest book was a coffee table book which featured Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort inside, and guests signed this book, which the newlyweds will now have in their home on display for years to come;  Light-weight pashminas were offered to ladies to help protect shoulders against the cool spring wine country breezes that come up in the evening in a bin that said “To Have And To Hold, In Case You Get Cold“;  Mass was offered to all guests in the Alisal library the Sunday morning following the wedding;  and Jump on the School Bus providing fun transportation for guests.

Event Partners:  Ceremony:  Santa Ynez Mission |  Reception & Catering:  Creekside at Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort | Florals:  Anna LePley Designs |  Rentals:  Santa Ynez Elite Rentals |  Lighting:  SPARK Creative Events  |  Band:  Blue Breeze Band | Coordination:  Kerry Lee (Dickey) Doehr, Santa Barbara Wine Country Weddings & Events  | Photography:  Mary Jane Weddings | Transportation:  Jump On The School Bus | Bridal Beauty:  Chiffon