The historic Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort has been serving generations of families. What few don’t realize is that it’s not a typical resort: it is almost like a time-share where families have certain dates they traditionally come and stay every year, their favorite dining table and other unique aspects that don’t allow someone outside their regular clientele to typically just pick up and stay at the ranch on a whim for a quick overnight like a regular hotel. But when you’ve had the opportunity to stay at the ranch, you’ll understand why. And staying any shorter than 2 nights isn’t worth doing, truly.Read More >>
There is no doubt one of the best parts of being a wedding planner is that clients arrive strangers and depart friends. I was so fortunate to have been the wedding planner for Katharine’s sister only two years ago, so I was especially honored when I received her call to be a part of her wedding in the “city by the bay”. I adore Katharine and her family (and now her new husband Alex and his sweet family, too) and being a part of this destination nuptial celebration was one of the highlights of my career.Read More >>
When I get to be involved from the beginning of the planning process, it’s my absolute favorite! After our initial meeting and reviewing the design planning worksheet I have my clients fill out, I went to work, and the planning months following were filled with lots of adventure and detail implementing Kate’s dream of “woodland rustic elegance”.
One of the benefits to hiring a professional planner is that he/she knows exactly the perfect event partners to make up the dream team who will implement the client’s vision .Read More >>
If you are looking for a feature on an opulent wedding that included a 5′ tall wedding cake, three gown changes for the bride and a 10-course meal with trapeze artists, this is not that wedding. But if, however, you want a genuine, grass-roots, heart-centered wedding that celebrates love, family and includes a quintessential Santa Barbara experience, then this wedding story is for you.
Cristina and Mark originally came to me for my mobile wedding planning tour for two. This initial consultation was a customized tour of Santa Barbara wedding venues that matched their budget and event vision. Turns out, they found their ideal wedding location on our 2nd site visit that very day. Cristina and Mark were my favorite type of clients and because of their vision, make my work effortless. Their sole goal was to keep the wedding small and only include immediate family and some very close friends. They wanted to invest in an “experience” for their guests that showcased Santa Barbara and its unique Spanish heritage, and in doing this, allow them the opportunity to spend quality time with each guest the whole time.Read More >>
When we announced to some of our closest friends that we just got married in a secret destination elopement to Santa Fe, New Mexico, one text came back immediately from a long-time friend: “We want to host a reception for you when you return to celebrate.” Seeing as this text was from one of the area’s leading event partners and her daughter, a professional wedding and event planner who had been my Associate for so many years, we knew we were in for something special. But just how special, we did not know until we arrived at the private home of our hosts Heidi and Mike Whitcomb, owners of Ventura Rental Party Center for a grand celebration in style. Event planners extraordinaire Heidi and Ashley of Events by Ashley W. produced a night we – and our family and friends- will never forget. My husband and I did not do one bit of the planning nor were we involved at all. We provided them with a guest list and literally just showed up and stepped into our reception. In fact, being on the other side of planning a wedding was almost overwhelming. I remember staring at our wedding cake for cake-cutting not quite sure how to tackle it, despite the fact I’ve counseled hundreds of couples for over 15 years on this exact act.Read More >>
Bride 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 toRead More >>
Lauren and Boyd’s wedding was not about the fluffy, over-the-top decor that is the stuff national wedding magazines and blogs are made of. Nor was it anything traditional. But what it was was the quintessential essence of what love, marriage and family is about, something that no magazine or advertorial could possibly convey with photos alone. From the two tragic losses this couple endured just weeks prior to the wedding to the style in which they chose to celebrate their vows, this wedding was exceptional and perhaps one of my favorites of all time.
Lauren and Boyd loved all of Santa Barbara’s picture -perfect wedding locations. They also knew they could only choose one location to say their vows. So what does one do when you want the best of all Santa Barbara has to offer? Enjoy it all! They wanted a personal wedding experience and wanted to focus on the number one most important thing to them: family, friends and…good food and wine. When one has their priorities straight, it is easy on the planning, especially for their destination wedding elopement, which included just them and about 35 of their closest family and friends. They decided on a simple ceremony atRead More >>
Part Two of Two of “When a Wedding Planner Weds” (see Part One ) : I got married and changed my last name to “Doehr” in a destination, secret elopement to Santa Fe, New Mexico with 5 family members present. Why? The focus for us was on the sacred intimacy of our vows, each other … and wanting to leave room for serendipity and magic. We did not want just one day of back-to-back neck-breaking schedules and many years of paying back the funds it took for one day’s event to take place. Honestly, we also wanted to stretch it out. To enjoy some travel and then come home and celebrate with family and friends- perhaps even multiple celebrations.
You see, there is this myth that if you don’t do a wedding a certain way, or include all the “required” traditions, that you will regret it or that somehow psychologically, it does not count. I’m here to say that even if you believe that, with an elopement, you can still do your wedding “traditions” and “non-negotiables” later – any way you want – and as many times as you want when you get home or over the years. Knowing you have the luxury of time is a gift I cannot describe, and makes looking forward to the future even more fun.Read More >>
There are plenty of private ranches on which to celebrate nuptials on the Central Coast. But when one requires elite privacy as well as an extraordinary experience for all their guests in a historical setting with world-class service from a seasoned hospitality venue, there is no other choice than Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort.
Nestled in the heart of Santa Barbara’s wine country, the Santa Ynez Valley, Alisal Ranch has been excelling in hospitality and making memories for guests since the 1940s, when the first generations of today’s loyal clientele first started arriving. Most likely many did not know at that time that their descendants would continue to make Alisal a family tradition for many generations to come.Read More >>