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Tuesday, January 24, 2012


             There are few places in the United States as serene and gorgeous as Montecito, California. With it's large estates, wine vineyards and five star accommodations not only is it a perfect vacation spot, but also a beautiful wedding location.
        Claire and her now husband Marcus picked the posh and lovely San Ysidro Ranch nestled near the foot hills of the Santa Ynez Mountains to say their I do's. This 500 acre estate was the honeymoon spot for Jackie and John Kennedy (need I say more). However every bride wants to put her own touch on her wedding day and I think Claire hit the mark with her romantic ambiance and timeless setting. This wedding comes off as flawless with every detail thought of and executed without looking fussy.

Note: My sister, Rawleigh, has known Claire since they were little. Over Xmas I was looking through her FB and saw Claires wedding pictures and told Rawleigh to please write and ask if I could use them. These are private photos that Claire and Marcus have been so kind to share with all of my readers. They are owned by Claire Boyle and any use in blogs outside of this one, must be credited as such. Thank you.

Notice the lace detail around the hurricanes. Such a simple touch, but very elegant.

Floral garland is gorgeous and this is one area where you can really play with your colors in a fun way. Claire picked soft pinks, blushes and creams which are such romantic tones. I love the added beaded garland that drapes down. 
This IS an expensive floral idea, but used in smaller areas as an accent this is a statement that goes a long way. Love this!

This is my favorite picture of Claire and her Dad. Lets talk about photography a little bit. Since most photographers shoot in digital they can take color shots and make them black and white or sepia. It's a classic look that will never go out of style. The pinstripe suit comes out very rich and sharp. I hope pinstripes make more of a comeback this year in weddings, it's a distinguished look but also playful.

Love the brides hair jewelry. It almost looks like the top of a heart.

A very simple aisle, the white runner lined with white rose peddles kicks it up a notch, it's a nice choice. It also follows her classic round bouquet. Love the chandeliers, and candles in the tree. Beautiful day and night.

I LOVE it when a wedding has a specialty drink and I love it more when it's a great color.  These are Peach Bellini's (yellow CA peaches). The Bellini was invented by Giuseppe Cipriani in the early 1940 in Venice, Italy. He used peaches trying to get the same color pink found in a 15th century painting he admired. The painting was by Giovanni Bellini. Even a drink can have a romantic history. 

These crystal chandeliers play great with the sun during the day and are fabulous sparkle at night. 

Claire's sister, Olivia, was the only bridesmaid.
 (Please people stop having 5-10 bridesmaids we don't like to do it anyway)
White has been a big color for the brides ladies this year and we have Kate Middleton to thank for that I am sure, but it's so great. This dress is flirty and simple. 

Music played a large roll for the couple. Tim Lopez of Plain White T's sang his new song "Rhythem of Love" as the couple walked up the aisle. 

I wish I had an old fashion rope swing at my wedding, it's the best for pictures. 

Table seating cards held in rock salt. Love the pearl detail on the card.
There has been a debate for years, I am sure, as to whether you say Mr. and Mrs. or just the first names. This wedding was small and intimate so they went with the warmth of first names. However, with larger wedding I would say Mr. and Mrs. is my preference.

This is just so enchanting. The closeness of the tables is so french and cozy it really makes people feel like they are all a part of the same table.
I have been to weddings with 200 plus people where I feel like I am the only one there because everyone is so spread out. My favorite weddings are the small ones, obviously, but when they are big keep everyone tight tight tight. It makes a huge difference. 

Lots of candles make a HUGE difference. The table I did at Cipriani's last year that was featured in Elle Decor got so many "how did you do that" and I have to say yes the centerpiece was a huge part of it, but I had a 66" round table and used 35 pillars and tea lights. That's A Lot and it makes a statement. Especially if your budget is low, use them everywhere.

Again detail says SO SO  much!!!
There is so much about this wedding that makes me wish I was there. These gold printed dinner menus on chocolate are just sublime. You had me at Hello!

The table at first looks very simple, but it's deceiving. The tables are draped in white linens, but topped with custom lace caps. I wish I had a more detailed shot, but lace is a textile rarely used in tabletop anymore because of it's expense. However, it's a breath taking look and the rare times I have seen it used I am always blown away. The silverware is simple, but notice how it's set. Because of room constraints one fork sits higher than the rest, a clever idea.  The plates are rimed with gold, a subtle nod to old hollywood glamour, but clear so as not to hide the lace. The chocolate menus finish of the gorgeous look. 

I found a close up! Amazing

The Answer Lies in the Cake!
What a great surprise inside a fairly simple cake. This is fun. I actually had to ask Clair about the cake and LOVED her answer. The cake was made on site, but Clair and Marcus wanted to give all of their friends and family a little tell them the sex of their baby. The "Blue" buttercream was how they all found out. 

A wedding for the whole family! 

Where the ceremony took place turns into where the evening festivities will continue. 
This is not a large space, but it has everything one needs for a fabulous party. Love the fire blazing with additional candles on the side. The bar tables as well as cabaret tables make this very inviting and warm. Lighting was obviously a huge element of the wedding. Twinkling lights, up-lighting for the trees and candles make this area come alive. 

Again I want to reiterate that the flower garland turns this enormous stone fireplace into something soft and elegant. There are certain pieces in every wedding where you have to pat yourself on the back and say money well spent. This is one of those areas.  Really lovely.

Congratulations Boyle's 


This fabulous location does so much for you already. The rich color of the land and wonderful structures are a given. When you have a great place like this to begin with this is when you can really delve into the colors, textures and the mood you want to set. Think outside the box. I think Clair and Marcus' wedding show us that just because it was small by no means did it lack luxury.    

Alvina Valenta


A wedding photographer should be like a ghost. You know they are there, but they don't bother you. Wedding shots should be intimate and private, capturing the moment in real time without staging or coaching. They need to tell a story in just a few hours, but make it come alive forever. I think these shots did just that. 
BB Photography California 

Other than the brides mother, this is usually the 2nd most stressed out person at a wedding, although the good ones never show it. Having a planner by no means takes away from your vision, actually the opposite, they make it a reality. When looking for a wedding planner speak to past clients and ask many questions.  La Fete obviously helped Claire's vision come alive
  La Fete Wedding
   Santa Barbara, CA.

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