A Pale-Pink Rustic, Romantic Wedding in California
Giovanna and Schuyler
Giovanna Bonasora and Schuyler Du Bourdieu wanted to showcase their love and the beauty of Santa Barbara with European flair and plenty of attention to detail. The couple also wanted to demonstrate their strong spirituality and passion for life after a near-fatal accident a few years into their relationship.
After fortuitously meeting on a trip to Brazil to volunteer their service and care to locals in need, the couple -- both doctors of chiropractic medicine who own Rilascio, an epicenter for resourceful living -- soon realized that they had been in close proximity to each other for nearly four years, sharing mutual friends and even attending the same events.
A soft-pink letterpressed invitation by Bella Figura introduces the couple's "love bird" theme.
The Welcome Bag
To welcome their out-of-town guests, Giovanna and Schuyler prepared monogrammed muslin bags with Santa Barbara pistachios, sparkling water, and chocolate truffles for each hotel room.
The Ceremony Location
The Catholic ceremony takes place at Our Lady of Mount Carmel, in Montecito, California. The adobe church was built more than 150 years before the couple discovered the enchanting venue.
The Ceremony Location
A custom sign greets guests as they enter. Similar wood signs are used throughout the day.
Giovanna's father, Vincenzo Bonasoro, walks her down the aisle.
Tears of Joy
A tray of vintage hankies "for your tears of joy" is set out for guests, at the suggestion of the couple's wedding planner and designer, Rebecca Stone of Duet Weddings.
The 120 guests gather at 10 o'clock in the morning for the ceremony. The pews were decorated by Modern Day Design with draped olive branches and bay leaves, as well as flowers inspired by the hues of the church's interior. The bundles were later repurposed for the entry gates to the reception venue.
The traditional Catholic mass includes three readings from friends and family that resonate with the couple's spiritual sides.
The Bridal Bouquet
Giovanna's bouquet consists of lush peonies, 'Candy Bianca,' 'Champagne,' and 'Majolica' roses, white sweet peas, and variegated ranunculus. The stems are wrapped with blush silk and organza ribbons.
The Perfect Link
To pay homage to his ancestry, Schuyler wears fleur de lis cuff links; the symbol is part of his family's coat of arms.
Schuyler's niece, Merrit Marie Du Boride, wears a pink Kirstie Kelly Couture flowergirl dress.
The Bridal Party
A Touch of Sparkle
The bride loved that the chiffon lining of her dress had a blush pink tint. Underneath, she wears Christian Louboutin's "Star Prive" slingback pumps.
The bridesmaid bouquets feature lush pink blooms tied off with an ombre organza ribbon.
Schuyler's mother, Saundra Sue Du Bourdieu, carries a nosegay.
Private Photo Shoot
Following the ceremony, guests are transported to lunch at Cota Street Studios, while the newlyweds drive off to the Music Academy of the West for time to reflect on their newly declared marriage and have a private photo session with their photographer, Elizabeth Messina.
Giovanna and Schuyler pose in a handful of vignettes, including a few where they release doves in a peaceful nod to their spirituality. The couple wanted to pose with the doves, as they have a special connection to birds and often find themselves being followed by doves.
Photo Shoot Props
Elizabeth Messina brought a pair of crowns for one of the portraits.
A Lover's Picnic
The couple enjoy a platter of artisanal cheeses, figs, lemon scones, olives, organic berries, grapes, and pink champagne during a "Lover's Picnic." Antique china and flatware add a special touch to the setting. Antique ivory napkin rings feature the letters "g" and "s." And an engraved spoon had been given by its original owner to his wife on their wedding anniversary back in 1905.
Santa Barbara Cakes made a miniature version of the wedding cake for the couple to share during their photo shoot.
The Signature Cocktail
Village Modern Foods helped the couple come up with a signature cocktail for the wedding. The result is a pink mixture of gin, lime juice, hibiscus syrup, and prosecco with a floating hibiscus blossom, dubbed the "Adam and Eve."
A Finishing Touch
Other cocktails are garnished with stir sticks dressed up with ribbon.
Guests enjoy the beautiful Santa Barbara weather during the alfresco cocktail hour in the lower courtyard of the Santa Barbara Historical Museum. Vientos del Sur performs as waiters carry hors d'oeuvres (caramelized cipollini onion tartlet with balsamic and fresh thyme, goat cheese lollipops with dried figs and candied walnuts, and grilled shrimp rosemary skewers with pomegranate curry) for the guests.
The Wish Tree
An olive tree, which now lives in the home of the couple as a reminder of their special day, was turned into a wish tree. Giovanna and Schuyler loved the idea that the tree symbolizes the planting of strong roots as they begin a new chapter of their lives.
Guests write their well wishes, advice, and sentiments for the couple on tags and tie them around the olive tree's branches.
Elegantly calligraphed tags with seating assignments (made by Little Miss Press) are tied to an iron screen.
Olive branches anchored by a few full blooms adorn the backs of the newlyweds' chairs.
Rustic urns and aged terracotta vessels filled with large succulent plants, peonies, roses, hydrangea, ranunculus, and olive and sage foliage fill the tables. Saucers of mini artichokes, figs, and blackberries are peppered throughout as well.
The Table Names
Small pieces of distressed wood, calligraphed with Italian words chosen for their significance to the couple, name each table.
The Place Settings
Understated ivory linen runners and plum linen napkins soften the dark-wood tables. Each guest receives a small succulent plant on their plate as a favor -- a nod to the couple's neighborhood, which is heavily covered with the plants. Tiny manila tags tucked under each plant serve as place cards.
String lights hang above the courtyard, and colored ribbons sway in the wind as guests dine on a scrumptious Italian feast.
Shawls are set out with a calligraphed tag reading "Cuddle up and stay warm."
The couple chose "She Is Love" by Parachute for their first dance. They wanted an acoustic song so the moment would feel very intimate and special.
Dancing continued all night, thanks to Red Shoe LA, who deejayed the evening reception.
Christine Dahl Pastries made a four-tier tiramisu cake at the bride's request. They did so to honor the bride's grandmother, who was not able to travel to the celebration. "Plus, it's so Italian," Giovanna says.
Photography: Elizabeth Messina
Engagement Ring and Wedding Bands: Jack Kelege, from Fibula
Rentals: Small Masterpiece; Classic Party Rentals
Lighting: Bella Vista Designs
Honeymoon Travel Arrangements: Travelworld
Makeup: Cathryn Van Breene from The Studio Agency
Hair: Sheila Stone
Dove Release: Santa Barbara Doves, 805-896-1750