This Santa Barbara Wedding Looked Like Something Straight Out of the French Riviera
Ashley and Jabari crossed paths for the first time in the library at Seattle University. It was May 2011 when that chance encounter happened—and it really led to something. Their relationship quickly developed into a romance. Seven years in, the pair went on a date for dinner, drinks, and dancing. It was brisk that evening, but they went on a walk post-meal anyway, which is when Jabari decided to pop the question. Ashley happily agreed to marry him.
The couple knew right away that they wanted to get married in Santa Barbara, a place that was special to them both—even though they lived across the country at the time. After some research, they selected Dos Pueblos Ranch as the venue for their August 10, 2019, nuptials, which provided an unexpected backdrop for their French-inspired theme—but this was, ultimately, part of the locale's biggest selling points. "I love the natural beauty and versatility of the venue," Ashley says. "There are beautiful woods, the barn, and the beach. I was always shocked by how all of these things are on one property."
The fact that the couple lived far from Santa Barbara presented its challenges, but they had help from Ashley's mom, who lives there. To take the pressure off the process, they hired a dream team: Alexandra Kolendrianos handled the planning and design along with Mindy Rice, who worked with Alexandra on the design and florals. "[Alexandra] was the one who recommended and knew all the best vendors that brought everything together," the bride says. "She made an experience that can be very stressful as smooth and worry-free as possible." Together, they curated an invent inspired by the surrounding landscape, complete with a romantic blush, ivory, champagne, and green color scheme. The celebration, which was attended by 130 guests, incorporated a ceremony in a sycamore grove, a seaside cocktail hour, and a barn reception.
The couple's classic wedding invitation suite featured gold letterpress on thick ivory card stock and included multiple inserts. The inside of the envelopes featured an illustration of white flowers, giving guests a glimpse of the event's palette and highlighting the role florals would play in the overall design.
Meet the Parents
Ashley's mother and stepfather hosted the rehearsal dinner—a paella party!—at their coastal home, which allowed 40 of the couple's closest family members and friends to meet for the first time.
The Festivities Begin
The overall design of the rehearsal dinner was meant to be inviting and colorful; wooden picnic tables were set up with cushions for comfort.
Tables were topped with horizontal blue table runners, vibrant floral arrangements (local dahlias, tulips, delphinium, strawflower, ranunculus, and grevillea spilled from aged terra-cotta vessels), lemons, and candles.
Raffia chargers and napkin rings brought bohemian texture to each setting, as did frayed mustard napkins and Heath ceramic dinnerware.
Surrounded by hundreds of olive trees and sweeping coastal views, the small group mixed and mingled over plenty of paella. Overhead, rattan lanterns—another nod to the casual, California-cool vibe of the party—cast a warm glow on celebrants as the sun went down.
The hearty meal, predicated on regional cuisine, was served family style.
Ready to Wed
Seeing their closest friends and family members convene in one place—on the eve of their marriage—filled Ashley and Jabari with so much gratitude, especially for the bride's mother and stepfather. "They opened up their beautiful home to help this happen. It was a really special night for us," the bride shares.
A Bride Is Born
Ashley chose a silk and satin Romona Keveza wedding dress with a deep V-neckline in the front and back. "Honestly, I tried on more gowns than I can count," Ashley recalls. "Many of the dresses made me feel beautiful but this dress made me feel like a bride." Although it wasn't the gown she or her mom expected she'd choose, they celebrated with Champagne and a few happy tears.
Ashley added a Monique Lhuillier detachable train for the ceremony so that she could have a "wow" moment as she walked down the aisle.
Grooms and Blooms
Jabari wore a navy Italian wool tuxedo with a black lapel from Bonobos. He paired the suit with a black bow tie and engraved cuff links that doubled as lockets; they held photos of the happy couple inside.
Ashley's fragrant bouquet was classic in shape and included garden roses, white tweedia, scabiosa, and lavender in remembrance of her grandmother.
Dusty Rose 'Maids
Ashley's bridesmaids wore dusty rose dresses from BHLDN; they selected their own styles, says the bride, who wanted them to choose a look they loved, personally. They held bouquets that referenced the bride's own; theirs were composed primarily of cream florals with enhanced with foliage.
Riding in Style
Groomsmen paired navy suits from The Black Tux with blue Hermes ties. Their boutonnières featured heather, privot blossom, rosettes, wild blueberries, and ranuncula buds.
Flowers in Their Hair
The two flower girls wore rose-colored tulle dresses from Jenny Yoo. The couple's florist, Mindy Rice, designed their flower crowns.
An Emotional First Look
Ahead of the ceremony, the couple washed their nerves away during their first look. "This helped me feel calm and at home before the ceremony," Ashley explains. "That moment together was like a breath of fresh air in a magical, but very busy day."
The service took place in a grove of old Sycamore trees, where the couple's planner and event designer, Alexandra Kolendrianos, created a formal setting in a natural, untouched environment. A sisal aisle runner was placed on top of fallen leaves, and cushioned chairs were set up on either side of the aisle.
Last Row, Best Row
Along with the stunning floral arch, Mindy created oversized all-white flower arrangements—including pee gee hydrangea, garden roses, gardenia, and viburnum foliage—to flank the aisle entrance.
All About the Love
The couple had a traditional ceremony with some religious elements; they shared a biblical reading and a few prayers. After the pair exchanged traditional vows, they addressed the crowd, thanking each of their parents for their love and support. "The ceremony really captured our love, our relationship together, and our relationship with our family," the bride says.
A Joyful Recessional
Finally married—and impossibly joyful—the couple recessed back up the aisle.
Time to Party
After the cocktail hour on Dos Pueblos Ranch's beach, which the couple attended, the group transitioned to the reception area, defined by the venue's historic barn. Outside the main building, and next to the open bar, a comfortable lounge area was set up for celebrants to rest.
Find Your Seat
Fabric-backed tented escort cards were arranged on a wooden table outside the barn. The station's organic flower arrangement, featuring white-and-pink roses, was placed in an antique vase—its aesthetic previewed the Old-World-meets-provincial French vibe inside.
Into the Barn
Guests entered the party through a romantic entryway, lined with an arch of white-and-blush florals and linen drapery.
Inside the barn, both long and round wooden tables were set for dinner and paired with oversized cane-back chairs. Antique crystal pendants, French wire chandeliers, and more ivory drapery enhanced the formality of the space.
Each table held several floral centerpieces in varying sizes; they incorporated peonies, gardenias, gardenia roses, sweet peas, tweedia, French parrot tulips, wild blueberries, and long tendrils of flowering stephanotis vines. Small candles in gold and translucent holders were also scattered throughout each station.
Hand-glazed china was placed at each setting and paired with aged pewter flatware and classic glassware. White linen napkins were folded on each plate and tucked with a letterpress menu detailing several plated dinner options, like pan-seared California halibut and salt-and-orange-peel-rubbed beef tenderloin.
Calm, Collected, Grateful
Ashley and Jabari chose "La Vie en Rose" by Louis Armstrong for their first dance. "We didn't have a song that was really our song before the wedding, but when we heard 'La Vie en Rose' it just felt right," the bride says, "To be honest as well, I am a cry baby and automatically teared up to this song thinking of us dancing together on our wedding day."
But before they made their grand entrance as husband and wife and hit the dance floor, Ashley and Jabari took a moment, together, just outside the barn. They were nervous about their first dance—but when looked inside and saw their family and friends dancing and laughing together, the fear melted away. "It was effortless and exactly how we had hoped all our favorite people would feel around each other," Ashley says. "It is a beautiful, fun and really warming memory to have."
The couple hired The Cigar Guys to roll custom cigars for guests during the reception. The merry-makers enjoyed them during the party—and took some home as favors, as well.
In addition to a traditional three-tiered wedding cake, the couple served a classic savory French snack come dessert: cheese rounds, stacked to mimic the sweet confection.
Photography, Lacie Hansen
Venue, Dos Pueblos Ranch
Event Planning and Design, Alexandra Kolendrianos
Flowers and Design, Mindy Rice Floral & Event Design
Videography, Elysium Productions
Invitations, Lazaro Press & Design
Calligraphy, Anne Robin Calligraphy
Bride's Gown, Romona Keveza
Bride's Veil, Monique Lhullier
Hair and Makeup, Team Hair & Makeup
Groom's Attire, Bonobos
Bridesmaids' Dresses, BHLDN
Groomsmen's Attire, The Black Tux
Music, West Coast Music; Ybarra Music
Catering, Duo Catering
Cake, Lilac Patisserie
Rentals, Theoni Collection; Town & Country Event Rentals; Found Rentals; Mindy Rice
Favors, The Cigar Guys
Transportation, LL Transportation
Lighting, Images by Lighting