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Autumn in California: A Beautiful Outdoor Wedding At Bella Cavalli Farms and Vineyard In The Santa Ynez Valley

By: 
Carrie Bell

A mutual friend wanted to set Monica and Chris up on a blind date, but neither one was interested in a typical set up. The friend eventually convinced them both to play on the same softball team and it was game on from there. The bride envisioned an autumn-inspired look that was timeless, romantic and cozy. Her dream began on the lawn among the tree-dotted vineyard and equestrian facility, Bella Cavalli, where the couple are wine club members. Horses peeked over fences at the rustic-yet-refined site where benches covered in peeling paint and vintage wood trunks were juxtaposed with a dark wood Craftsman doorway altar, a plank walkway, bronze candelabras and chandeliers. The entryway was created from a repurposed antique New York carousel made of wood and sheet metal. Forced to tent due to a storm, the walls were softened with billowy white fabric that flowed from ceiling to ground. Pillar candles and flower arrangements featuring garden roses, anemones and rosehips along with long, leafy vines and branches lined the rows.

Chris’ daughters, who had been a part of the proposal on Monica’s birthday, rode with their new stepmother in a horse-drawn carriage complete with a top-hat clad driver. The flower girls wore white dresses topped with blue cardigans to match their father’s suit.

After guests had a chance to hang with the horses, the action moved to the award-winning farm-to-table restaurant Root 246, where Davia Lee Weddings and Events pulled off a phenomenal top-to-bottom transformation. The team took a very basic, mostly brown box and turned it into a luxurious and fanciful ballroom full of cream and light pink. In their quest to make the space feel like an inviting living room, they began by covering the floors with carpet and rugs. Then came extensive draping and soft lighting along with eclectic settees, tufted ottomans, vintage chairs, weathered buffets, piles of books and a monogrammed banner--which also creatively solved the problem of a TV that could not be removed.

Rectangular and round tables were dressed with gold flatware, burnout brocade tablecloths, chiffon runners and votives. The sweetheart table stood out with its navy linen, a color threaded throughout the reception and a nod to the groom’s suit. Table numbers were written on gold-rimmed glass squares. Instead of a traditional guest book, the pair asked guests to write individual notes of advice and well wishes and deposit them in a wood box with their name and wedding date on the lid custom made by local vintner Saarloos & Sons.

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