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Cathryn & Gael

Megan McCarty Lara Burnap

When California Wedding Day’s former style director Cathryn Van Breene met chef Gaël Lecolley through a mutual friend, she knew it was destiny, as she had recently told a friend she would marry a French man. Seven years later, Gaël proposed at a wine-pairing dinner at Del Dotto Winery in Napa. Ojai was the natural choice for their wedding location since they had met and fallen in love while living in the laid-back community. The oak-tree-filled Gridley Ranch proved to be the perfect setting for their wedding, which they envisioned as an intimate dinner party. The rustic theme and autumn red colors were inspired by Ojai’s rugged nature and the holiday season—Cathryn’s favorite time of year. “I think of family and friends, roaring fireplaces, cozy fur blankets, and that’s the feeling I wanted to create,” explains Cathryn. Fur-lined invitations and menus, mercury glass candles, rustic birch pieces and organic country flowers created a country chic vibe, while the oak tree became the focal point of the ceremony. Cathryn and Gaël tied the knot under the light of the moon with their guests encircling them. The evening culminated with a four-course wine-paired dinner (which included their own Pinot Noir) prepared by the groom himself (now chef of The French Bulldog in Camarillo, which he owns with Cathryn): Maine lobster bisque, Colorado rack of lamb with a Syrah demi-glace and Cathryn’s favorite, Chilean sea bass with a smoked tomato beurre blanc. The love—and food—affair finished with an assortment of petits fours and truffles.

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