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Sweet and Sentimental Wedding at El Encanto, A Belmond Hotel Santa Barbara

Diana and Benjamin's wedding was outdoor elegance with touches of heritage.
Averie Addington
belmond el encanto wedding

Wedding Date: October 19, 2019

Diana Olano and Benjamin Kussman first met in law school and thought they would be just friends, but a few years later, during a school ski trip, they realized their connection was much deeper. Ben proposed to Diana at her favorite Greek restaurant, beneath trees draped with twinkling lights. And she was doubly surprised to find their best friends waiting there to celebrate their engagement. When it came to planning their day, Diana was set on an outdoor wedding; however, Benjamin preferred a hotel, where their friends and family could spend the weekend. Luckily, they found the best of both worlds at the El Encanto, A Belmond Hotel Santa Barbara. Inspired by the couple’s favorite hues, blue for the bride and gray for the groom, their wedding design incorporated some unusual touches, such as pampas grass and long-stemmed white roses for the bridesmaids’ bouquets. The bride, who walked down the aisle with her mother and grandmother, glowed in her Le Marriage Couture dress holding her all-white bouquet, which was created by Burlap and Bordeaux and carried a photo of her grandparents on their wedding day. In a nod to the bride’s Colombian heritage, the couple surprised their guests with a hora loca, a tradition in Colombia that translates to “crazy hour,” a kind of party within a party. It included fun LED props and even a samba dancer. The signature cocktail featured coconut and lime, inspired by a staple in Cartagena, coconut lemonade.

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