Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Merry

This December has been a blur of holiday parties, weddings and happy guests celebrating the season. We have loved helping reign in the holidays and are looking forward to a quite Christmas with family and friends.

The Greenhouse setup for an event this Season.

After days of rain the sun finally showed it's face yesterday and we got an amazing rainbow over the Greenhouse.

Friday, November 19, 2010

So begins the Season to celebrate...

Thanksgiving comes at my favorite time of year and brings together my favorite elements: food, family and friends, rich colors and good wine. The one & only Design*Sponge is currently running a series on Thanksgiving decorations here is a taste of what they have posted so far...

Thanksgiving at the cabin..

Click here for more

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Photographers we love...

Click on the following links to learn more about some wonderful local wedding photographers.

... Austin & Dara

... Halberg Photographers

... Barbara Alessandra

Elizabeth Messina's brilliance in kiss the groom

Inspiration for weddings... and life by Jonas Peterson

Photo by Catherine Karnow via National Geographic

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Goodbye to Summer

The warm days recently and lack of summer weather in Santa Barbara during the traditional months of June, July & August make me want to sit in my garden and enjoy every moment of fleeting sunlight...

Alas, it's midway through October so farewell is immanent to summer's whimsical relaxation and endless hours outdoors...

Saturday, October 9, 2010

A Taste of France...

Thanks to {this is glamorous} for beautiful pictures of Paris... and endless inspiration

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Number one Bridal Bunder… Opting Out of a Day-of Coordinator at a DIY Wedding.

You and your loved ones planned and prepared for this single day for months. Appointments with florists, the cake shop, caterers, DJs and photographers. Hours spent grazing The Knot for ideas and inspiration. Multiple trips to find and fit the gown. The hair, the shoes, the makeup, favors, escort cards, programs, vows, rings, songs!! Don’t even get me started on the rentals, floor plans, and timelines…

Eventually the details start piling up… and then the pile grows and you can’t find the top.

On your day someone has to be there to have all the answers. To place out all of your beautifully hand-crafted details, to monitor and coordinate every last step and hiccup of your most special day. Otherwise all your work and all the decision-making will be lost in the chaos of an otherwise seamless day.

Do you want your mom, your best friend or yourself to be in charge of deciding at the last second whether or not to rearrange the timeline because pictures ran longer than expected? Be responsible for checking in with all vendors, the timing of food service and ordering, communicating with the servers, keeping an eye out for when the bar reaches its cap, making sure the MC knows announces the right dances at the right times and ensuring guests are happy?

You want to enjoy your day, the entire day. And you want your family and friends to enjoy the day too. I cannot recommend highly enough, the value of having an experienced professional coordinate your details - to plan for the unexpected. To spot hazards and answer questions a million times so you only have to answer it once. That should not be you on your wedding day. Period.

Photos courtesy of Susánica Tam

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Events by Stella Mare's

Our Private Restaurant off Las Positas and upper State in mid-town Santa Barbara is ideal for a group of 40 to 150. It has a large, bougainvillea-enclosed patio with views of the mountains, a lovely bar area, huge private parking lot, options for a DJ and band and plenty of privacy. All food is made-to-order as we have a fully-stocked kitchen on-site.

If you are looking to have your ceremony onsite with us, the outdoor patio is the perfect space. Whether casual or formal, Events by Stella Mare’s can help you create an intimate ceremony that reflects your personal style. With outside ceremony seating for over a hundred, you can plan a daytime service under the sun or in the evening with our romantic bistro twinkle lights.

Events by Stella Mare’s is a private facility open by appointment only. To schedule a viewing please contact us by phone 805.969.3415 or by email or

We look forward to planning your special event.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Greenhouse...

Unquestionably one of the most unique and romantic spaces in Santa Barbara. Whimsical. Magical. Gardenesque.

Twinkle lights, glowing fireplace and vintage bar, candles and soft music create one-of-a-kind ambiance, celebrated year after year for anniversaries, birthdays, intimate dinner parties, welcomes & goodbyes, retirements and of course… weddings and all related festivities.

The beautiful fireplace is an ideal backdrop to enjoy everything from an evening of live jazz, celebrating a milestone, or even dropping to one knee to propose to the love of your life.

Rain or shine the Stella Mare’s Greenhouse is un-matched in classic, casual elegance…

Friday, July 2, 2010

The Andree Clark Bird Refuge

The Andree Clark Bird Refuge of Santa Barbara is a 42-acre saltwater marsh that hosts a 29-acre freshwater/ brackish water lake. It is home to one of the largest wildlife refuges in the area. Surrounded by the Santa Barbara Zoo and East Cabrillo Boulevard, the Bird Sanctuary, as it is often called, is a brilliant place to observe ducks, geese and other wild birds that are migrating through the area or stacking a permanent residency.

The large water lake that we see across the way was once dominated by water from Sycamore Creek that would drain over into it. After the construction of the railroad in the 1880s, most of that inflow was blocked to the pond. It was in 1928 when the owner of the Clark Estate, which sits atop a hill across from the refuge, decided she wanted to excavate the pond and create an artificial freshwater lake. Huguette Clark donated $50, 000 for this project and continued to donate until it was complete in 1930. The lake got its name after Huguette Clark’s sister who had passed at an young age.

Today the Andree Clark Bird Refuge is a home and meeting grounds for more than just birds and wildlife. It is a daily walk and path for many locals by bike and foot, a landscape for artists, and a beautiful backdrop for photographs taken by both our guests and other visitors.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Flowers of the Seasons

Long ago bridal bouquets were carried down aisles as a shield for brides against evil spirits. Garland, made up of potent species and herbs, would be worn as this protection. Today bridal bouquets are an expression of the couple. Each one designed to fit the theme and style of their wedding.
When deciding to go with a seasonally inspired wedding or event of any kind, your floral arrangements & bouquets must embody that time of year. While you can catch many flowers blooming at multiple times of the year, there’s something about specific ones that can sing a certain season.
Southern California is rich with floral offerings for weddings of all seasons. Springtime at its peak brings lush delicate blossoms such as ranunculus, irises, calla lilies, tulips, anemones, peonies, lilac, sweet peas and flowering branches.

Summer yields bright dahlias, snapdragons, vivid sunflowers, vibrant cockscomb, amaranthus, soft Sweet William, bells of Ireland, celosia and delicate flowers as Queen Anne’s lace and Veronica.

As summer comes to a close, fall brings hearty, interesting seed pods, berries,rosehip, antique hydrangeas, dusky colored mums, soft dahlias and orchids.

Winter in our area is mild most years and blossoms as lilies, orchids, roses, lisianthus and dahlias are usually available.

Several blossoms cross all seasons – available to be featured no matter your time of year. Many shades of roses, stock, lisianthus, freesia, hydrangea and gerberas are gorgeous year round locally. The fall and winter can be supplemented with imported flower varieties – most arrive from New Zealand, Holland and South America from their spring/summer crops. Importing increases options, but also increases cost and resources. Locally grown is often preferable for optimum freshness and availability.

Special thanks to Jessa, Associate Designer, of Grass Roots Florist, Santa Barbara for all photos and floral factoids. For more information about having Grass Roots design your next event visit them @ or by phone 805.682.9105

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Rehearsal Dinner…

There are no rules for Rehearsal Dinners. Traditionally this is a meal hosted by the groom and his parents the night before the Big Day. Those in attendance should include at the very least, the betrothed couple (of course), members of the wedding party and their significant others, the officiant with his or her significant other, and immediate family of the bride and groom. Nowadays the Rehearsal Dinner has expanded to include anyone who has traveled from out of town for the wedding. In places like Santa Barbara, popular for destination weddings, this can equate to rehearsal dinners almost as large as the wedding reception itself.

Intimate vs. Elaborate…

An intimate Rehearsal Dinner is a wonderful time for families of the bride and groom, who may or may not already be acquainted to get to know each-other without the hustle and bustle of the following day’s festivities. On the other hand a huge bash the first night everyone gets into town is a fabulous way to greet your guests and kick-off the weekend.

Keeping within a realistic budget is a common concern for this type of shin-dig, while still providing the out-of-towners with something to do their first night in town. I can’t tell you how many MOG’s I’ve talked to that are feeling pressure to throw an elaborate event the night before the wedding… what to do?

A fun way to include the guests who have traveled from far and wide to celebrate this joyous occasion is to invite them to join you for dessert after the main meal. This allows families and key players to spend that priceless intimate time together, sharing stories and getting to know one another, while still showing appreciation to people who have spent time and money to come to your wedding.