Destination I Do

A California Wine Country Wedding

Words by Alicia Clark
Photos courtesy of Braedon Photography

When planning a destination wedding, it’s important to keep an open mind, because you never know when you might change it!

For Diana and Cyrus, a wedding in Santa Barbara had always been their dream. It was only after taking a drive to The Villa at Sunstone Winery in Santa Ynez, California that they realized they may have found an even more ideal location.

“Winding around mountains and whirling around lakes, it’s stunning, and we both have a soft spot in our hearts for romantic vineyards,” said the bride of their destination wedding location.

It was important to the couple they provide their guests with a trip they would not soon forget. Guests participated in a wine tasting, an olive and vinegar tasting and baking brick-oven pizzas on the back patio of The Villa at Sunstone Winery.

On their wedding day, the couple said their “I do’s” against the warm vanilla and caramel colors of the Tuscan-style villa surrounded by friends and family, a dramatic crescendo to their dream wedding.

After vows were exchanged, Diana and Cyrus were eager to blend their Italian and Persian cultures for a dining experience their guests would be sure to remember. As the sun began to set, guests looked out over acres of vineyards and mountains while enjoying Persian hors d'oeuvres. They later sat down to an Italian-style surf and turf, black-tie dinner.

“Just off in the distance, as the three-piece jazz trio hummed in the background, chandeliers hung from a beautiful oak tree directly over a wine barrel bar serving guests,” the bride recalls.

As for advice, Diana and Cyrus had this bit of wisdom to offer: “Know there are no rules, do what you want as a couple on your day…”

Vendors: Photography: Braedon Photography,, Ceremony and Reception Site: The Villa at Sunstone Winery in Santa Ynez, California,, Day-of Coordinatior: Inspired Events by Rani Hoover,, Floral Design: Designs by Nico,, Wedding Gown: Alvina Valenta by Jim Hjelm,, Groom’s Attire: Jos A. Bank,, Bridesmaids' Attire: Vera Wang,, Other Vendors:

This article first appeared in Destination I Do's Fall2013/Winter 2014 issue. You can order a copy here.

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