A Santa Barbara Destination Wedding


December 9, 2020
Words by Lauren Ertl
Photos courtesy of We Are Matt & Jess

Being that Matt and Alicia are Texans, I wanted the honor (as a Texas-native) to share the story of how they came to say “I do” in the sunny state of California. Although there are plenty of beautiful venues in Texas, the couple wanted their wedding day to be unique and feel extra special. What better way to do so than marry in one of their favorite places in the U.S.?

“We fell in love with the Santa Barbara area and wanted our closest loved ones to experience its natural beauty,” Alicia says.

As one of the last couples to get married in their friend groups, Matt and Alicia’s guests were everyone more than happy to make the trip to support them. However, the distance did make it difficult for some friends and family to be able to attend.

“We knew this would be a factor when choosing a venue out-of-state. At the end of the day, we were willing to forego the ‘big wedding’ for a more intimate experience with about 50 guests,” the couple says.

While the decision to marry in Santa Barbara felt simple, the couple knew navigating the planning process from afar wouldn’t exactly be a slice of cake. That’s why they immediately hired their “boots on the ground” team: White Sage Events.

“I highly recommend selecting a wedding planner if you do not know the area. They can help you determine what your need-to-have and nice-to-haves are, as well as handle logistics with the venue you chose,” the bride says.

Having only two trips out to California planned before the wedding, Alicia and Matt had to be extremely efficient with their time in-person. The first trip west consisted of site tours for potential venues, while the second included food tastings, selecting rentals and finalizing other details. Thankfully, White Sage Events handled the majority of planning and vendor coordination with regular phone call check-ins with the couple. Many of the vendors were referred to Alicia and Matt by their stellar planning team.

“We were referred to an INCREDIBLE florist who understood exactly what we wanted and sent various options for our budget. She helped us enhance the natural beauty of the venue with her amazing arrangements, all while respecting our budget,” Alicia says.

Although hosting a wedding in California had the potential to cost a lot more than a Texas celebration, Alicia and Matt were able to balance their budget by keeping a lower guest count and selectively choosing areas to invest in (like a live band.) Marrying in Santa Barbara also allowed the couple and their guests to enjoy the gorgeous location while also focusing on the purpose of the trip: Alicia and Matt’s wedding!

Sunny Santa Barbara’s weather was, in fact, rainy on the couple’s special day, but they kept one thing in mind…

“At the end of the day, the goal is to end up married! Things will go wrong, but all that matters is that you enjoy the day with your significant other and loved ones,” Matt and Alicia say, “Also, lean on the experts! Your vendors are professionals at what they do, so let them fly!”

Vendors: Photography: ​We Are Matt & Jess​; Planning & Design: ​White Sage Events​; Florals: ​Alexis Ireland Florals; Lighting: ​Spark Creative Events​; Rentals: ​Amigo Party Rentals​; Venue: ​Dos Pueblos Orchid Farm​; Cake: ​Lele Patisserie​; Dress: ​Badgley Mischka

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