A Dream Wedding at Santa Lucia Preserve

A Dream Wedding at Santa Lucia Preserve


Writing about weddings in the Bay Area is like picking produce at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market: everywhere you turn, another vendor is offering up something fabulous. But even in an embarrassment of riches, the exquisite stands out. That’s why, when I discovered this Santa Lucia Preserve wedding while researching a blog about the best barns in Wine Country, I had to squirrel it away. This event is so good; it deserves a post of its own.

Two wedding powerhouses—Laurie Arons (Laurie Arons Special Events) and Kathleen Deery (Kathleen Deery Design)—created the ceremony and reception recently for a Northern California couple.

The first thing I noticed was the sophisticated and chic color palette in the Preserve’s barn, where after dinner cocktails and dancing occurred. Persimmon-hued floor coverings and table linens and bright pink velvet pillows accent the ceruse-colored upholstery and wood of the chairs and sofas. Overhead, eleven oversize light fixtures cast a golden glow.

My first question to Arons: “Where did you find that amazing furniture?” The answer is Urban Parlour, Deery’s latest venture with Riana Alizio. Deery, well known for her fantastic florals and event design, branched out into rentals after she couldn’t find accessories to realize the visions in her mind’s eye. The result is pieces that combine rustic wood, metallic finishes and simple fabrics on classic forms. These are not your standard Chiavari chairs, these are pieces you’d like to see in your home.

But the barn was just one high note in an event that began in a stand of nearby redwood trees. Arons wanted the altar to look organic, as if it had grown naturally in the woods. So a long fern garland outlining a path and the stone-and-moss aisle that look like they’ve always been there were in fact designed and placed by the wedding pros. As the bride walked down the mossy aisle, the Ragazzi Boys’ Chorus burst into song, making the circle of tall trees a magical place.

After the ceremony, guests were directed to a tent for dinner. The palette there was a series of peachy nude colors, mimicking runway fashions and looking just as stylish. Stand outs in the décor were the ice sculptures from Clear Memories designed to look like large crystal vessels.

After dinner, the doors of the barn were opened (a surprise reveal is an Arons’ trademark) and guests were treated to cocktails, dessert and dancing. In addition to the décor, a highlight was the dessert bar by Amy Atlas. The Atlas team, known for creating sweet treat buffets that are more Martha than Martha, was flown in from New York to work their magic (assisted by Perfect Endings of Napa).

OT note: There’s also news from Arons’ camp. After staging a successful event with Tyler Florence, the wedding planner will be partnering with the celebrity chef in a venture called Tyler Florence & Laurie Arons Special Events Weddings. Each will do what they do best.

All photos by Thayer Allyson Gowdy

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