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Colin Cowie Galleries || Producing Events, Planning Celebrations & Weddings Locally and Globally, Licensing, Hospitality Services and Corporate Events || ColinCowie.com

Colonial themed garden wedding

Event Description
The location of a wedding celebration is incredibly important. Adi knew, from the moment she laid eyes on the private estate in Santa Barbara: this must be the place. Adi and Jerry wanted their wedding to be "grand and otherworldly," but at the same time, intimate and cozy. Swaying ferns, a formal rose garden, cascading waterfalls, rustic foot bridges, koi ponds stocked with tropical fish, ostriches and peacocks roaming the grounds and a beautiful main house with a tropical colonial-Indonesian feel complemented the couple's tastes to a T.

We staged the ceremony almost in the round, underneath a trellised arbor at the entrance to the rose garden. To get there, guests would pass under a matching arbor my team constructed by weaving and entwining the wood with magnificent blooming roses.

At the cocktail hour, guests dined on caviar served on mother-of-pearl spoons, a roasted ratatouille of vegetables filled with goat cheese, fresh shrimp, flaky crab cakes, miniature skewers of lamb, and iced gazpacho served in demitasse cups. For seafood lovers, several raw bars spilled over with fresh lobster, shrimp, oysters on the half shell, cherrystone clams, and crabs.

For the reception, the ceiling was swaged in ivory cotton, the tables dressed in a trio of different styles, the carpeting sisal. The bride and groom's families took seats at long dark colonial wood tables with white placemats, white embroidered linens, crystal candelabra, and Oriental porcelain jardinières packed and blooming with locally grown garden roses. For our second style, a round tables situated on the main floor were covered first in linen, and then topped with ornate overlays. Finally, the veranda displayed our third style: thirteen round tables underneath market umbrellas, each table dressed with leaf-patterned linens and rattan-and-brass rimmed chargers. We'd placed Oriental rugs and banana trees on the floor and dotted the tables with moss-green candles and flowering orchid plants. From the outdoor balcony, guests could glance down on a ravine whose banks were decorated with flickering, candlelit trees.

Famed chef Jaochim Splichal of Patina Catering prepared Hamachi sashimi with Japanese mushrooms, then a salad topped with toasted pecans and Asian pears, followed by a dry-aged sirloin steak with Matsutake mushrooms. As for the wedding cake, it had to be seen (and tasted) to be believed! I designed the cake with Linda Goldsheft. It had five tiers that resembled an intricate green and white Wedgewood china patter three of white chocolate cake with white chocolate mousse and raspberries, and two of dark chocolate with the same filling. Linda covered the entire cake with green fondant and white chocolate Swiss buttercream, even mimicking the white scallop pattern of the main building's architecture - a true culmination of all the elements.

Typically, after the wedding cake is cut, many guests will slip away into the night. Not these guests! They stayed late, never, ever wanting the enchantment to come to an end.