A Flower-Filled Wedding at California's Sunstone Villa
The night Sean Ferguson and Jackie Attwood-Dupont first met, Sean had actually been warned "not to date" Jackie by their group of friends. But don't worry, it was all with good intentions: They all liked her and didnâ€™t want to lose a friend if something bad happened! Luckily, nothing did and by the end of that first evening in January of 2013, Sean and Jackie had plans for their first date. Fast forward to their engagement years laterâ€”when Jackie's mom invited them both to a "black tie party." "While we were waiting to leave, Sean begged me to go sit with him on my momâ€™s porch, and I remember thinking he was acting kind of strange,â€ť Jackie recalls. â€śI was so surprised when he got down on one knee that I couldnâ€™t stop laughing!â€ť She couldnâ€™t believe Sean had faked the whole evening, but was thrilled when 20 of their friends showed upâ€”also in black tie attireâ€”for their engagement party.
When the couple began planning their May 12, 2018 wedding, Jackie and Sean selected San Ysidro Ranch as their venue. But in early 2018, mudslides in Montecito caused incredible destruction throughout the region, and with just four months to go, they had to come up with a Plan B. â€śOur planners, Alison and Bryan, were amazing," Jackie says. "They jumped right into planning mode as we tossed around the idea of eloping in Europe instead of replanning our California wedding. But in the end, we decided that having the people we love there was our number one priority.â€ť Thankfully, they soon discovered that Sunstone Villa in Santa Ynez, California, was available on their original date, and quickly booked the castle-like vineyard venue. And despite a change of venue, the day's decor kept to their original vision: to use Jackieâ€™s favorite color, purple, in almost every detail. To do that, they worked with florist Jenn Sanchez to find ways to soften the saturated hue and use lush, organic flowers to keep the celebration from feeling fussy.
As the couple looked for a new venue, they had specific priorities: an accessible location from L.A., on-property lodging for their families, and a spectacular natural setting. Sunstone Villa checked all their boxesâ€”and more!
Jackie says she didnâ€™t want a princess wedding dress until she realized how much she loved a little bling. â€śI ended up really going for it with a floral Galia Lahav dress,â€ť she says. â€śAs soon as I put it on, I couldnâ€™t imagine wearing anything else.â€ť
Jackieâ€™s purple bouquet paired multiple varieties of garden roses with hellebore and delphinium.
The bride wore Rene Caovilla shoes for the ceremony but later changed into floral sandals by Monique Lhuilier (that matched the day's flowers perfectly!) for the reception.
Sean wore a black suit that was made with a fabric featuring tiny polka dots throughout. His suit jacket was also lined with vibrant green material.
For the ceremony site, florist Jenn Sanchez created a spectacular aisle of delphinium, ranunculus, and moss that led to an altar set beneath one of the villaâ€™s towering trees.
â€śWe ultimately decided not to have any flowers up at the altar itself,â€ť explains the bride. â€śOnce we walked down the aisle, we relied on the vineyard views as our backdrop.â€ť The couple exchanged personalized vows, and included a reading from Buffy the Vampire Slayer in their ceremony.
At cocktail hour, neutral lounge furniture was scattered across a terrace overlooking the vineyard.
The bars were decorated with peach and purple arrangements of seasonal blooms.
Guests enjoyed a cocktail hour full of bites inspired by the coupleâ€™s favorite destinations in California. â€śWe served lamb sliders like the ones we get in Big Bear, tacos and margaritas inspired by Palm Springs, and sushi (including Santa Barbara uni), which we love to order on Sunday nights,â€ť says Jackie.
The couple also served three signature cocktails: "His" was a penicillin (scotch, lemon juice, and honey-ginger syrup), "Hers" was a lavender-infused greyhound (grapefruit juice, lavender syrup, and grapefruit-infused gin), and "Ours" was a Negroni (gin, Antica Formula, and Campari).
Jackie changed out of her ball gown for the reception, and says she loved having a dress she could move in on the dance floor. â€śThis Pronovias dress was so understated," she says. "There was no blingâ€”it was simple and slinky. I think Sean was relieved he could stand closer to me without stepping on anything!â€ť
After cocktails, guest returned to the villa to find their escort cards displayed on a flower bar, with ranunculus, roses, and sweet peas pouring out of the drawers.
The al fresco dinner took place beneath wooden pergolas covered in greenery. â€śOur planners came up with the amazing idea to have our guests dine under flowers, and they built these amazing structures to hold the installation,â€ť explains the bride. They kept the dinner tables simple, using a few small arrangements and decanters of wine as the decor.
â€śWe had these amazing cheese and charcuterie boards from Lady and Larder as the focal point on the table,â€ť says Jackie. â€śWe wanted our guests to be able to get a glass of wine or grab a bite when they wanted, without having to wait for something to be served.
The couple's custom-made dance floor featured a purple floral print that matched their invitation suite, and strands of twinkle lights were strung up above to light the party.
Looking back, Jackie admits that switching venues at the last minute meant they were planning nonstop for most of their engagement. â€śAfter all that hard work, itâ€™s important to set a cutoff point when you just let it all go and leave it to the professionals,â€ť she says. â€śBe in the moment and enjoy the celebration. Let someone else take care of the details!â€ť