SUNSTONE WINERY is one of our favourite California wedding venues. Claire and Derek's intimate nuptials were celebrated with 20 of their closest loved ones at this gorgeous spot in Santa Ynez, California. The palette consisted of a variety of whites and cool toned neutrals with an abundance of greenery and organic textures such as wood and silk. The vision for the wedding was organic, romantic, and playful and was brought to life by planner & stylist EVENT OF THE SEASON. The ceremony was set in front of the large oak tree that was adorned with lush greenery and cream blooms. Guests dined at a long wood feasting table with a flowing runner, stone dinnerware, and gold flatware. Accenting the runner was a full greenery runner with bloom accents and an abundance of candles. Claire and Derek's laid back, elegant style really shined through on the wedding day, as did their love and admiration for one another. KELSEA HOLDER captured these beautiful images of their day.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS LOCATION? In an effort to escape the cold Canadian winter, Derek and I have visited California several times in the past few years. It holds a special place in our hearts and we have many amazing memories there. Once we decided on an intimate wedding of close friends and family, we knew California would provide the perfect setting. While searching for our venue, we visited a couple of different wineries but none quite invoked the same elegant, rustic feel as Sunstone Winery.

HOW DID YOU MEET? Our story began in the summer of 2015 when Derek and I met during a weekend at a mutual friend’s cottage north of Toronto. I was seeing someone at the time so initially, we were just friends. A few months later in January, our paths crossed again at a party. This time I was single, and apparently feeling bold as I told Derek that I was going to marry him. Luckily, this didn’t scare him off and we started dating shortly afterwards.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR PROPOSAL: Derek and I spent a couple of months designing my engagement ring together so while the proposal was not a total surprise, I was surprised when Derek proposed on his 30th birthday. He proposed with just the two of us and our dog at our house in Toronto.

TELL US ABOUT FINDING YOUR WEDDING DRESS: I always admired the Australian company GRACE LOVES LACE and their simple, effortless designs. When I heard they were coming to Toronto for the first time, I knew I needed to book an appointment. They provided a fabulous stylist named Kate who helped me find my perfect dress.

DID YOU HAVE ANY DIY ELEMENTS? Travelling to California made it difficult to incorporate as many DIY elements as I would’ve liked. We were lucky to have my parents staying in California during February and March so I was able to bring some items down over a couple of trips. We did create gift boxes that were waiting for all of our guests in their hotel rooms which included snacks, sparkling water, customised coasters and hangover kits. I also made a large clear acrylic welcome sign that featured our monogram in white vinyl designed by Jacqueline from THE LITTLE NORTH COMPANY.

DESCRIBE YOUR WEDDING FLOWERS: Our wedding flowers were beautiful and really completed the vision for our day. We chose organic tones of cream, blush and light pink with soft greenery. The standout feature was definitely the flower garland on the ceremony tree made up of garden roses, hydrangeas and ranunculus, with greenery and eucalyptus at the base.

FAVOURITE DETAIL OF THE DAY: The beautiful tablescape designed by our planners from Event of the Season. Our planners along with our florist did a fabulous job creating a design that flowed and incorporated our favourite design elements like eucalyptus and candle light, offering a beautiful sensory experience for our guests.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE OUT TO A COUPLE PLANNING THEIR WEDDING? Hire a great planner who understands your style and vision and don’t allow little details to stress you out.

MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT? During the father of the bride speech, my dad brought out a large photo cut out of our german shepherd Kona and put him in the grass beside the dinner table. It brought a little piece of home to our destination wedding and got a lot of laughs from our guests.

ANY OTHER DETAILS THAT HELP TELL THE STORY OF YOUR DAY? My cousin Jane officiated the wedding which made our ceremony feel even more intimate and special.

TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR HONEYMOON: In January, we went to Tanzania and South Africa for 3 weeks to visit wineries, relax, and spend some time on safari.