Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara Splendor

July 29, 2014

Pacific Weddings

Whitney Toeller walked down the aisle twice. The first time, her sweetheart Ryan Turner was by her side as she entered a chapel in Sea Island, Georgia during a romantic weekend getaway at The Cloister. Upon entering the chapel, the brunette beauty discovered an alter adorned in pink and white peonies and candlelight. "My jaw dropped," Whitney says. "I looked at him with the biggest smile on my face and I just knew." Halfway down the aisle, Ryan proposed on bended knee.

Ryan and Whitney met in Dallas, Texas, where he was working in the oil and gas industry and she was studying both finance and fine art at Southern Methodist University. Luckily, Whitney based her first impression of Ryan on his "good looks, intelligence and great smile," instead of his choice in restaurants. "It's funny because I remember telling my friends that I would never go on a date to The Porch Restaurant because they have televisions hanging in every corner," Whitney says. "It was actually a good place for our blind date just in case we needed a distraction." No distractions were necessary for the attractive pair who hit it off from the onset. They ordered the same item off the menu and talked late into the evening. "It felt like we had known each other forever," Whitney says.

Whitney's hometown of Pacific Palisades, California and the nearby community of Santa Barbara were the sites of the couple's many wedding festivities. The four-day, charm-soaked celebration included a rehearsal dinner at Wine Cask Restaurant, a festive bridal luncheon at Birnam Wood Country Club, a welcome dinner at the Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara and a farewell champagne brunch overlooking a polo match at the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club. For the summer nuptials, a tailored invitation suite displayed the couple's wedding motif: their shared initials as a monogram alongside two crossed polo mallets in acknowledgement of  the bride's childhood spent around the polo field.

Guests gathered for the ceremony at El Montecito Presbyterian Church where Whitney attended as a child. It was important to both Ryan and Whitney that a sense of tradition and formality be infused in the day. The memorable union commenced with the sounds of the church choir and orchestra.

Whitney appeared as a pretty bride holding a hand-gathered bouquet of David Austin roses, snowy jewel roses, scabiosa, peonies, ranunculuses, Eucharist lilies and maidenhair fern in the creamiest ivory hues. For her wedding day look, a lengthy dress hunt turned up two remarkably different style options. She was torn between a modern and structured Carolina Herrera gown--the unexpected choice according to the bride's everyday fashion; or a classic Elizabeth Fillmore ivory lace dress with a feminine blush underlay. After much deliberation at Warren Barron bridal salon, Whitney opted for the latter. With her hair swept off her neck in a classic low bun, her look was at once refined and natural.

A bevy of bridesmaids wore knee length coral LulaKate dresses for a simply chic look. Ryan was a handsome groom in a custom made Tom James white dinner jacket and black tuxedo pants, flanked by his ten groomsmen in matching suits.

The couple let their sophisticated and time-honored design sense guide the d

The dance area was defined by a glossy white floor with an opening in the tent overhead for stargazing. The lively reception gave way to a spirited after party in the clubhouse of the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club. The swanky scene, complete with a scotch and cigar bar, was inspired by the members-only club, Annabel's in London. The joyful revelry and dancing continued as DJ Lucy spun tunes until the early morning light. The bride says, "Everyone was on the dance was a tremendously fun night!"

A decadent meal by Room Forty included such favorites as corn and lobster bisque and braised short ribs. Guests were treated to a luscious four-tier German chocolate, vanilla and coconut cake by Sweet & Saucy Shop. In a cheeky nod to the groom's profession, Whitney surprised Ryan with a carrot cake in the shape of an oil rig.