Lucy and Anthony brought their guests together from all over the world to celebrate their nuptials, and wanted to create a quintessential Santa Barbara experience for their welcome dinner. The guests stayed at Palihouse in downtown Santa Barbara and were greeted with fun welcome bags when they arrived, including items curated by Lucy’s mom that featured Lucy and Anthony’s heritage and some family favorite snacks. Guests were then picked up on the classic Santa Barbara Trolleys for a multi-course dinner in the funk zone.
Guests arrived at the Santa Barbara Wine Collective and were greeted with dirty martinis and classic margaritas. The guests also had the option of a white wine tasting flight or a red wine tasting flight, with local wines featured from Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez.
After wine tasting in the classic Santa Barbara Funk Zone, guests were invited to sit down at a feasting table lined with organic white blooms, candles, herbs, and textured greenery under bistro lights for a multi-course farm-to-table dinner. The chef at The Lark Santa Barbara prepared a six-course family style dining experience, including Tuna Crudo, Roasted Brussel Sprouts, Southern Fried Chicken, Spiced Chickpea Tangine, Oven Roasted Steelhead Trout and Olive Oil Blossom Cake.
As a planner, I love when couples choose to host a welcome dinner for their destination guests. Having everyone together before the wedding day itself allows for the couple to greet all of their guests, see everyone, and allows for the group to get to know each other before the wedding celebration. Old friends can catch up, new friendships can be formed, and as a group, the guests can get to know each other. This way, on the wedding day, the “ice” is already broken, and the guests are ready to celebrate. Also, the couple has already had the chance to greet most of their guests by time the wedding starts, so they can be more present on the big day itself. Finally, hosting a welcome dinner provides the couple an opportunity to embrace the local gems in the area they are getting married - from fun wine tastings to farm-to-table meals, classic trolley rides to exploring downtown in a new area...all of these are fun welcome dinner ideas (that may not be what a couple wants to have on their wedding day itself).
Click here to see Lucy and Anthony's incredible wedding at the Belmond El Encanto!