Mark-Paul Gosselaar had been working on a custom engagement ring for his beloved for a couple of months, so on the day when the dazzling diamond bauble was complete, he could not contain his excitement any longer. “I had grown tired of inventing places I was, while secretly designing the ring,” admits Mark-Paul. “I wanted to give it to Catriona as soon as possible.” However, before Mark-Paul proposed to Catriona, he made sure to take the time to ask her father for his blessing. “I wouldn’t do it any other way,” he affirms.
After a nice family dinner at their seaside home, Mark-Paul, Catriona, and their two children took a walk down the beach to collect shells. As the sun set and the youngsters pranced around in the sand, Mark-Paul got on bended knee and asked Catriona to be his wife. “It was so unexpected,” she admits. “I fell into his arms crying, saying ‘You’re crazy, of course, yes!’”
For the next nine months, the couple worked on creating a celebration that would exude a natural, but chic, ambience for the 135 guests that would be in attendance. Catriona and Mark-Paul envisioned an evening under the stars in Santa Barbara. “Much of my family is from the United Kingdom,” says the bride, “so I really wanted to show off the beautiful wine country and great California weather.”
The bride selected a classic color palette of neutral tones that began with an invitation suite that showcased a linen backside. Catriona and Mark-Paul also chose to incorporate flowers and herbs that were native to the region into the design scheme. “We love lavender, and since the Santa Ynez area is known for its beautiful lavender fields, it all fit into place,” explains the bride.
As a nod to the bride’s Scottish heritage, a bagpiper was present at the ceremony, in addition to loved ones donning kilts in true customary fashion. The bride, on the arm of her father, walked down the aisle to “Highland Cathedral” played on pipes. She wore a sophisticated lace gown with a sweetheart neckline and carried a romantic nosegay of English garden roses. Her blond wavy locks fell loosely down her back and diamond earrings sparkled from her ears. Catriona remembers fondly, “It was a grand and dramatic entrance.”
The couple had chosen to write their own vows, which proved to be quite sentimental. “Mark-Paul’s vows made me cry, as well as the rest of the congregation,” confides the bride. Finally, a sand ceremony that included the couple and their children was performed to symbolize the coming together of their family. At the conclusion of the intimate nuptials, Catriona and Mark-Paul exited to “Scotland, the Brave” and led their loved ones to a magnificent reception area.
The space was lightly decorated, as not to compete with the naturally breathtaking layout of the land. Guest tables presented an elegant floral display of roses, herbs, hydrangea, lavender, and jasmine vine placed in antique urns atop linen table runners. The head table displayed beautiful individual centerpieces that were placed in front of each place setting. The rolling hills of the vineyard served as a remarkable backdrop to the sit-down, family-style dinner service.
The first dance was the moment, the bride admits, where she finally breathed and took it all in. “It was sunset and the Santa Ynez hills surrounded us, along with our family and friends,” the bride describes. “It was magical.” The evening went on to include heartfelt speeches from loved ones and dancing under the stars, just as the couple had imagined.
Mark-Paul encourages other grooms to be as supportive as possible while wedding planning. “Realize this is a big deal and a big day,” he affirms. A big day, indeed. “The entire day was a dream come true,” describes Catriona. “I tried hard to savor it all.”