Actor John O'Hurley's Beach-Theme Santa Barbara Wedding

Lisa and John

Photographed by: Isabel Lawrence PhotographersLocation: Santa Barbara, California, United States

Picture it: the 7th hole at one of the most breathtaking golf courses found along any coast, Pebble Beach, radiating against a golden hour sunset. Lisa Mesloh and John O’Hurley drive up to the hole to play one last game of skins. Photographers are secretly hiding in the bushes and Lisa, who doesn’t suspect a thing, loses the hole. As she retrieves her ball, something catches her eye. John has hidden the ring box in the hole and with flash bulbs popping, he asks Lisa to marry him in the most perfectly orchestrated proposal two avid golfers could ask for. Pebble Beach is a golfer’s paradise and for Lisa and John it will forever remain their favorite place to play together.

The setting was symbolic, too, since Lisa and John’s first date was also on the golf course. As single digit handicappers, Lisa and John wanted to hold their wedding at a location that, you guessed it, offered golf but where their wonderful friends and family could also kick back and turn their wedding celebration into a mini vacation. Given these parameters, it wasn’t difficult for the couple to choose the Bacara Resort & Spa and the Sandpiper Golf Course in picturesque Santa Barbara for their grand affair.

Traditionally, most grooms leave the decision making up to the bride and her mother, but Lisa credits John, along with her mother, Jan, with helping her finalize every detail of the planning process along with her friend and coordinator, Sandy Bernhisel. To give themselves enough personal time to spend with their loved ones, the couple planned numerous meals and outings throughout their wedding weekend. Lisa and John decided to launch their festivities with a welcome dinner Thursday night, followed by a Friday golf tournament before their rehearsal dinner, and lunch for the ladies and even more golf for the guys on Saturday all before their actual wedding that night. No wonder the couple waited two days to leave for their honeymoon, “I think I slept for 24 hours straight after the big event,” recalls the bride. It was a wise decision that the couple highly recommends to other newlyweds.

John, best known for his portrayal of eccentric catalog owner J. Peterman on Seinfeld, is also an accomplished musician and chef and his pursuits were reflected by both the guest list and the creativity infused into their wedding proceedings. Celebrity chef and owner of Blue Ginger, Ming Tsai, was the highlight of the rehearsal dinner as he demonstrated shrimp mango tostadas at the head food station. Former Vice President Dan Quayle won the prize for “Closest to the Pin” at the golf tournament and actor Bryan Cranston of Malcolm in the Middle stood by John as his Best Man. As guests were being seated for the ceremony, John’s friend and musical collaborator, Marston Smith, strolled through the crowd playing his electronic cello like the wedding’s traveling minstrel.

On the morning of their wedding, Lisa and John were overwhelmed to learn that John’s grandparents were also married on that date eighty-four years earlier. With this in their hearts, Lisa, who had always been a “Daddy’s girl,” tried to hold back tears as she was escorted by her father to meet John. Surrounded by 210 of their dearest friends, they married in a ceremony representative of their Christian faith and their deep devotion to one another.

The ceremony’s classic, ocean inspired décor of white accented by celadon green gave way to a burst of vibrant color once the cocktail hour commenced. Rich jewel tones of fuchsia, amethyst, sapphire and deep red created oversized centerpieces on wrought iron stands to compete with the ballroom’s vastness, awash in candlelight.

Lisa knew that John was going to surprise her that day with their first dance song but what she wasn’t expecting was to hear her new husband’s voice fill the room as the couple took the floor. John had decided to pre-record his own version of Barbara Streisand’s “I Dreamed of You” as an additional and touching surprise for his bride.

But Lisa had a surprise up her sleeve for John, too. After their four-tiered lemon wedding cake was presented, Lisa revealed a second groom’s cake, a large sheet of chocolate mousse adorned with the logo of John’s favorite, and consequently winning team, the Boston Red Sox. This followed a gourmet dinner of lobster risotto, Chilean sea bass and mesquite filet mignon, and provided the sweetest ending John could have imagined (except for the Sox’s World Series Championship)!

In addition to a CD of John’s music, the couple’s out of town guests received beach bags that Lisa’s mother had filled with goodies for a weekend away: wine, tee shaped chocolate covered pretzels, visitor books on Santa Barbara and a “supporting cast” playbill on the members of the wedding party.

As we’re sure it was said that day, Lisa and John’s wedding was a hole in one for both the happy couple and their lucky loved ones. So much time and effort goes into an affair of this caliber that it makes it all worth it when the result is a gathering as warm, fun loving and genuinely unique as the couple themselves. As Lisa recalls, “the event focused on our favorite things: a golf tournament before the wedding, time with friends and good food and wine.” What more could a couple ask for from the best day of their lives? For Lisa and John, it was a honeymoon at Las Ventanas in Los Cabos, Mexico, and perhaps, between relaxing and experiencing the cuisine, it was finding some time for a friendly round of golf.

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