Romantic Seaside Wedding at The Biltmore in Santa Barbara

Lynda and Patrick

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

Working on the same movie, Lynda Robertson and Patrick Hoeschen first met on the day before Valentine’s Day 1996. They experienced that wonderful and rare feeling that they had known each other for ages, and both wracked their brains trying to figure out when and where they had previously met one another. At work the following day, Valentine’s Day, Lynda jokingly asked Patrick what he had gotten her for the occasion. Responding quickly, Patrick told Lynda to gaze up toward the sky. Fortuitously, just then a skywriter had written the words, “I (heart) You.” Such is how fate intervened on their behalf !

On Valentine’s Day 2003, Patrick proposed to Lynda, taking her to the same restaurant where they shared their first “official” date. After being presented with a series of three Valentine’s cards, each a continuation of the sentiment expressed in the previous, and a heartfelt and emotional proposal, Lynda accepted.

Having similar tastes and sharing a similar vision for the wedding, Lynda and Patrick worked together in the planning and decision-making. The bride and groom envisioned an outdoor, garden setting for the wedding, akin to a garden in springtime and its atmosphere of a new beginning. They also sought a setting where guests could spend the weekend, making the celebration something of a festive destination wedding, yet still warm and inviting enough that their loved ones would feel as if in someone’s home.

The luxurious Four Seasons Biltmore in Santa Barbara perfectly matched the couple’s requirements. Its 1930’s Spanish Colonial architecture exuded a warm, rustic feel, complemented by the resort’s lush gardens and charming terraces poised above the Pacific Ocean.

The wedding ceremony was conducted in the Four Seasons Escala Garden. Before a gathering of family and closest friends, bride and groom shared marriage vows that blended traditional vows with more personalized ones that expressed Lynda and Patrick’s deepest feelings and genuine love for one another. Prior to the wedding, officiant Saral Burdette had asked Lynda and Patrick individually what they loved most about the other. In one of the ceremony’s most touching moments, Saral revealed to the bride and groom and those present what each had said privately.

The ceremony was followed by a cocktail hour, during which guests were treated to hors d’oeuvres and a stunning sunset vista from the Four Seasons terra cotta-tiled terrace that overlooks Butterfly Beach. A jazz trio added musical accompaniment, as the partiers enjoyed martinis from the chic martini bar.

The reception was held in the El Mar Ballroom, whose rustic beauty and creamy golden yellows were accented by pale golden champagne table skirts, topped with ecru colored damask overlays for all the tables. The event’s color scheme blended perfectly with the soft colors of the room and the walls. Fruitwood chiavari chairs complemented the rustic look of the room’s wood beam ceiling and doors.

Table names were printed onto pearlized ecru-colored cardstock and framed in ornate, antique gold frames. For favors, guests received ecru-colored white chocolate pearlized seashells. Glimmering votives were made from various seashells, some received from Patrick’s mother and some personally collected by the bride. Packaged in clear Lucite boxes and tied with ecru satin and antique gold trim, the unique votives were affixed with garlands of Niihau shells from Hawaii and a variety of seashells, sea stars, and sand dollars. The floral colors at the reception were classic Santa Barbara tones of antique white, ivory, and champagne. The table centerpieces were a combination of low and elevated arrangements. The low arrangements, set in stone-colored rustic garden urns, consisted of blush and peach-toned Anna and Sahara roses, white Casablanca lilies, antique white and cream stock, and bells of Ireland in tones of pistachio green. The elevated arrangements were placed in tall, hand-made wrought iron candelabras with tulip-shaped hurricanes and candles and included cascading ivy and greenery. The room was also adorned with additional floor-height candelabras with peg votive hurricanes and two floor-height wrought iron candelabras with florals that flanked each side of the El Mar Ballroom’s beautiful fireplace.

The menu for the dinner reception consisted of four courses, begun with seared jumbo sea scallops presented on a bed of sage and truffle potatoes with lobster essence. The second course was a salad of frisee and organic greens with caramelized pear and blue cheese phyllo, candied pecans and cider vinaigrette. The main course was a choice of glazed Chilean sea bass with three melon cilantro salsa, accompanied by wasabi whipped potato and grilled rice paper wafer; or grilled medallion of prime beef with sweet corn brioche crust, sun-dried cherry tomato galette with cabernet reduction. The unique wedding cake was inspired by an antique Wedgwood china pattern the bride admired. It was five round tiers of varying heights and decoration. The background was champagne-colored rolled fondant, with ivory creamcolored detail. Intricate flower garland pulled sugar roses encircled multiple layers, marked on one by a swirling leaf design of ivory rolled fondant; and crowned with fresh flowers of pale peach and antique white, displayed upon of tall silver platter. Its flavors were a sumptuous vanilla bean sponge cake layered with zesty lemon curd, vanilla custard, and fresh raspberries; and bittersweet chocolate cake layered with white chocolate mousse and fresh raspberries.

Following the biggest party of the bride and grooms lives, Lynda and Patrick began their lives together by staying close to the sea, enjoying a week-long honeymoon on the Caribbean island of St. Lucia.

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