In the midst of advancing their medical careers during their first week of residency training, Ashley Sekhon and Christopher Linz also met their future spouse. “Within three days, he asked me out on a date,” shares Ashley. “The rest is history!” On Labor Day Weekend, Chris surprised his beloved with a trip to Cleveland, where they spent the first year of their relationship. “After a relaxing day visiting all of our favorite sites, I was given the best surprise of all when he proposed!” she shares. The betrothed celebrated with dinner at the same restaurant where they had their first date.

Desiring a destination wedding in a location that would be relatively easy for their loved ones to travel to, the pair selected Santa Barbara. “We fell in love with the beauty and charm of the area instantly,” smiles the bride. With help from the mother of the bride, along with their wonderful wedding planning team, Ashley and Chris’ dream day became a reality on a sunny day in March following a small mehndi ceremony with the bride’s family and a sangeet with all the guests in the days leading up to the celebration.

The big day began with a 9AM ceremony. “It was very important to my family that we have a Sikh wedding ceremony, and this was something that Chris and his family were extremely supportive of as well,” smiles the bride. Friends and family took their seats on the floor, facing the stunning ceremony arbor featuring champagne-toned drapery and blooms in shades of marigold, crimson, blush, and peach. Since most Sikh ceremonies do not take place outdoors, the couple felt it was special to have such a sacred service surrounded by stunning scenery. “It was breathtaking,” confirms Ashley.

“Our hope was to combine the vibrancy and elegance of a traditional Indian wedding with the rustic romance of [the ranch],” affirms Ashley. “Our wedding planners truly helped us accomplish this vision with the floral design and décor.” The gorgeous ceremony florals were repurposed for the reception and placed over the couple’s sweetheart table. Friends and family found their seats at long white tables surrounded by gold chairs – some with whimsical lavender covers – and decorated with lush arrangements of greenery, vibrant blossoms, and sky blue linen accents. “Walking into the tent at our reception truly felt like entering a fairy garden,” smiles the bride.

An exquisite Indian buffet featuring both traditional and Indian-fusion cuisine was enjoyed by loved ones, followed by a variety of small sweets, including peanut butter brownies, miniature key lime pies, s’mores bites, and traditional Indian desserts in lieu of a wedding cake. Guests also took home cookies from Cookies for Kids’ Cancer as wedding favors, and the newlyweds also made sure to donate their reception flowers to a neighboring cancer center through the Dream Foundation’s Flower Empower program.

Though Ashley and Chris followed tradition throughout their nuptials, they also made sure to add their own personal twist to each event, noting that they wouldn’t change a thing about their wedding day. “At the reception, I stood with my husband in front of a tent full of our dearest friends and family, and we could literally feel the pure joy and love that was vibrating in the atmosphere,” muses the bride. “It was magical.”