For Lauren Collins and George Sumner, a 12-year friendship blossomed into a wondrous romantic relationship that soon culminated in a proposal. George whisked his beloved away to San Ysidro Ranch in Santa Barbara, California, for a relaxing Valentine’s Day weekend. “We were lounging in our room enjoying a quiet afternoon and George spontaneously dropped to one knee and asked me to marry him,” Lauren recalls of the proposal with a smile.
True to their personalities, the couple wanted to keep everything simple and chose to tie the knot with an elopement four months later. Thus, they sent announcements of the nuptials to seven loved ones. Since they both love serene, beautiful settings, the property where George popped the question proved to be the perfect fit for the alfresco ceremony and intimate reception they envisioned.
On the big day, the bride and groom sipped Champagne and shared laughs before the ceremony. George was dapperly attired in a light azure wool jacket with contrasting tan buttons, black slacks, sienna shoes, and a paisley tie featuring periwinkle, taupe, mahogany tones. Lauren was gorgeous in a mod mini dress with three-quarter-length sleeves and stylish nude stilettos. She accessorized with a dazzling heirloom bracelet and floral design earrings belonging to her mother’s family.
The couple and their daughter, dressed in a gauzy peasant frock and pink ballet slippers, leisurely strolled the property’s lush grounds on their way to the service. Lauren carried a blush garden bouquet with a touch of greenery wrapped with a champagne ribbon. It was so alluring that her little one couldn’t help but come closer to appreciate its aroma.
A verdant lawn – framed by lemon trees with views of the surrounding hills – was entered via a foliage arch dotted with white flowers. The scent of lavender from the nearby garden lingered in the air. The bride and groom walked hand in hand towards the officiant, California Court of Appeals Judge Richard Aldrich, who also married the bride's brother. Their darling daughter even joined the 10-minute vow exchange.
Lauren and George relished the time they spent, just the two of them, having their portraits taken before joining guests for cocktails. Meanwhile, Champagne and savory pancakes topped with caviar were served to loved ones on the shaded porch of the historic adobe where the sit-down dinner would take place.
Pillar candles in glass hurricanes paired with rustic vessels and a petite cluster of blush blooms in a wood box decorated the entrance. Like her bouquet, the floral elements of the celebration were intended to complement the natural surroundings of the ranch. The cozy interior was rich with character from the exposed beams to the antique furnishings. Rosy blossoms and verdure were interspersed amid the candles lining the mantelpiece of the stone fireplace, where a fire was lit and provided a cozy ambience. A neutral-toned centerpiece with greenery and dark berry touches topped the round table.
Tailoring to their tastes, guests were able to order from the full menu of the The Stonehouse restaurant. Sitting in the company of their loved ones, Lauren and George just basked in the moment.