In honor of the first day of Old Spanish Days, Fiestathis week in Santa Barbara, I would like to celebrate an element of Santa Barbara Wedding Style that is not only timeless and romantic, but was also recently chosen by Kate Middleton for her own Royal Wedding, and years before by another iconic bride, Grace Kelly, the Mantilla, or Spanish Veil.
I have had seen so many incredible custom variations on this style veil over the years in Santa Barbara. As dress styles have changed and trends have come and gone–tiaras, flowers, feathers, and whatnot have made and appearances, but this stunning veil has always remained a Santa Barbara favorite.
The lightweight ornamental mantilla came into use in the warmer regions of Spain towards the end of the sixteenth century, and ones made of lace became popular with women in the 17th and 18th centuries being depicted most notably in the portraits of Diego Velázquez and Goya. In the nineteenth century, Queen Isabel II (1833–1868) actively encouraged its use.
It’s that time of year again . . . when Santa Barbara celebrates Old Spanish Days also known as Fiesta. Beginning today, the Mercados will be bustling with amazing food, music, dancing and lots and lots of cascarones (confetti filled eggs). There are many different layers to this week-long celebration but when I think of my fondest Fiesta memories, I recall warm summer evenings, vibrant colors, lively music, laughter, friends, dancing (yes, maybe after a few margaritas), steaming hot tamales, and a wonderful sense of pride in this special place we call home. Today I thought we would share a bit of Fiesta inspiration for your Santa Barbara Wedding. Enjoy!
Santa Barbara is filled with spectacular natural beauty, historic architecture, and romantic hideaways making it the perfect destination wedding location – sometimes. There are a few dates throughout the year to mark off on your wedding planning calendar as “dates to avoid for your wedding.”
Santa Barbara is home to many community celebrations and special events, drawing tourists from all over the world to our little town. During these times it becomes virtually impossible to book a hotel room, get a restaurant reservation, or even to simply drive down State Street. If the crowds don’t bother you then the rise in prices might. Of course, specific dates will vary from year to year but here are some times to watch out for.
Fiesta or Old Spanish Days is a wonderful celebration of our town’s Spanish heritage and takes place over five days, starting on the Wednesday of the first week of August. It is always guaranteed to be a party, filled with performances, parades, and loads of confetti. Fiesta may be a great idea for a festive weekend away, but isn’t such a great idea for the weekend of your formal wedding.
Celebrating the official start of summer, Summer Solstice is launched with a wild and lively parade. Every year this weekend event draws more and more tourism and delivers a memorable weekend of fun. If you’re not worried that your great aunt Betty may be shocked by scantily clad dancers and frolicking flower children, then go for it, otherwise avoiding this weekend might be advisable.
UCSB Graduation every June, floods Santa Barbara, Goleta, Carpinteria, Ventura and every hotel room and restaurant within a 50-mile radius of Santa Barbara. Students and families begin booking reservations in the fall for these June dates that almost always fall on Father’s Day weekend.
Valentine’s Day can seem like the perfect time for a wedding, but you may want to proceed with caution when planning your Santa Barbara wedding around this holiday. It is important to remember that Santa Barbara is a popular romantic getaway, and hotel rooms – as well as restaurants – can book up quickly. If you are set on this date, it can be done, but will require some additional planning considerations. Remember that flower prices will be much higher for a Valentine’s Day wedding.
Another general rule for Santa Barbara is that despite our nearly perfect climate, we do suffer from something the locals refer to as “June Gloom.” This is a time when the sky seems to cloud over and hides away for nearly a month each year. If you are determined to have sunshine and glistening blue oceans, than you may want to avoid a June date. On the bright side, photographers will tell you that overcast weather is great for your photographs, if not for your spirit.
The general rule for selecting your perfect Santa Barbara wedding date, would be simply avoid the high tourism weekends. Check the events calendar at www.santabarbaraca.com and plan around other festivities. Doing so will ensure that you and your guests will be able to enjoy your perfect Santa Barbara wedding.