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A Quintessential Santa Barbara Wedding at a Family Home in Montecito

By Alexandra Macon | Photography by 

Meghan K. Sadler

“I liked him the minute I met him,” says Maureen Wynne, Wynne Ware founder and former Google advertising strategist, of when she first met Brendan Cronshaw, an associate at international real estate developer Hines, during their junior year of college at UC Berkeley, when they both lived in the same student house. “Once we started dating I just knew we were going to get married. He felt the same way and we’ve been inseparable ever since.”

Five years later, Brendan was planning on proposing during a trip to Denmark and France, but was looking for the perfect moment to do so. “I held on to the ring until our last day in Paris and didn’t pop the question until we were already running late to a dinner reservation,” he explains. “I waited for the right moment and finally proposed in front of I.M. Pei’s famous pyramids at the Louvre as the sun went down.”

Once they were engaged, there was never any question that they would tie the knot in Santa Barbara, where Brendan was born and raised. They decided to hold their reception at his family home in Montecito, which is tucked away in the foothills and features agaves, lavender, succulents, avocado trees, and oaks—quintessential Santa Barbara. “It’s the house his father built in 1985, where his parents had their wedding reception, and where Brendan was brought home from the hospital; it seemed fitting to celebrate another special day at their beautiful house,” says Maureen. They hired Jill Remy, of Jill & Co. Events, to help plan the wedding at the family home.

Perhaps inspired by the natural beauty of California, Maureen ended up picking a pistachio-colored Monique Lhuillier tulle gown with beautiful beaded lace flowers. “I loved that the dress had a traditional A-line shape, but the intricate floral beading and pale green color gave it such a uniquely romantic and ethereal look, perfect for both a church ceremony and outdoor summer reception.” She paired her dress with comfortable Jimmy Choo heels, diamond cluster studs, and a diamond and opal ring her parents had gifted her when she was young.

On August 5, 2017, Brendan and Maureen tied the knot at Our Lady of Mount Carmel, a beautiful Spanish-style Catholic Church in Montecito. “I had visited the church a few years before and knew the moment I walked inside that it was where I wanted to get married,” she says. The ceremony was small and intimate, featuring readings from siblings, and a unity candle lit by the couple’s moms. Music was provided by Santa Barbara string quartet and an accompanying cantor. Once they were declared husband and wife, the newlyweds and their guests all came together for a group photograph outside of the church. “It’s one of my favorite photos since you can see everyone’s big, happy smiles and it’s a snapshot in time with all of our closest family and friends,” Maureen adds.

As guests headed towards the Cronshaw family home for cocktail hour, Maureen and Brendan went on a joy ride in her aunt’s 1950’s Thunderbird. “We felt so free and happy and knew the rest of the day was all about celebrating!” she says.

The reception was a mix between elegant and laidback. You could spot children running around the property sword-fighting with parasols, while the couple’s mini poodle puppy, Birken, ran around greeting guests. Before dinner, the couple’s family delivered a few sentimental toasts, but with lots of light moments and laughter sprinkled throughout as well. The goal was to make the night feel like an intimate dinner party, therefore the meal catered by Savoir Faire was served family style, and featured fresh ingredients from the Santa Barbara farmer’s market including wild king salmon, halibut ceviche, broccolini, and honey from Brendan’s uncle’s bees.

For their first dance, the couple chose “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You” by Frankie Valli, and dazzled guests with their performance, which they practiced during a handful of dance classes leading up to the big day. “The whole evening had an air of celebration, with guests making themselves at home, strolling through the garden and property, conversing under the trellis and in the house, and dancing until the very end,” she says. “At the end of the night, we did the opposite of a send-off and said goodbye to all of our guests, as we would any other party we’d host.”

The next day, Brendan’s parents hosted a newlywed brunch at the Hollister Ranch, where French toast and chilaquiles were served. “It was so fun to see everyone again and reminisce about the day before,” Maureen explains. “Friends and family came and went the whole day, but our immediate families stayed until sunset, which was the best end to the best weekend of our lives.”