05.22.11 – Afton and Danny – The Monastery in Toro Canyon (Montecito, CA)

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The honor to photograph Afton and Danny’s wedding was given to me just a few weeks before the event. I didn’t meet either Afton or Danny in person, but after speaking with them about their wedding and photography expectations, I knew that this was going to be a perfect wedding for my style! They chose a beautiful estate in the foothills of Monecito, called The Monastery in Toro Canyon. You will see in the photos below that this venue is an extroadinary place to host a wedding! Three huge roll-up doors open up the house to a large terrace and the full panorama of the Pacific Ocean. The house was built in the early 1930s by famed conductor Leopold Stokowski and his then-wife, Evangeline Johnson, heir to the Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical fortune. Residents over the years have included Greta Garbo; the best-selling author and aviator, Beryl Markham; and Gloria Vanderbilt, Stokowski’s third wife.

Afton and Danny wanted to utilize The Monastery to help create a tranquil, yet festive, wedding celebration for those they love the most in the world: their family and closest friends, and just importantly, their three precious dogs. Even though the day was seemingly carefree and relaxed, wedding planner (and property manager of The Monastery) Lexi Mclane, made sure everything went perfectly. A good portion of the time was spent with their guests enjoying the peaceful setting, family members from each side getting to know one another, relatives from across the country reuniting, nieces and nephews exploring the unique grounds, and the dogs having ample room to play. Local pianist, Patrik Maiani, lended his talents on the baby grand piano with music that carried throughout the home and terrace. When the time seemed right, everyone was gathered near one of the ancient olive trees and local minister, Nino Maiani, performed the wedding ceremony. Afterward, guests gathered at a wonderfully decorated long table for a several course meal, provided by Chef Robin Goldstein, and multiple heart-felt toasts were given for the newly-weds.

Floral arrangements were created by Padaro Floral
Afton’s hair and makeup were provided by Team Hair & Makeup

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