A Romantic Wedding at Kestrel Park in Santa Ynez, California, Inspired by An English Garden Aesthetic
Amid a year when the farthest many people traveled was to their mailbox, Ammy Pukasamsombut (27 and a teacher) and Jeffrey Cruz (36 and a first responder) transported their four guests to the English countryside without leaving California. Ammy and Jeffrey specifically chose Kestrel Park as their wedding venue because “the entire location is so gorgeous.” Not only did the venue ensure the mauve-and-blush event was storybook-worthy (in a Rapunzel-esque moment, the couple’s first look took place in front of the stone castle!), but the landscape also helped the duo plan more sustainably. The couple focused on enhancing Kestrel Park’s beauty, bringing in minimal outside decor and reusing floral arrangements where possible.
When the pandemic forced Ammy and Jeffrey to cut their guest list, they decided to have only their four parents present for the nuptials. “Never did we ever imagine our wedding day wouldn’t include all of our loved ones and that we would be going through a pandemic, but we strongly believe everything happens for a reason. And this day turned out to be the most magical day of our lives. It was perfect. It was our happily ever after.” For the ceremony, the couple penned their own vows. “I vow never to stop asking for your warm hugs and kisses,” declared Ammy. “I vow to always make weird sounds with you and laugh awkwardly. I vow to always love, support and respect you.” The floral arrangements used to demarcate the ceremony aisle were later repurposed to frame the dinner table. The designs included roses paired with lisianthus, phlox and butterfly ranunculus.
At the reception, individual grazing boards filled with charcuterie, cheese and fresh fruit were a must for the couple. Instead of a two-tier wedding cake, the couple served two single-layer strawberry-and-cream wedding cakes: one with hand-painted flowers and the other with a ribbon accent. Additionally, wine was a major part of the weekend, from bottles in the welcome bags to locally sourced rosé garnished with edible blooms at dinner.