An Airy Summer Wedding in the Santa Ynez Valley
Interior designer Hayley Bridges and wealth advisor Justin Shane first met in 2014 through Justin’s cousin, a mutual friend. “Justin’s warm energy really stood out to me when I first met him,” Hayley remembers. “He exudes joy.” It wasn’t until a year later they began dating—but once they were official, there was no looking back.
“We got engaged at my family’s ranch in Montana on Christmas eve 2019,” Hayley shares. “I was completely surprised by the proposal. Justin mentioned wanting to go for a walk to what we call the ‘hobbit hut,’ a one-room cabin with no electricity or water.” She continues: “Just before we got to the cabin, Justin ran ahead of me and said we should look at the view of the valley. He started saying how much he loved me and I just thought he was being sweet—it wasn’t until he got down on his knee that I knew what was going on.” After she said yes, her sister and brother-in-law burst out of the cabin with a photographer, and the rest of her family—including her dad, actor Jeff Bridges— joined shortly after to pop Champagne in celebration.
They got right to planning, and found that selecting a venue—Kestrel Park in Santa Ynez, California—was the easiest part. “We loved it right off the bat,” the couple shares. “The property is just absolutely beautiful.” It would set the perfect scene for their vision, something romantic, classic, intimate, and cozy.
“For the theme, we wanted to combine the English garden landscape of Kestrel with our California coastal vibe,” Hayley and Justin say. “The color scheme was natural variations of whites, creams, and greens, with warm touches of soft orange and citrus and accents of dusty blue, gold, and wood.”
The venue also offered enough outdoor spaces to host each part of the day in one location—from ceremony to cocktail hour to reception—and was the ideal size for their 123 guest count. After one reschedule due to Covid, the couple said “I do” on August 21, 2021. Scroll down to see all the pretty details from their fresh, summery affair, planned by Kelly Clark Leonard and Cassidy Rae Rios at Event of the Season and photographed by McKenzie Smith for Tanya Menoni.
Hayley wore a lace Anne Barge gown with intricate embroidery and a V neckline. “I felt like it was classic, and the silhouette was the one I’d been searching for,” she says. “I just felt really pretty in it.” Plus, it passed the true test of loving your gown even years later. “I had to get the dress way early, since our original wedding date was in September 2020—and I was happy to still be in love with it,” Hayley says.
She kept her makeup soft and natural. “My hair was styled in a way that I would do my own hair going to other events, so it felt like me,” she says. “I wore a beautiful hair accessory that was given to me by my best friend when I was her maid of honor. I also wore my mother’s diamond chandelier earrings.”
“We both wanted to have that quiet and intimate time together before the ceremony,” the couple shares of their first look. “It was such a sweet time to connect for a little bit, and just take in the moment together.”
Hayley’s bridesmaids wore dusty blue floor-length chiffon dresses by Birdy Grey. “I was drawn to the color,” Hayley says. “But, I wanted to have a variety of styles, so everyone could find the perfect dress to fit their style and body type.”
For bouquets, “we used a seasonal summer mix of blooms in shades of apricot, white, cream, and cornflower blue,” the couple’s florist at Coco Rose Design shares. “A variety of different foliages, herbs, and full fluffy flowers were included to echo the abundant gardens at Kestrel Park.” The bride carried classic white blooms with textural jasmine vine.
The groomsmen wore black suits and ties to stand apart from the groom. “We wanted just a classic and timeless feel,” notes the bride.
The ceremony decor seemed to bloom directly from the gorgeous landscape. “The true stars of the show were the beautiful sycamore trees,” Hayley says. “We also had a beautiful arch that was adorned with greenery and fluffy blooms, and the entrance of the aisle was flanked by large floral arrangements.”
“We each have a niece and nephew, so the four of them were a great flower girl and ring bearer team,” the couple shares. “The flower girls wore white dresses and flower crowns.” Brett Hunter played a live version of Leon Bridges’ “Beyond” for the wedding party’s processional, then took up “Sweet Thing” by Van Morrison for as Hayley entered with her father, Jeff Bridges.
We’re pretty proud of our first kiss as husband and wife!
Family friend Dawa Tarchin Phillips officiated the sweet ceremony, which evoked both laughter and tears. “Our personal vows were definitely a highlight from the day,” the couple recalls. “And, we’re pretty proud of our first kiss as husband and wife!”
After the newlyweds recessed out—to Stevie Wonder’s “You Are the Sunshine of My Life”—and headed off for more photos, guests picked up parasols on the way into the sunny cocktail hour. There were dual signature cocktails: an Old Fashioned for Justin and an Aperol spritz for Hayley.
“We wanted the entire day and style of the wedding to represent us, and we feel each aspect did that beautifully,” Hayley says. Case in point: “On a past date night, we had some ahi poke tacos on wonton shells that we absolutely loved. Ashley from Duo Catering & Events was able to recreate those for one of our appetizers.”
The outdoor reception space felt like a secret garden tucked into an intimate courtyard at Kestrel Park. There were round tables for the guests and a long head table for the wedding party, adorned with beautiful florals. Overhead, bistro lighting was accented with organic greenery.
“We stuck with a soft color palette throughout the ceremony, bouquets, and cocktail hour, then incorporated hits of color into the reception florals,” the couple describes. Arrangements of locally grown Carding Mill garden roses, white ranunculus, green hellebores, and deep blue bachelor buttons were accented with bright kumquats for an unexpected twist. “Place settings had an accent of blue and white china with vintage-inspired silverware.”
Before the reception began, the couple snuck off for a few photos at golden hour.
“Our first dance was a highlight and felt perfect for us,” Hayley remembers. The song? “You Send Me” by Sam Cooke.
“My dad gave a welcome speech and touched on a trait of Justin’s that I also mentioned in my vows, which is that kids and dogs love him,” Hayley says. “I believe this to be an example of his wonderful energy.”
We wanted the menu to be packed with flavor, but also full of crowd pleasers.
“We used a caterer out of Santa Barbara who really specializes in seasonal and local ingredients,” the couple says. “We wanted the menu to be packed with flavor, but also full of crowd pleasers that everyone would enjoy. For the main course, we had red wine braised short rib, and lemon and herb roasted black cod.”
The traditional family dances—to “Always Be Your Girl” by Celine Dion and “Ain’t That Love” by Ray Charles—were a highlight, the couple say. “The rest of the evening’s music was a mix of live tunes from Brett Hunter and his band, and a DJ for the dance party.”
Before heading off for a romantic honeymoon in Bora Bora, the couple had a moment to reflect on their big day. Their biggest takeaways? “Plan ahead and be flexible,” they advise. “And just have some fun with the process!”