An Understated, Mauve-and-White December Wedding at a California Winery

wedding couple portrait in front of stone archway
Carmen Santorelli

In October 2018, Jaren Soloff was ready to give up on dating apps for good—until she came across Duane Smith's profile on Coffee Meets Bagel. His description of himself—"sarcastic romantic who likes Frank Ocean, good company, and good food"—intrigued her, and the two began messaging each other. The couple's first two dates didn't go as planned: Duane, returning from two weeks in Bahrain, was jet-lagged for their first, and Jaron was called home for an emergency during their second. "But something happened on that ride home from that second date: Jaren started rapping the song on the car radio—'Overnight Celebrity' by Twista," says the couple. "A song that reminded Duane of a favorite time in his younger life—[we felt like we] were long lost best friends, reunited."

In July 2020, Duane proposed to Jaren during a Balboa Park photo shoot for her business. And with no clear idea of when COVID-19 restrictions might allow them to plan their wedding, Jaren and Duane postponed setting their date. "Our first test as a couple was patiently waiting until we could anticipate a safer time to celebrate with all of our special guests—it was unbearable," says the couple. They finally decided to plan a 50-person wedding at Sunstone Winery in Santa Ynez, California, for December 6, 2021, and hired Kimberly Sisti of Sisti & Co. for event design, stationery, and florals. "Sunstone had everything we wanted: California's wine country backdrop with an imported European-stone-built villa," says the couple. "We were sold the minute we stepped foot in the foyer."

The venue also allowed the couple to spend the whole weekend with their loved ones, with celebratory activities and events planned over several days. "The villa gave us the most incredible location to host everyone," they say. "Truly one of the most special memories of our wedding day was that it wasn't just a day. By the time the wedding took place on the last night, it was the ultimate culmination of a weekend filled with so much love and celebration."

01 of 19

A Little Italy

scripted wedding invites with watercolor scene
Carmen Santorelli

Kimberly Sisti of Sisti & Co. provided a handmade invitation suite that included a Venice seascape—a nod to one of Jaren and Duane's favorite cities—and original calligraphy, scanned and printed on cream-colored paper. A mauve ribbon and custom wax seal incorporated the palette's accent colors.

02 of 19

All in the Details

bride portrait on stone patio
Carmen Santorelli

Jaren's wedding-dress shopping began and ended with a single designer: Berta Couture. "I knew from the get-go that I wanted a Berta gown; the style, cut, and feel of the designer was everything I wanted to embody on my big day," she says. "This particular dress was the perfect combination of what I was seeking: long sleeves, a deep cut, and all of the sparkle and glam," she says. "It was classy and elegant and a bit edgy and daring. I really felt like the dress was a work of art."

Jaren wore a Maria Elena headpiece to accent her sleek updo, and added embellished Jimmy Choo heels. "I knew that if my shoes weren't comfortable that I would end up tossing them to the side by the time the dance floor opened!" she says. Teardrop earrings from Tiffany & Co. were a gift from her mother. "They were a complete surprise," she says. "The stunning aquamarine stone is my birthstone and served as both my 'something blue' and 'something new.' They are true heirloom pieces for our family."

03 of 19

Coming Up Roses

bride in deep v wedding dress holding pastel bouquet
Carmen Santorelli

Jaren's bouquet included Princess Miyuki garden roses, Purity garden roses, white Japanese sweet peas, Dutch lisianthus, and cappuccino roses. "Nothing too bright—just romantic, soft, and complementary to the knockout wedding gown that Jaren wore," says Kimberly, who handled the day's florals.

04 of 19

Pretty in Pink

bride and bridesmaids in pastel coral dresses
Carmen Santorelli

Jaren's bridesmaids wore dusty rose-colored gowns from Azazie, each with a different neckline and silhouette. Their bouquets—smaller versions of the bride's—included flawless roses tied in loose bunches.

05 of 19

His Custom Duds

groom in tux with velvet collar and bowtie
Carmen Santorelli

Duane's black bespoke tuxedo from Zeglio Custom Clothiers featured a black velvet shawl collar, which matched the black velvet bow tie. Gold cuff links with the couple's wedding date—a gift from Jaren—were a sentimental accent. "For the groomsmen, Duane picked a notched lapel black tux from The Black Tux," says Jaren. "It's hard to beat such a classy look."

06 of 19

At First Sight

wedding couple first look portrait in front of villa doors
Carmen Santorelli

Though Jaren and Duane weren't originally sold on the idea of a first look, they did choose to see each other before the ceremony—a quiet moment they now treasure. "I was so anxious to just be with my fiancé and soon-to-be husband," says Jaren. "It felt like the weight of all the time, energy, and seemingly endless coordination that we had labored over in preparation for the wedding had come to fruition. It felt so special to be on the cusp." Duane also felt excited to see his bride: "Beyond her bachelorette party in Tulum, we're hardly ever apart," he says. "But overall, and with all the planning behind us, I felt very serene and ready."

07 of 19

A Romantic Courtyard

outdoor ceremony set up white chairs european villa
Carmen Santorelli

Jaren and Duane were charmed by Sunstone Winery's interpretation of classical buildings. "We both love France and Italy and everything about Old-World European architecture and history," they say.

08 of 19

Under the Arch

ceremony arch floral roses carnations
Carmen Santorelli

A stone wall backed the ceremony space, where a rose-covered arch centered the couple as they said their vows after Jaren's brother escorted her down the aisle. "You wouldn't know it by his six-foot, three-inch frame, but Duane is really just a big softy and was tearing up as we made our way down," she says.

09 of 19

In Their Own Words

couple holding hands for ceremony vows
Carmen Santorelli

The couple wrote their own vows, which were the centerpiece of a ceremony that also included handpicked readings from "A Gift from the Sea" by Anne Morrow Lindbergh and "Blessings for a Marriage" by James Dillet Freeman. "These readings embodied our values and beliefs of our commitment to our relationship," says the couple.

10 of 19

Hand to Hold

family sitting for outdoor wedding ceremony
Carmen Santorelli

The bride's 10-year-old daughter, dressed to match the 'maids, sat front row during the service, which she spent hand-in-hand with her family.

11 of 19

Warm Welcome

wedding welcome sign with drawing of villa
Carmen Santorelli

A welcome sign was printed with the venue's likeness; the dusty pink illustration tied the piece back to the day's color palette.

12 of 19

Let's Lounge

pastel pink wedding lounge couches
Carmen Santorelli

A simple lounge, composed of blush pink tufted furniture and a wooden coffee table, offered guests a place to rest during the cocktail hour.

13 of 19


wedding couple toasting cocktails
Carmen Santorelli

The string quartet that provided music during the ceremony switched to instrumental versions of the newlyweds' favorite tunes during the cocktail hour. Along with popular songs from Louis Armstrong and Prince, "the crowd favorite was 'California Love' by Tupac," says the couple. "It was certainly a nod to the balance we hoped to strike of having an elegant string quartet play a song we both loved." Bartenders served festive "Holiday Moscow Mules" in a subtle call-out to the couple's December wedding date; other guests sampled the venue's prized wines.

14 of 19

Lawn Service

wedding reception set up outdoors on lawn
Carmen Santorelli

A grassy lawn in the shade of the venue's dramatic stone walls provided space for the couple to host their guests for dinner at long wooden tables. The menu from Omni Catering included filet mignon with mushroom demiglace and sundried tomato and pine nut-crusted chicken.

15 of 19


elegant wooden tables for outdoor wedding reception on lawn
Carmen Santorelli

Cream-colored runners across the wooden tables created a neutral backdrop for the "growing garden floral tablescape," chic rimless plates, and gold flatware.

16 of 19

So Many Memories

pink and gold wedding place setting
Carmen Santorelli

Jaron and Duane appreciated all the time spent with their guests in the days before the wedding, and during the reception. "We both will never forget sitting down at our sweetheart table with a glass of Champagne in hand, taking in the scenery of our wedding," they say. "We were truly in awe of the setting and we soaked up every minute of that moment."

17 of 19

Just Desserts

four tier wedding cake with white rose garland
Carmen Santorelli

Fresh flowers cascaded down a four-tier chocolate cake with raspberry jam filling and buttercream frosting from Lele Patisserie. "Our hope was a simple but elegant design, and the smooth butter creamed tiers were perfectly complemented by the stunning florals," say the couple.

18 of 19

The New Mr. and Mrs.

bride and groom cutting wedding cake
Carmen Santorelli

Before cutting their cake, the pair shared their first dance. "We have so many songs that we love but couldn't pass up the chance to dance to Alicia Keys 'If I Ain't Got You,'" says the couple. "Individually, we love Alicia Keys as an artist, and the lyrics in the song speak for themselves in how we truly view one another."

19 of 19


wedding couple portrait in front of vineyard
Carmen Santorelli

Photography, Carmen Santorelli
Venue, Sunstone Winery
Event Planning, Flowers, Stationery, Sisti and Co.
Catering, Omni Catering
Videography, Lola Video
Calligraphy, TSE Calligraphy
Cake, Lele Patisserie
Music, David Newton
Rentals, Archive Rentals; Bright Event Rentals
Bride's Gown, Berta
Bride's Accessories, Lovella Bridal veil; Jimmy Choo shoes; Maria Elena headpiece; Tiffany & Co earrings
Hair and Makeup, Team Hair & Makeup
Bridesmaids' Dresses, Azazie
Groom's Attire, Zeglio
Menswear, The Black Tux
Lighting, Ambient Lighting
Candles, The Floral Society
Engagement Ring, Brilliance
Styling Mat, The Flat Lays Styler
Wedding Rings, David Yurman

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