Muted Sunset Shades Added a Subtle Glow to This Couple's Vineyard Wedding in California

Just 32 guests joined the duo for their spring nuptials.

bride and groom standing near ledge
Photo: Clay Austin Photography

In August 2011, Danielle Guiffre and Keya Manshadi met as incoming students at a Baltimore medical school. Over the next 10 years—as a long-distance couple during their pediatric residencies—they remained close, and in August 2021, Keya proposed during a picnic in Dana Point, Calif.

Their mid-pandemic engagement meant that they were able to plan their nuptials without the threat of rescheduling, and it also helped them picture their big day with more clarity. "The pandemic helped us realize that we wanted a small, intimate wedding surrounded by the people we loved the most, and in as stress-free of an environment as possible," says Danielle. "We wanted the day to be as special for our guests as it was for us."

Danielle and Keya hosted 32 guests at Sunstone Villa in Santa Ynez, Calif., on April 5, 2022, after spotting the venue on a show about unique destination weddings. "We immediately fell in love with the Tuscan villa vibe and classic, yet intimate and remote setting," says Danielle. "The completely natural, but luxurious setting fit perfectly with what we imagined for our day."

With help from Jacin Fitzgerald Events, they created a relaxed color palette of understated sunset tones—including terra-cotta, sage, sandstone, and cream—and added personal elements: their own vows, a ceremony that incorporated their Baha'i faith, custom mocktails, and a surprise left for each guest on their pillow after the party. "Our overall vision for our wedding was to create an event that was true to who we are as individuals and partners, while also showcasing how important our family is to us," says Danielle.

wedding invitation suite with olive branches
Clay Austin Photography

Branching Out

The couple chose a pre-designed paper suite with olive-inspired details that reminded them of their venue. "We were on a short planning timeline, which ultimately meant a short timeline for invitations, too!" says Danielle. "Dogwood Hill's 'Oliva' suite was near perfect for our celebration. It has beautiful illustrations that reminded us so much of Sunstone Villa."

The couple's only change: a custom monogram that reappeared on wedding-day paper goods, throw pillows, and welcome gifts.

wedding welcome bag
Clay Austin Photography

In the Bag

Danielle and Keya worked with Jacin Fitzgerald Events to fill welcome bags with "intentional and personal touches," including monogrammed playing cards; her favorite tea and his favorite coffee; and plenty of snacks.

noghl wedding gifts
Clay Austin Photography

Pillow Talk

Another personal touch came from the groom's mother, who left a "turndown surprise" in each guest's room for after the wedding. "A sachet of Noghl, a traditional Persian wedding parting treat, was placed on each guest's pillow," says Danielle. "A tag was attached to explain the significance and tradition symbolizing happiness and good luck for the couple."

bride getting ready
Clay Austin Photography

Simple and Elegant

Even before Keya proposed, Danielle had her eye on wedding dresses from Sarah Seven. "I knew I would prefer a sleeker, more simple style," she says. "Their silhouettes stand out in a way that makes so many different types of bodies look gorgeous. As soon as I put on the 'Giovanna,' I knew it was the one—I still felt like myself, just in a dress that made me feel so unique and special (and one I knew would make Keya's eyes pop out of his head!)."

bridesmaids in warm colors with bride
Clay Austin Photography

To Each Her Own

Danielle encouraged her bridesmaids to choose their own BHLDN gowns, asking only that each woman stay within the warm color palette. "I did not want to be picky at all," she says. "I wanted everyone to feel as comfortable as possible."

groom with groomsmen
Clay Austin Photography


Keya and his groomsmen wore tan notch lapel suits from Friar Tux, with terra-cotta-colored ties from Etsy. "The hunt for the perfect shade proved challenging at first, but it was worth the find!" says Danielle. "The brown leather Ferragamo loafers were a wedding gift from my father, who also wore his Ferragamo shoes on the wedding day."

bride holding simple white bouquet next to groom
Clay Austin Photography

Sweet Pea

Danielle carried a simple bouquet of white sweet peas, tied with a silk ribbon.

large tree decorated for wedding ceremony
Clay Austin Photography

Trunk Space

Coco Rose Design wrapped the oak tree that anchored the couple's ceremony with an array of ivory, peach, blush, and white flowers and greenery that included delphinium, roses, foxgloves, campanula, eucalyptus, and olive branches.

seating at outdoor wedding with floral arrangements
Clay Austin Photography

Blooming Beauties

High, cane-backed chairs were situated on the gravel ceremony space; oak trees shaded the couple as they exchanged vows in front of the sweeping vineyard landscape.

ring bearer in orange bowtie and suspenders
Clay Austin Photography

The Ring Bearer

The ring bearer, 5-year-old Caleb, donned a bow tie and suspenders to match the men. "He was extremely nervous about his role (in the cutest way possible), so Keya had a surprise waiting for him once he got to the end of the aisle: a soccer ball Pez dispenser that he sat down with for the rest of the ceremony," says Danielle. "He carried our rings in a small book titled Tale as Old as Time, a reference to my favorite Disney movie, Beauty and the Beast."

bride and mother walking
Clay Austin Photography

Mother and Daughter

Danielle and Keya chose not to see each other before the ceremony, saving their first look for the moment Danielle's mother escorted her down the aisle. "It was breathtakingly emotional, for both of us," say the bride and groom.

outdoor wedding ceremony under large tree
Clay Austin Photography

In Their Own Words

Danielle and Keya incorporated elements of their shared Baha'i faith in their ceremony, including the traditional Baha'i marriage vow, prayers, and wedding poems. "We had our family members read some of the prayers and poems that were also read at the weddings of people very important to us. It made us feel even more connected to our family at that moment," says Danielle.

The couple also wrote their own vows. "[That] was extremely important to us, because that day, in the end, was about the promises we were making for our future together," says the bride. "Keya and I are probably more open with words of love and affirmation than your average couple, but even so, nothing could have prepared me for how sacred and special it felt to recite and hear the promises we made to each other on our wedding day. I will remember that for the rest of my life."

bride and groom at end of ceremony
Clay Austin Photography

So in Love

A string quartet from Dan Willard Music Service performed the couple's favorite songs during their ceremony and cocktail hour, including "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" from The Lion King—a nod to their love of Disney—during the recessional.

mocktail at wedding
Clay Austin Photography

Fizzy and Festive

At the reception, the couple's non-alcoholic drink options included two mocktails—a ginger mango spritz, made with muddied ginger, mango nectar, and ginger beer, and a mint berry smash, which mixed blackberry and raspberry purée with sparkling water and agave—plus blackberry and rosemary lemonade, Persian tea, and the groom's favorite coffee.

appetizers at wedding reception
Clay Austin Photography

Dinner Al Fresco

Low bowls held centerpieces that featured roses, ranunculus, garden roses, sweet peas, and hyacinth in muted sunset tones of apricot, cream, blush. "Everything was washed with amber and soft lighting to keep that candlelight glow throughout the evening under the California starry sky. It was a crisp, clear evening," says Danielle.

floral centerpieces at wedding reception
Clay Austin Photography

Going Green

Bone velvet linens, placed on the two long tables, set off gold-rimmed chargers and matte gold flatware. "Each setting had a fern velvet napkin with an engraved wooden napkin ring place card on top of the layered plate and menu," says Danielle. "We opted to bring in beautiful olive water glasses to complete the look."

wedding place setting with green napkin
Clay Austin Photography

Made with Love

Danielle and Keya worked with Field to Table Events to create a six-course tasting menu based on their favorite cuisines. "We wanted to serve a meal that was reflective of us, but that also gave our guests the taste of something we enjoy," says Danielle.

Courses included hot and sour tom yum soup, Thai-style Maryland lump crab cake, roasted beets with arugula and pickled kumquat, Meyer lemon sorbet, and Korean five-spice hoisin braised short ribs. They also added a small Tachin chicken rice cake—one of Keya's mother's specialties. "We shared a lot of insider secrets with the catering team to help get this right!" says Danielle. "It wasn't 'Mom's Tachin,' but it was perfect to showcase our roots with a twist on the classic."

white wedding cake with blush colored flowers
Clay Austin Photography

Just Dessert

After the meal, the couple and their guests dug into a three-tiered white cake with strawberries, Bavarian cream, and vanilla cream cheese buttercream from The Solvang Bakery. "We are usually not cake people, and even considered not having one at the wedding at one point, but this cake was perfect and we are so happy we had it!" says Danielle. "It was light and fresh, had the perfect level of sweetness, and was beautifully designed."

bride and groom kissing at reception
Clay Austin Photography

Light the Night

As the evening came to a close, guests held small lanterns as they said goodbye to the newlyweds. "We walked through the candlelight to 'Come Alive' from The Greatest Showman: 'Come alive, come alive, go and light your light, let it burn so bright,'" says Danielle, quoting the lyrics. "It was the perfect way to end the night."

bride and groom holding hands during reception
Clay Austin Photography


Photography, Clay Austin Photography
Venue, Sunstone Villa
Event Planning and Event Design, Jacin Fitzgerald Events
Catering, Field to Table Catering and Events
Flowers, Coco Rose Design
Videography, Agápe Films
Stationery, Dogwood Hill
Cake, The Solvang Bakery
Music, Dan Willard Music Service
Rentals, BBJ/La Tavola; Bright Event Rentals; The Tent Merchant
Bride's Gown, Sarah Seven
Bride's Accessories, Chinese Laundry shoes; BHDLN jewelry
Hair and Makeup, Chiali Meng
Bridesmaids' Dresses, BHLDN
Groom's Attire and Menswear, Friar Tux
Groom's Accessories, Etsy tie; Ferragamo shoes
Lighting, Ambient Event Design
Rings, Facets Gems
Valet, Blue Star Parking

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