Several months ago, our friend John Carnesale from Las Vegas called and invited us to his wedding to be held in Santa Barbara on September 8th. While it was at least 6 months ago when the call came in we have been working our way here ever since. I did mention to him that he was getting married on my birthday so I would remember the date.
We arrived in Santa Barbara the day before and settled into a nice room close to downtown and not far from the wedding site – Our Lady of Mount Carmel
and the reception site at the Four Seasons – Biltmore
both in Montecito just a wee bit south of town. We started the day with a late breakfast at the Four Seasons including a lovely adult beverage overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
Popularly known as “the Little Church of the Fathers,” this 160-year old parish is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Montecito.
While not officially a part of the California Mission system, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church does have a connection to it. The humble beginnings of the church can be traced to the earliest rural settlers in Montecito, the soldiers of the Santa Barbara Presidio and their descendants. In lieu of a salary or pension payments, Presidio guards who watched over the Mission in Santa Barbara were given small tracts of land in Montecito and other nearby areas. Having grown tired of traveling to Sunday church services in Santa Barbara, these landholders eventually decided they wanted a church of their own. On July 16th, 1856, a priest traveled from the Mission to Montecito to celebrate Mass in a meadow and to announce that a chapel would be erected around the location of that first Mass.
The simple rectangular adobe church with a wooden porch was completed in 1859, the same year that the land on which it stood was officially deeded to the Church.
We parked at the Four Seasons and took a Lyft ride to the Church where we joined a throng of people getting ready for the ceremony.
After the wedding there was a couple of hours before the start of the reception and we took that as a sign for an adult beverage in the bar.
The wedding included a fantastic band that played great tunes throughout the night and a sit down dinner with open bar!
All in all a great way to celebrate my birthday, in a beautiful spot where we met a bunch of new friends and celebrated the joining of John and Stacy.