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Four Seasons Biltmore

Four Seasons Biltmore Santa Barbara Wedding Photographer

I photographed my first Four Seasons Biltmore wedding in Santa Barbara almost 12 years ago and I still remember it vividly. The lush grounds, proximity to the ocean and beach and elegant yet understated Spanish style architecture made for a magical combination that is just as incredible today. I think couples fall in love with this wedding venue because it truly has it all. I have photographed both ceremonies and receptions on the large Monte Vista lawn with the charming hotel façade behind the guests, as well as the more intimate Mariposa Garden with views of the ocean and Butterfly Beach. It honestly doesn’t matter which area you choose for your ceremony and reception at this hotel, the options are all incredible.

First of all, getting ready in these rooms is guaranteed to start the day off in the most relaxed way – which makes for wonderful documentary style photos as the brides and grooms get ready. There is always plenty of room for the bridesmaids and groomsmen to join and start the party from the very beginning of the day! I can photograph the bride and groom getting ready, as well as have lots of room to photograph the details and any other special moments such as champagne toasts, parent gifts or the reading of notes from each other before you get dressed.

The grounds, of course, are quintessential Santa Barbara - tall palms, flowers, greenery, shady winding pathways and lawns that overlook the Pacific. Popular spots for photos include the iconic winding staircase, Butterfly Garden and the many picturesque walkways throughout the property. The area along the beach is perfect for both photos of the couple as well as fun shots of the wedding party. The oceanside lawn in front is also perfect for family portraits and candids. The receptions areas are each unique and give couples many options, from the elegant ballrooms to the more relaxed Coral Casino, receptions at the Four Seasons don’t ever disappoint.

Outdoor cocktail hours give me a great opportunity to get some creative candids of your guests before the reception, especially at the Coral Casino which has sunset views of the ocean. I always make time to take the couple to the beach for sunset photos if they would like. The sidewalk and paved path down to the sand provide great ways to get beach photos without getting sandy or wet, but if you want to venture all the way down to the water, I am game! I also like to be sure to take advantage of the gorgeous Spanish tile work around the property, as the colors and textures are really great in photos.

But the most magical aspect of this property when it comes to photography is the light, which has a golden glow like nowhere else in Santa Barbara. So much of my approach to wedding photography is about finding just the right quality of light to really capture the mood and magic of the day and this hotel has it in spades. Whether I am photographing the bridal party on the pathways near the bungalows, or the family in the Mariposa Garden, the lighting is always just perfect. Even when the wedding party decides to start an impromptu game of croquet after the ceremony on the back lawn, the lighting is truly magical!

What makes this venue special is the combination of lush grounds, impeccable service and myriad options for dinner and dancing. I am thrilled every single time I have the privilege of photographing events at this hotel!