Fairy Tales

Posted online: March 2010

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Fountaine’s handmade log table decorated with flowers, ferns, and feathers at Dos Pueblos Ranch.

Flowers, fairies, feathers, and ferns frolicking among the lush woods might mirror a childhood fantasy. But for Santa Barbara event planner Tricia Fountaine, turning a natural environment into a whimsical wonderland is a reality.

Fountaine put her imagination to work in a secluded section of the historic 2,000-acre Dos Pueblos Ranch in Goleta, transforming it into an ethereal bridal shower fit with lilacs and roses, glittering butterflies and glazed fruit tarts. “I got into J.R.R. Tolkien late in life, and it got me hooked on fairies and fantasy stuff,” says Fountaine. “Some people do needlepoint, I make fairy wings.”

This all started with a love for floral arrangements while working as a merchandiser for local clothing boutique owner Wendy Foster. Fountaine then began booking events and has been planning weddings for the past 12 years. And it helps that she lives on the property where she creates her magic. The Dos Pueblos Ranch is filled with sycamore tree groves that are hundreds of years old and a year-round running stream, making it the perfect setting for a natural fairy tale.

The space came alive with fresh roses, orchids, and lilies in various shades of pink from Florabundance and Por la Mar Nursery. Fountaine decorated a handmade log table with moss, eucalyptus bark, and fake mushrooms tucked into river rock. For a hint of fairy dust, glitter was sprinkled onto silk butterflies and the rims of goblets. Glass plates purchased from flea markets were placed atop splayed ostrich feathers and philodendron leaves. Guests sat

:Freshly glazed fruit tarts and a red velvet cake resembling a birch tree log from Decadence Wedding Cakes enticed party-goers’ taste buds.

Freshly glazed fruit tarts and a red velvet cake resembling a birch tree log from Decadence Wedding Cakes enticed party-goers’ taste buds.

on log stools covered with colorful plush pillows from Tienda Ho. “Pull anything out of your yard and add a little bit of glitter to it, put some fruit in  there, and you have a beautiful table,”says Fountaine.

Dawn Peters from Decadence Wedding Cakes supplied some sweetness to the soirée with delicious fruit tarts, petit fours, and mini chocolate cakes surrounded by an abundance of colorful fruit. Peters also provided a  confectionary showstopper for the one-of-kind party—a sculpted birch tree-like red velvet cake covered by an intricate gilded fondant and topped with marzipan fairy figurines. Fountaine went even further and robed the guests with handmade costumes and botanical wreaths, using curly willow or  birch branches intertwined with pinecones, flowers, feathers, ribbon, and moss. And of course—a touch of glitter for that fairy flair.

Mixing the fantastical with nature is not only pleasing to the eye but also the planet and the pocketbook. “I think the whole trend for an ostentatious wedding is done,” says Fountaine. “People are wanting to do things that are a little more green, more eco-friendly, more sustainable.”

But when it comes down to it, Fountaine is simply trying to add a little fantasy to a common celebration. “We all see the same beautiful strapless white dress, the guy in the black tux…. What if somebody just went a little overboard with the theme?” she winks. – Sarah Young

Whimsical fairies roamed the forest in hand-made "wings" and old bridesmaid's dresses that Fountaine reworked.

Whimsical fairies roamed the forest in hand-made "wings" and old bridesmaid's dresses that Fountaine reworked.

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