Every Wedding Guest Attended This Chic Montecito Rehearsal Dinner

The celebration featured the venue's natural beauty.

Meredith and William at their Montecito rehearsal dinner

Photo by Joel Serrato

Will Musselman played the long game when courting Meredith Hines. The pair became fast friends when they met on a night out at Southern Methodist University in 2013. "He actually told my parents and brothers on multiple occasions that he planned on marrying me during the years we were friends, so it came as no surprise when we began dating," shares Meredith. "We remained close friends until I moved back to Dallas from Los Angeles in the summer of 2020 and we immediately began dating."

In October 2021, Will popped the question at his family's Texas ranch. Meredith remembers of the day, "I wasn’t feeling well and wanted to take a nap, but he forced me into going on an evening drive through the ranch, and I’m glad he did! He stopped the car at the top of a hill with a 360-degree view where he proposed as the sun was setting and there was no one around for miles."

The couple decided to tie the knot in Montecito, California at Meredith's family home. But for the evening before, the couple hosted guests for a charming rehearsal dinner at San Ysidero Ranch. "The SYR is such a beautiful and romantic hotel," reflects Meredith and Will. "The gardens are stunning and the restaurants are intimate. It is our favorite place to come for a martini and a walk in the gardens before enjoying a delicious dinner and romantic date night! It’s truly a special place to us and to everyone who visits it."

Will's mother Julie and the couple's planner Alexandra Kolendrianos came together to plan everything around the event. "The evening began with cocktail hour in the rose garden, followed by the rehearsal dinner in the Stonehouse Restaurant," says Meredith. "SYR speaks for itself, so we only needed to add a few decorative pieces and fill it with our closest friends and family to make it an incredible special night."

Ahead, see all the details from the beautiful rehearsal dinner hosted for 90 guests on April 29, 2022, as planned by Alexandra Kolendrianos and photographed by Joel Serrato.

Groom and bride in colorful floral dress with feathers

Photo by Joel Serrato

For the evening festivities, Will looked classic in a navy Zegna suit and leather Prada shoes. "I actually forgot to bring a tie, so I ended up borrowing one from Meredith’s dad," shares the groom. Meredith stunned in a joyful Rachel Gilbert dress accented with colorful floral beading and a feathered bottom. "I didn’t want to wear white, but still wanted to wear something soft and festive," shares the bride of her outfit choice. "This dress also fit the floral theme of the weekend and really felt like a representation of my style. It was love at first sight."

Bride and groom kiss at rehearsal dinner

Photo by Joel Serrato

Rachel wanted to have a retro '60s feel to complement her outfit. "We felt the hair and makeup needed to reflect how fun the dress was, so we went with a more playful look, especially since my wedding day look was so traditional," she shares. "We went with a cat eye, which is definitely out of my comfort zone but helped pull the look together. We also did a cute hair flip on the ends. I fell so in love with all of the inspiration photos that I wanted to get bangs for this look. Of course I didn’t get bangs that weekend, but I did as soon as we returned home from our honeymoon."

Bride shows off her engagement ring

Photo by Joel Serrato

Meredith showed off her beautiful engagement ring Will had designed by Friend & Company, along with a nude manicure.

Outdoor rehearsal dinner décor in garden

Photo by Joel Serrato

The evening began with an outdoor cocktail hour in the gardens of San Ysidero Ranch. The decor featured "whites and beiges to match the simplicity of the stone restaurant, and to contrast the opulent colors of the wedding day," says the bride. "The San Ysidro Ranch is such a beautiful property that not much needs to be done in terms of terms of decorating." To enhance the ambiance, the couple had a guitarist play throughout cocktail hour.

rehearsal dinner décor and tables

Photo by Joel Serrato

tablescapes for rehearsal dinner with silver chargers and neutral linens

Photo by Joel Serrato

Since the couple was hosting a smaller wedding, they decided to invite all 90 of their guests to the rehearsal dinner. "We (comfortably!) crammed everyone in to make it as cozy as possible," says Meredith. Long tables were decorated with beige linens, green and white florals, and lots of candles.

Table numbers and candles at rehearsal dinner tablescape

Photo by Joel Serrato

Tablescape with monogrammed napkin and floral arrangements

Photo by Joel Serrato

Monogrammed linens upon silver chargers leant a personalized and elegant touch to the tablescape.

menu for rehearsal dinner

Photo by Joel Serrato

Tomato appetizer at rehearsal dinner

Photo by Joel Serrato

On the menu for the evening was a burrata and heirloom tomato starter, and a choice of parmesan-crusted halibut or slow-braised short rib. There was also a special treat for dessert. "Will loved Texas Gold Bars growing up, so my mother-in-law Julie surprised him with these at the end of the night," she says.

Bride and groom hug father of groom

Photo by Joel Serrato

"We set the speeches to be during the courses so that everyone could focus on their delicious meal! The speeches, said in such a small setting, were so special and definitely our favorite part of the evening," remembers the couple.

bride and groom kiss at rehearsal dinner

Photo by Joel Serrato

"The entire night was so incredible special on its own," the newlyweds reflect. "We were sitting in one of our favorite restaurants, in one of our favorite places, with our favorite people. What gets better than that?" Their advice to other couple's planning their own weddings? "Don’t take it too seriously. You’ll be so happy in the moment you won’t even be paying attention to the details you spent so much time and energy planning."

Wedding Team

Venue San Ysidro Ranch

Planner Alexandra Kolendrianos

Florals and Design Mindy Rice

Bride’s Outfit Designer Rachel Gilbert

Shoes Sophia Webster

Hair and Makeup Nicole Iyer of Samara Beauty

Groom’s Outfit Designer Zegna

Groom’s Shoes Prada

Engagement Ring Friend & Company

Wedding Bands: Cartier; de Boulle

Floral Design Hogue & Co.

Invitations and Paper Goods Studio Luzance 

Music Chris Fossek

Catering Stonehouse

Rentals Casa de Perrin; The Tent Merchant; Images by Lighting 

Transportation Executive Limousine & Coach

Videography Storybox Cinema

Photography Joel Serrato

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