DJ Darla Bea | Credit: Brian Kuhlmann


Pure Joy Catering

For Lynette La Mere, owner and executive chef of Pure Joy, this year has been “fantastic,” in part because of the pandemic-enforced hiatus that preceded it. “The last year and a half gave me the opportunity to rebuild my company after 21 years, and it’s better than ever,” said La Mere, whose favorite part of what she does is “the challenge of working with creative clients who want to entertain exceptionally and really share their vision with food, décor, and great style.” Great style is the cornerstone of Pure Joy’s remarkable success as a leader in creating unforgettable experiences.

Runner-Up: Duo Events


Riley’s Flowers

Riley’s on Chapala is classic and traditional when it comes to service and styling. Walk-ins are encouraged, and they never use plastic, only their signature brown wax paper or glass and ceramic containers for their arrangements. Sourcing everything locally means they have the freshest possible cut roses, flowers, and plants, and they pride themselves on delivering throughout Santa Barbara, Goleta, Summerland, Carpinteria, and Montecito.

Runner-Up: Kaleidoscope Flowers


Kacie Jean Photography

The enthusiasm that Kacie Jean Fowle brings to every one of her shoots keeps her clients happy and engaged throughout the process. With over 17 years of experience taking care of people’s photo needs in Santa Barbara, Fowle looks forward to continuing her career by “focusing on the intimate connection I get while working with fun families, as well as empowerment shoots with individuals.” She loves the intimacy and convenience of working in Santa Barbara, where nothing is too far away and where she enjoys so many great connections with her clients and their families.

Runner-Up: Ashleigh Taylor Portrait

Stationery Store

Letter Perfect Stationery

At Letter Perfect Stationery, the task of marking great life events with beautiful designs holds special meaning for owner Leslie Person Ryan. She recalls seeing a familiar name on a wedding invitation request and realizing that she had also created the announcement celebrating that young bride’s birth. She writes that to be such a trusted part of so many people’s lives for generations has been and continues to be an honor. She also wishes to express her gratitude to the voters for the recognition given to the many classes she offers through the shop, saying, “It is amazing to have our design work and specialty classes in calligraphy, watercolor, and paper arts honored!”

Runner-Up: Folio Press & Paperie

Wedding Planner

Wild Heart Events

As high-stakes events go, weddings are right up there with, well, nothing else, because for most people, their wedding is the single most important day of their lives. For the folks at Wild Heart Events, planning weddings is “an indescribable privilege.” Owner and creative director Jaime Kostechko adds that “making each event unique and personalized is a privilege we do not take lightly!” The team at Wild Heart is especially grateful for this recognition because, although they “plan high-end events around the globe,” they feel that “to be supported in our own backyard is truly the best.”

Runner-Up: Jill & Co. Events

Wedding Venue

Santa Barbara County Courthouse

When it comes to choosing a wedding venue, the combination of grandeur and value offered by the Santa Barbara County Courthouse is hard to beat. There are multiple areas within the Courthouse grounds that may be reserved for up to three hours, some of which can accommodate as many as 250 people, all for one low set price. As if that were not enough, small weddings with 15 or fewer participants may use any one of six designated areas for free. Although the Mural Room is not available for weddings at this time due to COVID precautions, it too will eventually come back online, making the Courthouse the perfect venue, rain or shine.

Runner-Up: Santa Barbara Historical Museum

Event DJ

DJ Darla Bea

With six consecutive years of winning this category, you might think that DJ Darla Bea would be getting complacent, but no, she’s back and busier than ever. Already something of an anomaly as a woman in the male-dominated field of deejaying, she’s set her sights on conquering new territory by hyping up her parties with more emceeing on the microphone, new activities for the dancers, and a generally more interactive approach to rocking the house. While she continues to host Rock It Properly, her weekly radio program on KCSB, pictured here, she’s now also branching out with Bea Sides, her business curating in-store soundtracks. Check out her ‘Best of’ playlist below!

Runner-Up: DJ Hecktik

Wedding Cake Shop

Lilac Pâtisserie

Gillian and Alam Muralles of Lilac Pâtisserie put in years of training in some of the best bakeries in Los Angeles before opening this popular and fully gluten-free shop in Santa Barbara. They are renowned for their gluten-free wedding cakes, which please both those who prefer to avoid gluten and those who just love delicious cake (and often don’t know the difference!). From classic three-tier designs to just about anything you can imagine, Lilac Pâtisserie can help you realize the cake of your dreams.

Runner-Up: Anna’s Bakery

Limo Service

Rockstar Transportation

Savvy revelers choose Rockstar for all their transportation needs. Whether you are organizing a bachelorette party, a trip to wine country, or just a fun night out with friends, one thing you should not have to worry about is driving. With an extensive fleet of town cars, limos, SUVS, shuttle buses, and even a couple of trolleys, Rockstar can handle groups from as small as three or four up to 37 people in their spacious executive mini-coach. Next time you head to a concert, arrive like you’re with the band.

Runner-Up: Luxe Transportation

Event Rentals

Tent Merchant

Tents are only the beginning at Tent Merchant, where they have more than 15 years of experience providing total solutions for events large and small, outdoors and in. From fans to fire pits, flatware, chairs, and china, they have everything you need to entertain any size gathering. With a particular strength in providing coordinated looks using props and decor, the Tent Merchant team can transform your location into any one of a dozen different settings, including Vintage Shabby Chic & Garden, Tropical Island, and Moroccan.

Runner-Up: Bella Vista Designs

Restaurant with a View

[See Eating: Sunday Brunch]

Bed & Breakfast/Inn

The Upham Hotel

General Manager Bill Bradford says his favorite part of his role at the Upham “was and has always been the guest interaction.” Although the pandemic took most of that face-to-face contact away for several months, Bradford is glad to say that, as of now, “the opportunity to socialize with our guests is slowly returning. Just about everyone is ready to share their own personal stories of the past year, and I am excited to hear them.” 

Runner-Up: Simpson House Inn


San Ysidro Ranch

As the longest-standing luxury resort in town and a perennial contender for the number-one boutique hotel in the United States, the San Ysidro Ranch embodies peak Santa Barbara style. While it follows that the Ranch, with its five stars from Forbes and a Grand Award from Wine Spectator, would also be rated top hotel in town by our readers, rest assured that they do not take us locals for granted. According to San Ysidro’s General Manager, Ian Williams, “We love to welcome our neighbors to stay in our effortlessly elegant cottages, to dine at our award-winning restaurants, to relax at our new salon and spa, and to gather with colleagues, friends, and loved ones for intimate events or celebrations.” Even when the resort is busy catering to “discerning travelers, titans of industry, heads of state, musical icons, and Hollywood legends,” you should know that “you are always welcome at San Ysidro Ranch.”

Runner-Up: Rosewood Miramar Beach