|Laura and Jon got married nestled in the hills amongst the blueberry fields, lemon orchards, and avocado trees. The gathering was filled with sweet DIY moments as the bride and her best friends came together and did their own flowers and make up. This sweet couple was surrounded by their friends and family as they said “I do.” As the sun went down and the champagne glasses were clinking, they danced under the full moon and the dazzling starlit sky. The sparkler exit was a glittery ending to a magical night.
Q: Tell us about your wedding! What was the inspiration behind your day? Did you have a specific theme, style or color palette? Did you incorporate any cultural or religious traditions in any part of your day?
A: We sought to make our wedding day about the Lord as a reflection of Christ’s love for his bride, The Church. We spent the months leading up to our wedding in premarital counseling with the pastor who officiated our ceremony. It meant so much to have our friends and family both locally and from out of town witness our covenant of marriage. Other inspired themes included neutrals and earthy elements. Succulents. And Old Fashioneds.
Q: Let’s talk wedding decor. How did you decorate your space for the ceremony and the reception? Was any part of the decor DIY?
A: The rows of blueberry bushes and avocado trees at Gerry Ranch were already so picturesque, they required little additional decor. Jon and I stained and painted a welcome sign, and we placed a wooden cross as our wedding altar. For cocktail hour, we had a polaroid camera and props as a visual guest book (which provided many laughs the next morning). Jon hand crafted “Mr. and Mrs.” cornhole boards which were used during cocktail hour; he’s currently contemplating an Etsy account for resale purposes. For the seating arrangement, we found an old three pane window at a local antique shop, penned names in the panes, and crafted a simple support stand for it. Elegant yet rustic chairs, tables, and ivory linens were provided by Casi Cielo rentals and fit perfectly into the ranch setting.
Q: What were the florals like in your wedding? Did you use flowers in any of your design elements like the bridal bouquets, centerpieces or ceremony backdrop? Did they play an important part in the overall style of your wedding?
A: I ordered my flowers from fiftyflowers.com and had a blast with my bridesmaids prepping them for the big day. Friday morning before our wedding was actually one of my favorite memories of the week. I helped organize brunch with all the important women of the women (including my sassy 88 year old grandmother who flew out from Ohio) and we put bouquets and centerpieces together. I have always loved ranunculus blooms, and we mixed them with a smattering of roses, sage greens and succulents. They were my proudest DIY wedding element.
Q: Did you personalize the day in any way (food trucks, guest entertainment etc.)? What were some of your favorite parts of your wedding?
A: Our bridal party was AMAZING. We rented them a beach house for the wedding weekend and had a blast cooking out, sitting in the hot tub and breaking it down on the dance floor together. One of our favorite parts was watching our friends become friends that weekend. Our venue also felt completely US. I’m a sucker for the outside and the aesthetics of orchard rows.
Q: Let’s talk fashion. How did you choose your wedding day look? How did the groom? Describe both looks in detail.
A: I channeled my inner Grace Kelly and went for a glamorous 1920’s-inspired vintage dress with my hair swept in a low side bun. My bridesmaids were given instructions for “blush” dress and amazingly came up with three complementary styles for the day. I LOVED my dress. I actually found it on the way to happy hour in San Francisco when I was with my best friend about a month after Jon and I got engaged. I talked about the dang thing all night and walked myself right back to the shop and bought it the next day. Jon rented Navy Blue suits from The Black Tux for him and his groomsmen. A navy tie and brown leather shoes from Express and a Skagen wristwatch completed the ensemble. His groomsmen were differentiated by blush ties.
Q: How did you meet? Tell us about the proposal.
A: We met at a Friday worship night at our church, initially hitting it off over growing up in Southern Ohio and having a similar love for “The Father of the Bride” movies. A mere 13 months flew by and the rest is history. On Saturday April 1st, 2017, Jon (no-joke) asked me to marry him. The day started off with Jon bringing me flowers and making some rosemary eggs. We then biked 30 miles up the coast to Santa Barbara to a predesignated park for an afternoon of snacking and playing boggle. Just as we were headed home, Jon proposed with a park audience, and a good friend popped out of a nearby bush for a candid photo shoot. Jon and I took the Amtrak train home and toasted over a glass of red wine as the sun was setting on our ride back to Ventura.
Q: What was the most anticipated or special moment of your wedding day?
A: The look on Jon’s face when I was walking down the aisle. Watching the groom in that moment is my favorite part of every wedding. It was our sole motivation for hiring dual photographers for our ceremony; when everyone is watching the bride, I can’t help but get all wrapped up in how the groom is reacting.
Q: Do you have any wedding planning or marriage advice that you’d like to share with other couples planning their day?
A: Google spreadsheets saved our butts. It was the best way to organize venue ideas, vendors, payment deadlines, and most of all enlist our parents to help track down great aunt Sue’s long lost address. Have some fun with doing portions of the event DIY, but don’t hesitate to delegate either; sometimes it IS worth it to pay someone to print your invites and set up the tables and chairs. We also had some of our most precious conversations about marriage through premarital counseling and would encourage couples to really enjoy their engagement season. Have the happiest day of your life.