Martha and Dane were married at Costanoa Lodge and Resort in Pescadero, Calif. on May 31. The bride wore a sweetheart a-line wedding gown with an art deco-inspired jeweled neckline and illusion capped sleeves, accessorized with her hair down in loose curls, baby’s breath wreath, and a pair of peep-toe flats, while the groom wore a three-piece navy blue suit, accessorized with a tie. Bridesmaids wore long chiffon brown dresses in various necklines and carried bouquets of garden roses, peonies, stock, and dusty millers wrapped in satin ribbon. Groomsmen wore button-up shirts, pants, and caps, accessorized with bow ties and suspenders. Before the ceremony, the couple opted for a first look in one of the hiking trails. Guests were greeted at the base of the Santa Cruz Mountains with scenic views overlooking the Pacific Ocean bluffs. “Our parents built the chuppah we stood under at the ceremony,” Martha said. The reception took place on the terrace. Thankfully, it was heated! Wooden tables were decorated with white linens, netural napkins, vintage plates and tea cups, pedestal terrarium centerpieces, and scrabble letter sayings such as “love by the moon,” and “live by the sun” surrouned by folding chairs. Dinner was served from locally-grown meat, produce, and seafood as well as sustainable wines too. But it was the mini cake that was kept between the newlyweds only after the first dance, father-daugher dance, and mother-son dance underneath string lights. Dane was certainly not shy when it came time to cut and smash a slice into Martha’s face! Other assorted desserts were up for grabs instead like cookies and lemon bars. “We even had a bonfire every night that our friend’s played jam sessions at,” she said. Fun fact: Out-of-towners had the option of staying the night in resort rooms or even better — Douglas Fir cabins and tent bungalows.
Karisa and James were married at Serendipity Garden in Oak Glen, Calif. on May 25. ” It was a wedding fairytale venue,” Karisa said. “It had every WOW factor I was looking for with beautiful views from every angle, brand new barn that gave my pictures the cutest rustic touch, and it was all inclusive, which sold it for me. They took care of everything and that helped me be very organized!” The bride wore a lace fit ‘n’ flare wedding gown with a low back, accessorized with her short hair down in loose curls, branch wreath, and a pair of nude Christian Louboutin platform pumps, while the groom wore a tan suit, accessorized with a matching tie and pocket square. Bridesmaids wore long chiffon dresses in various necklines and carried bouquets of roses, hydrangeas, berries, and dusty millers. “My flowers were to die for,” she said. Before the ceremony, the couple opted for a first look. James’ reaction — pricesless! Guests were greeted with a chalkboard sign that said, “As two families become one, we ask that you choose a seat not a side.” The ceremony took place outside overlooking the mountains. They even rode off on a horse-drawn carriage aftwerwards! “It took everyone’s breath away,” Karisa said. The reception kicked off with dancing, obviously. “Honestly, I think about how many people danced their butts off all night,” she said. “The dance floor was packed with all of my loved ones celebrating and having the time of their lives. That made all our hard work worth it.” Tables were decorated with white linens, burlap runners, lantern centerpieces, and gold glitter numbers in picture frames. “My cake was not only the most beautiful cake I imagined, but it was also by far the most delicious I have ever had,” Karisa said. There was also a candy bar too. The newlyweds’ best advice? “Do not sweat the small stuff,” she said. “There are so many details in wedding planning. If you worry about every single detail, you will not only become a bridezilla but also take the focus off the beauty in every fun aspect of it. This happens once, so enjoy every small and large thing that this experience has to offer! Let others help you.”
Gaby and PJ were married in the bride’s parent’s backyard in Sacramento, Calif. on July 5. “We wanted a small wedding with a lot of character,” Gaby said. “The backyard was surrounded by a rustic wood fence with ivy growing up, covered in beautiful trees to shade us from the hot, hot sun, and had a built-in-bar and dance floor, and even a trampoline for the kiddos!” The bride wore a scalloped lace trumpet wedding gown, accessorized with her hair down in loose curls, while the groom wore a white button-up shirt, denim vest, and khaki pants, accessorized with a tie. Bridesmaids wore mix ‘n’ matched short orange dresses in various necklines and carried bouquets of roses, peonies, dahlias, and greenery. “I LOVED all of my do-it-yourself projects, but my favorite was my backdrop,” she said. “We knew we wanted to do something with my grandparent’s swing set, but it was over 9-feet tall and 12-feet wide. Our florist happened to be an old friend from high school, and she did a walking tour with me through the backyard and gave me the idea to cover it completely in fabric. I spent a very long time looking for and cutting up table cloths and old bed sheets from thrift stores. My mother-in-law sewed a very big plain white background, which we hung first (so you couldn’t see through when the wind blew), and the day before the wedding, my bridesmaids and I sat out in the 110 degree weather, got out our ladder, and started tying all of the individual pieces together. I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t say that I was really nervous about this . . . but when it was complete . . . I couldn’t have been happier!” Fun fact: The ceremony also included the couple’s five-year-old son. “This was not only our special day, but his too,” Gaby said. Guests found their seats via a chalkboard window panel. Tables were decorated with vintage vase and vessel centerpieces, glasses, which served double-duty as favors, and mason jar candles. “In the middle of all the fun, everyone had gotten out on the dance floor and really started to let loose,” she said. “We went off to the back to just have a moment alone and look out at our family and friends, who had taken this journey with us. We watched them all laugh and just have fun, and then we danced too . . . very slowly and awkwardly to a rowdy song.”
Autumn and Andrew tied the knot at Saddlerock Ranch in Malibu, Calif. on June 28. The bride opted for a short a-line wedding dress and wore her hair in a curly ‘do while her groom donned dark gray pants, with a matching vest, bow tie, and top hat. Autumn and Andrew didn’t have a typical wedding, but it was chock full of games, delicious foods, and performances to keep their guests completely entertained all night. “We were looking for an outdoor space where we could set up a carnival/circus feel,” Autumn said. “We also were looking for a venue that would let us stay outside until late that evening. When we saw the space at Saddlerock Ranch, we knew it would be perfect for us, and the vineyards and animals on the property were a big bonus!” After exchanging vows in front of 150 friends and family, the carnival began. The reception had a carousel, a variety of carnival games, and a juggler. Guests indulged in festive treats like cotton candy, funnel cake, and popcorn. Family and friends were seated at banquet tables covered with a patterned table cloth and red rose centerpieces. Twinkling lights hung overhead and a stage with a red backdrop was set up for live entertainment such as a contortionist and ribbon twirler. Since the wedding took place at a ranch there were also a variety of animals around, such as horses and sheep. For dessert, guests enjoyed an ice cream sundae bar and a chocolate cake adorned with strawberries. Autumn advises that couples try to stay calm and enjoy their wedding day. “Try to relax on your big day! A few things are bound to go not according to plan, but don’t let that stop you from having a perfect, incredible, memorable day!”
Lori and Paul were married at Newhall Mansion in Piru, Calif. on August 9. “The Newhall Mansion has always been a dream of mine,” Lori said. “Looking through my grandparents’ dining room glass windows throughout my childhood gazing at the mansion and its beautiful mysteriousness captivated me.” Lori stunned in an intricate all-lace gown and curly hair. She added a touch of personality to her look by wearing cowgirl boots and carrying a bouquet made of brooches and pins instead of traditional flowers. Her bouquet also featured photos of lost loved ones. Her ‘maids added a pop of color and opted for bright pink, strapless dresses with brown cowgirl boots. They carried rustic bouquets of wheat, eucalyptus, and millet. The groom, his men, and the bride’s father were outfitted in a more casual ensemble, with blue jeans and plaid button-down shirts (a white one for the groom). “My dad has never been comfortable in a suit, and I wanted him and all the groomsmen to be as comfortable as possible,” Lori explained. The couple exchanged vows outside as roughly 100 guests looked on and sipped on their drinks from the pre-ceremony cocktail hour. After officially tying the knot, guests enjoyed a second cocktail hour and played games such as Jenga, beer pong, cornhole, and Scrabble. Family and friends looked to the chalkboard and moss-covered frames to find their seats for the reception. Round tables with burlap linen and white folding chairs were set up behind the mansion. Many of the decor elements were handmade by the bride’s mother. “All the hard work my mom did sewing all of the burlap linens and napkins, making every single one of the okie wine glasses and homemade beeswax mason jar candles for our guests to take home and enjoy for years to come,” Lori said. What a loving mother! Guests dined on everything from sliced brisket, pulled pork, and chicken to macaroni and cheese. The reception also featured a dessert display complete with a variety of popcorn, caramel, and cupcakes. Lori’s best advice for engaged couples? “Do as much as you can yourselves and make it as unique and individual as the love you have for each other.”