When you’ve spent your entire life dreaming of a ranch wedding, there’s just no better place to turn than Calamigos Ranch, a little slice of wedding heaven in Malibu that always, always makes for the loveliest of affairs. Especially when you plan to fill every last moment of your day with gorgeous vintage + rustic details, soft pastel hues and some of the sweetest DIY projects to have ever graced the SMP pages. (I’m talking to you, vintage medicine bottle table numbers.) That’s what we call a serious win-win. And when you call upon the always amazing Glass Jar Photography to capture every minute? Icing on the pretty, pretty cake. See so much more right here.
From the Bride… I’d always wanted to be married outdoors at a ranch or farm. While somewhere out of state like Vermont or a Southern Plantation was calling to me, I live in California and wanted all of my family and friends to be able to attend. So, once my sweetheart and I got engaged, I did a web search for California Ranches and came across this beautiful ranch in Malibu called Calamigos. At 120 acres, the grounds of the ranch seem never ending and absolutely magical. Huge trees with twinkling lights strung throughout, lakes, horses (yes, it’s a functioning horse ranch), and even a merry-go-round and ferris wheel all come together to make the most beautiful wedding venue! Along with the all inclusive aspects of the ranch our choice to marry there was a no brainer. There are four equally beautiful wedding sites at the ranch, but we chose the Garden Patio and Main Room, the oldest structure at the ranch. Once we chose our venue, everything else just sort of naturally fell into place.
I wanted to create a rustic, vintage, and ethereal feel. I found a bridal gown that looked like it belonged in a vintage French farm or ranch wedding, and selected vintage style flocked anna griffin wedding invitations. I chose soft pinks and peaches as our colors and the groom/groomsmen wore gray for a soft color contrast from the girls. I think the gray also gives a slightly less formal feel for an outdoor garden/ranch wedding. For the ceremony, I found an amazing string quartet that played both classical and contemporary. We found a florist who had an awesome selection of vintage, found, and handmade items for our tables (not to mention beautiful arrangements) which helped decrease the legwork I had to do. I wanted Peonies so badly but they weren’t in season in my colors, so I chose cabbage roses instead, which look a lot like Peonies and was so pleased with the outcome. I also had some DIY…I bought vintage medicine bottles and used them as table numbers. I found some cool skeleton key bottle opener key chains and tied them around the bottle with name tags that I printed out and cut into pennants and placed some cute mismatched brads into each name card. I bought personalized forks, banners, ring bearer pillow, and birdcages for cards on Etsy. I went to a floral supply and bought silk ivy, cherry blossoms, and branches to place around the bird cages. After all the fun but hard work, everything turned out even better than I had imagined. The key for me was knowing when to stop with details and just start enjoying the days leading up to my wedding.
I think the most important decisions for me were the vendors. I chose vendors that all had a similar cohesive feel and that I knew would alleviate some of my work for me. One of the most important decisions was my photographers, since that is who captures the precious moments and general feel of your day for you to look at for a lifetime. I spent weeks researching until finding my perfect fit… and they flew all the way in from Alabama! Choosing a venue that included everything so that I didn’t have to worry about rentals/caterers/PA system etc made a huge difference along with a florist who had additional decor rentals helped a ton. Honestly, I had a blast planning my wedding and truly enjoyed every minute of it. I wish I could relive the whole process all over again!
Wedding Photography: Glass Jar Photography / Wedding Venue: Calamigos Ranch in Malibu, California / Floral Design: Stacey Fitts from Floral Occasions / Wedding Cake: Susina Bakery / String Quartet: Subito Strings / DJ: Steve Fisch DJ Adjective / Hair: Lindsey Kaplan / Makeup: Tiffany Lee Bymaster