I’m a sucker for romantic moments…a chance meeting, or an act of fate. So when I first soaked in this serendipitous love story (a total must-read below) I just knew the wedding would be something really special. And thanks to Galas by GerryLane Dittoe and Lunch Pail Pictures we get to bask in all the beauty of this West Coast ranch affair. It’s every kind of pretty you can imagine, and there’s a full gallery plus film to tie the day together.

Colors
Seasons
Fall
Settings
Ranch

From the Bride…Sometimes I think there’s a definite plan for love because if I hadn’t decided to leave my acting career and pursue law, I never would have had an LSAT prep instructor, who also turned out to be the man of my dreams! Although I really tried to simply focus on the class, something about Matt just kept drawing my attention right back to HIM! I thought I might just have been acting silly and getting distracted with a little crush, but fortunately, Matt often got a little distracted himself, as he later told me that every time I walked into the room he’d get a little jolt of butterflies in his stomach.

Well, our little “crush” and serendipitous connection led to the most beautiful wedding and lifelong promise to one another that I could have ever imagined. I wanted a vintage, romantic, and organic feel to the wedding with sprinkles of DIY decor elements throughout the event. So, I hand painted monograms and hearts onto rocks to hold down the ceremony programs on each seat, which guests could also take with them as a wedding favor. I had so much fun searching for precisely the right vintage pieces, like the cool, old antique drawers for the escort card holders and terrarium for the card table. I also made my own banners for the gift, escort, and photo booth tables. I love the visual of wine bottles on a table, so I painted them with chalk to serve as the table numbers! One of my favorite elements was the bride and groom chair signs that I made, which read, “Better Together” — the title of our first dance song after our ceremony.

The whole day was so romantic and perfectly dreamy, and I thank my lucky stars that our paths crossed due to a big decision I made to switch careers, which led to another tremendous and incredible decision to share our lives together. He was certainly an excellent teacher, and I’ve now found out that he makes an even better husband!

From Gerry of Galas by GerryAs the bride’s good friend of 20 years (elementary through law school), I had the pleasure of being the coordinator and MOH for Matt and Tara’s fabulous “rustic elegance” ranch wedding at Heartstone Ranch in Carpinteria, California. I have planned many weddings, but this was by far my absolute favorite and the closest to my heart. It was a perfect night for a perfect couple.

Matt and Tara began their relationship in Santa Barbara. They got engaged in Santa Barbara. So they wanted their wedding to be the quintessential Santa Barbara wedding. That meant a beautiful setting, relaxed vibe, water views, casual food, and lots of fun. A formal affair wouldn’t suit their family and friends. They tried to mix a fun ranch celebration with some fancy, elegant details.

One theme of thier wedding was the way that they met. Matt was Tara’s LSAT teacher nine years before they got married. It was fun to share stories about how their relationship changed from teacher and student into something much more personal. They had big families in attendance, so they added special moments for both sides. For their shared Irish roots, they did an Irish blessing as one of their readings. Tara used a part of her mother’s wedding dress in her hair flower. In lieu of favors, they designed cards dedicating their ceremony to Matt’s father who passed away.

A lot of the small touches were handmade as they wanted things to be just how they pictured them. They helped design the programs and dedications cards. Programs were held down (in case of wind) by small stones with “M+T” handwritten on each inside of a heart. They printed the escort cards with personalized envelopes, and constructed the rustic drawers that held them. They also provided shawls and sandals for guests that they found to match the theme. Finally, they shopped around Santa Barbara for pieces to finish off the design.

The wedding was at Heartstone Ranch, complete with a functioning barn and farm animals. This provided the rustic ranch atmosphere. They went with this theme by using long farm tables and rustic accessories. To add a formal flair, they decorated the tables with glass and lace. The result was what they coined “rustic elegance.”

Wedding Photography: Lane Dittoe Photographer | Floral Design: Nina Kincaid Designs | Event Design: Galas by Gerry | Wedding Coordination: Amber Weir Event Design | Wedding Venue: Heartstone Ranch | Catering: Pure Joy Catering | Invitations: Lulubee Design | Wedding Cinematography: Lunch Pail Pictures | Cake: Christine Dahl Pastries | Lighting: Bella Vista Designs | Officiant: Father Jerry Bellamy | Ceremony Music: Bob Ledner (blblbl3@aol.com) | DJ: Music by Bonnie | Photo Booth: SB Photobooths | Hair and Makeup: About Face | Shuttles: SB Airbus | Limo: SB Chauffeuring and Tours | Valet: Blue Star Parking |Bride Dress: Watters at Lovely Bride | Bridesmaids Dresses: Amsale at Lili Bridal

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