It’s not every day two childhood friends become husband and wife. But when it happens, you better believe the wedding will be a celebration like no other. And while every detail of this Coyote Ranch wedding is spot-on stunning, it’s the love that steals the show…the heart and the soul that outshines any amount of pretty. See the day unfold through Kelly Stonelake’s captures right here.
From the Bride…Seth and I met at the skating rink where I figure skated and he played hockey, and where we both basically grew up. He asked me to be his girlfriend on January 1, 2005 – the day before my 16th birthday and four days before his 15th birthday. Looking back now, it’s crazy to think how young we were.! Somehow we just clicked and we’ve been inseparable ever since. I always say that we got really lucky, that it isn’t very common for two kids who like each other to end up getting married. The funny thing is, my mom planned his 12th birthday party at the rink (she used to work there) and our grandmas knew each other from working together many years ago. It’s kind of like it was meant to be. I’m so thankful for the way things worked out.
Planning our wedding was a really exciting, but also daunting, task. I started with the big things: venue, photographer, dress, etc. We wanted the wedding and reception to be outdoors, and I knew I wanted it to be rustic, but still romantic and elegant. One of the biggest things we kept in mind was that we wanted our guests to feel comfortable. We aren’t super fancy people. We’re pretty laid back and wanted our wedding to reflect that. When we found Coyote Ranch, we knew it was perfect, and we loved that they served a BBQ dinner. Pinterest was a huge help in nailing down decor and coming up with DIY ideas. As I pinned more and more things, I started to see common themes and identified what I was really drawn to. We didn’t have a wedding planner so there were a lot of research, DIY projects, and thrifting. I decided on pinky peach dresses for the girls, but I wanted them to all have their own style to make them feel their best. For the guys, we wanted something less formal so we decided on just a shirt, vest, and slacks. I found gingham shirts online that went well with the rustic theme and added some playfulness. My bridesmaids, a few friends, my mom, and I did all the center pieces. We got all of our glassware from Goodwill and family members. We purchased the flowers wholesale and arranged them the two days before the wedding. My mom and I also made several trips to the fabric store to pick out different fabrics for custom napkins. A few family friends graciously sewed them for us.
We added in some personal touches here and there – a ledger from my father-in-law’s family’s general store, “Bride” and “Groom” pillow cases that were embroidered by my great-grandmother that we hung on the back of our chairs, and photos of Seth and I throughout the years clipped to twine wound around a tree trunk. I also hand painted wood signs for the arch leading into the ceremony and reception area and to hang around the venue. We used wood from old pallets and blow torched them to get a darker, distressed effect. One of my favorite things about the wedding was the lighting. The guys strung cafe lights over our head table and near the bar. It made such a huge difference and created the romantic feel I was looking for. I vividly remember sitting at the table thinking how perfect everything didn’t just look, but felt. Of course there were things that didn’t get done due to time constraints, but the biggest thing I learned that day was to just let it go. In the end, those things didn’t matter in the least. The love we felt that day outweighed everything else. I have never felt so much joy, peace, and bliss in one day. As cliche as it sounds, it really was the best day of our lives.
Photography: Kelly Stonelake Photography | Venue + Catering: Coyote Ranch | Rentals: Williams Party Rentals | Bouquets + Boutonnieres: Amy’s Flowers | Floral Deisgn: Mt. Eden Floral Company | DJ: Rick McMahon | Make up: Priscilla Francine | Hair: Anna + Laura from Special FX | Ceremony Dress: Brides of California | Reception Dress: Nasty Gal | Ceremony Shoes: ASOS Reception Shoes: Cavenders | Rhinestone Sash: Gabrielle’s Bridal | Bridesmaids: Various | Groomsmen: Various | Bowties: Vesuvio Napoli