Wedding Al Fresco at Rancho del Cielo
April 15, 2014
RomanticOutdoor WeddingsSummer Weddings
We love Al Fresco weddings so much, we dedicated an entire chapter of our first book to them! There is simply an ease to an outdoor celebration - that feels more akin to a dinner party & that welcomes guests to down the champagne and kick off their heels - that we can't get enough of. And this one, with photographs from Nate & Amanda Driver, is laidback lovely defined. More here!
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From the Bride... I am from a small town in New Jersey. When I moved to the west coast to attend Pepperdine University, I fell in love with a local boy! Eric, from Thousand Oaks, California, and I met while studying abroad in Heidelberg, Germany during our sophomore year at Pepperdine. When Eric proposed to me in October of 2012, we had to decide to have the wedding in California or New Jersey. Together with our parents, we decided to marry on the west coast making our wedding a destination wedding for about half of our guests. We decided to hold our wedding ceremony at our beloved alma mater, Pepperdine University. Our reception was held nearby atop a cliff overlooking the Malibu coast which was a dream come true! My dad's one request with the venue was to see the coast. Wish granted!

The things that are important to us are each other, our families, and our faith. To honor these things, Eric's lifetime Pastor conducted our ceremony and my grandparents gave a prayer during the wedding. We had all of our siblings in the bridal party (I am the oldest of six- three adopted brothers and two biological sisters; Eric has a sister and a brother in law). We had our siblings stand on our respective sides during the ceremony to symbolize their importance in our lives.

This wedding was particularly unique because my mom planned the wedding with me from afar! Thanks to technology, we planned together from opposite sides of the country. The fact that she was 3,000 miles away didn't stop us! My mom actually found the reception venue online. When we visited Rancho del Cielo Malibu, we knew it was the place for us. It matched the rustic elegance we have been dreaming of. My mom also (remotely) chose the florists, the dessert vendor, and most of the etsy vendors we used!

Desiring an intimate wedding, we had around 150 guests. After the ceremony at Pepperdine, guests were shuttled up to the remote Rancho del Cielo adding to the suspense and magic of the day. Once the guests arrived they were greeted by cocktails and wine celebrating both of our homes ("Cranford FireFly" and "Malibu Sunshine"). Dinner was served family style in order to create community at the tables. Based on what we heard, the guests enjoyed the style of dining. Morose Catering did an outstanding job!

One of our favorite personal touches from the wedding was the seating card that doubled as a favor. We had a vendor from Etsy design vintage spoons with the words of our choice (faith, hope, love , and adore) to display as both the place card and the favor. My brother and I painted the board and nailed in all of the nails just a week or so before the wedding. Other favorite touches include the dreamy dessert table from Sweet and Saucy and the floral swag draping our sweetheart table.

We had the napkins custom ordered from a napkin vendor on Etsy. We selected the colors to match the vision and add a whimsical pop of color to the tables. We also had the table runners ordered from an Etsy vendor in order to get the creamy burlap in order to create a rustic elegant feel. We wanted to make the fireplace area cozy so we hung the small lanterns and brought candle pillars from Pottery Barn. I also brought many of my own succulents in order to soften the space and add some more personal touches. The "just married" and "eat drink and be married" buntings were a custom order from Etsy's "Have a Banner Day." She designed them (and hand delivered!) in order to match our color palette and complete our rustic elegant look.

We had our guests sign a stone rather than a traditional guestbook. We love our "rock box" that is now proudly displayed on our coffee table. The signing of rocks allows the stones to be more present in our home than perhaps a traditional guestbook would be. My mom wrote on her stone "July 26- a day heaven and earth met." I'll always treasure that sweet phrase!

Our wedding was a dream! Great new husband, great family, great weather, great venue, great etsy vendors. Tami McKelvy, our wedding coordinator, made our wedding run perfectly. We feel blessed beyond belief and smile every single time we think back on that glorious day.