You know…there is a reason that we are kind of obsessed with California weddings on SMP. It’s that they have their own attitude. That laid back, effortless elegance that we love to see in a wedding. Kind of like when your mom taught you that the best applied make-up should look like you aren’t wearing any at all. And this one, sent to us by two of our all time favorite photographers, Erin and Courtney of Erin Hearts Court, completely captures the spirit and the style of California weddings that we love so very much. Plus, all of you DIY brides will obsess over the super cute details it no matter where you live! Click here to see even more.
When Matt and I started our wedding planning, the one thing we knew was that we wanted to get married in a location outside of Los Angeles. We wanted our wedding in a location that was beautiful and effortless, where we could turn our celebration into a weekend event. We started looking at fun locations that were a couple of hours driving from where we live. We looked at venues in Palm Springs, Santa Barbara, and San Diego; but we fell in love with Solvang, a small town in the Santa Ynez Valley. Most of our guests were going to be flying in from all over the country, and even internationally, to celebrate with us. We wanted to pick a place that was unique and that many may not have experienced before. We had been wine tasting in the Santa Ynez Valley and loved it, so we settled on a Central Coast Wine Country wedding!
After we selected a venue, the next vendor we locked down was our photographer! Two seconds after getting engaged, a friend sent me a link to Erin Hearts Court. I fell in love! These two are so amazing, and I knew they had to photograph our wedding. We booked them asap. Next, we needed a wedding planner. Solvang is close enough that we could drive up to meet with vendors when necessary, but far enough to where we couldn’t go up there every other weekend. We needed a really good wedding planner who knew the vendors in the area, and who could help us plan the wedding that we had envisioned. Thank God we found Carla Jacobsen from Special Occasions. I don’t know what we would have done without her. We shared our vision of casual elegance with Carla. We used words like free-spirited, bohemian, romantic, and whimsical – and she made it happen! Carla helped us book all of our vendors, and we couldn’t have been happier with all of her recommendations!
Since we wanted a more casual feel for our wedding, we took a traditional approach with a whimsical twist. Many of our ideas were best executed by old fashioned DIY, and a process of accumulation in the months preceding our wedding. Over a few months we worked with our florist to collect different mismatched containers to display our flowers. I shopped at Goodwill, Etsy, Anthropologie, and friends’ garages for these finds. Instead of having a guest book, we created a well wishes tree. My mom cut 100 tags, by hand, out of pretty card stock so that our guests could leave us a message and tie it to the tree – this doubled as a lovely decoration. Rather than having escort cards, my matron-of-honor (who was 8 months pregnant) wrote out the seating assignments on a chalkboard that I made out of MDF and chalkboard paint (real chalkboards are pretty expensive). Finally, instead of doing the standard favor, we had pashminas for the ladies to use during the reception if they were chilly. I figured it could be something they would use beyond our wedding.
Overall our wedding was everything we wanted. Our ceremony was probably the most amazing 20 minutes of my life. We laughed and cried with the closest people in our lives. We partied all night, ate yummy food, and drank delicious wine! It was an unbelievable experience, and I’m so thankful to everyone that helped us put it together.
Venue: Linecourt Vineyards Solvang California / Photography: Erin Hearts Court / Planning and Coordination: Special Occasions / Cupcakes: Enjoy Cupcakes / Cakes & Pies: Pattibakes / Florals: Renae’s Bouquet / Wedding dress: Enzoani