I just ADORE the folks that get married at Holman Ranch. It seems the lovely California ranch attracts some of  the most stylish duos. This rustic, yet elegant fall wedding designed and planned by Soiree by Simone definitely stays true to my theory. It’s fall wedding style at it’s finest. And may I just say, that fabulous pergola-covered king’s table has me swooning – really, so does each lovely image from Alex Johnson of AJPhotographer. Have no fear, there is an even more to swoon over in the full gallery.

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click here for the full wedding gallery!

Stephen and I were married amongst 70 of our loved ones in the beautiful Carmel Valley on 10.10.10 during one of the most spectacular evenings we’ve ever experienced in Northern California.   Our friends and families, many from the East Coast, marveled at the breathtaking scenery and the hidden gem that we chose as the site of our special day, Holman Ranch.   I visited Holman over 15 years ago as part of my job as a then Corporate Event Planner and it never left my memory.  When we were looking for a location for our intimate fall wedding, I knew that the authentically preserved and rustic California backdrop would be the perfect spot for what we hoped would be a laid-back but elegant wedding.

We wanted the day to be about celebrating the things that we value most- our relationship, the blessings of family and enduring friendships. We also wanted to share all the wonderful flavors and scenery of our adopted home. We exchanged vows against the backdrop of the Santa Lucia Highlands with my two daughters and Stephen’s nephews as our attendants.  My dress, an ivory Carolina Herrera trumpet gown made of rich silk-brocade, was a dream (bought in an online sample sale- believe it or not!)  and I wore my favorite flower, a gardenia, in my hair.  I pinned a small locket to my bouquet with a blue ribbon holding a photo of my father who passed away five years ago. The thought of him watching us from above made me cry as my mother walked me down the aisle.

After the ceremony we all enjoyed a spectacular meal together at one long King’s table under a candlelit arbor that smelled of rosemary and was encircled by harvest inspired décor, floating gardenias and bronze pashmina party favors on the lady’s chairs.  The local and sustainable menu featured passed butternut squash amuse bouche shooters, heirloom tomato caprese salad, herb infused rack of lamb, Israeli couscous, garden vegetable medley, grilled chicken with apricot chutney and a variety of great local wines to compliment the meal.

After the toasts were given against the backdrop of a gorgeous Carmel Valley Sunset, we all moved into the Carriage House decorated with candlelight and amber glowing lanterns.  While the 17 children in attendance (and our dog) ran around the Ranch on a photo safari and made S’mores at the outdoor firepit,  we had our first dance to Etta Jame’s “At Last” and the adults enjoyed cupcakes, cocktails and a custom cigar bar. As the fabulous night came to an end I wished that I could keep everyone, all my loved ones, there in that wonderful moment and in that special place.  Stephen says that if heaven is anything like our wedding day, then he’s ready to go now.  Sign me up too!

Wedding Event Design and Planning: Soiree by Simone / Floral Design: Christine Cater Wedding and Floral Designs / Catering: Paradise Catering / Cake: Petals and Pastries / Photography: Alex Johnson of AJPhotographer / Location: Holman Ranch / Cheese & Wine: The Carmel Cheese Shop / Dress: Carolina Herrera /Shoes: Vintage

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