The Red Horse Barn in Huntington Beach is one of the best venues in Southern California for a stylish, laid-back affair with rustic and vintage touches.  Probably my favorite wedding trend that’s been going around lately is the dessert table and me and my sweet tooth do not want it to go away anytime soon.  My tummy is rumbling for this scrumptious looking spread of cakes and treats.  The fun berry tones and DIY details are all delightfully captured by Ashley Rose PhotographyClick here to see even more!

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From the Bride… My husband Drew and I grew up in Huntington Beach and both had never heard of the Red Horse Barn. A friend suggested we look at it and we fell in love with it the second we saw it.  It was the perfect backdrop for the biggest and greatest party we would ever throw!  The Red Horse Barn is a really affordable gem that feels a world away from Huntington Beach.  It’s surrounded by a acres and acres of fields, horse trails, and wildflowers.  This rustic setting was our main inspiration for planning our big day.

We wanted our wedding to be casual and fun with all of our family and friends, all 180 of them.  Since we wanted such a big wedding, we found creative ways to save money and did lots of DIY projects to add special details to our day. It was a true labor of love and we were so lucky to have our family and friends help with projects and planning.

For 9 months family and friends helped us collect over 100 vintage bottles and vases for our table settings.  We scoured flea markets, garage sales, and grandma’s attic for gorgeous one of a kind pieces.  The week of the wedding we picked out and ordered a truck load of flowers from the OC Flower Mart, which is not as large as the LA Flower Mart, but much closer than driving to LA and the quality was amazing! The day before the wedding, family and friends helped assemble our vases and bottles with gorgeous flowers of every color. We wanted a wildflower look to compliment the setting of the barn. My mother-in-law arranged my bouquet and the bridal bouquets, again with a wildflower look. She also cut and arranged the succulents above the arbor where we got married.  We repotted the succulents after the wedding and will forever remind us of our wedding day!

We also bought yards and yards of white eyelet fabric to overlay the navy table cloths. My mother, mother-in-law and grandmother sewed each overlay.  The eyelet fabric brought a little rustic, shabby chic touch to the tables. The escort cards were arranged on old shutters I found on the side of the road. My father-in-law attached a bracket on the top of the shutters so they would stand up straight and people could easily find their names.

The dessert tables were actually in and around the gazebo where most people have their ceremony.  My husband loves pie, so we had to include boysenberry pies, apple pies, and pecan pies from Bake ‘n’ Broil in Long Beach, CA.  Hillary and Heidi from Twinfully Sweet made us a cookies n’ cream cake with my favorite cookies, Jo Jo’s from Trader Joes!  The girls at Twinfully Sweet made us the most amazing spread, people still talk about the red velvet cake-pops.

Tips for future brides would be to get a day of coordinator, especially if you hired all your own vendors like we did.  Rachel Nickens (our fabulous coordinator) took so much stress off of myself and my family. Don’t let little hiccups stress you out. Our D.J.’s playlist was awful, but we just went with it and still had an awesome dance party.  Lastly, ask for help! You can’t plan this all by yourself, find a friend with some creative mojo to help you plan!  Have fun and good luck!

Wedding Photography: Ashley Rose Photography / Floral Design: The Bride & Family of the Bride (DIY) + OC Flower Mart (Flowers) / Event Planning: Rachel Nickens / Wedding Ceremony & Reception Location: Red Horse Barn / Catering: The Tulsa Rib Company / Desserts & Wedding Cake: Twinfully Sweet + Bake ‘n’ Broil / Bride’s Shoes: Steve Madden / Wedding Dress: Paloma Blanca / Bridesmaid Dresses: Priscilla of Boston