Every Bride and Groom want their wedding day to be the perfect representation of them as a couple. So what does it say when your day is filled with laughter, billy balls, plenty of DIY, and…a peacock? It means you are F-U-N and that you might very well be on the short list for the sweetest wedding ever. That’s right, lovelies, this backyard wedding from Ashley Bee Photography is adorable in every way and the portraits at Leo Carillo Ranch are the definition of pretty. The best part? You can see it all right here.

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From the Bride… We wanted a small wedding with only family and close friends. After looking at a ton of locations that didn’t have what we were looking for, we decided my parents’ backyard would be perfect. Once we had a location, everything else was easy. I can’t say I had a specific inspiration, but I knew what I did and didn’t want. I wanted a rustic look with white hydrangeas and the color yellow. I’m not a super creative person, so I found a few key pieces such as our barn door, the linens and a color scheme, and enlisted the help of a family friend to help me come up with a layout and flower ideas. We did all the flowers ourselves with the help of my wonderful friends, and they turned out exactly how I pictured them. My two favorite DIY projects had to be the favors and the barn door. With the help of my mom and aunt, we filled mason jars with peanut brittle, which is one of our favorite treats, and we found an amazing barn door at an antique shop and used it as the backdrop for the ceremony.

The day was perfect! There were a few little kinks but thanks to our day-of planner, I didn’t hear about any of them until the next day. My favorite memory of the day was our “first look” that our photographers set up. We drove down the street to Leo Carrillo Ranch, a historical park in Carlsbad that went perfectly with our rustic theme. As soon as I saw Greg, all my nerves went away, and I became so excited to start our life together. If you are willing to consider it, I highly recommend doing a “first look.” Not only did it put us at ease for the ceremony, but we were able to take our time and get the pictures we wanted at the location we wanted. Then following the ceremony, we were able to enjoy the time with our guests rather than be off taking pictures. It was a wonderful experience, and I would do it all over again!

Everyone involved did a great job! Our photographer, Ashley Bee, was able to capture every moment and made us both feel so comfortable in front of the camera. Our day-of planner, Erin Berenda, was so helpful, and if your budget allows, I would definitely recommend having one. I didn’t have to worry about a thing! One of my best friends, Angelina, did a great job on my hair and makeup, and they were exactly what I pictured. I also can’t leave out my mom — I know she’s not a vendor, but I couldn’t have done anything without her. My advice to brides that are planning their wedding now? Everyone is going to give their opinion whether you ask for it or not. My advice is stick with what you and your fiancé want — it’s your day!

Wedding Photography: Ashley Bee Photography / Wedding Venue: The Bride’s Parents Backyard in Carlsbad, California / Portraits Location: Leo Carrillo Ranch / Wedding Day Coordination: Erin Berenda of Erin B. Events / Officiant: Harry Taylor / Catering: Doyle Catering / Wedding Cake: VG Donut and Bakery / Wedding Invitations: DIY / Chairs + Lighting: Allie’s Party Rental / Linens: Party Designs by Dina / Wedding Dress: J.Crew / Bride’s Shoes: Steve Madden / Bride’s Hair + Makeup: Angelina Dawson, A Friend / Groom’s Attire: Macy’s

J.Crew is a member of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here.