Throwing a winter wonderland wedding in sunny California isn’t always easy, but for these two sweeties and their crafty ways, it was a total breeze. I’m talking DIY goodness every which way you look with pine cones dotting every table, a hot chocolate bar and a gray and white color scheme that just screams chilly chic. See every beautiful moment captured by Josselyn Peterson in the full gallery.
From the Bride… Our vision for the wedding was to bring a rustic winter wonderland to Southern California at the end of December. We had a long engagement, so over the 13 months we were able to do many of our own DIY projects to carry out this vision.
Many of these projects were incorporated at the ceremony. During our family camping trip in June we collected several pine cones of all shapes and sizes to use for decor. We used them at the ceremony location in the flower arrangements, bouquets and boutonnieres, and we made a pine cone garland to line the aisle. We continued our projects after a friend, and groomsmen, had a fire on his large property. This forced him to cut down several dying pine trees. He cut the trunks into stumps that we used to line the aisle. These stumps were topped with glass bottles that we cut the bottoms off of to shield candles from the wind. We also routed out the center of branches to create additional candle holders. More of the branches were used to form the arch that we were married under.
It was not easy to make the day feel like winter when it was a sunny 75 degrees. Luckily our ceremony was held in the shade. I was lucky enough to borrow a silver fox fur that belonged to a friends grandmother from the late 1800’s. I was determined to wear it despite the warmth. We also had blankets available to keep people cozy just in case they were chilled. We also had a hot chocolate bar and a cold apple cider to go along with the horderves after the ceremony.
The theme continued at the reception site. Our reception site was a major project in its own. My husband and I met at a local dance studio, the owners, and now in-laws, introduced us while I was taking lessons there. We planned to have our reception in the place we met. A few months before the wedding, the studio decided to move locations. With only weeks until our big event, my now brother-in-law along with a friends and family members, managed to turn a warehouse building with no walls and a concrete floor into a gorgeous space for us to celebrate our wedding. Preparations continued up until the day before the wedding with trim work and lighting still going in.
We spruced up the space even more by adding Christmas trees with picture ornaments that my mom, mother-in-law and I made. The pine cones made another appearance by serving as our place cards and we used giant pine cones to decorate the large front windows. We continued to recycle the pine trees. I was able to use cross sections of the stumps for our table numbers. I took each one and nailed in several nails to form the numbers and create a rustic look. I also used a routing tool and wood burning pen to create little signs to decorate the reception. We brought the candle holders and glass bottles from the ceremony and used them as table decor. We made hot chocolate favors for everyone to take home to continue enjoying our wedding even after they left.
We recommend you have plenty of time to complete your projects. It took several attempts and failures to come up with our final products. We could not have carried out our vision without the help of so many of our friends and family. We were blessed to share the planning and prep with those closest to us. We loved doing most of the work ourselves. We were able to create everything the way we wanted and have many keepsakes to take away from the day.
Photography: Josselyn Peterson Photographer | Coordinator: Natalie Johnson | Flowers: Eric Chang, Bride's Uncle | Wedding Dress: Vineyard | Invitations: Cheer Up Cherup, Etsy | Ceremony Venue: Ed Hales Park, Redlands, CA | Reception Venue: Fox Dance Studio, Redlands, CA | Bride's Shoes: Vera Wang | Jewelry: Emerson & Farrar | Bridesmaids Dresses: Jenny Yoo | Catering: Eco Caters | Makeup: Karen Nolan | Hair: TJ Of Technicolour Salon | Grooms Attire: Calvin Klein | Officiant: Mark Holm | Harpist: Aimee Rios | Dessert: Kopper Kettle Kafe & Katering | Fur Wrap: Vintage 1890's Wrap | Groomsmen Attire: Banana Republic