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Rustic meets modern at secluded ranch wedding

Want to party into the wee hours of the night but don’t want to disturb the neighbors? Simple solution: an alluring, secluded ranch. We love what couple Marisa and Luke did, mixing the rustic ranch vibe with a modern orange and gray color palate and fun details — including one rowdy photo booth (see the time-lapse video at the end).  Thanks to Ramin from The Marin Studio you can relive the fun with the full gallery here.



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Summer
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Ranch

From the bride… Above all we wanted to throw an awesome party at which our family and friends would have an amazing time — which of course entailed the ability to dance into the wee hours – so we were in search a venue that didn’t have a noise curfew and also fit with our desire to be married outside. We found our perfect match in Diablo Ranch, which is not only located in the stunning hills of Mt. Diablo State Park in Walnut Creek, CA but is also literally in the middle of nowhere, meaning we could keep the music going all night long. The fact that the venue was a working ranch was also a nice tribute to Luke’s upbringing on a farm in Texas.
We undertook the décor and planning ourselves, both because we were on a strict budget and because we wanted our personal touch on all the details. Luke is happiest when creating excel spreadsheets, so it was an obvious strategy to divide the tasks with the groom handling logistics and the bride in charge of creative. Our venue and the views it offered were so breathtaking that we didn’t have to add much in terms of embellishment.  We picked a modern color palette, orange and gray, that would be an interesting complement to the rustic elements of the venue.  We were fortunate to be able to borrow beautiful peach linen napkins and vintage silverware from a friend, and combined these with mix-and-match plates and glassware from from the venue, handmade gray burlap table runners, rustic mason jar floral arrangements and plenty of tea lights to create our table top.  We collected Bulleit whisky bottles over the months to use as water carafes and also hand-painted directional signs and spray-painted table numbers using pieces of reclaimed wood procured for us by friend. Chalkboard menu signs and succulent favors that did double duty as escort cards rounded out our DYI contributions. Lastly but not least, with help from another handy friend, Luke constructed the centerpiece of our décor — an orange marquee light inspired L+M sign that hung over the dance floor!

From the groom… To me, besides getting to work in excel spreadsheets and helping with the logistical and financial planning, simply working with Marisa throughout the process was pretty awesome.  What made it even more special was the planning of the actual ceremony.  Here we again used the talents of several friends and family members to create some personal touches as we also wanted the ceremony to be a little less traditional. Because the ceremony site was about 100 yards from the reception area and entrance to the ranch, we thought that it would be nice for all of the guests to walk down together, to meet and greet each other.  After I gave a brief speech that basically stated “we’d like all of you, friends and family members, to take this journey of marriage together with us”, my mom and I led a processional of all of the guests down the hill to the ceremony site, accompanied by the musical talents of some of my closest friends covering The Cars song “Just What I Needed”.  After the guests were seated, the band played a cover of Iron & Wine’s “Naked As We Came” as the bridesmaids came down the dusty aisle, and a cover of The Decemberists’ “June Hymn” while Marisa and her father made the long dramatic 100 yard walk down the hill from the stables to the ceremony site.  One of Marisa’s close friends, a Hollywood writer, officiated the wedding, adding lots of personal stories and quips. Our mothers read some of our favorite passages from children’s literature, and our dog Stella ran down the aisle with our rings tied to her collar when we called. At the end, the band kicked off the celebration with a fun cover of Ryan Adam’s “Dance All Night” while the guests returned back up the hill for the cocktail hour, dinner and dancing.  After an amazing dinner by Michael Woodword Catering and his team, our DJ – Julian Mocine-McQueen AKA DJ Such n’ Such – kept the dance floor going till nearly 2am.  Our friends from True Photobooth allowed the guests to capture the party in film strips, and later compiled a pretty sweet time lapse video of all of the craziness that went on in that photobooth.

Photography: The Marin Studio | Floral Design: Michael Daigian Design | Invitations: Hien Hoang | Bridesmaids Dresses: Bhldn | Bridesmaids Dresses: J Crew | Bridesmaids Dresses: BCBG | Bridesmaids Dresses: All Saints | Bridesmaids Dresses: Thread | Bridesmaids Dresses: Maggy London | Catering: M Woodward Catering | Groom's Attire: J Crew | Bride's Dress: Jenny Packham "Laurel" | Ceremony And Reception Venue: Diablo Ranch | Desserts: Pacific Puffs | Hair And Markup: Marine Vaisset | Photo Booth: True Photo Booth | Rentals: Elegance Party Rentals | Transportation: Black Tie Limo

BHLDN and J.Crew are members of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here. Michael Daigian Design and Weddington Way are members of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
Michael Daigian Design

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Weddington Way

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Bay Area Engagement Session from Jessica Burke

If I could reach through this screen and hug Jessica Burke, I totally would. Because she has made my morning with this sweet session, causing a perma-grin to form proudly on my face. Because there aren’t many things I love more than sun-lit engagement sessions packed with personality, and you can see all the reasons why, right here in the full gallery of images.

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Fall
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Outdoor
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Casual

From…The bride’s father works on old cars and one of his most favorites is a 1960s Porsche – such a classic!  The bride wanted to incorporate it into their engagement session, so we went in to the rolling hills of the Bay Area for the backdrop + open roads.  It was such a beautiful day, the landscape + styling from the bride completed the look to perfection!

Photography: Jessica Burke | Hair + Makeup:  Sophia of Painted Ladies | Location:  East Bay Area, California

Jessica Burke is a member of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
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Kohl Mansion Wedding from Milou+Olin Photography

You know a wedding that mixes a whiskey bar with Kelly Wearstler’s iconic fabric is sure to be a good time. Think green as grass trellis print mixed with pops of fuchsia blooms by Natalie Bowen Designs. This is a color lover’s fantasy, a pattern aficionado’s ultimate match up and a wedding blogger’s total dream because really, this wedding is as good as it gets. Just take a long look through all the images by Milou+Olin Photography and you’ll be hooked. And for even more, head to the full gallery.

Now how about a gorgeous film to wrap things up by Luke Goodman Cinematography. Have a look…


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Summer
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Mansion

From Milou+Olin Photography…Adam and Jen met in college at UCLA, lived on the same dorm floor and were friends for three years before a phone conversation one night led to, “Hey, I really like you” and “I really like you, too!” They survived a long distance relationship while Jen was in Graduate School and when it was time to decide where to move for a job, they were able to experience a new chapter of adventures, again in Los Angeles.  Adam’s proposal was personal, spectacular and sweet, truthfully!  Jen loves ice cream and they frequent, Fossleman’s, a homemade ice cream parlor, about 15 minutes from their home.  The night before Jen’s birthday, Adam presented her with a book documenting her entire life – with pictures he had her parents collect from family albums and scan to him, pictures from friends and college antics as well as the trips they had taken together as a couple.  While eating a decadent banana split, Jen flipped through the book, already crying at seeing all the hard work Adam had put into her present and on the back cover, there was an envelope.  Not just any envelope, a pearlized envelope, with embossed trim framing the outside.  Inside the envelope, were pads of soft cotton and a sparkling ring.  Adam got down on one knee in the middle of the bustling, kitschy ice cream parlor and proposed.  Jen was shocked, giggled and said, “Of course, yes!”  Their ice cream melted as they called family and friends.
 
For the venue, Kohl Mansion is two blocks from Jen’s family home.  Since Jen was little, she remembers playing in the flower petals of other brides the morning after their weddings were over.  So when it was time to look at venues, Kohl was one of the first places that came to mind and the last place she knew to show Adam – saving the best for last!  Once Adam saw the location and heard Jen tell stories of running on the grass as a little girl, he knew this was the place, too.  Ideally, Kohl was a magical place to complete the Hollywood Regency theme for their wedding – Navy, Marine and Emerald, with hints of “pop” colors, all inspired by Kelly Wearstler’s design aesthetic.   Jen’s dress was a combination of whimsy and romance with modern touches.  Her peacock blue shoes magically coordinated with the gents’ socks and custom designed ties.  Gorgeous florals of dahlias, ranunculus, freesia, kangaroo paw and mint enhanced the theme and their florist was even able to get one of Jen’s favorite flowers, anemones, out of season!  
 
Personal details were key for them to “brand” their wedding and make it their own.  Jen took letterpress classes so she could make the invitations.  Jen selected customized envelope liners to fit the theme.  Menu frames were also letterpressed and each menu was personalized and included an inside joke that the couple shared with the individual.  Jen took sewing classes to learn how to make the farm table runners out of the cherished Imperial Trellis fabric by Kelly Wearstler.  Custom mirrored lucite frames and lucite escort cards were custom designed to look like individual chandelier crystals. Programs were letterpressed with the their “Jen+Adam” insignia and covered with vellum.  The out of town guests enjoyed customized “Jen+Adam” canvas bags filled with San Francisco and Bay Area foodie themed goodies, which corresponded to their “foodie” themed rehearsal dinner: 479° Popcorn, TCHO Chocolate, POP chips, Preston’s Caramels, Alfieri Farms Cinnamon Brittle, and a bottle of their favorite wine.  The couple included an “Out of Town” welcoming booklet which listed fun things to do in San Francisco and on the Peninsula.
 
During the ceremony, for a modern twist, they asked two of their best friends to tell their personal love story, from the point of view of the bride and groom, to the 128 friends and family in attendance.   Directly over the ceremony space, in the trees, five crystal chandeliers hung delicately and represented Jen’s grandparents who could not be in attendance personally, but were there in spirit.  The music was all personally selected by Jen and Adam and other little touches included: parasols, fans and roasted vanilla lemonade for the sunny ceremony and color coordinating pashminas and fleece blankets for the cooler evening events.  Jen and Adam shared their love of whisky drinks by including a whisky bar and turned the west rooms of the mansion into a lounge space.  Adam and Jen showed off their best moves on the dance floor and Jen kept her four inch heels on all night long! The day was perfect in every way and their planner, Adrianna, ensured that things ran smoothly throughout the entire process.  Jen and Adam insist their vendors were sent from heaven and are so thankful for the love and support from such talented artisans who helped make their wedding day most thoughtful and breathtaking!  

Photographer: Milou+Olin Photography | Venue: Kohl Mansion | Floral Design: Natalie Bowen Designs | Wedding Planner: Adrianna Thorne of Dream a Little Dream Events | Cinematography: Luke Goodman Cinematography | Caterer: Betty Zlatchin Catering | Cake: Branching Out Cakes | Linens: La Tavola + The Bride | Rentals: Hartmann Studios | Lighting: Enhanced Lighting | Bride’s Dress: Lazaro | Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Hair + Makeup: Meaganne McCandess | Groom’s and Groomsmens’ Suits: Perry Ellis | Groom’s and Groomsmens’ Custom Tie: this humble abode | Groom’s Shoes: Bruno Magli | Bridesmaids Dresses: BHLDN

BHLDN, Hayley Paige and Jim Hjelm Occasions are members of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here. La Tavola Fine Linen Rental, Milou + Olin Photography, Dream A Little Dream Events, JLM Couture, Inc and Branching Out Cakes are members of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
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