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.
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: Thread | Bridesmaids Dresses: Maggy London | Bridesmaids Dresses: Bhldn | Bridesmaids Dresses: J Crew | Bridesmaids Dresses: All Saints | Bridesmaids Dresses: BCBG | Catering: M Woodward Catering | Groom's Attire: J Crew | Transportation: Black Tie Limo | 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