When your wedding is 100% al fresco, killer shades are a must. Well this couple took that sunglass necessity one step further and gifted each one of their guests a pair of blue sunnies. Those sunnies fit right in with this seaside celebration laced with the prettiest blue details and a whole lot of happy imagery captured by b. schwartz photography. Have a look right here for even more.

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Ranch

From the Bride… We met through a mutual friend on a Friday night out at a bar in Chicago. I had just come back from a work trip and was looking forward to a night out on the town with some friends. While we were out, a few of my coworkers met up with us and one of them brought Teddy. After a couple of group outings and exchanges of facebook messages, we went out on our first official date to watch our lovable losers, the Chicago Cubs. During our first date, we quickly realized how much we had in common (we found out that we are from the same town and went to rival high schools!) and five years later, here we are….happily married.

We dated for approximately five years before tying the knot!

Great Proposal Story. Both of us are big sports fanatics and what bigger stage for sports than the Olympics! Teddy and I went to the London Olympics last summer and took a quick three day trip during our London visit to Porto, Portugal. The city of Porto is an amazing place to explore and there is a tower, the Clerigos Tower to be exact, in the middle of the city that we climbed up to get a better look of the views. I led the way up the climb and once we reached the top of the tower, I turned around to find Teddy down on one knee smiling with a ring box in his hand. Obviously, I said yes.

We got engaged in August of 2012 and spent approximately a year planning our wedding. Just after we got engaged, we began to think of places to get married. We knew we wanted an outdoor destination wedding and so immediately we thought of California. My family moved to the Southern California area a few years ago and so, Teddy and I visited California frequently. During our visits, we traveled the central coast area and fell in love with the vibe and scene. When it came down to deciding on where to get married, it was a no brainer. Also, the fact that the weather in California is consistently amazing pretty much ALL OF THE TIME helped make the decision that much more clearer. While planning a wedding from afar may seem like a nighmare, it was actually went pretty smooth for me because all of the vendors we worked with were incredibly knowledgeable and helpful. I couldn’t have asked for a better planning experience and truly enjoyed the process.

Several of our family and friends are teachers and I was also headed back to graduate school so we knew we had to choose a date wisely. We decided to pick a weekend toward the end of the summer to accommodate everyone and phrased it as an end of summer party…not that we had to twist too many arms to convince them to come to California.

We asked our friend to DJ our wedding and my cousin to officiate our wedding. When initially looking for DJs and officiants, we wanted someone who we could connect with and cater to our style. While we spoke with several great individuals, none of them felt right and so naturally we looked toward our family and friends. Both of them said yes. We felt incredibly honored and lucky to have them be a part of our big day. They did an amazing job and both of them added an element of personalization throughout the day/evening as our DJ played our favorite songs and my cousin added personal stories within the ceremony. I wouldn’t of had it any other way.

The venue itself is absolutely beautiful with the ocean backdrop in the front area and a mountain landscape in the backyard. Because the venue was so beautiful, we didn’t want to take any of that away and so we tried to keep things natural with touches of rustic yet refined elegance. We had tremendous amount of help from our caterers to help carry out our vision. For cocktail hour, they brought in some beautiful wine barrels and set-up a delicious fruit and cheese hors d’oeuvres station on them. For the dinner, we rented hardwood dining tables and designed/produced the centerpieces ourselves (see below). The food also lent to our picnic theme California casual style as we chose to serve BBQ ribs, tri-tip steaks, macaroni and cheese and grilled vegetables. For dessert, we utilized the venue’s wooden wagon and our caterer set up a variety of pies and a coffee station on it.

As our wedding was 100% outdoors, we felt sunglasses were a must! We ordered two shades of blue for all of our guests and utilized them as both seating chart guides and favors.

We made all of the centerpieces and bouquets ourselves. The day after we landed in California, Teddy went out to a local lumber yard and purchased pine and fir boards. He built the flower boxes in my father’s garage (my parents live in the LA area) the week before the wedding. A few days before the wedding, I received in the flowers I ordered from Fifty Flowers and, with the help from some amazing friends, prepared the flowers (i.e. trimmed and placed in buckets). When choosing my flowers, I knew I wanted hydrangeas as they have always been my favorite and they always look so vibrant in an outdoor setting. My order consisted of a ton of blue and white hydranges along with some green hypericum berries and white roses as accent flowers. The day before the wedding was a bit hectic, and surprisingly fun, as we arranged all of the flowers into the flower boxes. We also trimmed the roll of burlap (that we brought in our luggage all the way from Chicago!) to the dimensions of the tables. In addition, we made mine and all of the bridesmaids bouquets. I hemmed and hawed over the decision to make the bouquets ourselves because I had ZERO experience in arranging flowers but with the help from some YouTube tutorials, they all turned out beautiful and just the way I wanted. Soliciting help from friends is KEY to any DIY project, not only for the actual help but for the mental support and encouragement!

Photographer: b. schwartz photography | bracelet: The Left Bank | Bridesmaids Dresses: Little Borrowed Dress | Lighting: Wendee’s Occasions | Bouquets and Centerpieces: Fifty Flowers | Catering and Rentals: DJ’s California Catering | Gown : Eden Bridals | Gown Purchased: Wedding Belles | Hair/Makeup : Mishay Salon | Hairpin: So Good | Location: Bates Ranch House | Shoes : Tom’s – Blue Wedges | Transportation: SB Airbus

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