The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe is, and always will, be one of my favorite places in the world to hold a wedding. The perfect mix of casual elegance and classic pretty, it’s an al fresco paradise just perfect for marrying. Case in point? This darling day captured by Joielala Photographie… a day that is as rich in love as it is in beauty. See every gorgeous moment right here in the full gallery.
From the Bride… There are many things that make a wedding day special, but for us it was the people, and their personal touches that graced our special day. As any bride knows or will come to find out, it takes a village to pull a wedding together, regardless of it’s scope. Our village of support consisted of vendors we formed close relationships with over the planning process and our beloved friends and family. We chose the perfect location for everyone to come together for the celebration, which quadrupled as the rehearsal dinner, wedding ceremony and reception, and accommodations for everyone to get cozy and stay a while.
The bridal party, our parents and Bradley’s Wisconsin relatives arrived at The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe on a Thursday. Excitement remained at an all-time high throughout the day as everyone arrived at the venue at different times, like little surprises on Christmas morning. Some relaxed by the pool while others explored the venue’s grounds and The Village of Rancho Santa Fe. Later that afternoon, following the rehearsal on the front lawn of The Inn we crossed the street to The Village, where Chef Mozy of The Rancho Santa Fe Bistro, planned the perfect menu for our night under the stars, accompanied by an original set by our favorite musician and good friend, Kevin Earnest. After dinner we congregated back at The Inn’s bar and took over the fire pits, located just beside the lawns we’d be wed the very next day. Here we spent the rest of the evening under the stars- hanging out, laughing, and bocce’ing. It was a treat to see our San Francisco friends enjoying the company of our families. It was a reminder of how great weddings are – they sure do bring everyone together you love (near & far) – to celebrate YOU. Not to be overshadowed by the actual wedding, this intimate night was just as special with with our bridal party and families.
The Village of Rancho Santa Fe hosted us well. Not only was the location of the rehearsal dinner perfect and convenient, but The Village also catered to everyone in different ways. The morning of the wedding, I strolled across the street to The Village for coffee and saw some guests coming back from a morning tennis match at the village tennis courts, others enjoying their morning run through the equestrian neighborhood, and a set of foursomes scurrying to meet their tee time at the local golf course.
While the bridesmaids were getting dolled up, our families and groomsmen entertained the arriving guests at the pool and the venue was just buzzing with excitement. Back in the bridal suite, Taryn & Shelby from JoieLala Photographie arrived as we finished getting ready and perfected the bouquets. One of many moments that left me tickled was seeing my sisters and mother wrapping my bouquet, another smitten reminder that “the day” had arrived. I couldn’t imagine my big day without such a wonderful group of ladies by my side – my mother, five sisters and four best friends throughout the years. I was one lucky bride.
At half-past five o’clock, on the beautiful day in Rancho Santa Fe, the bridal processionals began and the rest was a fairytale. Once the last of the bridal party started down the aisle, my dad squeezed my hand and reminded me of all the times we had practiced this walk since I was a little girl and asked, “Are you ready!?” Reflecting on this moment now brings me happy tears, but in the moment I was overwhelmed and replied with excitement, “Yes!!” Walking down the aisle was surreal; nothing tops being “the bride” in this particular moment. On the other hand, being “the bride” during the ceremony was also quite silly. While the majority of women and a select few men were tearing up, I was totally giddy. So much so, when Rev Powers asked if I took Bradley as my husband, I replied with “Yee-haw!” instead of the anticipated “I do.” People asked if it was planned, but it wasn’t. It must have been out of nervous excitement or I was just THAT excited to marry Bradley.
At the cocktail reception, my dad planned a special line up of acoustic covers and originals performed by family and friends, a mix of professional musicians and amateurs giving their best. It was a great personal touch to the night, and the perfect way to start off the rest of the evening. Our guests loved it, and couldn’t stop talking about how surprised and impressed they were. In addition to live music, my affinity for art was also incorporated into our wedding. Since we weren’t huge fans of a guestbook but still wanted a memorable record of everyone at our wedding, we chose a different route. Inside a little heart box on each dinner table were small pieces of square card stock, wrapped with ribbon and instructions for the assigned “Heart Captain” as follows:
“In Lieu of a guest book
Before you depart,
The Greenwoods request
You draw them a heart.
Please sign your name on the other side
As a memory of your presence
For the groom & bride.
Dinner was magical. As our bridal party was announced, they lined up on the dance floor and when the “Harlem Shake” beat dropped they took everyone by surprise and busted out some hilarious dance moves. We followed, and were showered with rose petals by my parents just before reaching the dance floor for our first dance to Van Morrison’s, “Into the Mystic”. The atmosphere was elegant beyond words. I’ll never forget the moment I took it all in- looking out and seeing our guests having a great time, the white lights strung above our heads and reflections of candles on the gorgeous silver vases, the curated background music that set a sweet and nostalgic tone throughout dinner. Every little component was pulled together so seamlessly and it was beautiful.
The night ended and we were amazed by how our wedding had surpassed our expectations. It’s the little precious moments and the special people behind them that make a wedding memorable. My fairytale day came to an end, but was far from over. The memories created thanks to our loved ones have left lasting impressions on our hearts forever.
Photography: Joielala Photographie | Event Planning: Lauren Mandler, The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe | Floral Design: Rodger's Garden | Wedding Dress: J.Crew | Cake: SusieCakes | Invitations: William Arthur Fine Stationery | Bridesmaids Dresses: J.Crew | Catering: Chef Todd Allison, The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe | Hair & Makeup: Browtique Spa, Rancho Santa Fe | DJ: Injoy Entertainment | Groom's Attire: Vera Wang | Officiant: Reverend Richleigh Hale Powers | Centerpiece Vases: One Kings Lane | Coordination: Breier & Bride | Groomsmen Attire: Vera Wang | Musician: Kevin Earnest | Photobooth: Booth Box Photos | Seamstress: Ferndales Bridal | Venue: The Inn At Rancho Santa Fe | Wedding Planning Blog: Tumblr | Wedding Website: Developed By Scal.ioJ.Crew is a member of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here.