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Colorful Squirrel Creek Ranch Wedding

Technically, I already have my dream job.  But if I had to choose a runner-up profession, I’d say Professional Wedding Crasher would be it.  Because then I could happily spend my weekends attending gorgeous weddings like this colorful Squirrel Creek Ranch affair, a wedding sooo insanely beautiful and sooo filled with fun, it obviously (obviously) can’t be missed.  See it all captured by Ken Kienow right here.

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Fall
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BarnRanch

From the Bride… After all the time and energy I put into making sure everything was perfect for our wedding, I can happily say that there is not a single thing I would have done differently. The day was perfect.

After getting engaged in December 2012, we were on the lookout for a wedding venue. We looked all around Napa Valley (close to the town of St. Helena that we call home) but couldn’t quite find what we were looking for. We wanted something rustic and real, we had an old barn in mind, something in nature that we could turn into a romantic wonderland for our special day.

My husband is a professional cyclist so come the beginning of February we had to head off to Girona, Spain where we spend half of our year. Leaving without having found a venue was not part of the plan, but thankfully we were about to get lucky. I found Squirrel Creek Ranch online while I was scrolling through the never ending options for wedding venues in Northern California. While I couldn’t get home to go see it, my mother and maid of honor went in my place and I saw what would end up being my wedding venue for the first time via Skype. Thank goodness for technology. So, sight unseen, I decided to go with my gut and I booked it!

After my fiancé and I saw it for the first time in person in May, we knew it was time to get to work. It was a beautiful site, essentially a blank canvas for us to turn into our own perfect wedding. I pictured the tables, the dancing, the bright flowers among a rustic backdrop, the beautiful old barn completely lit up and full of our friends and family, and of course the big bon fire and late night s’mores snack. There was a great space to hold the ceremony outside in the late afternoon light, just as I had always imagined. My husband and I both love the outdoors so we thought it would be very appropriate to be married outside and then hold the rest of the evening inside the barn.

We started by getting all of our vendors lined up. I knew I would need help bringing all my visions to fruition, so I reached out to a friend from high school who was just starting her career as a wedding coordinator. We had a lunch prepared by Antonio Ayestaran who we then hired as our caterer. We hired a DJ and the amazing Rock Ridge Bluegrass Band, rented everything we could possibly need for dinner (tables, chairs, place settings, heaters) and found someone to do all the lighting. We stumbled upon an incredible photographer Ken Kienow who just happened to be a cycling fan and knew of my husband. All the big things were actually the easiest to set up.

Then came the details, the parts of the wedding where it was more about how much time and effort, and for lack of another word, heart, we wanted to put into it. I knew I wanted my wedding to be personal, to make people really feel the love between me and my husband and to feel like they were part of it rather than just observers. From the hand crafted signs we made in the garage in the final week, to the altar that came from my parents property in the mountains near Trinity, to the old stained glass window we turned into a seating chart, to the flowers that my bridesmaids and I were literally putting together the day before the wedding, the personal touches were numerous.

I got a lot of inspiration from Pinterest. I had ideas of what I wanted things to look like, but seeing real live examples helped me solidify what I was looking for. Of course I can’t forget to mention Etsy. The myriad of handmade items for offer made my life a little bit easier when it came to putting some of those personal touches into our wedding. Throughout the months leading up to the wedding I had numerous friends telling me to take a step back and make sure I enjoyed the process.

As much joy as planning my wedding brought me, I would be lying if I didn’t say that there were stressful moments that brought me to tears. I knew what I had envisioned and what I wanted, and despite all the help I had from friends and family, especially my wonderful mother, I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed. I had never planned an event for so many people and it seemed like there were so many details still to be taken care of as the day was fast approaching.

Of course, as the rehearsal dinner came and passed and the day of the wedding arrived, my worries and fears melted away and all that was left was my dream come true. I woke up to a beautiful morning, warm and sunny, fall was in the air, bright blue skies, it was more than I could have asked for. Everything was falling into place. I spent the day getting ready with my bridesmaids in one of the little country houses that overlooked the outdoor area where we were holding the ceremony and then it was time!

Throughout the day, even during the ceremony, my husband and I made sure to do our best to take everything in. So much time and effort and love had been put into making this one day everything I had dreamed of, and I didn’t want to let it just pass me by. Walking into the ceremony, seeing all of my friends and family, and my groom at the end of the aisle, was a moment I will never forget. In what felt like the blink of an eye, I was officially married! As my husband and I walked down the aisle we paused at the end to turn around and take it all in. This was the only time in our lives that we would have all of our friends and family together in one place, from all parts of the world, to celebrate the love we share with each other. It was a breathtaking moment.

We laughed, cried, toasted, danced, sang at the top of our lungs, took in all the love and good wishes, and at the end of the day, my husband and I were left with an overwhelming feeling of happiness.

What I’d like to impart to all future brides and grooms is to make sure your wedding is what YOU want. People often say, “don’t sweat the little things” or “don’t worry about the details”, but I can confidently say that it was just that, the little things and the details, that made our wedding so special. Taken on their own the details can seem relatively insignificant, but all put together on the day of the wedding, they gave it the character and unique feel that I had always hoped for.

My heart is full of gratitude for all those who so lovingly came together to help us fulfill our dreams. I am especially grateful for Ken, our photographer, who was able to capture all of the once in a lifetime moments of our beautiful day!

Photographer: Ken Kienow | Event Planning & Floral Design: Chelsea Tucker Butts | Floral Design: Bride + Friends & Family | Rentals: Celebrations | Caterer/Bar/Cake: Antonio Ayestaran | Hair: Brittin Lemma | Makeup: Kacie Hengler | Groom’s Suit: John Varvatos | Wedding Dress: Saja | Bluegrass Band: Rock Ridge Bluegrass Band | DJ: Larry Burow |  Ceremony And Reception: Squirrel Creek Ranch

Saja is a member of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here.

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Sacramento Wedding from Milou & Olin Photography

This sweet Sacramento wedding? It’s the true definition of “adorability.”  From the sunny yellow hues to the bridesmaids in striped J.Crew shoes, it’s all about filling our Monday with cuter than cute details and some seriously heartwarming moments.  And since we happen to love all of the above, we’re calling this one excellent way to spend a work day.  Care to soak in all of the pretty captured by Milou & Olin Photography?  Join me in the gallery for sooo much more.  (And prepare to find your happy place.)

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Museum

From the Bride… Upon hearing that the Crocker Art Museum was available for weddings, we immediately knew that we found our venue.  The Crocker Art Museum had recently undergone an expansion that introduced a modernistic new wing juxtaposed to the historical style of the original museum.  Growing up in Sacramento, we have fond memories of grade school field trips to the museum.  With the new addition it is almost as if the museum has grown as we have.  

Our wedding ceremony was held in the historic ballroom.  Upon entry guests were welcomed with our Ode to grade school sign and the grand entryway.  The over sized oak doors opened to the ballroom and its beautiful parquet floors.  With such rich details of the ballroom we kept our alter pieces quite simple.  A pair of vintage canary accent tables was topped with yellow and white flowers and succulents.  The warm wood and classic details of the space offered an intimate and gorgeous setting for our ceremony.

A brief cocktail hour was held before our reception in the courtyard between the original Crocker Art Museum, and the newly built addition.  Guests were able to mingle and sample small bites from our favorite local restaurant, Magpie Café, look at vintage family wedding pictures, and pick up their place cards.  To make it more special, we printed postcards with some of our favorite images and hand wrote messages for each of our guests.  

At sunset, we began our reception in Friedman Court.  Friedman Court is a perfect example of sleek and modern.  Floor to ceiling windows and architectural details completed our idea of juxtaposed spaces. We wanted to create a wedding that truly reflected our style and personality. We incorporated some DIY elements as well as some of our own vintage and modern items of our own to design our dream wedding. We personalized each table with a unique centerpiece.  These included pieces from our own collection of vintage brass, and glass, combined with flora and succulents. We also made our own table numbers and framed them in gold vintage frames. Dinner was catered by one of our favorite restaurants, Magpie Café, family style. We chose some of our favorite foods for our guests.

Supporting our love for pie we opted to serve pie by the slice instead of a traditional cake.  Our pie was a mixture of our favorite pies from various local bakeries.  We prepackaged every slice so that guests had the option to take their pie to go.

Photography: Milou & Olin Photography | Floral + Event Design: La Botanica Florals |Catering: Magpie Catering | Wedding Cake: The Frosted Cake Shoppe | Photobooth: Magnolia Photobooth | Vintage Rentals: Archive Vintage Rentals | Linens: La Tavola | Ceremony + Reception Location: Crocker Art Museum | Wedding Dress: Lazaro | Shoes: Bettye Muller | Bridesmaid Dresses + Shoes: J.Crew | Groom Suiting: Custom, Brooks Brothers | Groomsmen Suits: Banana Republic |  Ties: J.Crew | Tie Clips: Vintage | Makeup + Hair: Jasmine Chan | DIY Projects: (just married pendant, menu card, guest place cards, pie display and boxed pies, wedding favors): Bride + Groom

J.Crew, 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, JLM Couture, Inc and Magnolia Photo Booth Co. are members of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
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Sacramento Winery Wedding from This Modern Romance

When Brides really enjoy planning for their big day, it shows. Big time. It shows in their sweet details and it shows in their big smiles. This is just such a Bride, and her whimsically elegant wedding reflected just how much she loved dreaming up the day she got to say I do to her handsome Groom. This Modern Romance snapped up every smile, detail and moment – and it’s all sitting pretty right here.

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Fall
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Vineyard

From the Bride… When we began to plan our wedding, I knew I wanted the big day to be an event that truly represented us as a couple. In the details, elegance was tied together with whimsy and a little bit of quirkiness. With the handmade decorations, homemade wedding cake, freshly made simple syrup wedding favors, and heartfelt creations oozing through the day– I think we were successful! I loved that each element of our wedding had a story behind it that I could say we had a part of. We used my own vintage dresser as a station for the guestbook signing and our florist added her lovely touches. I had a lot of fun gathering an eclectic mix of photo frames for signs and making them. So much love and care was put towards the creation of our beautiful day that was rustic, elegant, and charming!

The venue itself was remarkably gorgeous and really set the tone for our day. With the cool autumn breeze, ready-to-harvest grapes, and river side sunset, it was impossible not to feel swept away in pure romance. The people at Scribner Bend truly went above and beyond to help carry out an incredibly blissful day without a hitch! Our photographer, Stephanie Williams, did a fantastic job capturing plenty of precious details in addition to the lively expression of our guests during the reception. Without proper music, an event just isn’t the same. Luckily for us, Mike Regan put so much thought into the the planning for the night. Upbeat, classic, and romantic Motown tunes filled the vineyard and the hearts of our guests in addition to our own.

I would have to say that my favorite moments include the reading our own written personal vows (my husband didn’t let a single eye stay dry!), the creativity and enjoyment of our guests as they used the photobooth (children, too!) and dined/danced the night away, and the grand entrance of our bridal party to “Eye of the Tiger” and ours to “You Make My Dreams” by Hall and Oates!

Our wedding was truly a night to remember!

Wedding Photography: Stephanie Williams from This Modern Romance | Wedding Venue: Scribner Bend Vineyards in Sacramento, California | Cinematography: Travis Allen at Lightmedia Productions | Event Planning + Design: the Bride | Floral Design: Vicky Marco from Bella Bloom Flowers | Caterer: Crisp Catering | Wedding Cake, Topper + Favors: the bride | DJ Services: Mike Regan from Mr. DJ Service | Wedding Invitations: Hello!Lucky with added details by the bride | Wedding Dress: Blue by Enzoani | Bride’s Sash: Simple Bridal | Bride’s Shoes: Vera Wang Lavender | Bride’s Second Dress: Love by Enzoani | Hair + Makeup: KC Witkamp | Bridesmaids’ Attire: Donna Morgan via Nordstroms | Bridesmaids’ Robes: Singing Slowly | Groom’s Attire: J.Crew | Groomsmen Attire: H&M

Donna Morgan and J.Crew are members of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here.