My thoughts of cowboy boots and hay barrels are out the door after oohing and aahing over this ranch wedding. This chic California couple made the rustic look modern and fresh with their contemporary shindig, all while looking fashion-spread worthy in one amazing Monique Lhuillier gown. Mirelle Carmichael captured every moment and your Tuesday just got a whole better with this stunning gallery.
From the Bride… My husband Gianni and I met in Calculus class while attending Cal Poly SLO. After graduating, we migrated up the coast to San Francisco and began working closely together at a small start up. After a decade, we knew that we would always be together, but it was only after a garage accident and ER difficulty that we decided to legalize our union. San Luis Obispo was where we cultivated the foundation of our relationship and we couldn’t wait to return for a celebration!
The one thing we repetitively heard from married friends was that the day would be a blur. Overcoming that challenge was our biggest focus during the planning process. We wanted an intimate wedding that would maximize quality time with family and friends. Our first decision was to ditch the single wedding day and instead host a three-day party. We found Flying Caballos Ranch (FCR) through Central Coast Wedding Standard (CCWS) and it was perfect because it could accommodate a ceremony, a reception and lodging for 25 VIPs! Our second highest priority was capturing everything we would potentially miss by sourcing a keen-eyed photo journalist. We were fortunate enough to find Mirelle Carmichael Photography (also through CCWS) and she graciously referred us to the other amazing small business vendors we hired. Each vendor lent extraordinary expertise, but always took great care in executing our vision first.
We opted to create an atmosphere that was minimalistic, modern and full of texture, highlighting a centralized metal theme — an ode to my husband’s hobby garage work. Our wedding colors were a neutral palette of champagne and varying light to dark grey tones. We kicked off our theme with miniature letter-pressed Save the Dates and engraved stainless steel formal invitations that I created. Next, we set out to find wedding attire that especially mirrored our aesthetic. My handmade Monique Lhuillier gown (the first dress I tried on) featured an extremely modern, but delicately folded, crumb-catcher bust with a stark contrast of disorganized, silk organza strips fluttering from my waist down to the ground. I wore no jewelry except handcrafted solid sterling silver octopus tentacle earrings — custom made for me by a friend — and my shoes were plain grey suede pumps. My husband’s light grey Burberry suit was expertly tailored in SF with a custom made lavender shirt (to match his mother’s dress) and an Italian wool pinstripe tie. He wore USA-made Wolverine high top boots, the Archimedes pilot watch my parents gave him as a wedding present and his favorite gentleman’s folding knife. He radiated the likes of European Mad Men.
For the reception, we had simple centerpieces made from unstained wooden boxes filled with moss and votive candles with steel stencils for table numbers. Since we wanted guests to have their own set of reusable memorabilia, each seat had a petite wooden clipboard menu, a hand stamped aluminum washer with their name to act as a seating card and a single serving of Bulleit bourbon in a glass corked bottle. Italian cafe lights glittered over the dinner tables and our handmade DONATI marquee illuminated the background of the dance floor. I am privileged to be married to a renaissance man who is an incredible builder of… well, anything. All of our wedding decorations were hand made by him, including our Titanium wedding bands the zebra wood and Horween leather ring box that carried them.
My favorite part of our wedding was the feeling of calmness I had when I awoke next to my future husband. We spent time that morning watching the sunrise, quietly holding hands, practicing our first dance and revising our vows. My second favorite part of the day was listening to him recite those vows. While my best friend spoke, the world around me was silenced and his resolve resonated through each word. That single feeling will carry my heart for an eternity.
Photography: Mirelle Carmichael Photography | Wedding Coordinator: Katie Vaughan, Sealed With A Kiss Events | Floral Design: Sprigs | Wedding Gown: Monique Lhuillier | Catering: Trumpet Vine | Hair And Makeup: Danielle Roberts | Groom's Suit: Burberry | DJ & Photobooth: Epic Entertainment | Photography - Assistance: Cheryl Tivar | Rentals: Trumpet Vine | Venue Coordinator: Krysta Faulkner | Wedding Venue: Flying Caballos Ranch