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DIY Santa Cruz Wedding at Rancho Soquel

Can you even imagine the pressure two wedding photographers must feel when it’s time to pick the perfect person to capture their big day? Talk about a hard planning desicion. But these two talents (he’s the genius behind Patterson Films and she of Majesta Patterson) knew exactly what they were doing when they asked Evynn LeValley to capture the magic of their big day. Their DIY wedding is one you’ll want to spend some serious quality time with, and you can do so here.

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Estate
Styles
Elegant

From The Bride…Being wedding photographers, we’ve seen A LOT. We knew what worked, what didn’t and were able to make our wedding personal and meaningful. So when we started planning, we knew we really wanted our wedding to be an elegant but fun event that kept some tradition with crafty, organic and romantic touches. That being said, we took on a lot of projects! Once we knew where we wanted to get a married, a lush garden/country estate, I grew my list of ideas:

From chalkboard signs made from thrifted picture frames & window panes to making our apricot jam from my parents backyard; we made it all! We made the wood ceremony arbor out of trees from my parents yard and $30 worth of supplies; we thrifted an old wooden ladder to paint fun signs with directions (since the estate was large and we held different events across the property); and made all painted signs from old wood and palettes on my parents property. Yes, I wrote all the signs with a paint brush.

I made our guestbook from an antique photo album featuring all of our engagement pictures; as well as, our cake topper, table numbers and we bottled and labeled our own wine from a local winery. It really was a labor of love.

My advice to future brides: make a list and ask for help. Know what’s a priority and if you can’t handle it all, delegate! Aside from our ceremony arch and jam favors, our other BIG task was to create our table runners. I simply didn’t have time and while it was cheaper to make it in supplies, it was worth the money to pay a rental company and relive me of my stress! We ended up loving our tables with the pink runners versus my original plans.

Lastly, put your time into the decor and hire someone to bring your vision to life. While we built, painted, ordered, boxed and prepped everything, I could not have executed my vision without my wedding coordinators. They really brought my vision to life and I’m so thankful!

Our wedding came to life beautifully. Our guests loved our signature drinks, bluegrass band, amazing DJ and our perfect ceremony. It was also really important to us that we included our guests in our ceremony and we wanted them to feel special. After all, they are our most loved! We asked a close friend to marry us, made sure we took a minute to look around when we finally stood at our ceremony arch, wrote our own vows and LAUGHED, cried and just had an amazing time. Even forgetting my vows back in the bridal suite (my brother ran and got them for me), our ceremony was nothing short of perfect and it’s one of my favorite memories from our wedding.

The whole day, it was just the best. And now, we have amazing pictures and video to look remember it by!

Photography: Evynn LeValley Photography | Wedding Coordinator: Nicole Audrey Events | Florist: Natasha Kolenko | Wedding Gown: Pronovias Benicarlo From Trudy's Bridal | Cake: Heathers Patisserie | Caterer: Feast For A King Catering | Makeup: Cherise Gowan | Hair Stylist: Yvette Guerriera | DJ: Paul From Big Fun Disc Jockeys | Venue: Rancho Soquel | Linens: La Tavola Linen | Party Rentals: Alexis Party Rentals | Site Coordinator: The Wedding Connection | Suit Rentals: Selix Formalwear

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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Santa Cruz Redwood Winter Wedding Inspiration

The fact that this shoot was held at a real, book it tomorrow venue is beyond. Nestled right in the Redwoods of Cali, it’s seriously something out of a movie. So when Whitney Nelson Events + The Floral Shovel got their hands on it, you better believe that magic was going to happen. And with images by A Girl and a Camera, this is inspiration that will most certainly go the wedding distance. Click here for more!

Colors
Seasons
FallWinter
Settings
Woods
Styles
Rustic

From Whitney, of Whitney Nelson EventsBeing from Northern California, we are so fortunate to have such amazing venues at our fingertips. Most importantly, venues that speak to the character and love of a couple. We wanted to feature the stunning grounds at Stones and Flowers Retreat just outside of Santa Cruz, where the giant redwood trees almost wrap themselves around you, and the serene sounds of nature transport any guest from the hustle and bustle of daily life to their own private retreat.

Mixing textures such as reclaimed wood, glass, metal and leather in an eclectic yet modern way was the overall vision, and bringing a cooler color palette into play that complimented the setting and almost gave the feel of winter blossoming into spring was the ultimate goal in my mind.

I first had to find the perfect table and chairs and I was in awe when I stepped foot into The Wooden Duck in Berkeley, CA. It was my own personal, reclaimed heaven. On top of that, they had the cabinet I used as the cake table, and the amazing metal tub chairs in a wide range of colors, so I knew I could bring a little funky color splash into the guest seating by mixing silver with bright kelly green.

For the table top, I used antique silver platters of various sizes as chargers, pressed glass plates and mis-matched antique silverware. The vintage seltzer bottles, bronze deer antlers, mercury glass and squared off stemware brought in a little masculine vibe to the design that I think worked beautifully. The Aerialist Press crafted the amazing stationary and incorporated leather by creating unique embossed leather straps that I used as escort cards. Of course, no design would be complete without breathtaking florals and foliage, and we were so fortunate to work with The Floral Shovel.

From Michelle, The Floral ShovelThe florals for this shoot were inspired by the woodland location and the colors found naturally in the redwood forests of northern California. The florals featured varying shades of green from the dark green of the ferns to the almost florescent green of the protea, to the faintest hint of green in the miniature roses. 

The goal was to keep the arrangements feminine and soft to balance the wood and metals, yet keep the wild and unfussy forest inspired look. White flowering cabbage (a great alternative to traditional roses or expensive peonies) and bright green protea added drama and elegance, while moss covered twigs and various types of ferns contributed to the woodland, earthy feel. Then queen anne’s lace, poppy seed pods, and miniature light green roses provide texture and balance to the arrangements.

The organic shaped bridal bouquet was oversized and filled with bright green colors and texture for added drama. The groom’s boutonniere incorporated a deer antler to coordinate with the antlers used in the tablescape as well as the cake topper.

It was such a blast to work with everyone on this shoot, the funky rustic design came together perfectly, and it truly was due to each vendor thinking a little outside of the box and having fun! A big thank you goes to the incredibly talented Jennifer at A Girl And A Camera Photography who brought us all together, found this stunning venue and captured the amazing beauty of the day.

Photography: A Girl And A Camera Photography | Floral Design: The Floral Shovel | Wedding Dress: Haute Bride Design | Cake: Cake Coquette | Invitations: The Aerialist Press | Reception Venue: Stone And Flower | Event Planning/ Design: Whitney Nelson Events | Make Up / Hair: The MakeUp Dolls | Rentals: The Wooden Duck | Video: Life In Digital

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Romantic Santa Cruz Backyard Wedding

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a 1,000 times, but the backyard wedding really is my favorite (I swear). It’s intimate and special and it holds the secret of the bride’s girlhood days, which, at least in my case, were spent in the backyard dreaming of this day. Add fabulous pros like Hannah Suh Photography and Feast for a King to the mix and what you have, my friends, is perfection.


Colors
Seasons
Spring
Styles
Romantic

From Hannah Suh Photography… Morgan and Greg had the loveliest backyard wedding at their parent’s home in Santa Cruz. When they first contacted me, I was thrilled to hear about the kind of event they were planning. 

Everything about the wedding felt so natural and easy, with everything taking place in a secluded cul-de-sac in Santa Cruz. The space beside the driveway to the house was used for the ceremony site and it looked like something out of a quaint European villa. Morgan and Greg purchased the house just three doors down and so Morgan was able to get ready in her old childhood bedroom while Greg got ready in the new house they had just purchased. So everything felt so close knit and homey. Dinner and dancing was in the backyard around the pool and lighted with string lights. They had a cigar bar and a huge array of desserts for guests to enjoy. And the final spectacle of the night were lanterns that they released into the night sky.

Photographer: Hannah Suh Photography | Planner: Denise Addesso | Florist: Country Essences | Wedding Dress: Jim Hjelm | Caterer: Feast For A King | Band: The Cheeseballs

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Santa Cruz Wedding at Hollins House

Fridays call for weddings that will leave you smiling all weekend, and this Santa Cruz stunner captured by Julie Cahill Photography will do just that. With a palette so pretty I could cry, beautiful florals from Country Essences and one adorable duo – this wedding planned by Coastside Couture is just the best way to end an oh-so-pretty week. See even more here.

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Golf Club

From Julie Cahill PhotographyKathy and Gabe didn’t change partners all night. It was customary to change partners after one dance at the local salsa studio in San Francisco CA. However after their first dance nobody could cut in on these two and by the end of the night, Gabe had already dreamt up his first date with the Russian beauty. Nine months and much salsa dancing later, Gabe proposed to Kathy during a romantic weekend in Napa. Gabe and Kathy flew in their favorite salsa band from Colombia for their wedding day. Their wedding took place over looking the Monterey Bay under a glorious old oak tree in the warm summer shade of Santa Cruz California. The Colombian duo, Individuo played some mellow tunes while guest mingled and filled out the “key” to a happy marriage tag for the newlyweds. Kathy said that the wedding coordinators Heidi and Karissa from Coastside Couture took her vision and made it more than she could have envisioned with soft colors of summer along with burlap runners, antique vases and personalized details. After dinner concluded, Kathy changed into a flirty little dress for their first salsa dance as husband and wife. Gabe twirled, lifted and dipped Kathy around the dance floor with grace and passion. I have never seen such a HOT first dance! These two did not take their eyes off each other the whole dance- Just like the night they met.

Photography: Julie Cahill Photography | Florist: Country Essences | Cake: Edith Myer | DJ: Santa Cruz Live Music DJ | Band: Individuo | Officiant: Barbara Boyd | Golf Club: Hollins House | Party Rentals: Alexis Party Rentals | Wedding Coordinators: Coastside Couture

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Santa Cruz Wedding from Jessica Burke + Coastside Couture

I hate to be dramatic, but this wedding has officially taken my love of Jessica Burke up to a whole new level. She has a serious knack for capturing the most jaw-dropping weddings and this Santa Cruz beauty is no different. Add in the talents of Coastside Couture, and you’ve got a day that’s practically begging to find a home on this little ol’ wedding blog. So sit back, relax, and find your real wedding happy place right here.

From Jessica BurkeWhen the bride and groom started their venue search, the bride was set on getting married in a grove of redwood trees.  They found themselves at the River House, nestled in the hills of the Santa Cruz Mountains, such a lovely location.. but there was no redwood grove to be found!  The owners chatted briefly with the bride + groom and decided to clear out a grove just for their wedding, so sweet!  They did such a lovely job with the grove, complete with redwood trunk floor tiles and redwood benches, it truly is such a majestic setting for a wedding ceremony.

Photography: Jessica Burke | Floral Design: Lezlie Johnson | Event Planning: Karissa of Coastside Couture | Ceremony + Reception Location: The River House | Wedding Dress: Lazaro | Shoes: Valentino

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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Santa Cruz Wedding from Evynn LeValley + Seascape Flowers

There’s just something so magical about saying “I do” on a majestic cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Especially when that majestic cliff happens to be the Seascape Beach Resort in Santa Cruz and saying “I do” includes a backdrop of towering pine trees and some of the world’s most beautiful florals.  That’s what we call magical and then some, which is most definitely the case with this breathtaking day captured by Evynn LeValley.  All of the romance of a Jane Austen novel paired up with some of the most elegant details you will ever lay your eyes upon, it’s drop-dead gorgeous moments meets a whole lot of happy and you can see every last minute in the full gallery.

Colors
Seasons
Fall
Settings
Resort
Styles
Casual

From the Bride… David and I were engaged at the charming Pelican Inn in Muir Beach. After a sun-drenched hike, he surprised me at the table with a beautiful ring that he and my family had chosen together. Through candlelight and tears, I happily said, “yes,” and our small fairytale began. Growing up in California, and adoring the coast, we chose the Seascape Beach Resort to host our event. The gentle cliffs and towering cypress trees were a perfect place to exchange our vows. My wonderful family at Seascape Flowers created our dream wedding. Elegant flowers, coastal grasses, a rustic wagon, and white pumpkins fashioned the scenery of our life growing up on the California Coast. The reception was lovely. Seascape Flowers adorned the room with luscious table arrangements draped into golden candles lit from below. La Tavola provided warm linens, and sparkling, sequined accents. Our guests enjoyed champagne below golden café lights on the seaside balcony with dances from Sound in Motion. The Buttery’s tiered cake was gorgeous and delicious. It was a completely beautiful day, drenched in sunlight, each other, our loving families and wonderful guests.

Photography: Evynn LeValley | Floral + Event Design: Seascape Flowers | Venue: Seascape Beach Resort | Invitations: Paper Source | Cake: The Buttery | Officiant: Donna Rose Gardner of Honey in the Heart Ceremonies | DJ + Music: Sound in Motion | Linens: La Tavola | Hair: Dre Loretto, Mission 6 Salon + Kye from Sol Lamar | Makeup: Sheri Corona | Rings: Monterey Bay Estate Jewelry and Antiques | Wedding Dress: Trudy’s Bridal, Watter’s Brides Silk Organza | Belt: Sara Gabriel Horse Hair and Lace | Bridesmaids Dresses: Monique Lhuillier + Weddington Way | Robes: Pretty Plum Sugar | Groom + Groomsmen’s Tuxedos: Patrick James

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