A late fall wedding in San Luis Obispo equals rich, seasonal vibes but with loads of sunshine still on your side. To play up the setting, this Bride and Groom opted for berry tones accented by lots of greenery, all brought to life by their floral designer, April Flowers. Thanks to Mirelle Carmichael for the full wedding gallery including a first look under an oak tree that’s guaranteed to take your breath away.
From The Bride…After graduating from Cal Poly, I moved back to the Bay Area to pursue a career in aviation. I’d taken up an internship in return for flight lessons at the San Carlos Airport where Brian was also working as a corporate pilot. From the moment I saw him, I felt butterflies. And four years later, he was down on one knee.
While both of us are Bay Area natives, we wanted to escape the hustle, traffic and energy of Silicon Valley. This made San Luis Obispo an easy choice. We opted for a fall wedding date to skip the heat of summer and allow our guests to experience the gorgeous, vibrant colors the wineries have to offer at that time of year. Santa Margarita Ranch ended up being the perfect venue and reflection of us. The ceremony would take place outside on the gorgeous garden grounds under an oak tree. We’d then move inside to a historic barn to eat, drink and dance the night away under twinkle lights.
It was my always my hope to be married outside and play off the natural beauty of San Luis Obispo. Once we had chosen a November date, I knew the color palette should reflect the changing colors of the grapes and leaves at that time. So we opted for berry tones accented by lots of greenery. It was really important that the wedding felt beautiful, natural and not at all harvest-y. My incredible florist, April Flowers, knew exactly how to bring this to life. In keeping with the casual theme, we left things loose, a little wild and texturally interesting.
My wedding dress ended up being the opposite of what I had imagined. Initially, I looked for an ethereal, boho dress, but I quickly discovered that’s not who I am. Nicole Miller’s dresses fit my body well and I’m drawn to the simplicity of her designs. When I slipped this dress on, I thought it could be the one – classic, timeless and so comfortable. However, I feared it might look ridiculous at my outdoor, relaxed wedding. Nevertheless, I made the decision to go for it and it worked wonderfully. To tone it down, we added ribbons to my bouquet and I wore open-toe wedges rather than heels.
Everyone tells you that your wedding day will go by so fast – must have heard that 50 times. So, in an effort to enjoy every moment that weekend, we broke away from several traditions. We trimmed down the invite list substantially as we couldn’t bear the thought of spending our one night surrounded by people that we didn’t know well. Instead of a hotel room, we rented out Flying Caballos Ranch for the weekend and invited some of our closest friends stay on-site with us. We skipped a rehearsal – saving everyone a Friday afternoon trip to the venue. Instead we enjoyed an early dinner on the ranch and ended with drinks around the fire pit. To keep things exciting, we offered train rides around the stunning property during the reception and then open seating at beautiful farm tables for dinner. Our signature drink was “Gin and Joost” to play off our last name. In lieu of favors, we made a donation to the Wounded Warriors Project Healing Waters, which was beautifully noted by a calligraphy sign of a fly fisherman. To top it off, we brought in a local ice cream truck for dessert, skipping the cake entirely. By ditching some of these traditional wedding pieces, we were able to make the night our own and a real reflection of the two of us.
It’s far too difficult to identify my favorite moment – maybe the vows or the first dance or even walking back to our cottage late in the night hand-in-hand as husband and wife. I loved absolutely every second and will forever hold onto that special feeling.
Photography: Mirelle Carmichael | Cinematography: Sharkpig | Cinematography: Ryan Denning | Event Planning: Lara Kreutner | Floral Design: April Flowers | Catering: Taste Catering & Eatery | Hair + Makeup: John Olavarria | Calligraphy: Rosey Calligraphy | DJ: THE FLASHDANCE | Transportation: SLO Safe Ride | Venue: Santa Margarita Ranch | Bridesmaids' Hair + Makeup: The Queens Bees | Getting Ready Venue: The Flying Caballos Ranch | Ice Cream Truck: Negranti Ice Cream | Rentals: All About Events