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You Have to See Their Incredible First Look Photo!

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.

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Seasons
Fall
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Ranch

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.

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Photography: Mirelle Carmichael | Cinematography: Sharkpig | Cinematography: Ryan Denning Creative | Event Planning: Sealed With A Kiss Events | 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: Flying Caballos Ranch | Ice Cream Truck: Negranti Ice Cream | Rentals: All About Events

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Romantic + Rustic Spanish Oaks Ranch Wedding

This, loves, is rustic romance done oh-so-right.  Think pastel-filled pretties from Adornments Flowers And Finery, sweetly crafted wooden touches coordinated by Ciel Bleu Event Design and a breathtaking outdoor reception underneath the trees.  The always awesome Jen Rodriguez was on hand to capture every beautiful moment and THE VAULT is a total must-see.

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Summer
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Rustic Venue
Styles
Rustic

From the Bride… Our proposal story.  We were headed down to SLO because James was going to participate in the Cal Poly triathlon held at Lake Lopez. Earlier in the week, he suggested we make a reservation to go out for a nice dinner Friday night at one of our favorite restaurants in San Luis Obispo, NOVO. We drove down to SLO Friday morning, and checked into our hotel.  After settling in, James took off on his bicycle to a local pool to get a quick swim in before the race, while I did some shopping downtown. After browsing through a few stores, I walked into Banana Republic to see if there are any good deals. Then, out of no where, James comes up and taps me on the shoulder! What the heck! I thought he was swimming.

Turned out there was a swim meet at the pool, so he wasn’t able to use it. He had come downtown to find a “nice shirt” to wear to dinner. (Suspicious if you know James and his feelings towards “nice shirts.”)  I didn’t question it, and he ended up getting a very nice button up shirt. Shortly after, we met up with our good friend Michelle and her boyfriend, Leland, to watch the Cal Poly men’s basketball team get crushed in the NCAA tournament. Afterwards, we headed back to the hotel. James brought out a wrapped gift and told me that he had found something downtown earlier in the day that he thought I might like, so he had just bought it for me. He also said he saw a store similar to Paper Source (my favorite store) in SLO, so he had them wrap up the present in this really pretty turquoise wrapping paper. But, I wasn’t allowed to open it until dinner. This would seem suspicious, but the box was large and pretty heavy – I actually thought it might be a book of some sort. So, we got dressed up and went to the restaurant.

We got an awesome table at the restaurant, on their deck overlooking the creek. Michelle’s sister, Amanda, happened to be at NOVO also, celebrating her friend’s bachelorette party, and she sent over two glasses of wine! At this point, I was pretty suspicious, thinking she was in on some secret that James had told Michelle, and Michelle had told her. Turns out, she had no idea what was going on, they just had a lot of wine at their table and she was being nice!

We ordered way too much food, had some good wine, and at the end of dinner I was finally allowed to open my present! James had been acting so normal the whole time (which was why I didn’t think he was actually going to propose), but as I was unwrapping the box I could see him squirming around in his chair. By the time I had opened it, he was down on one knee next to me, saying nice words that I was paying absolutely no attention to (sorry James!) and I was looking at a cute picture frame with my ring tied in the middle of it! Soo, I said “yes” and we were standing/hugging/etc. and then realized not a single person in the restaurant had witnessed this… so we sat back down! Eventually, the waitress came over and I asked her to take our picture, which she did, and then proceeded to announce our engagement to the whole restaurant! I’m sure I turned red, but I was too excited to care.

Afterwards, we headed over to Creeky Tiki to have some celebratory drinks with Michelle, Leland, Amanda, and others, then on to Bulls for more drinks. James and I ended the night by walking back to the hotel, stopping along the way for some Taco Bell, like old times. It was a great night!

When it came to planning our wedding, we were looking for an outdoor venue in a beautiful setting in the San Luis Obispo area. Spanish Oaks Ranch met all of our requirements – beautiful trees, rolling hills, nice architecture, plenty of space, indoor and outdoor options, easy parking, etc. Azurae Shults was recommended by several people who said she is the best of the best. Two Cooks wowed us when we went to taste our proposed menu! We chose Photographer, Jen Rodriguez, based on a glowing recommendation from friends, Amy & Luke.

See more Rustic Weddings in THE VAULT!

Photography: Jen Rodriguez Photography | Coordination: Ciel Bleu Event Design | Floral Design: ADORNMENTS flowers + finery | Wedding Dress: Angel Rivera | Cake: The Cakery | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Amsale | Catering: Two Cooks Catering | Hair And Makeup: Twist Studios | Band: Diamond Dave | Venue: Spanish Oaks Ranch

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here
Romantic Yellow & Navy Blue Wedding at Spanish Oaks Ranch

This, loves, is exactly why navy blue and yellow happens to be one of my favorite color combinations.  It’s the perfect mix of fresh and sophisticated, and when you pair it up with some of the prettiest details you will ever lay your eyes upon, it’s also all sorts of amazing (I’m looking at you, beautiful blooms from April Flowers).  See all of the pretty captured by Kelsey Stewart in the full gallery.  

Colors
Seasons
Winter
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Rustic Venue

From The Bride… Chip and I are both Southern California natives, so we wanted to celebrate our wedding in a beautiful location that gave our guests a chance to get out of town for a bit. We chose San Luis Obispo for its gorgeous landscapes, open spaces, and perfect formula of proximity and distance from our hometown. We planned our wedding to be a reflection of the love and appreciation we have for one another, but Chip and I also wanted the day to be a celebration of the amazing friends and family that supported us through nine (nine!) years of dating. This meant our number one priority was to have the night of our lives with all of our favorite people – so if something didn’t fall in line with that initiative, it was quickly nixed. Simple strategy!

We found Spanish Oaks Ranch through the suggestion of my mom’s cousin, and didn’t waste any time in booking our date. From there, the flurry of wedding planning began! Chip and I prefer a simple, clean aesthetic with one or two funky touches for style points, and that resonated across every aspect of the wedding. We gave polka-dot ties to the groomsmen to wear with their gray suits, and I gifted a different bracelet to each of my bridesmaids, who were tasked with finding their own floor-length dresses in either navy or grey. I wore a flower made of antique lace in my hair to go with my drop-waist Nicole Miller gown, and Chip looked great in the navy 3-piece suit he had custom made.

April Flowers did a phenomenal job working with my mom and I on the flowers – she created gorgeous boquets for myself and my bridesmaids, but the thing I loved the most were the tablescapes. We opted for family-style dining (greens, salmon, tri-tip, brussel sprouts & cous cous!), so April had to balance the reality of space restrictions with my request for uneven, mixed arrangements, lots of mercury glass, and candles. It turned out even more perfectly than I had imagined it.

Aside from our families getting together to set up the dining room the day before, we were able to incorporate quite a few DIY projects, with my sister designing and printing the programs, table numbers, and place cards (they doubled as wine charms!). Our wedding favors – jars of Chip’s delicious BBQ spice rub – were also homemade, and to his delight, we received multiple requests for the recipe. And, instead of a traditional guestbook, we asked friends and family to sign our old winemaking picturebook which we now leave out on our coffee table.

Our wedding day went by in a flash, but I remember reminding myself to savor as much of it as I could. The best part (aside from getting a kickass husband out of the deal) was feeling the immense love of the most important people in our lives, and watching them come together and party down in our honor. Greatest day ever!

Photography: Ken Kienow Wedding Photography | Coordination: Spanish Oaks Ranch | Flowers: April Flowers | Catering: Debbie Duggan | DJ: Phase One DJ | Venue: Spanish Oaks Ranch | Rentals: Got You Cover'D