Rancho Santa Fe Wedding by Apertura Photography
April 26, 2011
Rancho Santa Fe

So we are totally throwing you a curveball this morning and bringing you our wonderful wedding Wednesday today instead. I know, crazy right? But I promise...you are gonna love it. So hop aboard the pretty train on this lovely Tuesday morning and get ready to feast your eyes on seven gorgeous weddings!

First up is this classic Southern California wedding with loads of DIY touches. The thing I love most about this wedding is the romance between the bride and groom. How cute is it that the night they first met at a baseball game, he wrote on his ticket stub "I don't know how I know, but I think I met my wife tonight." Adorable, right? And there to capture all the romance and details was Erwin Darmali of Apertura Photography. But the romance doesn't stop here, people! Get the gallery for all the DIY and romance you can handle.

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Click here to see entire image gallery!

Ethan and I met July 3, 2009 while I was working with his sister for a professional baseball team. He and his family came to watch the game that night and stopped by the office to drop off some food for her. When we began wedding planning, we couldn’t think of a better date than July 3; one year from the first day we met, however, this did not leave us with much time. The next 4 ½ months were a blur of planning. Since I was little, I had always wanted to be married underneath what I could only describe as a “Forest Gump” tree, followed by an outdoor reception. Since space is limited in San Diego, it was difficult to find a location that met both of these criteria. Every weekend became a search for the perfect location. I think we looked at every venue from San Diego to Ventura. We finally signed with an estate in Rancho Santa Fe, CA and sent out our Save The Dates.

One of the groomsmen designed and printed all of the printed material: the Save The Dates, invitations, programs, the ‘thank you’s on the place settings. Then, when that venue pulled the plug on us about one month before the wedding (I know a wedding is supposed to bring about tears, I just always thought they were supposed to be happy tears) he redesigned and reprinted all that needed to be reworked. In a panic, we met with the staff at the Inn at Rancho Santa Fe. They were beyond courteous and helped make what seemed to be a nightmare into an even more amazing dream come true. With a location set (again), my (too many to count) embarrassingly high number of hours spent on Style Me Pretty, Etsy, and other wedding blogs came in handy as we began planning the details of our big day. We started gathering the close-to 300 mason jars and other bottles used for flower vases. Our apartments were covered in them. My mom (along with the recruited rest of my family) handmade each of the fabric flowers placed on each guest’s place setting. Ethan’s parents created all of the handmade signs throughout the venue. The night before our big day, my family, my bridesmaids and I filled cups with truffles for desserts and bags with popcorn for gifts.

We liked to think of our style as ‘fun boho-backyard chic.' We think this day perfectly captured our style. The colors for our wedding were my favorites- chartreuse, cobalt, grape and coral. Bridesmaids each wore the green, blue and purple while the coral tied everything together. We tried to keep the theme from looking like a little kid’s birthday party by concentrating on the grey, white and a little bit of coral throughout the ceremony and reception.  We hand-cut roughly 300 yards of grey burlap to serve as table runners, and the “thank-you”s and programs were white, coral and grey. We also wrote little notes like “here comes the bride," “to have and to hold," “love is patient," on grey river rocks that kept programs from flying away and made guests laugh at the reception. As an alternative to the typical guest book, we hung a sheet for a photobooth and had our guest choose from a trunk filled with various props. After snapping a quick Polaroid the guests were able to write us a little note to go with their crazy photo. Ethan’s mom put together the guest signing table filled with photos of us, some of our favorite quotes, and the stories of how we met and our engagement.  This is where people placed our photobooth pictures and ‘thought bubble’ messages to us (we drew thought bubbles on paper next to where they’d paste their photo so that it looked like there photo was talking to us). Ethan majored in music in college.

While being a music major does very little for a “real world” job (sorry music majors, but you know it is true), it does have some advantages.  We were able to put together a quartet with some of Ethan’s friends from college. As guests were being seated, the quartet played through a set list of popular songs arranged for strings: songs like “In Your Eyes,” “Maybe I’m Amazed”, “Forever”, and “Bless The Broken Road” to name a few. And although I wanted a more unique song to begin with, Ethan convinced me that the traditional Pachelbel’s Canon was perfect for my entrance. It was.  The quartet also accompanied Ethan’s two best friends as they played and sang a song he had written for me on our one month anniversary (of dating). Once wed, we walked back up the aisle to “Down” By Jay Sean played by the quartet. One of our good friends is an incredible DJ and helped keep our dance floor packed all night.

Throughout the day, Ethan sent me many small gifts and love notes. Ironically, we both ended up giving each other watches. (I have a small huge obsession with them). However, it was the last note I opened just before I walked down the aisle that really got to me.  Thank God for waterproof mascara. The note was written on the ticket he had saved from the game where we first met. On it, he had written “I don’t know how I know, but I think I met my wife tonight”. Tears.  Unbelievably amazing. Although stressful, we loved that our wedding had “DIY” written all over it.  It was so special to have our friends and family be so engaged in our big day.  It is certainly one we will never forget.

Photography: Erwin Darmali, Apertura Photography / Flowers: Blush Botanicals / Dress: Jim Hjelm / Reception Shoes: Gap / Ceremony and Reception: The Inn At Rancho Santa Fe / Groom and Groomsmen socks: J. Crew / Bridesmaid dresses: J.Crew / Printed materials: Andrew Simpkins