Carmel Valley Wedding by First Comes Love Photo
December 15, 2011
United States
Rustic Weddings
After poring through each and every image from this California wedding, I've realized two things: A) this Bride has crazy good style and it all started with that Preston & Olivia headpiece and B) Pinks and corals in a rustic setting are a match made in heaven. Not to mention that every single person at this fête looks like they are having the time of their lives. In my expert blogging opinion, these are all signs of a really great wedding. So sit back and take in all the peachy greatness as seen through the lens of First Comes Love Photo. My what a pretty view that is. Catch it all here.

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Click here to see the entire gallery of images!

From the Bride...We both wanted to have a wedding in a relaxed, rustic and outdoor setting. Neither of us had thought of Carmel Valley until my aunt suggested it as a great option for guests coming from both Southern and Northern California. The venue itself helped guide us in terms of décor as the oak trees, rolling hills and summer camp cabin setting created a perfect backdrop for the elegant, rustic, and relaxed vibe we ended up going with. We also wanted to design the wedding around an entire weekend where the guests would be able to have time to get to know each other, spend time with us and enjoy the scenery. Another important part of our vision was the desire to have Brett heavily involved in the planning. Brett is a set designer and utilized his creative talents across the board. He built the dance floor, aisle, escort-card seating board and designed the invitation suite. It was important to both of us that we have creative license over making our wedding a personal reflection of our aesthetic tastes. At the end of the day, we wanted the wedding to feel leisurely, unique and fun. We feel as though we were able to accomplish each of those things.

My aunt spent much of her childhood in Carmel Valley and had begun helping us locate a venue after we were coming up short in our searches. Douglas Ranch was one of the sites she suggested. Upon visiting, it became clear almost immediately that this was our venue. The venue was breathtaking, charming and rustic. The grounds were expansive and offered on site lodging for our guests. We also loved that we were able to hold all of our wedding events (welcome dinner, wedding and Sunday brunch) on the same property.

I loved every minute of it. I loved the ceremony as a whole. It truly captured our relationship and commitment to each other. We were able to include some of our family members in the ceremony, which was also wonderful. I also loved our first dance. Dancing with my new husband under the canopy of the oak trees truly took my breath away. I also loved the food. I know that most people say you will be too busy and distracted to enjoy the food, but I made sure to take a few moments to enjoy it. Our caterer was amazing and she roasted an entire pig for the event. It was one of the most delicious things I have ever eaten. Another truly memorable part of our wedding was the late night party. At eleven, the party was moved inside the lodge where another meal of sliders and pizza was served with the fireplaces lit and vintage couches arranged throughout the room. It was so nice to have a relaxing place to end the evening where no one was rushed home and the music could play into the wee hours.

When we started the planning process, my aunt offered to handle much of it for us. It was such a lifesaver and a blessing. She took on many of the more difficult, time consuming and mundane details of wedding planning which was one of the best gifts we could have ever asked for. She also has a background in visuals and merchandising, which played out in the table décor and overall feel of each event. Also, our caterer was fabulous. She came with the venue and we could not have been happier. She presented delicious, creative, beautiful, and memorable food throughout the entire weekend. Lastly, our venue was perfect. The owners were accommodating, fun and involved throughout the entire process. We felt supported while also that they offered us room to create the events to our tastes (we did not want to feel confined to a cookie cutter mold). We could not have asked for a better team overall!

Décor: Classic Party Rentals / Ceremony Gown: WTOO by Watters / Ceremony Gown Cover Up: BHLDN / Reception Gown: Rachel Gilbert / Headpiece: Preston & Olivia / Ceremony Shoes: Steven by Steve Madden / Reception Shoes: Geren Ford / Jewelry: Vintage / Flowers: Bryan Butler / Catering: Nicole ‘s Catering (Nicole Esteybar) / Band: Hot Club Pacific / DJ: Dillon Donovan / Wedding Photography: First Comes Love Photo / Wedding Planning and Coordinating: Pamela Donnellan / Venue: Douglas Ranch / Bride’s Rings: Lang Antique / Groom’s Ring: Custom Lulu and Shay / Invitations + Save the Date: The Groom, printed by Mercurio Brothers / Hair + Make-up: Kristy White of Festoon Salon / Groomsmen Attire: Zara (suits), Brooks Brothers (shirts), Bloomingdales (ties) + Allen Edmonds (shoes) / Groom’s Suit: Paul Smith / Bridesmaid Dresses: BCBG, ASOS, Maggie London, Calvin Klein + Melissa Sweet / Wedding Videography: Sunset Productions