Backyard Santa Cruz Wedding from Danielle Gillett Photography
November 7, 2012
United States
RusticOutdoor Weddings
This wedding just makes my eyes happy. The soft color palette and beautiful florals have a lot to do with that, not to mention the new Mr. & Mrs. are pretty easy on the eyes too. But it's their love for each other makes my heart happy, and it's evident in each and every (gorgeous) image from Danielle Gillett Photography. So I am sitting here with happy eyes and heart, and that's pretty much perfection. Catch all the pretty that's making my heart sing right here.
View as
From the Bride... Our wedding day marked our seventh year together and truly was the cliché used by many couples to describe their weddings: “the best day of our lives.” We were lucky enough to be able to have the wedding at my husband’s family’s estate. It was the home my father-in-law was raised in, and has been in my husband’s family for several decades, which made having our wedding there extra special for he and his family. Deciding to have the wedding there gave us a reason to give it a much-needed makeover, and we spent many months prior to the wedding, landscaping, constructing and making overall improvements to the property. The lawn where dinner was held was literally a pile of dirt before we installed a lawn, and the pool had been empty for years. Needless to say, my husband was just as busy with wedding-related projects as I was leading up to the wedding!

We gained inspiration for the day from the property itself: the Mediterranean-style of the house, the grassy hillsides, the oak groves and the amazing views of the Monterey Bay, as well as from objects we discovered in the basement of the house — an antique gold frame that once housed a mirror, various green bottles that were unearthed after being buried on the property years ago, wooden crates and an old refrigerator. Including rustic details in our wedding seemed like an obvious choice! We were drawn to dark wood, so we hand-stained all of the planter boxes, the jumbo clothespins that held the table numbers, escort card display and tags. We also incorporated colored glass by using the vintage green bottles as vases, green glass plates for dinner and dessert, blue glass bottles for water and green Pellegrino bottles on the tables to complement the stained glass windows that surround the courtyard. After a failed attempt at growing my own flowers, we decided to use local, in-season flowers to cut costs, so naturally, dahlias (which happen to be my favorite flower) were a perfect choice. I happened to find a local dahlia grower who allowed us to preview the growing dahlias at his farm a few weeks before the wedding and choose the colors and varieties we liked best.

We knew we wanted to create a fun and relaxing atmosphere in a natural and comfortable setting that was also unique to us and reflected our laid-back personalities. Because of our indecisiveness, we didn’t exactly have a color scheme or overall theme; we just chose décor we liked, regardless of whether or not it matched or was cohesive with other pieces, and just went with it. Thankfully, everything came together the day of the wedding with the help of our family and friends. They graciously helped spread woodchips where the ceremony was held, laid down runners, arranged and covered bales of straw, planted shepherd hooks, set up tables and chairs, strung lights, arranged flowers, placed centerpieces on tables and so much more. Without their help, our day would not have been possible, and we are grateful for the time and support they dedicated to making our day so unforgettable!

Wedding Photographer: Danielle Gillett Photography / Wedding Venue: The Groom’s Family Home in Santa Cruz, California / Event Planning: The Bride / Wedding Day Coordination: Connie Sanchez of Wedding Architects / Flowers: Corralitos Gardens + Boulder Creek Flowers — DIY Arranging by the Bride & Bridesmaids / Officiant: Gene Crumley, A Family Friend of the Groom / Wedding Cinematography + Save-the-Dates: Surface Cinema / Catering: Barbara and Company Catering / Wedding Cakes + Fruit Tarts: Heather's Patisserie / Ice Cream Sandwiches: Polar Bear Ice Cream / Wedding Invitations + Paper Goods: DIY by the Bride + Printed by Print Smith / Wedding Website: DIY by the Bride via iWeb / Custom Monogram: Strange World Design / DJ + Uplighting: Adrian of Sound in Motion / Rentals: Alexis Party Rental / Photo Booth: Los Angeles Photobooth Co. / Transportation: The Groom's Father's 1932 Ford Roadster / Shuttles: The Santa Cruz Experience / Miniature Olive Trees: FreshTopiary / Herbs: ProBuild / Shepherd Hooks, Parasols, Burlap Fabric, Muslin Fabric, Planter Boxes, Wooden Escort Card Tags, Miniature Clothespins, Raffia, Glue Gun Sealing Wax, Burlap Table Runners, Moss + Floral Supplies: Save on Crafts / Metal Buckets: Jamali Garden / Wood Stain, Terracotta Pots, Twine: Home Depot / Swing Top Glass Bottles: World Market / Globe String Lights: Orchard Supply Hardware + Target / Custom Wine Labels: My Own Labels / Jumbo Clothespins, Wooden Frames: Beverly Fabrics / Antique Blue Ball Mason Jars, Dog Tuxedo: eBay / Flip Flop Favors: Dollar Tree / Burlap Bunting, Moss Escort Card Display, Wine Stave Directional Signs, Terracotta Cake Stands, Burlap Ring Pillow, Flower Girl's Basket, Tissue Paper Flowers, Fingerprint Guest Book, Cake Topper, Straw Flags + Dog Bow Ties: DIY by the Bride / Straw Bales: JD Hay / Restrooms: OES Luxury Mobile Restrooms / Wedding Dress: Amy Kuschel "Pearl" / Bride's Shoes: Charles David (Hand-Embellished by the Bride) / Bride's Hair Piece: Sara Gabriel “Iva Clip” via Amy Kuschel Bride in San Francisco / Bride's Garter: DIY by the Bride / Hair + Makeup: Platinum Lounge Hair Salon / Bridesmaids' Dresses: J.Crew / Bridesmaids' Gifts: Blingmoon / Groom's Suit, Shirt + Shoes: Giorgio Armani / Groomsmen's Pants: Kenneth Cole / Groomsmen's Shirts: Calvin Klein / Groomsmen's Ties: DKNY / Groomsmen's Shoes: Sperry Top-Sider