French Garden Inspired Wedding at Carmel Valley Ranch
August 8, 2014
Classic WeddingsRustic WeddingsSpring Weddings
There is nothing quite like a garden wedding. The magic is in the natural open air setting and the feel of an intimate backyard affair - hence why it's one of our most popular genresAnd all of those elements layered in with a handful of fab vendors including calligraphy by MM Ink, florals by Pink Petals and loads of pretty images by Onelove Photography truly makes for a stunning celebration.
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From The Bride...Eric and I really enjoy the outdoors, we live in Los Angeles and love spending our weekends hiking in the canyons or exploring the California coastline. We knew Carmel was the perfect place for us to get married because it is our favorite local getaway and it has all of our favorite things to offer: beautiful mountains, the beach, wineries, art galleries, cute shops, and great restaurants! Since Eric is originally from New York, and I am from Sao Paulo, Brazil, we knew that our family and friends would be traveling from several locations, so we thought Carmel would be the perfect place to meet up for the weekend.

We wanted a small and intimate wedding that would give us a chance to share our favorite things about Carmel with our loved ones. We planned a welcome dinner for everyone at our favorite restaurant in town (Christopher’s Restaurant), where they serve the most delicious fried green heirloom tomatoes that are locally picked. We spent the weekend enjoying the area, hiking, and relaxing in the sun with our friends. I even had a chance to catch a yoga class one morning, so we really felt relaxed by the time the big day rolled around.

On the wedding day, we wanted our guests to feel comfortable and at home, as if we were inviting them to a garden wedding in our own back yard. Hanging tea lights, scattered candles, our favorite books, and family portraits and pictures of us growing up decorated the ceremony site where we exchanges vows. The sun was setting over the mountains and wineries in the background, which made the occasion feel like a dream. Eric loves the sounds of violins, so we knew a string trio would provide the perfect music for the occasion. We picked our favorite songs, which were mostly a combination of jazz, Brazilian music, and classic rock songs by The Beatles, Billy Joel, Elton John, etc. You would be surprised how beautiful Led Zeppelin can sound on a violin!

At the reception, we wanted to treat everyone to our favorite foods; charcuterie, seared halibut, and delicious local wines that Eric selected. We filled the space with large couches, comfy pillows, blankets, and a fire pit to keep everybody warm and cozy as they enjoyed the evening. For desert, we had marzipan-layered cake and “Bem Casados” which are individually wrapped Brazilian treats that are meant to bring luck to the newly married couple.

Sarah Pink was a wonderful florist to work with. I showed her endless pictures of French gardens and told her I wanted our wedding to look and feel like that. She made the vision come to life with delicate peonies and garden roses. For center pieces, we used milk glass and teacups, since I love traditional tea parties and I collect vintage teacups. Sarah also built a beautiful Chuppah for us, which is the canopy under which a couple gets married in a Jewish wedding. It is meant to represent the home that they will build together, and it is open on all sides so that family and friends will always be welcome.

Directly after the ceremony, Eric and I snuck away for some alone time before meeting up with our guests for the reception. They had set up a picnic table in the organic vegetable garden for us with a sampling of our appetizers and two glasses of champagne. We watched the sunset together and toasted to our new marriage. We were even visited by a family of four deer who came right up to us. It was such a special moment.