Posts filed under: ‘Ranch weddings‘

Destination Wedding-San Luis Obispo

Lauren’s words to me when we realised what she was looking for was not in our local area were, ‘but will people come?’.  Of course I said. 

So, we started out planning 150 max for the wedding event and thinking it would go down a tad, and maybe a small barbeque the night before, but ultimately ended up with 130 at the barbeque and 170 at the wedding event.  Boy the caterer was a happy guy.

Planning a destination wedding from here in the OC (or anywhere) to elsewhere takes a bit of work and thought.  Sometimes you are a flight away no choice which can limit the amount of trips you can make to the location, or you can pick a location that is driving distance.  For some of my brides coming here for their weddings, there is 1-2 trips in the planning months, and this year I have had a couple where there were no trips, we did vendor selection by phone/internet interviews, or after us going to know each other, they trusted that who I felt was right for their style/budget, was indeed right, and went on the ride with me, and no-one has ever been disappointed.  With this particular wedding, we were going elsewhere and it was a driveable distance/4 hours, so I went with mom/bride on 2 trips and they did a 3rd on their own.

A resort destination wedding is a lot different to the one you will see below.  Whether you do this style of wedding in your local area or not, any wedding celebration that is done in a venue such as below takes work, you either pay people to do everything, or you still pay people to do most things and you have to put in the elbow work for a lot of the ‘detail’ items.  Either way DIY is going to be the look/feel  the guests get which makes it feel more intimate and hopefully a reflection of you, as opposed to you were trying to do it on the cheap, and be aware, your time and anyone elses time is worth something, so even if you choose DIY because your vision is maxed with the $$ but you are happy to put in the time/effort for everything else, these weddings do end up costing more than if you found a venue where everything was done for and included or you custom the elements.

I was really impressed at how the guests got into the swing/theme.  The pre wedding get together was a hoe-down barbeque at the ranch where the wedding was going to be and suitable attire was suggested, everyone took it to heart.

On the Friday night event we did the burlap plants and western overlays over the regular rental linens, don’t these look so happy and pretty.

At her sisters wedding which I did about 4 years ago, totally different on the beach and then at a private club house under a canopy for the dinner/dance, we had a line dance caller which I thought was a bit different but they knew their crowd and that they would love it, and sure enough they did.  Such a hit we did it again for this wedding on the Friday night for 2 hours (kept them all warm too as again it was a bit cool and breezy-remember you can’t control outside elements), and on the wedding night, but on the wedding night we only did it for around 45 mins, and more for  anyone who hadn’t been at the previous nights event.  For this one the photographer for the wedding day also came and took pics for about 2 hours night prior.

This sign was the grooms job to make and then have it in place by a certain time, and he did.  Great job Dan.

From our first ladies trip up (mom, me, and bride) Lauren kept saying her horse was coming to the wedding, mom and I would just laugh and say ‘sure she is’, well that Lauren made it happen, Violet was there in all her beauty, and the photographer and dad got beautiful pics of Violet and Lauren in the grass running around.  Just beautiful.

Anyone who knows me knows I love a good looking dining table and the hang napkin fold, so the picture below makes me very happy.   I had been dying to find a location to be able to do a couple of long tables for a 150 person wedding and a bride who loved that idea too, and here we were, we ended up doing 3 long tables due to the guest count increasing, but how fab they look.   Now again, here’s to the DIY side of things:, the chargers were very personal, we were brainstorming rental plates etc and I said, wouldn’t it be neat to have some old fashioned plates, and mob said, we have a whole bunch from grandma (she died just prior to the sister’s wedding and we had her hat she was going to wear at that wedding displayed in a cool way), and I said, that is fabulous, that was grandma is there too, so then we had Dan’s mom get plates from the grandparents, and some of the aunties had plates that belonged to grandmas etc and those were the plates we used, loved it.   We had gone to every op shop in San Luis on the two trips I went up on and brought mason jars, cool vases etc for flowers and candles to go in, mostly clear but also some blue and green.  Lauren and mom went to op shops down here too (we dropped these off to the florist the day prior and she filled them up with flowers then delivered them back the morning of the wedding).

This is Lauren’s reaction after she saw the dining table area.  This is a girl that loves and I mean truely loves, so when she hugs you, you feel the raw realness of her appreciation and thanks.  Just love her, she is a real end result of her great parents and their example, you too Meredith!!!

Love my placecard tables, but knew what I like to do was not going to work with this event, just wouldn’t make sense, so at one of our brainstorming sessions, I suggested clothesline on the paddock fence that everyone walks thru and I would attach the cards, what about pegs,  love it.  So here is the end result.

Lauren wanted the front of the house for the ceremony, I thought the bridge that you see at the bottom, would be lovely but the property nixed the bridge idea, so the front of the house was where it was at.  Most couples at this property however, use the paddock that we used for dining.  See how fun it is to never look at a place and just do what everyone else does, no matter where your event is, there are always options to be able to implement to make it ‘your’ event.

Only the parents and grandparents sat, everyone else stood around, to again give that feeling of intimacy/friendliness.  It was funny seeing everyone so much more dressed up for this event, as opposed to their country attire of the night before.

Just a short stroll from the dining paddock, this is where they spent their wedding night, isn’t that cool!!

Aaah, don’t you want to be at this table.  The food was excellent, a local caterer that uses mostly organic/locally grown food, it tasted sooooo good, and fun to work with too.

Here’s the bridge, so reminded me of that Madison county movie.  Love it.  The amount of different areas the photographer got to use, their album is going to be awesome.  A fabulous couple, families, and celebration for all those that were lucky enough to attend.

Thanks to Colleen Rosenthal for the photos, she is a local photographer in San Luis Obispo that does really lovely work, and is a very nice nice person, I really enjoyed working and seeing her on both evenings.  We did use a local florist and dj and both were aok, but the beauty of a driveable destination wedding is that you can actually take your home local vendors with you.  Even with destinations where you are flying to, check the pricing for a local photographer and dj to go with you, they may be wanting to expand their destination wedding market and give you a price that is comparable to the vendors in the area you are going to, or their normal price may be comparable.  I am doing this in September, taking a local photographer with us to Hawaii for a destination wedding.

If you are considering a Destination wedding to the OC, or you are here and considering going elsewhere, having me help you look at your options/pull it together for you, is going to save you a lot of frustration/time and probably money, becomes a win win for you and for me, as I get to work with you and get creative.

Just received this thank you card from the couple:

How could Daniel and I ever thank you enough for helping us create one of the most magical days of our life.  You truly made our vision into reality, every aspect of it from the stunning venue, to the tables, to making events go down on the day – you made it happen flawlessly.  You are a master of your work, and I am honored that we got to use your skills and experience. You are a special aldy and Dianiel and I will be forever grateful for makingour wedding day the finest day there ever was.  I will miss our visits. With love, Lauren & Dan

Till next time


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Add a comment August 28, 2012






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