Rustic Pastel Summer Wedding at The Retro Ranch

"We had originally planned our wedding to be in Aspen, Colorado, deposits were down and save the dates sent. But about 5 months before the wedding day, my (the bride's) dad and grandma became seriously ill and would not be able to attend due to the high altitude. It was important to us that they were a part of our day, so we chose to move the wedding to California where my family is from. I made a last minute trip to California to try and reserve a new venue and we stumbled upon The Retro Ranch, which by some miracle had our date available and happened to be everything we were looking for! Ty and I always wanted an outdoor wedding and I had dreamt of a rustic country vibe. The Retro Ranch was all that I had envisioned from the adorable red barn, the retro airstream trailers, unique vintage furniture and table wear, to the stunning views from the ceremony location. The venue was all inclusive which made it much easier on us, rather than having to find all new vendors. We also loved the convenience of having both the ceremony and reception at one location, as well as a stunning house and pool on the property which was ours to use for the weekend.

We went for a rustic/country/boho theme, and tied in a few non traditional details to try and set it apart from other traditional weddings. For instance, instead of a candle lighting or sand ceremony, we chose to brand our last initial into a piece of wood together using a brand that Ty and his grandpa made. Instead of a guest book we decided to do a Polaroid book, which was super fun to look through on our honeymoon! Our color scheme consisted of blue, cream, and peachy tones, but the marsala was my favorite little addition to the mix. I really wanted a darker pop of color in our florals to make the light and airy tones truly come to life, and to add a contrast to the dresses." -Bride & Groom

The Proposal:
To understand the proposal, you have to know a little backstory. My grandparents (who are two of the cutest humans on the planet) have a pretty inspiring love story. Long story short, my grandma played hard to get with my grandpa. When my grandpa asked her to marry him, she told him she had plans to move to New York and become a model. He told her that she should just be his model. Wedding bells and 10 children later, the rest is history! They were going on 70 years of marriage until my grandpa passed away in November, just a few months after our wedding. 

On April 24th, 2015, Ty took me up to Grand Mesa, Colorado, where we had our first "date". We hiked up to a remote location overlooking the valley, and set up a hammock. He surprised me with my favorite Peach Palisade wine from a local winery we had visited on my first trip to Colorado. As we were sitting in the hammock enjoying our wine, it starts to snow and am soaking in every moment, in awe of the beauty surrounding us. Ty pulls out a box and tells me he has a gift for me. I open it and inside I find an old vintage camera. He explains that this camera belonged to his great grandmother, and he wanted me to have it. From stories he shared with me, I knew that his great grandmother was very special to him, so that gesture spoke to me in a way that words could not. I was so thankful. Then he tells me to see if there is still film in the back of the camera, I open it up to find a tiny note inside which read "will you be my model?". I look up to see him down on one knee and he says those 4 magic words - "will you marry me?".

My favorite part of wedding planning was easily trying on dresses. That was such a fun experience to have with my mom, sisters, and close friends. I honestly wish I could do that part all over again! The most stressful part of wedding planning for me was trying to figure out an accurate headcount for our caterer and reception seating. This was down to the wire as we still had people RSVP-ing just the day before the wedding!

If you're considering writing your own vows - DO IT! That was easily my favorite part about the whole day. To hear my husband humble himself in front of all of our friends and family and share his heart with me was something I will cherish for a lifetime. His vows were incredible and to this day, our guests still talk about how much they appreciated and enjoyed witnessing the intimate vows we exchanged that day that were uniquely our own. 

Another favorite memory of mine was getting to dance with my Papa. He promised me he would stick around to dance with me at my wedding and he kept his promise. He would just light up a room when he walked in and he was the life of every party. He was the first and last person on the dance floor - always. His spirit never aged, even at 90 years old he was still as witty and sharp as ever. I remember him holding me close on the dance floor under the dangling lights while he hummed to each song as we swayed back and forth. I can hear his sweet voice just thinking about it! 

Another moment I will cherish is getting to have my childhood Golden Retriever in the wedding. She was 16 years old and still just as sweet as can be. She grew up alongside me and my siblings, so it meant so much to have her be a part of such a huge milestone in my life. She passed away in December at nearly 17 years old, so these photos and memories are even more valuable to me now.

Remember that this is a season that will come and go only once, so truly take the time to enjoy it while it lasts. Don't sweat the small stuff. If you get too caught up in all the little decisions like boutonnieres and linens, you lose sight of what really matters. Your wedding day is supposed to be a coming together of your closest friends and family to celebrate and bless your commitment to the person you have chosen to spend the rest of your life with. That is huge! What comes after the wedding is what's most important. Don't expect everything to go perfectly because if you do, you will be disappointed. Bumps in the road are a natural part of life and they're not going to stop for your wedding. Everything will come together in the end. I got to marry this amazing man that the Lord had prepared for me. THAT is what made my wedding day the best of all my days, not the florals or the donuts, although I did love those as well!

My sweet husband planned our entire honeymoon. We are both outdoorsy people, so we didn't want to just sit on a beach for a week. We wanted to go somewhere where we had the option to both relax and be adventurous. Kauai was absolutely perfect. We spent 10 days lounging on the North Shore beaches, hiking, boating, swimming in waterfalls, and exploring the island and its coastal waters. We made so many amazing memories there and we plan to go back eventually. I would definitely recommend Kauai, whether you're looking for a relaxing and romantic getaway, for a more active trip, or both!

Our wedding venue was all inclusive, so luckily we didn't have to deal with any rentals or finding a good DJ, bartender etc. The only things that weren't included were flowers, alcohol, dessert and photos/video. I called several local florists and found one that was willing to work with our budget and that was sweet enough to create a sample bouquet of what I had envisioned. She totally nailed it! All of our bouquets, centerpieces and ceremony arch turned out amazing. For dessert we decided to go non-traditional and do pies and donuts instead of a wedding cake. We had a bride donut that was white frosted and a groom donut that was chocolate glazed which we fed each other in place of the "cake cutting". The photographer and videographer were the two most important things to me, mostly because I am a photographer myself, but also because I remember watching my parents wedding video as a kid like it was a Disney movie. Capturing those memories mattered far more to me than table cloths, florals or fancy food. I searched through the work of what felt like 30 videographers and photographers. When I found White in Revery, I fell in love with their cinematic storytelling and the way they captured so much emotion from the day. I was watching strangers' wedding videos and bawling as if I knew them! 

When searching for the right photographer, I was really looking for someone with a unique style that didn't look like everyone else's work. Something that really stood out to me. I found our amazing photographer through another website who featured one of her weddings. I immediately knew she was "the one". Her talent shined through her work. She knows how to work a variety of different lighting situations and still manages to keep her work consistent. She has this magical airy light that makes each image so romantic. We were so blessed to have found such an awesome group of talented people to capture our day!

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Wedding Planner: Pure Lavish Events | Photography: Kristen Booth Photography | Venue: The Retro Ranch in Temecula | Florals: Flower Allie | Desserts: Nomad Donuts + Betty's Pie Whole | Make-up: Tiana Rae | Hair Stylist: Karen Angel | Videographer: White in Revery