Rustic Chic Garden Wedding at Maravilla Gardens

"Our wedding was a romantic, bohemian, garden-chic celebration, blending our favorite things and Martin's Mexican heritage into one big, fun party! It was at Maravilla Gardens in Camarillo, CA, which is a gorgeous outdoor garden venue overlooking fields. Our decor was pale pink and lots of greenery. Instead of arrangements with flowers only, our decorator, Emi Goleta, used two types of eucalyptus and acacia leaves. The tables were topped with hoops of greenery and gold votives. The venue is so gorgeous, we wanted to keep the decor understated and elegant." -Bride & Groom

How did you meet?Although we grew up less than five miles away from each other, went to rival high schools, and probably crossed paths at multiple football games, we never knew that each other existed. Fast forward to a trade show in 2011 in the Gaslamp District of San Diego, California, when my boss scheduled a meeting with Martin's coworker. We met, bonded over our mutual love for our hometown (Oxnard) and immediately knew we liked each other. We went from emailing to texting to hanging out whenever we had a chance, and after four years of friendship, decided we were soulmates and made it official. And the rest is history! <3

What is your proposal story?
We were in Thailand when he proposed! We were staying at a beautiful boutique hotel in Chiang Mai, and he planned a private dinner for the two of us overlooking the lake in our hotel. After the most romantic dinner ever, he told me he bought me a present for our first big international trip together. He gave me a silver box, which had a sweet personal message engraved on it. When I opened the box, it had a silver heart-shaped necklace sitting inside and engraved on the necklace it said, "Elizabeth, will you marry me!" Then he got down on one knee and proposed! It was a complete surprise and made the rest of our trip even more special! His sister laughed at him for putting an exclamation point instead of a question mark, but I guess he already knew what the answer would be! :)

Tell us about your attire choices.My dress was elegant and romantic, to match the style of the venue. I thought I wanted a tight dress but ended up choosing something with a flowy skirt! Martin and his groomsmen wore cobalt blue suits, and my bridesmaids wore blush pink dresses. I let them all choose their own style in the same fabric, so everyone looked similar but not identical.

What was the most important to the two of you while planning? Was there anything that you chose to splurge on or skip?
The most important thing to us was making sure everyone had a blast! That meant we kept the drinks flowing and the music fun and upbeat. We had an open bar with beer, wine and of course tequila! We also had party games and a photo booth for when people wanted to take a break from dancing. Something we did a bit more unique was skipping a formal rehearsal dinner, and instead of doing an informal taco truck and party at the Airbnb we rented for the weekend. 

What were your favorite parts of the day?
Our favorite part of the day was definitely the reception because the dance floor was completely packed the entire time! We told our DJ Jerry to keep a steady stream of Michael Jackson, Bruno Mars, Prince and more, along with Mexican songs we love like La Cadenita. We incorporated Martin's Mexican culture in some really awesome ways, like having a mariachi band (that Martin's cousin is in) play during our cocktail reception and the beginning of the reception and doing the traditional Mexican money dance. My godmother is a pastor, and she was our officiant, and my godfather (who is also a pastor) and Martin's cousin each read some verses. We wanted to involve our friends and family as much as possible! We took flowers to our moms right before the ceremony to show our appreciation for their undying love. My godmother made the ceremony very special, but also added some fun humorous moments, which was a nice distraction from the extremely hot day!

Please describe any DIY, handmade, or personal details.
My friend Emi Goleta, who is a visual merchandiser at Anthropologie, designed all the decor herself! Everything was DIY, from the gold wreaths of greenery on the tables, to the gorgeous wooden signs telling guests to "pick a seat not a side" and listing our drink menu from calligrapher Aly Bennett.  My cousin, Mei-lin, handmade the floral arch that was behind us during the ceremony! We found something that inspired us on Pinterest. We even handmade our name cards and stuck little sprigs of greenery through each one. 

How did you choose your wedding venue?
We wanted something close to Oxnard, where our parents live, and we wanted something pretty and outdoors. We fell in love with Maravilla Gardens from the moment we saw it, and we loved Jen Loller, who runs the place. They put so much thought into everything and they are so detailed and helpful along the way, they made the planning process a dream!

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Photography: Molly Lichten Photography | Venue: Maravilla Gardens | Floral: Emi Goleta | Invitations: Minted | Wedding Cake: Frost It Cakery | Hair: Unveiled Makeup + Hair | Makeup: Unveiled Makeup + Hair | Harpist: Bonnie Mohr | Catering: Command Performance Catering | Day-of Coordination: Heidi Georgiades | Hair: Franchesca Solano | Makeup: Franchesca Solano | DJ: GTZ Entertainment | Wedding Dress: BHLDN | Bride's Shoes: Stuart Weitzman | Bridesmaid Dresses: Weddington Way | Engagement Ring: ritani engagement rings | Veil: BHLDN | Submitted via: Matchology