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Romantic Southern California ranch wedding: Amanda + Stephen

March 21, 2012

We’re coming full circle with Amanda + Stephen. Last year we shared their carnival engagement sesh, today we share their wedding! The seafoam green bridesmaid dresses, letterpress invitations, potted favors, bushel baskets full of herbs as centerpieces, vintage desk covered in succulents to hold their escort cards, and everything in between – it’s all winning us over. You kind of forget you’re on a ranch and instead feel like you’re enjoying an afternoon in a chic secret garden with all the different textures of black and white and hints of soft aqua. Amanda told us she has a dream to someday have her own farm, and based off her wedding we can already imagine it would be the prettiest farm animals could ever live on.

southern california ranch wedding mint bridesmaids dresses illustrated wedding invites

Amanda on achieving this pretty letterpress invites all on her own: When I started planning the wedding, I fell in love with the look and feel of letterpress. After doing a little research, I found out it was prohibitively expensive, so I started taking printing classes at the Irvine Fine Arts Center. I ended up designing and printing the entire invitation suite myself, and I fell in love with printmaking so much that I am in the process of starting my own stationery business. For the press plates, paper, and renting the press, I spent under $200 for a fully custom invitation suite, including the RSVP and map.  (That doesn’t include the classes of course, but I got a new hobby and maybe career out of it, right?)  I bought the envelopes and paper at The Paper Source, but take it from me, if you want a really great impression, buy heavier stock paper than cover stock.  That is the one thing I would change if I could do it over again.

boutonnières southern california ranch wedding

Bring on the music: Since Stephen and I met because of our love of music, we knew we wanted our music to be unique and special to us. I walked down the aisle to an acoustic version of “Maps,” by the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s, and our first dance was to “If I Were a Bell” by Ella Fitzgerald. We were very fortunate to have Stephen’s good friends DJ Cassette and Count RockULA play the music for our wedding as a gift to us, and they were absolutely wonderful.  But the absolute most special part of the day was when Stephen sang “Thank You” by Led Zeppelin to me, accompanied by two of his groomsmen. It was an absolute surprise, and I have never been as touched as I was at that moment. I will never forget it.

southern california ranch wedding

Hearing how they met is too cute: Stephen and I met through our siblings, Sammi and Jeremy. I wanted to start a band, and I needed a drummer, and Stephen had been a drummer in a couple bands, so Jeremy introduced me to him. We had “band practice” a few times, and then started dating. The band never came together, but we got married anyways. And Sammi and Jeremy are set to get married next December, so it worked out all around!

southern california ranch wedding dresser escort card station dresser escort card station

Guests searched for their name and table in this vintage library card catalog. The entire setup of their escort card table is gorgeous, isn’t it? Sets such a romantic mood.

diy plant place cards

Adorable favors! Amanda bought 180 tiny terracotta pots, painted them black and had her mom and good friend Linda plant them with tiny white flowers. She then created 180 tiny paper sculptures, including bunting, tiny paper airplanes, medallions, and more, where she wrote each guest’s name. This project obviously took months, but it’s so creative and what guest wouldn’t feel honored that you spent the time to make them this thank you gift (that they can take home and replant)!

diy table decor

We get all weak in the knees when we see pretty paper details. We love how Amanda tied in the design from the invitations throughout the menu’s and activity cards on each table.

diy table decor sweets table

Congratulations Amanda + Stephen!

Photography: Shannen Norman / Venue: Walnut Grove at Tierra Rejada Ranch / Wedding coordination: Mia Bella Weddings / Catering: Command Performance Catering Group & Event Production / Cake + desserts: Sweet & Saucy Shop / Flowers: Sherine at Gelson’s of Irvine / Crafting supplies: The Paper Source and Michael’s / Invitations: made by bride on the presses at the Irvine Fine Arts Center & ordered the plates from Boxcar Press / Hair: Erik McEwen / Bride’s dress: Saja purchased at Bella Bridesmaids / Shoes: Vera Wang lavender label / Bridesmaid dresses: J.Crew / Groom + groomsmen: Men’s Warehouse