Location and Ceremony Setting
We were blessed with totally gorgeous weather on our wedding day! Our wedding venue was the Walnut Grove at Tierra Rejada Ranch, in Moorpark, California. It is a beautiful, serene, as perfect as can be location for a dreamy outdoor wedding. Ceremonies take place under giant walnut trees. Our ceremony was held in the round; we had the chairs radiating out in a circle around the center, where we stood. It was an amazing feeling to literally be surrounded by your friends and family as we were wed! But more on that in the ceremony post.
My wedding was almost entirely DIY. We had a tiny budget in terms of the wedding industry, but I think it was a modest budget for a couple of 26 year olds who paid for it themselves; $10,000 (and we did pay for it all! We didn’t go into to debt until later–after 6 months of half-pay (which we will apparently never see), and 3 months of unemployment, and then a birth we had to pay TWICE for; anyway, we will be well on our way out of debt with in the next year or so). Naturally, we went over budget and spent $12,000, but I still think that was pretty great for a nice wedding with 150 guests! So, of course with our limited budget I enlisted the help of my family and friends. My aunt and uncle own a flower shop in Beverly Hills, called Bobbi D’Itri Flowers. They courteously ordered some roses and hydrangea for me at wholesale prices, and we met downtown at the flower mart two days before the wedding to pick them up. I also grabbed some vases, oasis and banana leaves. Then, frantically, Beth (who was with me at the time) and I decided to run by the fabric district and buy some burgundy fabric to make into table runners. I ended up buying about 40 yards of fabric for $30! Fabric that I ended up literally tearing into strips! Another last-minute decision was to cut firewood that was in Beth’s parent’s backyard as menu and table placeholders! It was a total improvisation from the genius of Beth, and the perfect thing to add the touch of rustic I wanted. (I wish we would have thought to use a trunk under the cake!).
My wedding took place on May 23, 2009. This was the height of “put a bird on it”, I would say. Or maybe just a smidge before? Or a smidge after? I don’t know. Anyways, I definitely did put a bird on it. And some feathers. The large birdcage is the one that got flipped upside down to become my birdcage chandelier! We used it here as the table seating display.
Cake & Head Tables
I put a bird on this too. Two birds, to be exact! I made this pair of birds myself, after falling in love with Ann Wood’s birds weeks before my wedding. At the time, I had never sewn from a pattern before, let alone made one, and I had never sewn anything in 3-D before (besides a pillow, but there is hardly anything easier than sewing a pillow). Needless to say, after about 6 failed patterns and 4 birds tossed to the side due to poor shaping, I definitely wish she had them in stock and available to ship in the short weeks before my wedding, but I’m rather proud of how they came out for my first time sewing something like this. It was definitely a great learning experience for me! We ordered the cake from A Gift of Taste in Oxnard, CA. It was DELICIOUS! It was chocolate with raspberry filling and whipped cream frosting! I had them use the same infinity heart symbol I used in all our stationery in the scroll work on the cake–a detail I still love! We also had some pretty mesh curtains from IKEA hanging from the rafters behind the head tables, which danced around in the breeze. It was very dreamy (I still have no idea where those curtains are!). After the sun set, the fireplace was lit and the twinkly lights came out to shine over the dance floor! :)
Honourable mention: Candy Buffet (*NOT PICTURED!* Not a soul managed to capture a photo of my candy bar…/epic sadface) Imagine 5 large apothecary jars, 3 small ones, and various vases and glasses, all decorated with aqua ribbon, filled with candies in shades of pinks, corals and reds. Now also imagine a pretty gold tray with aqua colored organza bags for collecting your candies in. I should just draw what I imagine it to look like, and post it here… Of course, being the bride, I didn’t even see it in person!
*All images copyright to Zeke Kamm. Edited and compiled by me (Jesyka D’Itri Marés). My skills don’t do justice to his talent. :)