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Sarah Seven Fall 2015 Bridal Collection

Truth be told, I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a Sarah Seven gown that hasn’t completely stolen my heart. The talented designer is back with a collection of gowns (and rompers!) that will set your heart racing, and one that will make it nearly impossible to choose a favorite. These gowns are hitting stores early next year, so keep an eye out for them! View the gallery here

Sarah Seven Fall 2015 Bridal Collection

A Handcrafted Backyard Wedding in Sunnydale

Photos By: Bethany Carlson

Today’s wedding is made up of so many incredible layers, I hardly know where to begin. The second we heard Kathy’s description of her vision, we were sold: “Imagine if Wes Anderson directed ‘Through the Looking Glass’ and set it in a Cabinet of Curiosities.” How does it get any better than that? Tack on the talents of Bethany Carlson and In the Moment Events, and you’ve got a wedding day no one will forget for years to come.

A Handcrafted Backyard Wedding in Sunnydale - photo by Bethany Carlson http://ruffledblog.com/a-handcrafted-wedding-in-sunnydale

From the bride, Kathy: We wanted it to be quirky and fun. Our description was “imagine if Wes Anderson directed ‘Through the Looking Glass’ and set it in a Cabinet of Curiosities.” I wanted guests to feel like they were dreaming; things just a little off-kilter. Like carnivorous plants and spidery orchids among the flowers on the table. Or lab flasks used as vases, unusual flowers shown off like exhibits in apothecary jars and under glass domes. We started with a cocktail party for the first 45 minutes and THEN did the ceremony, so guests were fed and had had something to eat before sitting through the ceremony. And then, to put as much importance on the feeling of the ceremony as on the reception, Craig and I wrote the entire ceremony, including original readings talking about the values we prize most in our relationship–Love, Kindness, Gratitude, Respect, and Trust. We asked our guests to bless our rings and to stand and commit their support to us. People said it drew them in and made it very intimate and interesting and set an inclusive, warm tone for the party afterward.

A Handcrafted Backyard Wedding in Sunnydale - photo by Bethany Carlson http://ruffledblog.com/a-handcrafted-wedding-in-sunnydale

illustrated wedding invitations - photo by Bethany Carlson http://ruffledblog.com/a-handcrafted-wedding-in-sunnydale

first looks - photo by Bethany Carlson http://ruffledblog.com/a-handcrafted-wedding-in-sunnydale

first looks - photo by Bethany Carlson http://ruffledblog.com/a-handcrafted-wedding-in-sunnydale
Bouquet recipe: Dahlias (cafe au lait dinnerplates, burgundy, and chocolate), scabiosa, snowberry, Queen Anne’s lace, gold celosia, garden roses, Sahara roses, Black Magic roses, spray roses, dusty miller, blushing bride protea, smoke bush, agonis, blackberries, pink astilbe, orchid plants, carnivorous plants.

Wonderland inspired weddings - photo by Bethany Carlson http://ruffledblog.com/a-handcrafted-wedding-in-sunnydale

bohemian ceremonies - photo by Bethany Carlson http://ruffledblog.com/a-handcrafted-wedding-in-sunnydale

jewel toned bridesmaid dresses - photo by Bethany Carlson http://ruffledblog.com/a-handcrafted-wedding-in-sunnydale

flower girls - photo by Bethany Carlson http://ruffledblog.com/a-handcrafted-wedding-in-sunnydale

EVERYTHING was DIY. We bought our house a year ago and spent the first six months fixing it up and the next six turning it into a wedding venue. We planted gardens everywhere, paved a patio, hung dozens of strands of lights and mirrors and lanterns. We made candle holders out of wire wrapped around glasses and bowls from Goodwill, and hung these throughout the trees with LED candles or tealights, depending on location. To define the yard and add color and height, we strung curtains of silk ribbon made from strips of old saris. We hung the same ribbon from our flagpole, from branches in urns at the altar, and in the gate of the passage to our back deck/dance floor. We also used it to wrap the bridesmaid bouquets. There’s an old shed between our backyard and front yard that we used as a passageway. We hung string lights in the rafters and hung curtains down its length, hiding all of our storage and tools–this became a lovely magical tunnel between ceremony and reception. For months I popped in to thrift stores and bought cut glassware. This cache of odd stemware and bowls became the majority of the vases, planters, candle holders, and bar decanters. We had two signature cocktails, a Manhattan and a margarita. We made them up in bulk the day before the wedding so that our bartender needed only to ice, stir, and pour — this kept quality consistent and made it possible to serve dozens of people quickly. For the decanters, I bought old decanters from Goodwill, and for the ones without tops I added pewter animal head pourers.

groom crying - photo by Bethany Carlson http://ruffledblog.com/a-handcrafted-wedding-in-sunnydale

ceremony recessionals - photo by Bethany Carlson http://ruffledblog.com/a-handcrafted-wedding-in-sunnydale

wedding decor ideas - photo by Bethany Carlson http://ruffledblog.com/a-handcrafted-wedding-in-sunnydale

handpainted wedding signs - photo by Bethany Carlson http://ruffledblog.com/a-handcrafted-wedding-in-sunnydale

bride and groom - photo by Bethany Carlson http://ruffledblog.com/a-handcrafted-wedding-in-sunnydale

My MOH got married a year ago, and as her wedding gift we built a big plywood and glass glitter ‘paper moon’ crescent moon photo booth based on another wedding here on Ruffled; when her wedding was over, we hung the moon in our gazebo because it resembles our last initial “C.” This became the backdrop of some of our bridal portraits. We made signs throughout the property out of pre-cut plywood lengths from Home Depot. I did the lettering using Sharpie paint pens or acrylic paints. I also did the “calligraphy” on the invitations and the menus. We created directional signposts by cutting arrows out of deck lumber and nailing them to garden stakes. A couple weeks before the wedding, our neighbor got lengths of a tree that had been felled and I pounced on the tree stump sections, using them with hurricane lanterns to line the aisle. I wanted more color at the altar, so we used a rug I had bought a few years back at Anthropologie. I very much wanted a dress with sleeves and could not find one, so my seamstress made a custom shrug for me to wear over my sleeveless dress using a design we plotted out together that matched the dress perfectly and stayed put all day. I then bought a beautiful black sequined sari from a local store and had her make it into a floor-length wrap/stole. She took extra sequined trim and made an inset for the front of my dress. For the reception I snapped the inset into my dress, donned the stole, and wore it for the evening. For dancing, she made a black taffeta version of the shrug so I wouldn’t trip over the long stole. I loved them–I got my sleeves!

backyard receptions - photo by Bethany Carlson http://ruffledblog.com/a-handcrafted-wedding-in-sunnydale

tablescape centerpieces - photo by Bethany Carlson http://ruffledblog.com/a-handcrafted-wedding-in-sunnydale

A Handcrafted Backyard Wedding in Sunnydale - photo by Bethany Carlson http://ruffledblog.com/a-handcrafted-wedding-in-sunnydale

backyard receptions - photo by Bethany Carlson http://ruffledblog.com/a-handcrafted-wedding-in-sunnydale

tall centerpiece ideas - photo by Bethany Carlson http://ruffledblog.com/a-handcrafted-wedding-in-sunnydale

wildflower centerpieces - photo by Bethany Carlson http://ruffledblog.com/a-handcrafted-wedding-in-sunnydale

reception food stations - photo by Bethany Carlson http://ruffledblog.com/a-handcrafted-wedding-in-sunnydale

Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? Communicate, communicate, communicate. Write things down. Tell people what you expect of them. Because there was so much to do, and my husband (I love saying that!) gets tense when he doesn’t know the full scope of a project, I spent time early on and wrote down every single thing I knew we had to do, from buying candles to installing a patio. I added things over time as new things popped up or as tasks occurred to me. In the end I had a 211-item task list. That sounds crazy, but everything got done, with only about 3 exceptions–sadly, one of those being “Even out your farmer’s tan.” Booo. An exhaustive list is fabulous for when someone asks, “is there anything I can do?” and when you want to assess how much you still need to do… I also wrote up a detailed Responsibilities list for wedding day for every member of the bridal party. I wrote this (with phone numbers, so they all knew how to get in touch with each other) for everyone from the flower girls to the best man and they ranged from “Be at hotel on time, fed, makeup on, ready to get your hair done” to “Dance. A lot.” (The dance floor was full all night–yayy!) AND… always have a Plan B. We planted 25 dahlias, hoping to grow many of our own flowers. They were lush and gorgeous and I made bouquets all summer… until about 3 weeks before the wedding when they developed some creepy disease and went utterly dormant. Talk about frustrating! Plan B: wholesale flower mart. OH. And if you’re getting married at home, remember that it can be way more stressful than doing it at a venue, because not only do you have to have your bodies all ready for a wedding, you have to have an extremely clean house devoid of all the stuff lying around that you were using to prepare for the wedding! ALL your stuff is in the wedding, all of it–your welcome mat, your laundry basket, your garbage cans. (It is very taxing–this huge project is inescapable, and wreaks havoc on everyone in the house, including your pets.) But the flip side is, you don’t have a lot of stuff to pack and carry to and from a venue, and you don’t have to set up and clean up the decor in a compressed time frame. You can do it gradually over a long period, which is what we did.

dessert tables - photo by Bethany Carlson http://ruffledblog.com/a-handcrafted-wedding-in-sunnydale

wedding sign ideas - photo by Bethany Carlson http://ruffledblog.com/a-handcrafted-wedding-in-sunnydale

wildflower centerpieces - photo by Bethany Carlson http://ruffledblog.com/a-handcrafted-wedding-in-sunnydale

reception inspiration - photo by Bethany Carlson http://ruffledblog.com/a-handcrafted-wedding-in-sunnydale

A Handcrafted Backyard Wedding in Sunnydale - photo by Bethany Carlson http://ruffledblog.com/a-handcrafted-wedding-in-sunnydale


View all images from this wedding in the gallery

Wedding Music:
Bridal Party Processional: “If You Were Here,” Vitamin String Quartet
Craig and I were friends for more than 20 years before saying, after finding ourselves single again, “why haven’t we ever dated?” So after all this time, my bridal processional HAD to be “At Last” by Etta James
Recessional: “Happy Together,” The Turtles
First dance: “I Melt With You,” Nouvelle Vague

Wedding Location: Sunnyvale, CA / Photographer: Bethany Carlson / Event Coordination: Mariell Rahmani of In the Moment Events / Flowers: Bride, sourced from Malyne Hazard at California Flower Shippers, Inc. / Venue: Private Residence / Wedding Dress: Impression Bridal via Brides of California / Custom white and black taffeta Shrugs, Sequined Stole: Kirsten Tucker / Sequined stole fabric: Chiffon sari from Nalli Silk Sarees / Sari Ribbons: Felt Better / Fascinator: J-Picone “Jane” via Nordstrom / Ceremony Shoes: Butter / Reception Shoes: John Fluevog / Hair: Eric Restani / Groom’s Suit: Brooks Brothers / Caterer: JJardine Catering and Events/ DJ: Jazcat Mobile Entertainment / Carnivorous Plants: World’s Rare Plants / Vases and Urns: Accent Decor and Save on Crafts / Altar Rug: Anthropologie / Altar Urns: Home Depot / Frames: Michaels and Hobby Lobby / Animal Head Pewter Wine Pourers: Menagerie Wine Pourers / String Lights: Target and Orchard Supply / Sparklers: Wedding Day Sparklers / Wedding Invitations: Sunshine and Ravioli






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Romantic Wedding Meets Winery Chic

One of the greatest things about having your wedding at a winery? You and your honey can revisit the spot, take a sip of wine, and be instantaneously reminded of that most spectacular day. Brittany and Dave said their I Dos at California’s Orfila Winery, which had the added bonus of absolutely incredible scenery. Thank you Shane and Lauren Photography for your work on this one!

Romantic Wedding Meets Winery Chic - photo by Shane and Lauren Photography http://ruffledblog.com/romantic-wedding-meets-winery-chic

From the bride, Brittany: When planning for the wedding, Dave and I were back and forth on whether to do the wedding on the east coast (where most of our family lives) or the west coast. San Diego was a new home for us, a place that we quickly fell in love with, so we decided we wanted to share this special place with the most important people in our lives. And so, our first big wedding planning decision was made… we were to get married in San Diego!

Romantic Wedding Meets Winery Chic - photo by Shane and Lauren Photography http://ruffledblog.com/romantic-wedding-meets-winery-chic

groom boutonnieres - photo by Shane and Lauren Photography http://ruffledblog.com/romantic-wedding-meets-winery-chic

pink wedding invitations - photo by Shane and Lauren Photography http://ruffledblog.com/romantic-wedding-meets-winery-chic

peachy pink bouquets - photo by Shane and Lauren Photography http://ruffledblog.com/romantic-wedding-meets-winery-chic

groom accessories - photo by Shane and Lauren Photography http://ruffledblog.com/romantic-wedding-meets-winery-chic

bridesmaid bouquets - photo by Shane and Lauren Photography http://ruffledblog.com/romantic-wedding-meets-winery-chic
Bouquet recipe: Juliette garden roses, blushing bride protea, white veronica, café au lait dahlias, ranunculus, and more.

bride and bridesmaid - photo by Shane and Lauren Photography http://ruffledblog.com/romantic-wedding-meets-winery-chic

In terms of the look and feel of the wedding, we wanted it to feel natural and rustic, but with accents of elegance. To capitalize on the rustic aesthetic that the vineyard already had, we decided to go with dark wood farm tables from Farm Tables & More with matching folding chairs for the reception. The ceremony was very similar– playing on the organic look with dark wooden chairs and a dark wooden table as the centerpiece, which had lots of green foliage draping off the sides. Since the tables at the reception were dark wood, our colors were very soft. In terms of color, we chose to go with whites and greens (lots of greens) with pops of blush and peach. We used mason jars as some of the flower vases and lots of green foliage like, maiden hair fern, eucalyptus and olive branches to stick with the rustic theme. In addition, we incorporated champagne colored runners, mercury glass votives and chandeliers, which hung throughout the tent with strands of lighting to give the space the elegance we were looking for.

pets at weddings - photo by Shane and Lauren Photography http://ruffledblog.com/romantic-wedding-meets-winery-chic

pets at weddings - photo by Shane and Lauren Photography http://ruffledblog.com/romantic-wedding-meets-winery-chic

wedding ceremony - photo by Shane and Lauren Photography http://ruffledblog.com/romantic-wedding-meets-winery-chic

ceremony recessionals - photo by Shane and Lauren Photography http://ruffledblog.com/romantic-wedding-meets-winery-chic

winery themed weddings - photo by Shane and Lauren Photography http://ruffledblog.com/romantic-wedding-meets-winery-chic

pets at weddings - photo by Shane and Lauren Photography http://ruffledblog.com/romantic-wedding-meets-winery-chic

In addition to personalizing the food to incorporate some east coast dishes, we added personal touches to almost every part of the wedding– a lot of them being pretty non-traditional, but true reflections on who Dave and I are as a couple. One of those things was having our golden retriever Sebastian in the wedding as our “Best Dog”. He walked down the aisle with the Best Man and Maid of Honor and wore an olive branch wreath around his neck. In college, Dave and I went to pick up Sebastian as a puppy together, so he’s always been a big part of our lives and so, we wanted him to be a big part of our special day as well. Funny enough, our wedding day just so happened to be on Sebastian’s birthday! (That part wasn’t planned– just a coincidence :)).

winery wedding - photo by Shane and Lauren Photography http://ruffledblog.com/romantic-wedding-meets-winery-chic

winery wedding ideas - photo by Shane and Lauren Photography http://ruffledblog.com/romantic-wedding-meets-winery-chic

Romantic Wedding Meets Winery Chic - photo by Shane and Lauren Photography http://ruffledblog.com/romantic-wedding-meets-winery-chic

unique seating charts - photo by Shane and Lauren Photography http://ruffledblog.com/romantic-wedding-meets-winery-chic

Romantic Wedding Meets Winery Chic - photo by Shane and Lauren Photography http://ruffledblog.com/romantic-wedding-meets-winery-chic

Dave and I have so many favorite moments of the wedding, but our most favorite would have to be when seeing each other while walking down the aisle. We got to do the first look, which was amazing, but there’s just something really special about walking down the aisle and locking eyes. Another favorite moment would have to be dancing to our first song “Never Fade” by Jack Johnson– it’s words are so perfect for us. We chose the song because it reminded us of how we met, how we’ve grown together and how we’ll last forever. And the last favorite moment would definitely have to be the last song of the night “Best Day of My Life” by American Authors. Dave and I were dancing and singing together in the middle of a huge circle, surrounded by the people in our lives the we love most. Everyone was dancing and singing along with us…. we couldn’t have chosen a better song for that moment because it was by far the best day of our lives. Since the wedding we’ve been back to Orfila and the best part about it is that, Dave and I can sit under the arbor, with a glass of Orfila’s Petite Sirah, reminiscing of the day we became husband and wife.

Romantic Wedding Meets Winery Chic - photo by Shane and Lauren Photography http://ruffledblog.com/romantic-wedding-meets-winery-chic

simple place settings - photo by Shane and Lauren Photography http://ruffledblog.com/romantic-wedding-meets-winery-chic

country chic weddings - photo by Shane and Lauren Photography http://ruffledblog.com/romantic-wedding-meets-winery-chic

peach wedding cakes - photo by Shane and Lauren Photography http://ruffledblog.com/romantic-wedding-meets-winery-chic

winery wedding reception - photo by Shane and Lauren Photography http://ruffledblog.com/romantic-wedding-meets-winery-chic

newlyweds dancing - photo by Shane and Lauren Photography http://ruffledblog.com/romantic-wedding-meets-winery-chic

Romantic Wedding Meets Winery Chic - photo by Shane and Lauren Photography http://ruffledblog.com/romantic-wedding-meets-winery-chic


View all images from this wedding in the gallery

Wedding Location: Escondido, CA / Photographer: Shane and Lauren Photography / Venue: Orfila Winery / Wedding Dress: Sarah Seven via Lovely Bride DC / Makeup: GroomerGirl / Bridesmaids’ Dresses and Men’s Attire: J. Crew / Wedding Cake: Sumi’s Oven / DJ: Music Phreek DJ Services / Rentals: Farm Tables and More / Floral Design: Jen Jensen of Third Bloom / Printing: Seaside Papery / Wedding Invitations and Paper goods: Ashley Spencer

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