Over the years we’ve accrued a pretty long list of favorite wedding venues, but Calamigos Ranch always seems to keep its place at the top of that roster, and this wedding from Hazelwood Photo, Jessica Foster Events, Mindy Events does a great job of explaining why. With a proposal during a vacation in Italy, Jessica and Chris’ wedding day had a lot to live up to in terms of romance. To everyone’s delight, the day did not disappoint in the slightest!
From the bride, Jessica: Chris and I have a dream engagement story. I have to say – definitely one I like to brag about! We took our first big vacation together to Italy visiting Rome, Florence, and Capri. Our first night in Florence the stage was set and Chris took full opportunity! We took a sunset walk at the Piazzale Michaelangelo in and stopped off in the garden of a church. With the sunset over the city of Florence in the background, Chris proposed and I excitedly and in tears said yes!
We decided on a long engagement but that didn’t stop me from jumping right into planning! I had been to Calamigos before but once I was there as a bride, I instantly knew this was the perfect setting for our wedding. The guest list was kept to close friends and family so we wanted to create a warm intimate setting that felt like home. I was inspired by the woodsy rustic elements of the venue and knew i didn’t want to go over board with decor. We wanted our guests to take in the natural beauty of the outdoor setting of big trees and fresh air.
We were on a roll with DIY which was a family affair. A family friend made all of the burlap and lace runners for the tables. My devoted maid of honor and very busy PHD student worked late into the night addressing all of my invitations and doing any calligraphy that was needed from signs to escort cards. The wood boxes for the centerpieces came from a floral workshop I attended and the mason jars were recycled from a friends wedding. Framed wedding photos of 3 generations of both of our families were set at the gift table and later repurposed around the reception. In lieu of a traditional guest book, wedding guests signed a butterfly which we later displayed in frames to hang in our home. Chris’s mom is an award winning baker in Michigan and drove to California to bring all of her baking supplies. She spent a good part of the day before the wedding in my mom’s kitchen making the wedding cake and all of the pies. Everyone really came together to help make it all happen!
Processional: “Fools Rush In,” Elvis Presley
Recessional: “Here Comes the Sun,” The Beatles
First Dance: “Come Away with Me,” Norah Jones
Father/Daughter Dance: “My Girl,” The Temptations
Last Dance: “My Way,” Frank Sinatra (a tribute to my grandpa — our family is Italian and my grandpa and my uncle always sing it on holidays!)