I adore Vanessa and Adam’s sweet barn wedding, which took place on California’s Central Coast. There is something to be delighted and charmed by around every corner! DIY was the name of the game, as almost each and every one of these delightful and charming details was handcrafted by the couple. Pretty amazing, huh? On hand to capture this amazing day was Christan Parreira.

From the bride, Vanessa:

All along we both wanted something cozy and low-key. I wanted our wedding to reflect who we are and be sweet and simple. We wanted fun and not fuss. And I knew without a doubt I wanted to have tons of vintage country charm. I also loved the idea of getting married in the outdoors and having the reception in a barn. I envisioned mason jars with candles inside, hay bale seating, and lots of DIY details.


I saw a picture on a blog of the Cayucos Creek Barn on Cayucos, CA that is only about 3 hours north of where we live. I found a link to a website but it did not do it justice. When I saw it in person I absolutely fell in love with it. It was such a unique location: a barn on acres and acres of land off a country road and less than 2 miles from the beach!! Having both of those elements was a dream to me.


I found some great vintage looking card cages and glued peach flowers on them, added sheet moss to the bottom and tied Navy ribbon to the top. I also made a sign that said “Cards” using an acrylic stamp set. I used some of that moss to go under a couple glass bell jars I found on ebay with tent cards I made inside directing people to “find their name..” or enjoy their S’mores.


For our dessert table we found these great cake plates that came with ribbon looped around them. We pulled that out and added some white tulle and some cream ribbon and tied it into a big bow.. Also, I made tags that named the flavor of the pies and cupcakes. Some of them I looped in the ribbon. For the rest I made tent cards.

With some extra wooden tags I made a cute stringed sign to go on the gift rack. Again, I painted them a dark brown color. I took some think wooden letters and painted them a pretty peach color. then glued one letter per tag to spell out “Oh Happy Day” and with mini wooden clothes pins (these were my best friends!) attached them to a piece of string.


The centerpieces were made up of 4 different kinds of jars: a Ball Blue Mason jar, a short clear mason, a taller skinny vase and a tiny bud vase. Around the mouth of the clear mason jars I added a fringe that I cut from the edge of small doilies. I just pinned it together with a pearl pin.


For the escort cards I found a grey card stock that I stamped a blue bird on and added the names in a navy ink. Also, we decided to make Smore kits for our wedding favors because the barn had a great fire pit that we knew would be fun to sit around at the end of the night. I bought mini brown paper bags and found a found an acrylic stamp set in a font I liked and stamped “S’MORES” across the bag in Navy ink. Then I folded the bags and punched 2 holes in the top and ran a short piece of a cream colored ribbon through it and tied it. For the Smore sticks I just used regular wooden skewer sticks. I took some Martha Stewart ribbon tape and cut it into small strips and then just wrapped it around the top of the skewer stick, sticking it to itself.


Almost every sweet detail was DIY and it was all very time consuming. I made a lot of mistakes along the way and had to start over many times. In the end though, with the help of some amazing family and friends, it all got done and was worth every drop of sweat.


Advice from Vanessa:

There are two things I had to remind myself of…First is not not get caught up in making every little thing fit into a theme or style or color. If it makes you happy to imagine it on your day, then go for it, even if it “doesn’t go” . I promise it will draw no attention if your wedding is vintage yet you have super modern elements. Or if your colors are blue and purple, yet you swoon when you think of an orange and red rose bouquet. No one cares!! Its your day with your sweetheart and if it makes you happy that is what everyone will see. And secondly, try to remember that weddings have come a long way over the years and those who are of the older generation might not get all the ideas your coming up with right away. It may be hard for them to envision all the vintage quirks and whimsy that make you so excited. They are used to ballrooms, not barns, and giant tiered cakes, not dessert tables. But trust your vision and go for it…trust me, they will love it in the end!!

Wedding Vendors (Central Coast, CA):

Venue: Cayucos Creek Barn / Photographer: Christan Parreira / Florist: Fleur Flowers / Coordinator: Leela Sherbon / Caterer: Johnny Pacific / Cake: Cassie’s Custom Cakes / Invitations: Parrott Design Studio / Hair and Makeup: Rhonda Johnson / Bride’s Dress: Karena Royale by Maggie Sottero from The Bridal Collection / Bride’s Shoes: Junque Gypsy / Bride’s Veil: Marisol Aparicio / Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Mori Lee / Groom’s Suit: Calvin Klein