It’s officially been a full year since Mike and my wedding at McCormick Home Ranch in Camarillo, and the last twelve months have flown by in the best way possible! Since Green Wedding Shoes did a two part feature on us last week (part 1 here, part 2 here), I figured I’d fire up this old blog and post some (okay, a massive amount) of my favorite photos from our colorful California wedding, along with lots of details, tips, and other commentary. I fully admit that it was nearly impossible to narrow these down. Our video is posted at the very end if you get restless, ha!
I honestly had the best time planning all of the details of our day with Mike, Angelena of Shindig Chic, and Samantha Dapper Events. Everything was a labor of love from our wedding website to the table cards. Our wedding was such a fun, imaginative project, and we definitely used it as an opportunity to get creative and show our personalities. For me, that meant lots of color and florals, and for Mike, that meant a focus on musical accents and witty signage.
My bridesmaid, Jessica Kucinskas, happens to be a talented graphic designer! She came up with the idea of using my photography in our paper goods. Angelena put together floral flatlays, Samantha cut out text on the cricut, Erin painted paper leaves, Steph Rager drew the Mike and Mary logo and all calligraphy, I shot the photos, Mike worked on the text, and Jess put all of the design together. Wow. It takes a village! Our save the date is actually all one photo – everything in it was a cutout!
Fun fact: that address is legit where Kevin’s house from The Wonder Years is located!
I was bubbling with excitement the morning of our wedding, and overall felt very calm – until we were driving from the hotel to the venue and pulled up right behind Mike. “MOM, MIKE IS RIGHT IN FRONT OF US!!” My mom responded with an enthusiastic wave hahaha. He, luckily, didn’t spot us!
I also opted not to have any photos taken at the hotel while we were having our hair and makeup done. Photographer tips: 1) Unless you’re in a boutique hotel or an AirBnb the lighting is rarely great and 2) I wanted to chill with my loved ones before the day got too hectic. Definitely a good call for me!
Yes, there are cute pink shoes in the detail photo, but I decided to wear these old wedges at the last minute to be more comfortable. It was a wise choice.
My mom, Trudi, was so supportive, excited, and with Mike and I every step of the journey!
Enter: Adam, my brother and Man of Honor!
Adam has been tying ties since his early years at Catholic school!
Enter: Christen, Mike’s Best Lady and former roommate!
I didn’t know that Blake wore these amazing socks until I saw the photos! We all share an intense love of sushi.
My husband has SKILLS.
We included a number of Game of Thrones details in our day (and actually just got back from our honeymoon in Croatia, where a big part of the show is filmed!). In addition to this super classy card, we included “From this day, until the end of of my days” in our vows, and we named our cocktails after details!
I’m going to be honest with you. I showed Mike multiple photos of me in my dress before our wedding day. We talk to each other about everything and it was too much pressure keeping that kind of a secret from him! Even so, our first look was so fun and special!
Angelena made me the most beautiful, unique bridal bouquet ever. She included so many interesting textures and all of my favorite flowers (peonies, ranunculus, thistles), and also made the coolest ribbon! She is the BEST.
I had told Angelena that I wanted a GIANT bouquet, and she did not disappoint!! My arms were, in fact, sore the next day.
Helloooooo wedding party!
Christen was technically on Mike’s “side” but she’s one of my BFFs too!
Seeing my dad for the first time! I’m not crying, you’re crying.
Angelena, Tim, and Erin truly made our vision come alive! They did all of the styling in addition to the florals!
Guests were greeted with a donut tower from California Donuts (A big thank you to Jen Wiley and Paul for picking these bad boys up!!) and some rather witty beverage containers.
We encouraged our guests to get colorful with their outfits, if they felt so inclined. SO GOOD!!
Processional song: “Love and Some Verses” by Iron & Wine
Our niece/flower girl, Ryan, grabbed that sign from her brother just before he ran off with stage fright, hahaha. Way to improvise, Ryan!
Bridal processional song: “Montezuma” by Fleet Foxes
Even though Mike and I saw each other beforehand, I still CRIED all the way down the aisle, and so did he! I attempted to smile my biggest smile so the tears wouldn’t be as obvious…!
Jennie, our bestie and the driving force behind us meeting, was our officiant. She was PERFECT! It means so much to have a dear friend in all of our ceremony photos. I also love that she was pregnant with Evie at the time, so Evie was there in her own special way. Also, major props to Adam for doing such a lovely job on my train here. A+.
I love seeing Adam holding my bouquet.
Mike’s Aunt Diana did a beautiful reading from Anne of Green Gables.
We asked my cousin, Mat, and his wife, Brandy, to do a reading/speech of their choosing. We didn’t know what it would be and truly loved it! They read through a list of wifely duties from the 50s and got a big laugh!
One of the things that mattered most to Mike was that our guests could easily hear us during the ceremony. I personally hate the look of a microphone, so this fancy mic was our compromise!
Lots of laughter!
Lots of happy tears!
Oh Blake, such a sweet, sensitive soul!
Megan’s expression here is the best!
I’ve been to so many weddings where the couple mostly looks at the officiant and doesn’t interact with their guests. It feels so formal and stiff, and that’s just not us! We tried to soak up the moment and look at our loved ones.
During our ceremony we had a John Deere tractor go back and forth next door, a train go by, and a plane fly low overhead. It led to a LOT of laughter.
Mike: “That’s what you get for getting married on a ranch!”
Jennie: “Mary, you may now kiss the groom!”
Two tips here: a cheap, portable bubble machine from Target works wonders! Samantha stood behind our photographers and made it happen!! Second tip: Go unplugged! We asked our guests to put away all phones and cameras and be in the moment with us for the ceremony. Everyone felt so present and I LOVE that there aren’t any devices in the photos!
Exit tune: “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” by The Beach Boys
Time for family photos! First up, Mike’s side! So cute!
Sarah was pregnant with Aria at the time, so she’s also there! Our immediate family of twelve! I definitely lucked out with my in-laws!!
Miller family, crushing it.
Brandy & Mat’s outfits are on point.
Molly, Heather, Jackie, and Alyssa (with little Eleanor in the oven) – my best friends from high school in New Hampshire!
Mike and I both love vintage VW vans and dreamed of having one at our wedding. I’d just about given up when Samantha found Porty! Lily and her husband, Oscar, let us use it as a backdrop before they parked it for the reception. These photos are some of my FAVES.
I’m gonna throw this little Shark Pig gem in here! Our own Freaks & Geeks intro!
Now for the cocktail hour!
Kelly, Jeff, Amy & Jen – love these outfits!
Mike LOVES magic, so we just had to have a strolling magician at the cocktail hour! Here’s Jon Armstrong doing a card trick with my cousin, Jeremiah, on the left. Me & my BFF Ryan, on the right.
The reception! Since Mike and I got engaged under a balloon arch, it only made sense that we should have one at our wedding…! Wild Child Party made it happen!
Our name cards were cassette tapes! Several of our guests wondered if we made mixes…! (We didn’t.)
The jacaranda trees just happened to be in bloom, adding some lavender to our color palette!
My mom and I dip-dyed all the napkin fabric back home in New Hampshire, and then she sewed and frayed the edges.
Another tip: those name cards? They’re business cards from Moo!!
Megan Roy, our dear friend and talented illustrator, made these brilliant table cards. Each table is named after a venue where Mike and I have seen a concert together! You can buy the prints here!
I love love love reception detail photos, and Alyssa Marie knocked it out of the park!
Erin crafted this incredible yarn/pom pom backdrop for our diner mug favors!!
Megan illustrated the mugs and The Created Co manufactured them! Mike and I got that VW van when we were in Hawaii together, so it has special memories.
My family has been collecting diner mugs for years, so this was the perfect favor for us!
Ryan with her cassette name card, left, friends instagrammin’, right.
Our grand entrance – maybe my favorite moment…! Song: “Got To Get You Into My Life” by The Beatles
Jess surprised us with these giant heads and we died laughing!! It was the best!!
First dance: “Looking Forward” by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. The jacaranda petals fell on us while we danced and it was magical.
Father-daughter dance: “My Girl”, mother-son dance: “I’ll Be There” – classics!
My dad did a beautiful blessing! My nephew, Nolan, was quite interested in everything Ryan was up to…! So cute.
Dent from Dart DJ, left! We LOVED everything he played!!! On the right, our menu – tacos! Erin crafted that piñata for us.
Cakes from Half Baked Co!
Left: A our cake topper is a lyric from “Passenger Seat” by Death Cab For Cutie, one of our fave bands. On the right, paper flowers made by Erin – we also used them in our engagement session!
I was one of those brides who tried on a million dresses. Ugh. I knew that I wanted something with straps, ideally a v-neck, unique details, some kind of bust structure, and nothing that clung to my stomach. At the time, this wasn’t easy to find and I ultimately chose this Rivini gown for the stunning matching veil. A few weeks before the wedding I came to terms with the fact that walking down the aisle in the veil wasn’t going to happen – the beading was too heavy and it would’ve gotten caught on the brick. Luckily we got a few photos in it at sunset! We also tailored this dress like crazy to get it close to my vision!
Mike serenaded me with “Wonderful (The Way I Feel)” by My Morning Jacket. All the feelings.
Christen & Adam rocked their speeches! You can watch them here! (Mostly linking that for you, parents!)
Time to DANCE! I changed into my mom’s vintage dress to let loose! Our guests brought the dance moves and I LOVE THEM for it!!
Some photo booth gems!
Still with me?! Here’s our video from Aaron Kessinger of Shark Pig Weddings! It captures our day PERFECTLY.
Thank you, thank you, thank you to all of our loved ones for making this day so special and wonderful. Thank you to all of our amazing vendors for making everything come together so beautifully, especially to the Shindig Chic team who lost many hours of sleep making everything perfect. And thank YOU for following along!!
photography: Alyssa Marie Photography // invitation & ring photos, photo editing: Mary Costa Photography // event design & florals: Shindig Chic // planning: Samantha Dapper // venue name: McCormick Home Ranch, Camarillo, California, USA // wedding dress: “Bernie” by Rivini // wedding dress boutique: The White Dress // bride’s ring: Suzanne Kalan // bridesmaid dresses: Jenny Yoo “Annabelle” Dress, Show Me Your Mumu “Hacienda” dress and BHLDN “Fleur” Dress // hair stylist: Nicol Artistry // makeup artist: Nicol Artistry // videography: Shark Pig // paper goods: Jessica Kucinskas // calligraphy: A Dapper Line // catering: Rasta Tacos // cake: Half Baked Co // donuts: California Donuts // furniture rentals: Red Door Events // music: Dart Collective // officiant: Jennie Palluzzi // photo booth: Porty The Foto Booth Bus // balloon installation: Wild Child Party // groomsmen suits: The Black Tux // groomsmen ties: Neck and Tie Co // table cards + diner mug illustrations: Megan Roy // diner mugs: The Created Co // catering staff: Night & Day Productions // yarn hanging, paper flowers + piñata: Erin Elyse Long // magician: Jon Armstrong