There’s always something so charming about a small wedding. Last September, 55 guests joined Gretchen and Bert to celebrate their marriage at the beautiful San Ysidro Ranch. Says Gretchen:

We spent the weekend in Santa Barbara while we were dating, and were just astounded by its beauty. For our wedding, it felt like a “destination,” but still close enough to our home in Laguna Beach that we could go back to our for our anniversary or other special occasions. Seeing the lavender fields blooming on either side of the brick driveway at San Ysidro Ranch, we knew it was the place.

We wanted a really special invitation, so we had them designed by Kelsey Towne of Peony Prints. She hand water-colored each one and they turned out beautifully.

At our ceremony, our rings were passed through the hands of our guests so they could bless them with a good thought. When we look at our rings, we think of all the positive energy they hold from our family and friends.

The moment we walked into our reception was amazing! We were seeing everything for the first time: the cake, the flowers, the tables, the linens all put together, and it was gorgeous. It was cozy, romantic, vibrant and eclectic. Kate from Flowerwild really captured our style in the floral design. Plus, it was filled with our favorite people, and the live Spanish guitar music was so perfect for the setting.

The three tier buttercream cake included two flavors: Lemon Cake with Lemon Curd Filling and Vanilla Sponge Cake with Dark Chocolate Mousse Filling.

Gretchen and Bert both love gourmet salts, so they sent guests home with jars of Himalayan pink salt and Bert’s recipe for Mexican Spicy Shrimp with Corn Risotto.


Photography: Aaron Delesie

Venue: San Ysidro Ranch in Santa Barbara, California

Day-of coordinator: Jackie Burgio

Officiant: Rev. Linda Spencer of Santa Barbara Unity

Bride’s dress / shoes: Nicole Miller / Vince Camuto

Groom’s suit: DKNY

Invitations: Peony Prints

Flowers: Kate Holt of Flowerwild

Cake and catering: Stonehouse Restaurant

Music: Rico Espinoza

Rentals: Classic Party Rentals / La Tavola Linen


Gretchen’s advice for other brides: Get a day of coordinator! I don’t know what I would have done without Jackie. She organized the scheduling for everyone, and got all the last minute details in place without having to ask me a single question on the day of. She lovingly earned the nickname ‘Franc’ (as in Father of the Bride) from my family because she was so fabulous.

You can see lots more from Gretchen and Bert’s lovely wedding over at Aaron Delesie’s blog!

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Like I said last week, I’ve been having fun revisiting some of my past inspiration boards, including this Lemon and Iris post from three years ago. The arrangement with lemons and purple irises is one of my all-time favorites, and I’ve re-imagined a simple garden wedding with lemon desserts, lemon cocktails, and lemon marmalade favors to take home. And a fun dancing dress for the bride!


Mood: cheery spring romance
Palette: purple iris, lemon yellow, garden green

Top row from left: iris and lemon arrangement by Michaele Thunen (photo by Kathryn Kleinman), lemon and pine nut tarts from Martha Stewart, bride and groom from Martha Stewart Weddings
Row 2: hand lettered invitation by Cynthia Warren, lemons from Martha Stewart
Row 3: bride with wide brim hat from Martha Stewart Weddings, meyer lemon marmalade in Weck jar from Apt. 2B Baking Co., garden lunch from Martha Stewart
Row 4: photo of lemonade cocktails by Karen Hill, garden gate from Matthew Robbins, stamped cocktail napkins by Oscar & Emma


If you like this inspiration board, you might also like:

Board #433: A Purple Picnic
Board #315: Navy & Yellow
Board #483: Lilac and Lemonade

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Friends, I have a request of you. My nephew is going in for surgery today, which is just so scary. Actually, he’s probably taking it the best of any of us. He’s a sweetheart and a charmer, he loves to brush his auntie’s hair (I know – lucky auntie!), he loves his brothers, and he loves chocolate chip cookies almost as much as his mom does. Whatever you believe, or however you pray, I hope that you’ll keep him in mind today and in the weeks to come.

And because bubbles and laughing are always good for the body and soul…



Happy Mothers Day!

Pretty DIY spring wedding bouquet by Chelsea.

Fold up water bottle – love this!

BHLDN does decor. I especially love the cashier key stakes.

Such lovely family photos!

Calder’s so clever: a bourbon tasting bar for your wedding guests.

How about a cute new outfit for your iPhone, via Design Crush.

Food on a stick!

Pretty floral demi robe from Ari Dein.


Inspired by the royal wedding…?

My favorite round-up of Will and Kate’s nuptials.

Why not celebrate your new family with a custom herald, via Once Wed.

Or top your noggin with a fabulous hat from Preston & Olivia.


Have a happy weekend, friends. And Happy Mother’s Day to the wonderful women in our lives!

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A tequila tasting party on the beach seemed appropriate for Cinco de Mayo, don’t you think? Bright colors are obvious choices for this type of celebration, but I decided to let the beach direct the palette here: sandy, salty neutrals and a soft gray blue that echoes both the ocean and the blue agave plant (used to make tequila). Something subtle, and not so theme-y. I’ve imagined: a tequila tasting bar for guests to enjoy, as well as a variety of margaritas and other mixed drinks. For the tables, air plants in glass containers look like miniature blue agave plants (and make for an unusual centerpiece), and dishes of pink sea salt suggest the salted rim of a margarita. Mexican wedding cookies (pastelitos de boda) are a sweet substitute for cake, and will withstand heat far better than buttercream can.


(Of course, none of this is to say that I don’t enjoy celebrating Cinco de Mayo with a Pacifico, some chips and guacamole…)

Mood: breezy beach chic
Palette: sand, blue agave, sea salt

Top row from left: Luisa Beccaria dress via coco + kelley, photo of couple in a hammock on the beach by Elizabeth Messina, agave margarita from Gourmet
Row 2: pastelitos de boda from Martha Stewart, tequila tasting bar by Lisa Vorce (photo by Elizabeth Messina)
Row 3: photo of air plant centerpiece by Jose Villa, photo of pink salt by Kate Headley via Ritzy Bee, angel skin coral and diamond earrings via 1stdibs, sandals via Garance Dore
Row 4: beach bride from Beth Helmstetter, calligraphy seating card from Lisa Vorce (photo by Aaron Delesie), photo of agave plant by Jose Villa


If you like this inspiration board, you might also like:

Board #151: Chandeliers on the Beach
Board #484: Beach House Blue
Board #199: Cinco de Mayo



Kiss the Groom (Elizabeth Messina) is a sponsor of Snippet & Ink.

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