We love a sunny San Diego wedding and this celebration held at The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe is no exception. Bride Abby created all of the beautiful paper goods and signage, calligraphy included! We love the personal and sentimental details, especially the way she incorporated her grandfather into their day. This sweet day will definitely bring a smile to your face.
Photography by Silvana di Franco.
Did you include any special traditions in your wedding? My grandfather passed away around 9 months before the wedding. He had an enormous collection of stamps, which I used to mail the invitations. It was a simple way to honor his life and love for his children and grandchildren. In lieu of having a receiving line or attempting to get around to every table at dinner, our parents stood at the ceremony exit to greet as well as direct our guests towards the cocktail hour location. As for something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue – my jewelry was old and borrowed, and the ribbon around my bouquet was blue!
Are there any DIY details you’d like to tell us about? I designed and assembled all the paper goods and signage. All the calligraphy is mine! I dyed silk ribbon to wrap around the bouquets. My grandmother, mom, and aunt grew foliage that was in the bouquets and arrangements, and provided some of the vessels, though our talented florist put them together. Our year-long engagement was really helpful in getting all the projects done! My grandfather created the front-of ceremony fabric draping.
Abby’s fragrant bouquet included roses, peonies, tulips, jasmine, olives and olive leaves, astilbe, and blackberries.
Floral Design by Third Bloom.
What was the best advice you received as a bride? Referring to the wedding as “our” wedding was really helpful to maintain the focus on Kyle and our marriage, not just “my” event. I read somewhere to designate one special person to remind you throughout the day to pause and take it in. I picked a lovely friend to do this and I’m so thankful she did!
What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding? First, focus on your marriage. We did premarital counseling and were thankful for the conversations it spurred. Second, stay organized. When you’re first engaged, create a G-mail account that’s specific to your wedding. Give the password to relevant parties, so everyone can check and send emails and all the details stay organized. We used Google docs for EVERYTHING. We kept our budget, guest list, designs, and all forms from our vendors on it, and gave our parents access to it.
“My parents had visited The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe on a weekend getaway and loved the ambiance. When it came time for them to choose a venue, my dad suggested the Inn! It’s not far from a major airport, but it’s close to beautiful beaches and has the old-world European feel that everyone loved. Plus, they serve great food.”
Your ceremony in three words. Sacred, joyful, personal
How did you go about planning your wedding ceremony? We mixed the traditional vows from the Book of Common Prayer with some more contemporary parts. As Christians, we believe that our union is a symbol of the way Christ loves the church, so reverence was very important. At the same time, we value laughter,, so there was a whole lot of joy.
What was your ceremony music?
Prelude: “Panis Angelicus” by Franck, “My Heart Ever Faithful” by Bach, “Suite in G Major – Prelude” by Bach (solo cello)
Bridal Party Processional: “Air on the G String” by Bach
Seating of Parents: “Sheep May Safely Graze” by Bach
Bride’s Entry: “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring”
During Ceremony (Prayer with Parents): “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing”
Recessional: “Samson” by Regina Spektor
Ceremony Music by La Jolla Strings.
What were your ceremony readings? My father read a text from the Old Testament, and my father read one from the New Testament.
Did you include any traditions in your ceremony? The groom’s father officiated our wedding. It was so special to have someone who knows us both so well officiate the ceremony. We included traditional vows and dismissed our guests to the cocktail hour, row by row, which isn’t common on the West Coast, but we saw it at a wedding we attended and thought it was a great way to make sure we got to greet everyone personally.
What were your vows like? We chose to use traditional vows from the Book of Common Prayer. We felt that they gave the proper weight to the commitment we were making!
What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony? All of it.
“The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe has this gorgeous old-world feel, even though it was only built in the early 1900s. It’s lush, luxurious, comfortable, and has the best color palette: white washed walls, terra cotta tile, deep rich blues, and lovely fresh greens. I was inspired by a Joaquin Sorolla painting that I had seen in person in Spain and had carried in my memory. It depicts two ladies in flowy, gauzy white dresses walking across the beach. While the wedding isn’t nautical, I grew up on the beach and have always felt inspired by the ocean, so the painting helped me choose colors and the feel that I was aiming for.”
How would you describe your reception? Celebratory, romantic, intimate, joyful
If you had it to do over again, is there anything you would do differently?
We almost didn’t have a videographer—my parents surprised us with one at the last minute. I definitely would have regretted not having one!
Videography by Lola Video.
Please tell us about any other special details or moments from your reception. The tables were decorated with a combination of foliage from my parent’s farm. The menus were designed me and I calligraphed all the escort cards. Our favors were sunglasses printed with our wedding day hashtag. The last thing we wanted was to have favors left on the tables, so we went a little unconventional!
Do you have any budget tips for other brides? I made so many phone calls to find the best deals. Often the best deal wasn’t the cheapest option. Don’t look at the numbers alone. Look at reviews, look at what they’re providing for the money, and go with your gut. Just don’t go into debt! We spent the most money on food/beverages. Second was photographer/videographer. It’s all about priorities! Unfortunately for me, I love all things wedding.
What was your wedding menu? We served passed hors d’ouerves and a spread of cheese, veggies, and dips during the cocktail hour. The cocktail hour “treat” was gourmet popsicles from a local vendor! We had them for a few reasons. Growing up, it wasn’t uncommon to eat dessert before dinner. Second, our wedding was on 7/11, so offering an icy treat seemed apropos. Third, it was a sunny July day—who doesn’t want a popsicle?! We had a plated dinner with locally grown and harvested chicken, fish, prepared in a fresh, California style.
Catering by The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe.
What type of cake or dessert did you serve? We had a three tier lemon cake with lemon curd and buttercream frosting by SusieCakes. It had the right amount of playfulness and beauty, plus it was SO good. We also served a chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting, because you can’t have a party without chocolate. We had an assortment of colorful macarons for the gluten-free crowd.
Is there anything else that helps tell the story of your wedding? My family loves to throw parties al fresco. Whether it’s Thanksgiving dinner for 40 or an ice cream party because Ben and Jerry’s was on sale, my mom loves to host people, fill their stomachs with good food, and include everyone. My parents went all out, and I couldn’t have done it without them.