Today’s bride and groom, Lauren & Michael are a couple after our own hearts.

While they dressed the part of gorgeous newlyweds, alongside their glamorous bridal party, their day was an altogether relaxed affair, filled with informal details like long tables, taco catering, and churros for dessert.

So we’re rather elated to share, not just they’re lovely photographs by Imagery with Impact, but their super dreamy film (that you must watch!) by Audrey Alba Films too.

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What we love about this wedding – aside from all the chic details, styled to laid-back perfection by Salt Creative Co. – is the heartwarming story behind it.

Hosted in their friends’ backyard (I’m obsessed with backyard weddings!), in the town where they grew up, Lauren & Michael’s wedding was created on a budget and featured the people most important to them.

With a blend of eclectic styling, generous decor donations, creativity and an easy-going mindset, their cool Mexico-meets-Southern-California bash came together beautifully.

Dancing under string lights after dark, with a fire lighting outdoors and churros in hand, well, that just about sounds like perfection!

Watch Michael & Lauren’s Super Romantic Wedding Film

Michael + Lauren from Audrey Alba Films on Vimeo.

Wedding Day Snapshot

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The Inspiration

From Planners, Salt Creative Co: Lauren and Mike are two of the nicest people I have ever met. It is not everyday I work with clients that I would just as happily call my friends.

When we first started riffing on their design style, the vibe I kept hearing was relaxed, backyard and casual.

They had already chosen a beautiful private estate that happens to be the home of friends of the family. They had booked the amazing San Diego Taco Company for their catering, and the rest was still to be decided.

I took inspiration from their engagement in Punta Mita, Mexico (and the taco cart!) to create a barefoot backyard affair with an elegant Mexican twist.

The private estate has wonderful blue trim, doors and garage door. Not wanting to compete with the color, I chose a palette of neutrals with indigo blue as the pop color.

Lauren already knew her bridesmaids would be in shades of blush and champagne so this palette was perfect. 

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The Ceremony

From Planners, Salt Creative Co: The front yard ceremony space already had a big beautiful oak tree, so to compliment that I envisioned a reclaimed wood backdrop to frame the couple.

With a few pictures as inspiration Lauren and Mike found an artist in Mexico who used 100-year-old hacienda doors to create a beautifully patterned piece.

Their plan was to hang it in their home post wedding and was an investment in an amazing art piece they will have forever.

We chose to use benches instead of chairs to keep things casual. Terracotta washpots with a mixture of white hydrangeas and baby’s breath lined the gravel aisle. 

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From the Bride

Mike and I are still in awe of the final product of our wedding day.

We have friends and family reaching out to us each week about how the day, the words spoken and the feeling of the night blew them away. We thought it was just the best day of our lives, but hearing that our guests felt the wedding’s enormity too means the world to us.

Our wedding day was possible because of the incredible community we’ve grown up with.

Mike and I knew from the beginning that we wanted an outdoor wedding with an intimate feel but we had a large guest list and limited budget.

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In the middle of numbers not working out with certain venues, our family friends offered up their home. While walking the property, Mike and I were sold.

We didn’t realize how much a venue located in the town in which we grew up would mean to us until we were there, picturing it as our wedding location.

From that point forward, we continued to have friends and family offer their wooden boxes for florals, metal troughs for ice and drinks, chalkboard signs, mason jars, etc until somehow we had a garage full of wedding accessories.

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The wedding party consisted of our closest friends and family, our officiant was Mike’s late father’s best friend, our musician/DJ another close friend and even our ride home was chauffeured by a best friend’s dad.

So many people contributed or helped us out in some capacity, but it was our incredible vendors who heard our wishes and turned them into reality. There was so much love present on our wedding day and our guests created an atmosphere that night that Mike and I will never forget.

Our wedding day was even better than we could have ever imagined and we will always be thankful to our friends, family and vendors for the memories created that day.

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The Reception

From Planners, Salt Creative Co: The backyard space had a beautiful pool and grass area looking out over the canyon and a small vineyard.

To maintain the casual backyard feel we chose to use wooden farm tables end to end in long rows. We re-purposed the benches from the ceremony for guests to sit.

Lauren and Mike did not want there to be any assigned seating, so guests chose their spot and the long tables made conversation and mingling easier than rounds would have.

We moved the terracotta washpots to the guest tables and added floral arrangements all in white. There were rustic wood boxes mixed with bud vases in clear and cobalt blue.

Also sprinkled down the table centers were terra cotta tiles in blues, whites and yellows that the bride and family purchased in Mexico.

I created a hand painted banner from white tasseled fabric with their new last name for their sweetheart table. Finally the mood was set with market lighting from Brilliant Event Lighting and tall white prayer candles down the tables.

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The dance floor patio area had a huge fireplace that was blazing most of the night. It was a welcome warmth on a chilly November evening, and had the right ambiance to keep the dance floor packed.

The small cutting cake was adorned with a gold sparkly “Best Day Ever” cake topper and flowers from the amazing Anna of Classic Blooms Studio. In lieu of favors (and because charitable foundations are close to their heart) Lauren and Mike decided to donate to Canine Companions for Independence in their guests honor. 

The cherry on top of this beautiful evening was the churro cart that showed up at 8:00 PM. If you have never had a churro that was made in front of you, you are missing out.

Churros El Tigre had guests coming back for thirds and fourths the rest of the night. Lauren and Mike chose to feed each other churros instead of a traditional cake cutting!

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At the end of the night Lauren and Mike ran through a tunnel of sparklers to a vintage woody that whisked them off to their honeymoon suite.

I was sad to see this wedding end since it was such a blast to design and plan with this gem of a couple.

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Oh my, pretty special right? It’s great to hear from both the bride Lauren, and their planner, just to get an insight into all the sweet details of their day. And did you watch the film – so romantic!

Thanks so much to Audrey Alba FilmsImagery with ImpactSalt Creative Co, and of course Lauren & Michael for sharing their cool, relaxed, beautiful wedding with us!

Be inspired by more of our favourite Real Weddings + Wedding Films

Filmmaker: Audrey Alba Films / Photographer: Imagery with Impact / Planner & Designer: Salt Creative Co. / Flowers: Classic Blooms Studio / Catering: San Diego Taco Company / Music: Collin Elliot of Still Listening Productions / Churros: Churros El Tigre / Bar: For Real Bartenders / Hairstylist: Crystal Cronin / Makeup Artist: Jessica Varela / Rental Furniture: Farm Tables and More / Rentals: Classic Party Rentals / Lighting: Brilliant Event Lighting / Staff: The Party Staff Inc.