If you're planning a wedding for later in the year, prepare to be inspired by childhood sweethearts, Elizabeth and Luke, and their sweet burgundy and toasted orange wedding day.
Their gorgeous photographs by Evangeline Lane show a wedding that was laced with personal touches and memories from their already long life together.
Elizabeth looked beautiful in her strapless Justin Alexander wedding dress (and we're obsessed with her maroon lipstick!) and Luke was dapper in his rustic grey J Crew suit. And we know you'll just love how they dressed their bridal party!
A very chocolatey wedding cake, some candy apples that are making us hungry, and gorgeous rustic adornments from table garlands, to Olallieberry jam, made this Central California wedding is one gorgeous fall feast.
How Luke and Elizabeth describe their wedding in three words? Warm, Joyous, Sentimental.
Can we add super sweet?
Wedding Day Snapshot
Our Love Story
We met when we were 12 and 13 years old at a summer camp for nerdy kids where we were both taking a class in philosophy.
Luke says he remembers how Elizabeth introduced herself as “loving cats…big time and hating math…big time,” and Elizabeth remembers Luke with floppy hair and a Grateful Dead t-shirt. They dated that summer after Luke sent Elizabeth a note during class asking if she would go out with him (yes, really!)
Although that summer romance didn’t last, they stayed friends, and in 2003, after knowing each other for two years, they started dating again when Luke asked Elizabeth if “she wanted to be [his] lady.”
When they got married, they had been dating for 11 years.
One of my best memories from our wedding actually wasn’t even at the wedding! My mom and I attended a trunk show for designer Justin Alexander where I found my dress in under two hours.
It was classic and perfect, and finding it with my mom was a memory I’ll cherish forever. Also, the dress was really comfortable…it even had pockets!
For the bridal party, I had two objectives: I didn’t want everyone to look like carbon copies of each other, and I didn’t want our bridal party to be resentful that we were asking too much of them.
So, our solution was that we have one unifying piece (shirt for the gentlemen, skirt for the ladies), and then ask the bridal party to use their own attire for everything else.
To tell the honest-to-goodness truth, although my palette was loosely autumn colors, my inspiration was “no fuss.”
I did not have a particular shade of maroon/red/burgundy/orange/rust/brown/ivory that I insisted be throughout, I just wanted a feeling of the warmth and magic that you get from dusk in autumn.
Our florist was wonderful at suggesting flowers that worked with the autumn theme, and she really listened to us when we asked for lush, gorgeous greens.
Flowers included mums, aster, amaranth flowers, ranunculus, daisy chamomile, dahlias, and blooming eucalyptus.
Having been together for so long we had A LOT of memories and experiences to honor—we had so many meaningful elements to our wedding.
We used butcher paper as table runners with crayons at every table because one of our favorite restaurants in LA does it.
Our entrance song was “This Will be Our Year” by The Zombies, a song Luke put on a romantic mix CD for me in high school. Even the last song of the evening was “American Pie” by Don McLean because that was the traditional last song at all of the Friday night dances at our summer camp.
We have so many favorite moments, but overall, the best thing about the wedding was seeing all our loved ones celebrating our love and having a good time together. Luke and I felt so incredibly loved, and it’s a funny thing, but even now, if the wedding comes up with a guest, they will mention someone that they met at the wedding and how great that person was!
We think it’s a reflection of how happy everyone felt at the event.
I knew from the moment I saw her website, Evangeline looked beyond details and saw the people behind the event (although she captured the details beautifully, too!) I loved her creative eye, and meeting her only solidified my love for her!
Not only are her pictures beautiful, but both my husband and I felt that she kept everyone at ease, which was so critical on such an important day.
The Decor & Details
To those who are familiar with the Central Coast of California, the Olallieberry, a particular berry hybrid that can only grow in California, is basically a mascot.
To honor the central coast and how long we’d been dreaming of getting married there, we used tiny jam jars of Olallieberry jam as both wedding favors and escort cards.
I also did the calligraphy for all the signs, table numbers, the cards box, and the gifts banner. Working within a budget, we decided it would be more cost effective to make our own bridesmaids’ bouquets from bulk flowers, so my beautiful and amazing maid of honor went to the Los Angeles flower mart super early in the morning and texted me pictures of all the flowers she was going to buy.
If it was more cost effective to DIY, we did!
One of the most amazing aspects of our wedding was the love and effort that all of our friends and family put in to help us with this event.
We asked Luke’s oldest friend (basically his little sister) Cassie to marry us, and she wrote the most perfect, the most beautiful, the most overwhelming ceremony.
Luke, who plays jazz bass, asked his former band mate to play the processional song on the piano, and I asked my grandmother, also a pianist, to choose and play a song during our ceremony.
She chose a song written in the year she was married to my grandfather.
Processional: “Waltz for Debby” by Bill Evans
First dance: “Alice in Wonderland” by Bill Evans
Mother/son & Mother/daughter dance: “Love” by Nat King Cole
In addition to being the most beautiful venue, SummerWood Inn & Winery included catering from their amazing in-house chef, Kelly Wangard (who was recently on the Food Network!)
We got so many compliments on the food. For refreshments, we had delicious SummerWood Winery wine and beer from a local California brewery.
Advice for Other Couples
My number 1 piece of advice, one that I cannot stress enough, is that things are going to go wrong, and stuff that you had been dreaming about for years might not happen, but being present and appreciating the experience in front of you is so much more important than any little detail you could have imagined ahead of time.
That said, since I planned the event myself, organization was my biggest challenge. Google Drive saved my life! I used Google sheets for our budget and RSVPs, Google forms for organizing bridal party information, and even Google drawing for our seating chart and venue design. It was so great because then I could easily send/share it with anyone who needed the information.
Lastly, GET A DAY-OF COORDINATOR! Tracy was absolutely incredible, and I can’t explain what a relief it was to be able to let things go and not have to worry about vendor details and organization on the big day.
Isn't it pretty? I just love the fall flowers and festoon lights – only in California could you have a fall wedding where your guests can party al fresco into the evening! And how amazing is Luke and Elizabeth's how we met story?
Thanks so much to Evangeline Lane and of course the gorgeous Elizabeth and Luke for sharing their beautiful winery wedding with us.