When a bride chats about her wedding, and never mentions the dress, the shoes, the centrepieces or the chair coverings, you know that not only is the bride pretty cool, but that the wedding must have been a rather special one too.
And Laura & Bob's ranch wedding in the Santa Cruz Mountains in California was a special one indeed.
So we're more than a little excited to share their gorgeous photographs by Sidney Morgan.
With a celebration that was focused on, and grounded in, nature, Laura & Bob chose to hold their fall wedding on Radonich Ranch.
A cool, low-key, rough-around-the-edges venue, it was the perfect setting for their rustic informal celebration, where the sky and the trees made for ample decor (along with some pretty string lights and lovely florals!)
While the emphasis wasn't on the material, Laura made for a stunning bright in her shimmering lace gown, while Bob, in his smart grey suit, let his beaming smile say it all during their sweet first look.
And as the sun fell and the stars appeared, this gorgeous couple and their guests partied under the moon and feasted on cake after dark.
Wedding Day Snapshot
We wanted our wedding to be a celebration that brought our families and dear friends together in an inclusive and comfortable, outdoor setting.
As avid cyclists and outdoors enthusiasts, we are most “at home” when the sky is visible, the smell of the trees, or meadows or ocean is palpable and we can feel the sand or mud or road under our feet.
We are grateful to have been able to hold our wedding at Radonich Ranch as it gave us all of this. But more importantly, the location holds a special place in the hearts of my three stepchildren from some of their childhood memories with their father.
Radonich is a modest, rustic and romantic ranch setting yet every amenity needed for an elegant wedding has been thought of.
Despite the California drought bringing a bit more desert palette to the fall colors, the mountain trees nearby gave us a stunning backdrop throughout the late afternoon ceremony and evening dinner.
Our florist helped support our vision of using the fall jewel tones in the bouquets and ceremony arrangements – fall has always been a favorite season of ours.
The big day was simple in many aspects, but so incredibly special to us as the specific details we did plan out were with careful and compassionate purpose to reflect back to our family and friends the love and support they’ve given to both of us.
Wedding favors of honey were accompanied with a Rilke excerpt about collecting honey which was read during the ceremony.
The bride’s father passed away eight years ago and thus she walked herself down the aisle knowing this was her way of honoring his presence and inspiration in her life.
Marky Carr helped us with appetizers and a dinner that celebrated the richer flavors and colorful vegetables coming with fall.
As sunset approached our guests sat down to dinner outside the old fruit packing building and underneath the lights strung from the deck over to the barn.
The trees surrounding the property seemed to hug and envelope us while the lights lit up our cozy gathering for heartfelt toasts and sharing stories.
As evening descended upon the ranch, we cut our custom designed and multi-flavored gluten-free cake. According to this bride, cake is an entire food group of its own!
A favorite memory from the evening? While out on the dance floor, a friend came up to us and said there was something outside we absolutely had to see.
We followed her outside and she pointed up to the sky where there was a nearly full moon. We were awed by its beauty but I could tell she was nudging us further away from the lights of the barn in order to see more.
Once we were a bit away from the festivities we could see an aura encompassing the moon! A visible aura like that is usually indicative of coming precipitation – such a gift in this area of the country where the drought has been severe.
Sidney Morgan, our photographer, had quietly followed us outside and we are so thankful she snapped several stunning photographs of the night sky while we looked onward.
Over the course of the day Sidney had charmingly orchestrated that emotional yet giddy first look at each other in the meadow and memorialized our enamored excitement as we walked hand in hand leaving the ceremony.
To cap off the evening she captured a moment of genuine reverence in our human capacity not only to love each other but to love and hold dear the natural beauty that surrounds us.
Doesn't it look special? So many couples put a lot of expense and time into creating a wedding that looks and feels authentic, but Laura & Bob's big day shows all you need is a meaningful venue and a day that's planned around your guests.
Thanks so much to Sidney Morgan Photography and the wonderful Laura & Bob for sharing their romantic ranch wedding with us.
Be inspired by more amazing real weddings.