You wait all year for a woodland-inspired wedding and two come along at once!
Last week we shared this whimsical barn wedding and today we’ve got another gorgeous nature-infused bash, but what’s so great is that, even with similar inspiration, two big days will still look entirely unique.
Madison & Ryan got married at Spring Creek in Modesto, California, with a wedding laced in luxe florals, pretty ferns, and mossy details.
And at hand to capture their smile-filled day was Courtney Stockton Photography.
This is one of those weddings that’s made me so excited for my own big day. Just reading how Madison describes their excitement the night before the wedding, her nerves about the weather in the week up to it, and all they joy they felt afterwards, has given me serious butterflies.
I know you’ll fall hard for their beautiful ceremony set-up (their floral arch is amazing!), the DIY decor and their sweet reception details, but my favourite things have to be the giveback elements to their big day.
From cookies baked by a local training initiative and favours donating to an international farming project, it’s pretty fantastic to see a couple use their day to support important causes.
Let’s say there’s more than just elegant style and fabulous florals to be inspired by with Melissa & Ryan’s sweet wedding…
Wedding Day Snapshot
Our Love Story
We met on OK Cupid!
We both had friends who were successful with online dating and decided to give it a try. Madison was Ryan’s first date on it!
Ryan proposed in San Francisco after dinner at our favorite restaurant, Delancey Street.
We had a hotel room on the Embarcadero right next to our old apartment and had a view of the sparkling Bay Bridge!
Our colors were sage green, plum purple, and ivory, inspired by the oak trees at the venue.
I studied abroad in Paris and am obsessed with all things French, Ryan grew up in the country and wanted it to feel natural and comfortable, not too fancy or black tie.
My dress was from a local bridal store, Bianca’s Bridal.
My (Madison) grandparents live on the Spring Creek golf course and I grew up watching the golfers and riding around in my grandpa’s golf cart.
I also had a 97-year-old great grandma, who recently passed, who was very immobile and this was the one venue she would be able to attend – it was so special that she was able to be there!
Advice for Other Couples
I used Weddington Way for the bridesmaid dresses.
Google Docs & Google Sheets so everyone is up to date!
We also stayed together the night before the wedding- kind of different- but loved having that night to be giddy and nervous together!
Also, make a plan B if your wedding is outdoors. If there is ANY chance weather could affect your wedding, make the plan B. Just do it! Even if it costs extra or there are deposits required, your sanity will thank you for having that Plan B as you’re waiting for your weather app to load the expected weather day of!
We had one just in case there going to be a random downpour or it was going to be 110 degrees and it really saved me from going crazy (and the week before your wedding you’re almost there already!)
Our officiant was a local professor who is also a slam poetry artist he wrote us a wonderful unique poem for the ceremony.
I’m not sure of the names – my mom handled the florist but it was mostly white and green and light pink flowers and plants. Lots of ferns and moss.
Our photographer had some time carved out in the middle of dinner for us to take some pictures in the sunset and it was so perfect to have a break from the crazy excitment and take a deep breath and have a few minutes alone together.
We also did a first look, which can be controversial (at least with my family!) but it was so special to have some time before the ceremony to talk and get excited with Ryan.
It eased my nerves so well!
Wedding Day Snapshot
Courtney’s photos were exactly what we were looking for. Candid and warm, we knew she would bring out exactly who we were in our photos.
She was also so comfortable to work with so we didn’t feel awkward having so many pictures taken of us!
The Decor & Details
Our florist did most of the decorating at the ceremony site and the reception.
We had a cookie bar with milk and cookies (baked at Howard Training Center, a local charity). We also had a candy bar, as Madison has a pretty serious sweet tooth!
For our guest book, we also had a Bucket List table where people suggested items to add to our Couple Bucket List!
Madison’s Mom handpainted the signs directing guests to the ceremony, reception, cocktail hour and Ryan’s Mom created the ceremony programs (which doubled as fans on the hot day) and our Thank You sign for our Thank you Cards!
Both Moms helped put together the favors (small terrariums with a Heifer Project chick donation).
We splurged on the florist. That was the big cost.
Saved by not having a wedding planner, but I don’t recommend! I needed one!
We also had local bachelor/bachelorette parties to help the bridal parties save money, too!
Madison got a discount on her dress by buying the floor model – got lucky!
Processional was Canon in D – a guitar version.
Recessional was ‘You are the Best Thing’ by Ray LaMontagne.
First dance was ‘The Way you Look Tonight’ by Tony Bennett.
Father/Daughter was ‘Here Comes the Sun’ by The Beatles.
Cocktail hour music was a local band “Faux Gitane”, French Jazz music inspired by Django Reindhart.
Yes, yes! Absolutely do it! Even if you only have time for a day or two, the wedding and wedding prep is so crazy you kind of lose sight of what’s actually happening.
The honeymoon is so magical to have some time to just be you – the newly married couple and bask in how incredible it is! We recommend waiting a day before leaving though.
We drove to San Francisco early afternoon the day after the wedding and then flew out to Japan the following day. The dinner we had the night before our flight is still one of the best evenings we’ve had together.
We were so excited to be married and together and so excited for the upcoming trip – it was just filled with crazy amount of happiness.
So many lovely details, I love that they included cold milk with their cookie bar, and how sweet was that first look!
Thanks so much to Courtney Stockton Photography, and of course, Madison & Ryan for sharing their nature-inspired wedding with us.
Be inspired by more special real weddings.