A California Old West Wedding: Danielle + Phil

bridesmaids in blue and boots

I absolutely love the whole feel of today’s wedding! It was full of lots of help from family + friends and planned in under 3 months! Yes, it is totally possibly to have a short engagement. :)

Danielle + Phil are a bit obsessed with early California history. They love looking up historical maps, studying about old pioneers and dream of black coffee cooked over a campfire. This is what they live and they wanted their affinity for this period – along with their love of the outdoors – to be reflected in the theme + decor for their day. Danielle bought her vintage dress on etsy for under $100, they built the deck over the pool and they asked all their guests to come in western wear! So super fun. :) Thanks so much to Ken Kienow for the gorgeous photos!

bridal shoes

bridesmaids in tights and boots



organic bouquet

bridal party

bridemaids in navy blue

wooden bench ceremony, organic bouquet

outdoor ceremony

outdoor ceremony

guests in western attire

guests in western attire

guests in western attire

bottle reception decor

wildflower reception decor

cowboy hats wedding

group wedding shot

horse heads


string lights reception

wedding band

Most memorable moment of your wedding day?
Dale Bowman (longtime family friend, artist, cowboy….the LEGEND), singing a song he wrote for us as our first dance song. The guy sounds like Jerry Jeff Walker and the accompaniment of Monte Mills was perfect.

bride and groom dancing

Any advice for those planning now?
You don’t need a year to plan a wedding…..with good family and friends you can make it happen in half that time if you don’t over-think it. We were only engaged and planning our wedding for 3 months…any longer and it would have been stressful!

We had a ton of help. Family and friends showed up days before, ready to make pies, iron clothes, decorate and add good company. By not conforming to the standard wedding mold we were able to enjoy the day as it happened. We didn’t have to sit at a designated head table. We moved around, everyone did. It was a buffet dinner and no seating assignments. There was no timeline, simply to dance until we could dance no more. No cake cutting, no flower toss, no cliche formulaic speeches or toasts. It was just organic, raw, and real. Also, our wedding was on a THURSDAY which totally rocked! Friends and family spent the long New Year’s weekend together continuing the party.

photography: Ken Kienow // venue: private residence // Rental Company: Classic Party Rentals // floral design: Panacea Flowers // wedding dress: Vintage Edwardian Tea Dress found on etsy. Slip made by Kate White of Scissor Clothing from Great Grandma’s linen petticoats // bride’s shoes: chie mahara // groom’s shoes: Clarks boots he has had for years // bridesmaid dresses: Anthropologie // groom suit: Club Monaco Navy Tweed // invitations+ paper goods: Bride designed with help from Kara of WE3 Designs for the graphics // catering: Thomas Hill Organics // Beer: Alex Cegelski, SLOProvisions // margaritas: Uncle Rodney // pies: Frozen from Avila Valley Barn and baked by all my aunts // music: Monte Mills and the Lucky Horseshoe Band

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  1. This looks like it was such a blast! Oh man, I would kill to photograph a wedding like this. Love it!

  2. I love the fact that this couple took their passion and personality and created a seriously memorable event. This is practical planning at it’s very best, friends, family and a few months. I am so happy when couples decide to be anything but cookie cutter and show their true selves!

    Thanks for the inspiration,

  3. What a lovely wedding. The brides maid’s dresses are absolutely stunning.
    Congrats to you!

  4. what a fun wedding! it looks like it would have been a blast to be at and it must have been a blast to be in! and they managed to pull off western without looking too costumey. i love it. good for them :)

  5. Love it! I love what the bridesmaids are wearing. Awesome!

  6. Fabulous. The groom, bride and bridesmaids all look amazing in their clothes. I want to steal one of the bridesmaid dresses… just saying

  7. Fantastic shots love the cowboy motif and details.

  8. Who did the bride’s hair? It is perfection! Love it all. :)

  9. I was sold with the first photo!

  10. Thanks so much GWS for sharing this wedding. This is the second weddings that we’ve done with this fabulous family ~ what an honor. I especially loved that everything was native CALIFORNIAness! Very inspiring to have a bride with a great vision.

  11. Love the whole approach and in love with the flowers!

  12. Hi Alina! The bride did her own hair – crazy huh? :)


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