A Handmade Wedding on an Olive Oil Farm: Erin + Jesse

Erin + Jesse’s wedding took place on the family farm where Erin grew up, Capay Oaks Farm in California where they make their own olive oil – so cool! I love that Erin + Jesse really infused their personalities into every detail of the day – they used crocheted linens from Erin’s grandmothers to drape the chuppah, a funny poem was written on the bar by Erin’s best friend upon their engagement and the sycamore trees that lined the ceremony were planted by Erin’s dad in hopes someone would get married there 50 years later! And that’s just a start. :) Thanks to Erin + Jesse for sharing lots more details into their day and to Images By Lori and Photography By Shawnee for the gorgeous photos!

wooden wedding sign

bride getting ready

Erin’s gorgeous dress was made by Anne Ventresco and was designed after the green dress (one of my most favorite dresses!) from the film Atonement. Her bridesmaids wore dresses by Winter Kate.

bride in field

bridemaids posing together

feather and silverware bouquet

From Erin, In deciding on ambiance, we wanted it to represent who we are, together, as a couple. We have always joked that we are made up of hubcaps and cookies sheets; the same material, but very different. We wanted our guests to feel as if they were engulfed by a world of Erin and Jesse. Rather than choose a wedding pallet or décor right away, we chose what materials we wanted to be surrounded by: copper, lace, silverware, pearls, glass, feathers and bones; the perfect combination of us. Using these materials, we created everything for our wedding.

Jesse and I spent 6 months making every detail exactly how we wanted it – constructing bridges, making centerpieces, collecting bottles, crafting boutonnieres, building drapery for shading… and every second was so memorable. All the energy and love put into our wedding, not only by us but by our parents, friends and other family members, the time spent at the farm and seeing it all come together was magical, and allowed us to spread our wedding out over much more than a single day.

ceremony ribbon sticks

cute flower girls

What song did you walk down the aisle to? 
We wanted to choose songs that were unique, nothing cliché, but songs people would recognize. Jesse, guided by his parents, and our wedding party walked down the isle to “Tiny Dancer” by Elton John. One night, after a dance lesson, at dinner, as I wiggled my way to our seat to a song I must of recognized, Jesse said to me “hurry up Tiny Dancer”, the moment he said it, our thought was the same, the song had to be a part of our wedding.

As my parents walked me down the isle, the music changed to “Romeo and Juliet” by Dire Straits. This is a song I have loved since my childhood, a song I would “rock out” to with my dad on long car ride adventures and spent hours choreographing dances to it with my mom I always wanted to walk down the aisle to this song. It reminds my parents of me, it reminds me of love and to me, love is Jesse.

circular ceremony

Erin: Hands down the most memorable part was saying our vows. I am sure many people feel this way, but for us, it was not only special, but ironically humorous. We wrote our own vows, planning to say promises back and forth. The vows remained a secret from one another until the ceremony. Upon reciting them, we found we had practically made the same promises, word for word. My emotions were skyrocketing, and the vows could not have been more perfect. I could not control my tears and my laughter.

Jesse: Like Erin, I think that the most memorable moment of our wedding day was, and will always be, reciting our wedding vows. On top of not knowing what the other person was going to say until the actual ceremony, I got the extra bonus of being able to go first in this exchange of vows. This meant that after reciting a vow, I would hand the microphone to Erin and watch as she cracked up and tried to recite her own vow knowing that hers was almost a mirror image of mine. It made for a pretty wonderful and hilarious moment.

umbrella ceremony

After we were pronounced husband and wife, “All I want is You” by Barry Louis Polisar played. This is hands down one of our favorite songs. It has such a catchy tune and the lyrics are so sweet and fun. To the tune of this song, I make up my own lyrics and sing them to Jesse. The song is always about us, always different and always totally dorky, which makes Jesse laugh. We painted the lyrics to this song on the side of a red barn, and took our engagement photos with that as the background. It was a foreshadowing clue for our guests, to the fun wedding they would be attending in the summer.

feather and silverware bouquet

backyard farm reception

beer in ice tub reception

peacock feather reception

earthy reception centerpieces

branches in bottles tablescape

dessert bar

bocce ball game at wedding

popscicles at wedding

popscicles at wedding

rustic farm wedding

bride and groom first dance

Always remember the real reason why you are doing this: to spend the rest of your life with your best friend, the person you love most. This day, these moments, are about your union and your forever happiness. Ultimately, that will be the result. If a table is missing its centerpiece, a bow is tied up-side-down or the DJ forgets to play the song your grandfather personally requested, it will be okay. At the end of the day, you will be married to your true love and everything will be perfect.

I was very lucky, in that Jesse wanted to play a role in every detail of planning the wedding. Not every guy is into that sort of thing, but as the bride, the person who has been scrapbooking inspiration boards for her big day since she was 5 years old, do not forget this is his day too. Ask his input, allow him to be inspired and the day to reflect you both. It may not look exactly as you hoped, but it will have such deeper meaning and make your day that much more special to you as a couple. Nothing is worth fighting over, because in the end you get to be together…

photographer: Images By Lori and Photography By Shawnee // venue: Capay Oaks Farm // dress designer: Anne Ventresco // bridesmaid dresses: Harlequin Long Dress by Winter Kate // bouquet+ boutonniere: 12 sticks // hair + makeup: Sunnie Brook // candy table: Andi Cummins // beer: Mateveza // dj + photobooth: Denon & Doyle Entertainment // popsicles: fat face // catering: Devoted Catering // event planner: Sarah Purdy, through Devoted Catering

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  1. There is nothing better than seeing a bride and groom super relaxed and actually enjoying their wedding day stress free! They make it look so easy! An inspiration :)

  2. I am in love with so many aspects of this wedding…but I think my favorite is actually the circular ceremony layout! Stealing this idea…among some of the others :-) Congrats!

  3. love the red wall with “if I was a flower….”

  4. I’m in loooooove with this wedding! What a fun couple with great ideas. Excellent!

  5. I absolutely love how creative they were. This was so beautiful!!

    Also, I found your blog on stumble upon and it is my favorite blog now!!!

  6. What a beautiful organic and creative wedding… love all the fun details and the bride looked AMAZING! ~K

  7. I love Photos, great job by the photographer!

  8. Such a sweet, romantic wedding. I just adore the photos of the ceremony. What an amazing feeling it must have been for them to have everyone surrounding them. So gorgeous.

  9. What a gorgeous bride! I love how each detail of their wedding reflected their personality and love for one another! So important :)

  10. What a gorgeous handmade wedding. The bride and groom are stunning!

  11. oh that gown and that bouquet! such fun details!

  12. This wedding was BEAUTIFUL!! The photographer did such a great job capturing all the details that the bride and groom obviously put so much time and energy into. Awesome!

  13. im so curious about the brides rings! so lovely and unique! where are they from!??

  14. I just love everything about this wedding! Oh I wish I was getting married again, and this would be my inspiration!

  15. I love this wedding! So fun, beautiful and creative. But most of all I love the grooms ring where did you get that?

  16. Oh my gosh, this is so sweet. I love everything about this wedding. Especially the ceremony – what a beautiful gathering!

  17. Hi! Thanks everyone for the sweet words! I swear if I could get married once a year, I would! My ring was designed by Sarah Graham in San Francisco. It is blackened steel, yellow gold and various colored dismonds. Jesse’s ring was designed by Maya Kini, using the Mokume method. We got our rings at Shibumi Gallery in Berkeley, Ca (my necklace as well). But if you go to their websites, they have retailers listed.

  18. Erin————you are so damn cute and this is just great!!!!!!!!!!! START A BIZNASS, Now!! I love everything you have said in this article……and obviously the pictures are unreal. xoxoxoxo

  19. ERIN!!!
    I can’t believe (well, yes I can!) in doing all my wedding planning I’ve stumbled upon yours!!! Absolutely stunning. Are we really growing up this fast? Well, we’re definitely doing grown up things even if we aren’t ‘grown ups’ yet…or ever, HA!!
    Love to you both,

  20. I love Fat Face Popsicles, they’re at the Saturday farmer’s market every Saturday in the town I live in.

    And these rings are gorgeous, I was wondering who the designer is.

  21. What sentement went into your wedding. You are so right about “don’t sweat the small stuff” – the only thing that matters is your love for each other. My son was your DJ and he really enjoyed working with you. May God bless you both.

  22. Congratulations to Erin and Jesse. Loved each and every photo. The theme of the wedding was very unique.

  23. LOVED the photos. great work. Congratulations to the beautiful couple.

  24. Wowza. What a gorgeous wedding!! Beautiful couple, amazing details, and those bm dresses are fantastic!!

  25. how precious! i love the ceremony set up and how their vows were practically the same. those are soulmates right there :) and the wedding was beautiful too. every little detail.

  26. All the creative details from the unique wedding dress to the mix of yellow and white gold, to the ceremony setup–I love how personalized and unique they are!

  27. So beautiful and very inspiring! I especially love the popsicle bar. Never seen that before– brilliant idea! XOXO this wedding design and inspiration!

    The French Bouquet: European-Inspired Wedding Florals

  28. This is genuinely one of my favourite weddings ever!!! I love the feathers and I LOVE the umbrellas/parasols. Gorgeous! :) What awesome bridesmaids dresses too!!

  29. I absolutely love your dress! I also want a backless dress but what kind of undergarments did you wear with it?

  30. What I really love about this is the part about their vows. Writing separately and then finding they wrote almost the same thing!

  31. Beautiful wedding! I love the peacock feather detail :)

  32. What a beautiful wedding! Do any of the bridesmaids want to sell their Winter Kate Harlequin dress by any chance? I’m desperately looking for one in a size m for a wedding I’m going to …. Help!


  33. Thank you! Very much for the tips.his was wonderful advice! THANK YOU! I have an engagement shoot coming up next weekend, and I am planning to use your tips.
    I love the way you capture all your photos. You are a stortyteller.


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