I love everything about Paramount Ranch here in LA in the Santa Monica Mountains. It is a gorgeous location in the mountains and even has part of an old western town where they used to film movies and tv shows! What a cool spot for a wedding, right? Thanks so much to the lovely and talented Matt + Angie Sloan of Sloan Photographers for sharing this gorgeous wedidng with us today. Just wanted to do a little shout out to them also, not only is their work amazing, but they are really some of the sweetest people – so important when you will be spending your entire wedding day with your photographers! Thanks to Courtney for sharing some details into their gorgeous day.
The inspiration for our wedding really just drew from our relationship and personal style. We really wanted it to feel like “us” and help tell our story which the venue helped a lot. We met at a Cowboy Bar and both love nature, film and vintage americana so when we came across Paramount Ranch we were instantly in love. The “western town” setting brought our relationship full-circle, and the character and quaint backdrops limited our need to spend a lot on decorations while also giving our guests fun photo-ops after the ceremony.
Since the venue is a state park, we had to be out before sunset, which during the fall is rather early. It was perfect for us though because we are both infamously obsessed with coffee, so we had a custom espresso bar after the ceremony, a gourmet picnic style lunch and didn’t have to rent heaters or lighting. We really wanted our guests to have plenty to do but still have a laid-back vibe so we had lawn games like horseshoes and croquet, which were a big hit and helped our guests mingle easily. The band we hired plays at a flea market that we attend monthly together (also where we shopped for many decor pieces) and they provided the perfect lively ambiance during the reception as well as a little nostalgia for us as a couple.
Polaroids are a shared love. Noah used them in his proposal and we used them for our guest book. I had a beautiful vintage print sketch book I’d owned for years and was waiting for the perfect occasion to use. We had our guests take polaroids of themselves and insert them into the book and it was very special to look through afterwards and see the creative photos, smiling faces and loving words all together.
Since our venue was a movie ranch, we thought it appropriate to have a “soundtrack” of our day as a favor to our guests, that also doubled as musical entertainment for the trip home because most were out-of-towners. Noah and I are VERY MUCH into music and it’s something we’re constantly sharing between each other so we had so many songs or musicians that bring us back to special moments. Even though we hired a band, I wanted the ceremony to be by ipod so we could play particular songs that were more intimate for us. For the favors, I designed and printed the cd labels and found an etsy vendor that stitched kraft paper cd sleeves and she let me submit my own graphics for the cover. Our mutually favorite font is a typewriter font (which Noah has used on several of his tattoos) so that reappears throughout… but we also like vintage posters and news articles that have a variety of font sizes and styles so we incorporated that aesthetic. I designed, printed, cut, stamped, painted or hand-wrote every papergood or graphic from the Save the Dates, tags, invitations, programs, to the signage to maintain a visual consistency and keep costs down.
Quite a bit of the decor was actually my own like the wood farm table, bottles, vintage suitcases and vases and then I bought some additional items I knew we could use in our future home together. I knew I was going to be doing the flowers myself so I made the boutonnieres and corsages ahead of time with dried plants,lace,feathers, balsa wood flowers and other non-perishables and bought raw cotton and extra dried flowers with interesting textures for individual vases, and lots of potted grass plants. I love how long whispy grass catches the light and it also incorporated the native California fields from our backdrop. Because of the location and natural/rustic feel the flowers needed to be slightly unruly and more wildflower-like, so I scoped out the LA flower mart a few weeks before to mentally select the arrangements and then returned the day before the wedding to make the purchases. My amazing bridesmaids and mother-in-law helped me assemble which was a lot of fun.
Watching the Video Premiere of our love story/wedding (by Aqua Vivus Productions) with my husband’s arms around me, packed in a “Saloon” surrounded by our closest family and friends. The love and energy in that room was overwhelming and sincerely touching. There was some laughing and a lot of crying and it was the perfect end to our most perfect day.
Enjoy the process. Love it, but don’t be all about it…we maintained date nights without discussing wedding details and deadlines so we wouldn’t get too consumed (especially important for the DIY bride). Find ways to personalize your day because the best part about a wedding is the love story and special characteristics of the couple. We incorporated the story of how we met into the invitations and chose to add the “love story” to our video because it made our guests (especially the long-lost loved ones) feel more involved knowing our details. Beware of gathering too many opinions during planning…a small handful on certain topics is plenty. Though I got valuable feedback, in a large poll there were completely and passionately split votes which confused me and made it hard to make decisions. It’s also hard for people to understand certain elements if they don’t know your entire vision so don’t be discouraged if someone doesn’t “get it” at the time. If it’s right for the two of you, then it’s right. There are lots of ways for people to be involved and we were so impressed and grateful for how many offered their talents, which not only helped us save money, but made various elements much more sentimental to us.
Venue: Paramount Ranch in Agoura Hills, CA // Photography: Sloan Photographers // Cinematography: Aqua Vivus Productions // Wedding Dress: Dress by Sandals, with “Diana” Belt by Enzoani // Hair and Makeup: Megan Herzing // Shoes: Bride’s boots are by Frye and Groom’s boots are by Redwing // Bridesmaid Dress: Anthropologie // Groom Suit: Banana Republic, tie from Urban Outfitters // Desserts: Cupcakes and cheesecakes made by friends, two small cakes by Susiecakes Bakery with flowers added after // Reception Band: Riff Raff Vintage Swing // Catering: Huntington Catering Company