Real Wedding: Hilary + Josh’s California Country Wedding

I love when readers share their wedding day with me. Today’s wedding was sent over from reader Hilary and it is so original and so them. Hilary was sweet enough to share a bit about the day… My husband and I are both professional artists (of the painting kind), so we wanted to make and do as much of the wedding prep as we could ourselves so that every detail was infused with our style. Ceremony and reception took place on a hot October afternoon at Paramount Ranch (an old movie filming location in the hills with a western town and all). We are both from California but have spent time living in the south so we wanted a country feeling to the event.

Each bridesmaids dress was a different shade of warm golden yellows, chosen by each bridesmaid to reflect their individual personalities. Dresses were from J.Crew, Down East Basics, Newport News, Macy’s, and vintage Fred Segel. They wore earrings from Etsy vendor jewelinspired. All of the groomsmen had different grey dress pants and vests with matching teal ties from Kohls and grey vans. Every boutonniere and corsage was hand made by myself out of felt, vintage fabrics, and feathers. No two were the same.

The ceremony was in the middle of a large meadow under a big old oak tree (I grew up in Thousand Oaks, Ca and the invitation suite had an acorn and oak leaf motif). We made the arch that stood behind us together out of bamboo, twine and mums. And the flowers blew in the wind with the breeze. I made our programs and the paper was held together with twigs.

The reception was held in the western town with picnic tables and all. We made all of the unbleached muslin tablecloths for the tables and the floral arrangements were assembled that morning by friends and family – meant to look like fresh picked wild flowers. In the year preceding the wedding, my mother collected all of the vintage blue and green mason jars.

The guest book was a collaborative creation of my husband and I. It was a large hand-drawn tree on which guests could leave their finger print and sign as a visual memory of the day. We are now selling these custom made on Etsy. Visit Bleu De Toi to check them out!

My groom’s ring was also found on Etsy from a vendor, fabuluster, that makes unique wedding bands with finger impressions on them. His was cast in white gold with an imprint of my finger as a texture on the outside of the ring. It was a surprise and he didn’t see it or know about it until we said our vows and exchanged rings.

Photographer: Vis Photography
Videographer: Nick Brosco of Blue Edge Media… here is a trailer of the wedding highlights:
Florist: Greenwich Floral Design
Caterer: Milano’s Italian Restaurant
Bride’s Dress: A designer vintage reproduction found on ebay for a steal. It was 3 sizes too big and completely re-sewn by my mother.
Accessories: The bride’s veil was made by my mother and I. The necklace and medallion is a family heirloom that all of the women in my family have worn on their wedding day for 3 generations. My great-great grandmother won it in an “expression” competition in high school. The earrings were from Etsy vendor amandamacky.

Thank you so much Hilary + Josh for sharing your creative day with us! Thanks also to Leah at Vis Photography for sending over the photos. Leah + Rob are a husband + wife team based out of Riverside, CA. Check out their blog to see more of their work.

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  1. This wedding is an answer to my prayers! I have a bride who described everything this wedding has, down to the tree "guestbook", as what she wants! I have been looking everywhere for visual ideas to put her dreams to print. Thank you!

  2. Thank you so much for posting this wedding! I have a bride who envisioned every detail of this wedding, down to the fingerprint "guestbook" and I have been looking everywhere to get get ideas that would put her dreams and visions to print. What a gorgeous weddings, thank you!

  3. Thanks so much for posting this! I followed Green Wedding Shoes all through my planning process and to be featured is such an honor! Lea and Rob's photos turned out so great!
    thanks! – the bride

  4. I love her bouquet of wildflowers.

  5. best. wedding. ever.
    i loved being a part of it! :)

  6. Oh wow! From her words, the whole day really reflects them, which is the whole point of the day I know, but sometimes it can be quite contrived!

    Ooh I love your blog, this is my first visit and I'm just dying to get married!

    Have a fantastic week xoxo

  7. What a gorgeous wedding! I love the arch that she and her husband made. I'm going to try to do something similar for my wedding in November.

  8. What a charming wedding! Love the daisy bouquet and retro, rustic touches.

  9. i love it when the bridesmaid's dresses are all different but the same color!

  10. Simply beautiful wedding day! Love the color combination. Your blog is lovely and inspiring!

  11. I absolutely LOVE the idea of this guest book!

  12. Too awesome. I actual shot their waaaayyy back in high school. I love it. That's where Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman was filmed, as well as a few of the later "Love Comes Softly" movie series.

  13. I chased Green Wedding Shoes all through my planning course and to be attributed is such a respect! Lea and Rob's photos turned out so great! Thanks a lot.

  14. oh my goodness! We almost did those rings, too!!!

  15. What a beautiful idea, the fingerprint tree. Really inspiring.

  16. I love the muffins! Congrats to your wedding.

  17. my friend is getting married against the red rocks of Lyons, Colorado this fall and looking at these pictures was super inspiring and beautiful!

    As bridesmaids we decided to all do a version or shade of teal in the same vein that your bridesmaids did yellow.

    Thanks you for sharing your creative and GORGEOUS wedding! We have great visuals now!

  18. I’m getting married at Paramount Ranch in June 2011. Can’t wait to have a beautiful wedding like yours! Thank you for sharing ideas and your special day with all of us!

  19. Hi Hilary!
    I’m interested in having my wedding at Paramount Ranch. do you mind telling more about the venue? like did you have any problems? were there any hidden fees? or do you have any suggestions on what to do or not to do there??

    also I don’t feel they are being straightforward with me about costs, they keep asking me questions about details and avoiding telling me estimates… Could you give any idea what your experience with their fees was like?

    thanks so much
    please feel free to email

  20. I am also interested in having my wedding there. Just wondering if you would be able to let me know how much they charge to hold it there? If you could give me an idea I would really appresiate it!

    Your wedding was beautiful!

  21. Another gorgeous wedding, can’t get enough. I love the mismatched yellow bridesmaid’s dresses. Simply amazing. For more country wedding tips visit:

  22. Is there any way or anyone who can help me contact the bride in order to receive the VENUE DETAILS! (the park does not have anyone in charge of permits right now, so no one can answer my questions)

  23. I was wondering if you would email me. I am planning a wedding at the Paramount Ranch and would love to ask a few questions.


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