When Grace + Mike stumbled upon Santa Margarita Ranch, they KNEW it was the place. After looking at over 30+ venues, the rustic elegance of this barn venue in San Luis Obispo + its dash of whimsy won them over.
Their photographer, Mandee Johnson, shares a little about their love story: Grace and Mike met through a mutual friend (the maid-of honor!) at Coachella. College buddy to Mike and former roommate to Grace – matchmaker to both. It was a brief encounter but Grace left an impression. Grace was living in NYC and Mike in LA but they spent the following year trying to meet up at various events they were both attending for work, always missing each other. At the following year’s Coachella the gang was back together and under one roof — finally together, they fell hard. Grace was already interviewing for jobs in LA and landed one the day she got back to NYC. Throw in a first date at Mike’s brother’s wedding, a quick move to LA and that’s all she wrote.
Oh how we love super sweet love stories… Now let’s see how their big day came together!
Touches of velvet red… Yes, please! And would you take a look at that STUNNER of a ring!!
It was all smiles from these two…
Lush greens, white anemones, peach ranunculus, and a succulent (for good measure), this bouquet is by Fluidbloom.
We’re eyein’ that dainty + darling initial “M” necklace by Maya Brenner — too cute!
Their planner, WINK! Weddings, transformed the ranch into a gorgeously styled, rustic backdrop.
The cool wedding party cards were designed by the groom himself!
Processional: We Don't Eat by James Vincent McMorrow
Recessional: Your Smiling Face by James Taylor
First Dance: Something in the Way She Moves by James Taylor
Mike: As I walked out and to the ceremony space, I looked out, nervous from all the attention, and immediately busted out laughing. My uncle was holding an iPad over his head in the front row, and my grandmother, who couldn't travel, was waving over wildly at me over Facetime.
Grace: Oh my gosh, there are so many. Right before I went to walk down the aisle my dad pointed out that there was a bee stuck in the layers of tulle on my dress. My amazing photographer threw the tulle up over my head while my wedding coordinator frantically tried to get it out. It got us all laughing as I started to walk down and was met with everyone I love all in one place and ready to celebrate with us. It was such a magical, surreal feeling!
We’re drooling over those tasty (bacon wrapped!!) bites from Haute Skillet.
Mike: Once you find one vendor you connect with and trust, ask for recommendations. Especially in a small town. The vendors have all worked with everyone in town and know exactly who you should be meeting with.
Grace: Let all of your stress go the week of the wedding. Once we got up to San Luis Obispo I stopped all of the planning and stress and let myself relax and enjoy in the celebration and spending time with everyone. A few months before the wedding I was at the absolutely beautiful wedding of a dear friend and while chatting with her mom about our wedding plans she told me to just enjoy the process. I nervously laughed of a bride who was three months out from her own wedding and she looked at me and said, "Seriously! Do you think we got everything done that we needed to? No way! Does anyone notice? No!" I looked around and the wedding was perfection and everyone was dancing and having a wonderful time and realized she was so right. I really took that one to heart :)
How darling is the watercolor menu by Pigment & Parchment?
Their parting words? Mike: “You’ll need more Fireball than you think do.” Grace: “Amen.”
Cheers to you two!!
photography: Mandee Johnson Photography // venue name: The Historic Santa Margarita Ranch, San Luis Obispo, California, USA // planning: WINK! Weddings // florals: Fluidbloom // wedding dress: Blush by Hayley Paige // bride's shoes: Christian Dior // hair stylist: Bluebird Salon // makeup artist: Bluebird Salon // groom attire: Nordstroms // paper goods: Garett Zunt // catering: Haute Skillet // cake: Just Baked SLO // tabletop rentals: All About Events // furniture rentals: All About Events // music: Dart Collective // officiant: Joey Richter (friend) // menus: Pigment & Parchment