Vintage Inspired California Wedding: Samantha + Josh

bride in fur coat

Samantha + Josh have been together for five years and they were so excited to finally start their lives together! They really wanted their journey to be expressed in their wedding and how they’ve grown together. They had been to a lot of weddings recently, and the most important thing for them was for it to be intimate + completely non-traditional. No boring stiff traditions for their wedding – it would all be about their families and fun! Their invitations (which were designed by Samantha + Josh) resembled vintage books telling their story, with bits and pieces of everything they love. Since Samantha and her mother are both photographers, it was important for everything to be visually stimulating in every way possible. They even checked the time of sunset far in advance so they would have nice warm light and asked their guests not to wear black so that for their photos and memories they would have lots of color! Totally love that idea!

They kept their wedding small and just invited their family and people who meant the most to them. It was really important to them to have people there who have supported them and shaped them in some way, into the people they have become. I’m also totally obsessed with Samantha’s wedding dress (which her mother made!) and the model T she arrived in and they both left in. Lots of sweet vintage touches to their day. :) Big thanks to the talented ladies of made u look photography for letting me share their gorgeous photos!

save the date


wedding rings

birdcage veil

birdcage veil

From Samantha, We had gone dress shopping and found a perfect 1920s inspired silk bias cut gown that was WAY out of my price range but so perfect. So my mom set out to make me my dress. It wasn’t easy and got done just in time but I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect gown. I picked out the pearl star accents for the dress from Anthropologie. My mother threw together my birdcage veil and we added the stars from my dress onto the veil. My mother also made the cape with the fur collar I wore for the portraits after the ceremony. 

vintage bride

vintage care

Being married outside was so important to us since josh is a huge camping/hiking person and I love being outside, so when we came to Riley’s Farm we knew instantly it was where we had to get married. We had both been there as kids on field trips so it had special meaning and a really cool history. It was so gorgeous tucked away in the hills with apple trees and pumpkins everywhere, and when the leaves started to change it was the perfect fit. We collected things like antique jars, books,lights, sticks, kites, parasols, and handkerchiefs over the months. Everything we love got incorporated somehow. We picked our favorite foods and desserts. We wanted everyone to feel as loved as we are and experience an old fashioned wedding. We both love history and to read so we had books everywhere. The clothes were all inspired by vintage 1920s tea/lawn parties.  

outdoor ceremony

flower girl with sign

Josh: The most memorable moment was when Samantha approached the wedding ceremony with her dad in the Model T. It was at that moment that it really hit me. It was the realization that we were finally completing one of the most important steps of our lives. And I couldn't have been happier. She was the perfect bride on the perfect day.

Sam: When it was time for our first dance and we started, the music [Brand New Colony, acoustic version by Ben Gibbard] started to get messed up and you could barely hear it. But we just looked at each other, shrugged and just kept dancing. We sang along to each other and it felt like we were the only two people alive. Finally being married and getting to enjoy that moment with my husband was so wonderful and connecting. Immediately after our dance my family all gravitated toward that dance floor and put on a surprise dance for us from the movie Emma. They told us after they had been practicing for weeks, we were so shocked!!

bride and father walking down aisle

outdoor ceremony

outdoor ceremony

outdoor ceremony

flower girl

Our recessional song was Postcards from Italy by Beirut. Hearing this song when we were announced man and wife was so wonderful. It made everything so magical and real, it was a perfect moment.

bride and groom in model t

bride and groom in model t

groomsmen in bowties


bride and groom

bride and groom

bride and groom

bride and groom

bride and groom

flower in teapots

wedding favors

Our favor for our guests was a tea party inspired vintage fabric trimmed jar of lemon scone mix.

umbrellas hanging from ceiling

bride and groom dancing

bride and groom dancing

Madeulook photography also created this beautiful video from the day!

Don't try to go crazy with details – it's so overwhelming especially if it's a DIY wedding. Have fun with everything! We put together craft days and everyone had a specific task they would work on. We laughed, ate and just enjoyed all being together. If you can get all that stuff done early then do it, you don't want to have to do anything on your wedding day but get ready. Just enjoy the whole process because it should be enjoyable. Josh and I loved going to Riley's together, and just getting to be together. It should all be fun and not stressful, the less stressful it is the more you will enjoy yourself on the actual day of.

Decide what the most important things are and splurge on those. The biggest thing for us was the photography and i'm so fortunate to have the girls I did, and that we got it taken care of far in advance. The hardest thing is realizing you can't do everything but if you have people that volunteer give them a job! That whole day goes by so fast that if something goes wrong just go with it, its all part of the process and if you can find humor in it than it adds to the day instead of taking away from it.

If you can get married somewhere that helps with the set up and cleaning up for you, I cannot tell you how wonderful it was to not have my friends staying late cleaning up after. At the end of the day your wedding is about the both of you, you may like some theme or detail but if it doesn't go with either one of you than it doesn't belong. We were so happy to just be married and just felt so wrapped up in each other, I think that's what we enjoyed most. I hope everyone can feel as happy with their wedding as we do. We couldn't have asked for a more perfect day.

photography: made u look photography // venue: Riley’s Farm in Oak Glen, CA // event planner: Jan Theim at Riley’s, Mother of bride + Maid of honor // floral design: bride’s Aunt, Helene Gentili // wedding dress: handmade by mother of bride // bride’s shoes: Seychelles // bridesmaid dresses: Anthropologie and Free People. We reconstructed everyone’s dresses in one way or another and added vintage pieces as well // hair: Wendy Trent of Hair Fanatics // groom suit: H&M, Urban Outfitters // cinematography: madeulook photography // invitations+ paper goods: All designed by Virginia Smith of Vintage Modern Photography, printed by a local printer – Curry Printing // catering: Riley’s Farm // cake: All handmade goodies by us with apple pies from Riley’s Farm // music: Grasslands – blue grass band

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  1. I just adore weddings that take you out of the everyday and into the realms of fantasy. My online brides at Plan Vintage {wedding} would really identify with this styling, so chic yet understated vintage and the essence of another era wound subtly through. The ceremony venue in particular is quite dream-like. {bec} x

  2. This is just a lovely wedding!!
    In the video there was an adorable book that it look like it had their engagement photos in? What? That’s so cute!! Where do you find that?

  3. I am in LOVE with her red/fur trimmed shawl. Would anyone know where to get one similar?

    I’d greatly appreciate it :)


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