Since Natasha + Sean have quite the story to tell, we’ll keep it short + sweet! Because of the government shut-down last October, their western-inspired ranch wedding, captured beautifully by Tim and Jess Photography, almost never happened! Boy are we glad that it did, because it’s filled with enough adorable boho-meets-americana goodness that our hearts seriously just about burst! When handed a tough situation, these two handled it like total pros. Let’s get all the details from Natasha:
We had been planning our idyllic wedding for a full year, and even had our dream venue reserved only a few weeks into our engagement. We loved Paramount Ranch National Park at first sight as it really conveyed Sean’s free spirited personality and my passion for all things western/native American. Then, just four days before our wedding, our dreams were shattered when the government shut down happened, causing all National Parks to close their gates. With all of our decorations complete and our day completely planned out, we were left in complete hopelessness when we received the call from Paramount Ranch.
Instead of sulking we decided the wedding must go on. We had family and friends in town from all over the world to celebrate our marriage with us. My friend, Devon, contacted a local news station and they came over to our house when they heard of our situation to interview us. They broadcasted the story first locally that night, and then nationally the next day! I called every venue possible until I came across Wooden Nickel Ranch in Menifee, CA. It turned out that the owner, Roxann had seen our news story and had a cancellation the day before on our wedding date! The venue happened to have a Western American ghost town and similarly beautiful landscape. She offered us the use of her beautiful ranch at an insanely reduced rate and allowed all of our outside decorations, which she normally would never do. In the end, our wedding turned out so much better than I had ever imagined!
Natasha: I will never forget the moment that I recited my vows to Sean. I was so nervous right before doing so because I have awful stage fright, but as soon as I started I held his hand and had no problem being completely honest with him (while crying the entire time of course). And when our officiant finally said that Sean could "kiss the bride" Sean kissed me and then raised both our hands in the air while we had the Final Fantasy VII victory music play and and everyone cheered and clapped. It was so very triumphant and epic!
Sean: The entire moment I got to stare into Natasha's eyes during the ceremony. Natasha shined and glowed with such a beautiful and wonderful energy, my senses went into tunnel vision mode and I was bound there. The crowd around me had completely faded away, but then at one point they all began laughing out loud because our officiant mentioned the zombie apocalypse. It was in that moment that I realized this was the most powerful moment of my life.
Such sweet signage, right?!
Processional: Lover of the Light – Mumford and Sons
Recessional: Victory Theme from Final Fantasy VII
First Dance: Angeles – Elliott Smith
Have friends that will walk to the ends of the earth for you! Honestly, I could never thank my bridal party and friends enough. These people sacrificed so much time and energy to help us with endless DIY projects and SO much manual labor, organization, planning and donating their services. All my bridesmaids worked from 4am until 10pm the day before our wedding to create all the flower arrangements and bouquets. And 20 friends were at our house at 5am the morning of the wedding to get all of our things packed and moved to our wedding venue an hour and a half away! These people spent all morning sweating and laboring to set up and decorate a venue that we had never seen before, and we just trusted them to know our vision, and it turned out better than I could have ever imagined. Don't try to take on everything yourself, you'll just run yourself ragged and lose the fun in planning the most important day of your life. Make sure that you and your fiancé communicate openly through the whole process, it's never painless but you both can come out stronger and more in love than ever. And lastly, don't get too caught up in your expectations... remember what this day is really about. At the end of the day, all that matters is that you have married your best friend and get to celebrate with the people you love!
photography: Tim and Jess Photography // venue: Wooden Nickel Ranch Menifee, California // hair + make up: Eric Hagen // dress: Cascade by Sarah Seven, bought at Lovely Bride // catering: Taco Azteca in Glendale // elotes: Elote Man // rentals: Palace Party Rental