A Handmade Wedding on an Olive Oil Farm: Erin + Jesse

Erin + Jesse’s wedding took place on the family farm where Erin grew up, Capay Oaks Farm in California where they make their own olive oil – so cool! I love that Erin + Jesse really infused their personalities into every detail of the day – they used crocheted linens from Erin’s grandmothers to drape the chuppah, a funny poem was written on the bar by Erin’s best friend upon their engagement and the sycamore trees that lined the ceremony were planted by Erin’s dad in hopes someone would get married there 50 years later! And that’s just a start. :) Thanks to Erin + Jesse for sharing lots more details into their day and to Images By Lori and Photography By Shawnee for the gorgeous photos!

wooden wedding sign

bride getting ready

Erin’s gorgeous dress was made by Anne Ventresco and was designed after the green dress (one of my most favorite dresses!) from the film Atonement. Her bridesmaids wore dresses by Winter Kate.

bride in field

bridemaids posing together

feather and silverware bouquet

From Erin, In deciding on ambiance, we wanted it to represent who we are, together, as a couple. We have always joked that we are made up of hubcaps and cookies sheets; the same material, but very different. We wanted our guests to feel as if they were engulfed by a world of Erin and Jesse. Rather than choose a wedding pallet or décor right away, we chose what materials we wanted to be surrounded by: copper, lace, silverware, pearls, glass, feathers and bones; the perfect combination of us. Using these materials, we created everything for our wedding.

Jesse and I spent 6 months making every detail exactly how we wanted it – constructing bridges, making centerpieces, collecting bottles, crafting boutonnieres, building drapery for shading… and every second was so memorable. All the energy and love put into our wedding, not only by us but by our parents, friends and other family members, the time spent at the farm and seeing it all come together was magical, and allowed us to spread our wedding out over much more than a single day.

ceremony ribbon sticks

cute flower girls

What song did you walk down the aisle to? 
We wanted to choose songs that were unique, nothing cliché, but songs people would recognize. Jesse, guided by his parents, and our wedding party walked down the isle to “Tiny Dancer” by Elton John. One night, after a dance lesson, at dinner, as I wiggled my way to our seat to a song I must of recognized, Jesse said to me “hurry up Tiny Dancer”, the moment he said it, our thought was the same, the song had to be a part of our wedding.

As my parents walked me down the isle, the music changed to “Romeo and Juliet” by Dire Straits. This is a song I have loved since my childhood, a song I would “rock out” to with my dad on long car ride adventures and spent hours choreographing dances to it with my mom I always wanted to walk down the aisle to this song. It reminds my parents of me, it reminds me of love and to me, love is Jesse.

circular ceremony

Our Favorite Memory From The Wedding

Erin: Hands down the most memorable part was saying our vows. I am sure many people feel this way, but for us, it was not only special, but ironically humorous. We wrote our own vows, planning to say promises back and forth. The vows remained a secret from one another until the ceremony. Upon reciting them, we found we had practically made the same promises, word for word. My emotions were skyrocketing, and the vows could not have been more perfect. I could not control my tears and my laughter.

Jesse: Like Erin, I think that the most memorable moment of our wedding day was, and will always be, reciting our wedding vows. On top of not knowing what the other person was going to say until the actual ceremony, I got the extra bonus of being able to go first in this exchange of vows. This meant that after reciting a vow, I would hand the microphone to Erin and watch as she cracked up and tried to recite her own vow knowing that hers was almost a mirror image of mine. It made for a pretty wonderful and hilarious moment.

umbrella ceremony

After we were pronounced husband and wife, “All I want is You” by Barry Louis Polisar played. This is hands down one of our favorite songs. It has such a catchy tune and the lyrics are so sweet and fun. To the tune of this song, I make up my own lyrics and sing them to Jesse. The song is always about us, always different and always totally dorky, which makes Jesse laugh. We painted the lyrics to this song on the side of a red barn, and took our engagement photos with that as the background. It was a foreshadowing clue for our guests, to the fun wedding they would be attending in the summer.

feather and silverware bouquet

backyard farm reception

beer in ice tub reception

peacock feather reception

earthy reception centerpieces

branches in bottles tablescape

dessert bar

bocce ball game at wedding

popscicles at wedding

popscicles at wedding

rustic farm wedding

bride and groom first dance

Our Advice To Those Planning Now

Always remember the real reason why you are doing this: to spend the rest of your life with your best friend, the person you love most. This day, these moments, are about your union and your forever happiness. Ultimately, that will be the result. If a table is missing its centerpiece, a bow is tied up-side-down or the DJ forgets to play the song your grandfather personally requested, it will be okay. At the end of the day, you will be married to your true love and everything will be perfect.

I was very lucky, in that Jesse wanted to play a role in every detail of planning the wedding. Not every guy is into that sort of thing, but as the bride, the person who has been scrapbooking inspiration boards for her big day since she was 5 years old, do not forget this is his day too. Ask his input, allow him to be inspired and the day to reflect you both. It may not look exactly as you hoped, but it will have such deeper meaning and make your day that much more special to you as a couple. Nothing is worth fighting over, because in the end you get to be together…


venue name: Capay Oaks Farm // bridesmaid dresses: Harlequin Long Dress by Winter Kate // hair stylist: Sunnie Brook // makeup artist: Sunnie Brook // catering: Devoted Catering // music: Denon & Doyle Entertainment // photography: Images By Lori and Photography By Shawnee // dress designer: Anne Ventresco // bouquet: 12 sticks // boutonniere: 12 sticks // candy table: Andi Cummins // beer: Mateveza // photobooth: Denon & Doyle Entertainment // popsicles: fat face // event planner: Sarah Purdy, through Devoted Catering