Al Fresco Carmel Valley Wedding Under the Moon + Stars

Outdoor Moon & Stars Wedding

Today’s bride is no stranger to weddings and events – Jennifer is the creative mind behind One Fine Day Events and she brought every ounce of that creativity to her own wedding! A theme of “moon + stars” was sprinkled in the little details throughout the day, but it all made way for the greater overall focus: making the guests feel at home. We’ll let Jennifer tell it in her own words!

Mark is from London, England and I’m from Santa Cruz, CA. We knew long ago that if we ever got married, that we would want to host an event that would encourage love, cultivate friendship, and provide ample time for our friends and family to get to know each other because they will not likely all be in the same country again anytime soon. Our wedding was centered around our guests, and our hope was that they would feel like they were at home with us.

My definition of home is: California, natural, and unassuming. If at any point during the planning process I started to feel like I was trying to hard or getting carried away, I would step back and ask myself “does this feel like home?” If the answer was no, I would change course. What we ended up with was a homemade wedding, set against the gorgeous landscape of Gardener Ranch in Carmel Valley, CA.

Coastside Couture was on hand for all J + M’s planning needs, and Danielle Poff Photography‘s photos captured the couple’s sweet love! Let’s take it all in:

moon invitation

Jennifer designed the invitation suite with her maid of honor, Girl And The Bay. They kept the font minimal and sleek, using the same lettering for the signage, menus and programs.

stackable rings

Oh hello, beautiful Anna Sheffield ring! And the super-cute velvet ring box is by BelovedFineJewels on Etsy.

Sandhya Raj Designs Dress

bridesmaids

yellow peach bouquet

Milsom & Bloom arranged the floral designs – including the stunning array at the foot of the tree where the ceremony took place!

Outdoor Moon & Stars Wedding

Sandhya Raj Designs Dress

Let’s talk about this incredible dress by Sandhya Raj Designs! If you’re curious as to what it’s like to design your own wedding gown, Jennifer gave us all the details:

I was really fortunate to be able to work with a dear friend who helped me design my dream wedding dress complete with stars, moons and a dusty rose underskirt. The dress went through a few iterations before it was complete. Designing my own dress was an incredible experience, but not without its challenges. I have no design experience, and being able to articulate what I envisioned was a process. I wanted a dress that was both whimsical and comfortable. Once I put this dress on, I never thought about it again and I mean that in the best way possible! It fit me perfectly and never needed adjusting and I’m completely obsessed with the detailed embroidery and beadwork that Sandhya and her team did by hand. The dress was everything I had hoped for.

Outdoor Moon & Stars Wedding

Outdoor Moon & Stars Wedding

groomsmen

Outdoor Moon & Stars Wedding

Outdoor Moon & Stars Wedding

Outdoor Moon & Stars Wedding

Our Favorite Memory From The Wedding

The most memorable part of our day was the ceremony and the exchanging of our personal vows. Mark and I chose to write our own vows and, without sharing what we had written before the ceremony, we both echoed each other's sentiments on the value of community, friends and family. I don’t think either of us anticipated how special it would be to hear each other’s thoughts in that moment. Of all the words we could have spoken on that day, we both chose to focus not just on our love and commitment to each other but also on the hope we have for the future and the belief that as our house becomes a home, that we will strive to share the love and respect we have for each other with as many people as possible.

Outdoor Moon & Stars Wedding

Our Musical Choices

Processional: God Only Knows by the Beach Boys

Recessional: Bloom by Paper Kites

First Dance: If I Ain’t Got You by Alicia Keys, performed by Roo Savill and our band

Outdoor Moon & Stars Wedding

Outdoor Moon & Stars Wedding

SO sweet!

Outdoor Moon & Stars Wedding

Outdoor Moon & Stars Wedding

Gardener Ranch was the *perfect* spot for J + M’s wedding weekend:

The venue selection was really important to us. We knew that we wanted to host our immediate family, friends from the UK, and wedding party on-site so that we could get the maximum amount of hangout time with everyone, and we also wanted a venue that showcased the beauty of California. Gardener Ranch allowed us to host 50 people from Thursday until Sunday in gorgeous ranch style homes on the property, surrounded by lush greenery and rolling hills.

tassel escort display

How cute are these tassel name cards? Mark even made the copper stand for the seating chart and the macrame hanging (below)!

Outdoor Moon & Stars Wedding

Our wedding dinner was also inspired by California and our laid back approach to life. We opted for outdoor dining and chose to seat our guests family style to encourage free flowing conversation. We used bright white table cloths paired with heavy, velvet napkins in various shades of grey, pink and beige from La Tavola and used French cafe bistro chairs from Chic Event Rentals to create an al fresco dinner party.

Outdoor Moon & Stars Wedding

Outdoor Moon & Stars Wedding

We made the table numbers and holders. There were two versions of table numbers, one version to represent Mark and then other version to represent me. Mark’s version of a table number holder was a music sheet holder combined with vintage trombone mouthpiece because Mark is an accomplished brass musician and we wanted to recognize that part of his life during the wedding.

Outdoor Moon & Stars Wedding

Outdoor Moon & Stars Wedding

Outdoor Moon & Stars Wedding

SO many cute details from J + M’s day…here are a few of our favorites!

Outdoor Moon & Stars Wedding

Outdoor Moon & Stars Wedding

macrame backdrop

simple naked cake

The naked cake from BTTRCRM was accented with gold foil and blooms. Love it!

Outdoor Moon & Stars Wedding

Outdoor Moon & Stars Wedding

Our Advice To Those Planning Now

My advice to couples planning now: Go with your gut, do what you can, and let go of the rest. As a wedding planner, I help my bride's pick a cutoff date for looking at inspiration online or in print because it’s hard to not want all the pretty things, the latest and greatest trend, or the new “it” color combo. All of that gorgeous inspiration is so helpful, but after a certain point in time it becomes noise and can leave you feeling disheartened and distracted. There really is no "must have" for your wedding other than you and your partner, so create a day built around your relationship and ignore the rest.

This applies to the wedding day itself too. On our wedding day, more than a few things went wrong. We had hired a New Orleans style brass band to play our wedding recessional immediately after we were pronounced husband and wife, but when it came time for them to start playing, they were nowhere to be found! What can you do, except let go. The day goes by so fast, don't dwell on the missteps. Do what you can, let go of the rest.

Outdoor Moon & Stars Wedding

Want more? Check out the video by Adam of Danielle Poff Photography below!

Such a beautiful day and a beautiful couple – congrats, you two!

Post Divider Line

photography: Danielle Poff Photography // venue name: Gardener Ranch, Carmel Valley, California, USA // event design: One Fine Day SF // planning: Coastside Couture // florals: Milsom & Bloom // wedding dress: Sandhya Raj Designs // bride's shoes: Jeffrey Campbell // bride's ring: Anna Sheffield // hair stylist: Kelly Jones Makeup & Hair // makeup artist: Kelly Jones Makeup & Hair // groom attire: Hugo Boss // videography: Adam of Danielle Poff Photography // paper goods: Girl And The Bay // catering: Paradise Catering // cake: BTTRCRM // tabletop rentals: Chic Event Rentals // linen rentals: La Tavola // invitation envelopes + moon stickers: JJkun // invitation return address stamp: LaBohemmePaperCo // neon sign: Echoneonstudio // velvet ring box: BelovedFineJewels // mr. + mrs. geometric place cards: JennandJulesDesigns // silk tassels: Ichimylove // macrame backdrop: TheHousePhoenixBar // bartender: Bar Cart Cocktails // escort cards, envelopes + capiz shell table number calligraphy: WildeScript

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