An Intimate Ranch Wedding: Emily + Andrew

Emily + Andrew knew their vision for their wedding from the very beginning. They wanted to do something small, intimate and spread out over several days so their friends and family had time to really get to know one another. They really wanted to keep things simple, low key and casual. They both have a love for vintage and all things recycled (they even have their own upcycled leather jacket line at Olga Road), so pretty much everything for the wedding came from thrift stores, antique stores, or was handmade by friends + family. They picked the Mazama Ranch House in northern Washington as their venue. It had a lawn that was perfect for playing games, a fire pit for late night smores, and a big old barn sealed the deal for the reception! They rented the whole place for 3 nights and treated all our friends and family to a long weekend vacation. Thanks so much to the awesome duo of Jagger Photography for the photos and to Emily + Andrew for sharing lots of details into their day.

cabin wedding

cabin wedding

lace sleeve wedding dress

My dress. Truth be told, I was more than a little obsessed with finding a wedding dress. A few months after getting engaged I had already put together several collages of dress elements that I loved. I wanted something lacey + vintage but wasn’t sure where to find something like that. I searched through ebay, etsy and wedding sites but couldn’t find anything like what I was looking for. A friend and I ended up running some errands one day including a trip to an antique mall. I was walking around when I heard my friend calling me over. When I turned the corner and saw the dress up on the mannequin my mouth dropped. It was the EXACT combination of all the different elements I had imagined. I was all teary and shaky when my friend took it off the mannequin and I was suddenly so worried that it wouldn’t fit me. We stepped into a bathroom to try it on and my friend buttoned up the back. It fit my every measurement like a glove. I was all teary and in a state of shock at how perfect it was. I didn’t do a single stitch of alterations and the price tag? $95. Everyone says you will know when you find your dress, but in my case I really felt like my dress found me.

white and pink bouquet

My dear friend Libi made my bouquet which I just loved!

cabin wedding

first look

bride and groom in lavender field

bride in lavender field

bride and groom

bride and groom

i love you

pinecone heart

wooded wedding

When we were planning the ceremony I could not figure out a way to do our entrances for the ceremony since it was basically in the middle of a field. We decided that instead of us entering the space, we would have everyone else enter. It ended up being one of the sweetest moments of the day. Andrew and I greeted and hugged each person as they arrived at the ceremony site and then once everyone was there we began. I think it is the moments that step out of the box that makes a wedding feel more authentic and memorable.

couple dancing at ceremony wedding

wooded wedding

wooded wedding

wedding guests line

One of my favorite moments of the day was the last part of the ceremony. When the vows were over, I stood and took Andrew’s hand, followed by our parents and so on until the whole group was one long chain. We did all this in complete silence. I walked everyone out to the middle of the field, spiraled everyone close together, and then all the way back out to form one big circle. We were then pronounced husband and wife and kissed to the cheers of all our loved ones.

wedding guests

just married pennant

mountain wedding

mountain wedding

handkerchiefs at wedding


barn wedding

barn wedding

pinwheel wedding decor

Contrary to wedding etiquette we had our friends and family be in charge of all the different aspects of the day. My sister set up crafts for the kids, several people set the tables, Andrew’s dad cooked the salmon, one couple was in charge of the ice cream bar and so on. The only staff I hired for the day were 2 musicians and 2 photographers. I had a few moments of guilt thinking about asking our guests to help out but everyone we asked was so excited to be a part of the process. In the end, every element and moment of the day was infused with the love and creativity of our closest friends and family and I would not have done it any other way.

wedding couple drawing

vintage wedding dinner plates

bride and groom first dance

Leading up to my wedding day I had so many people warn me that I needed to, ‘let go and be prepared for things not to go as I imagine’. It is true that my wedding day was not at all what I had imagined, because I simple could not have imagined or planned a more perfect day. I married my best friend and the love of my life and got to share a long weekend with all the people I love most in the world. I realize it is cliche to say, but my wedding day was hands down the happiest day of my life.

Any advice to those planning now?
Figure out what is most important to you and let the rest fall into place around that. If you can, leave time and space for spontaneous moments to happen. Turn any potential problems into an opportunity to do things differently.  I think a wedding should be fun. Fun to plan and fun to be at. If you find there are things about the process that are stressful or overwhelming for you then change your plan or your expectations. Stress is not what its about.

I planned the whole wedding myself and worked as my own day of coordinator. I would not recommend doing this unless you absolutely love and/or have experience planning, researching and organizing large events. In my case I loved every minute of the planning and executing of the wedding. It is, however, an immense amount of work that I would not recommend taking on unless the idea of clearing all your own wedding dishes actually sounds like fun to you.

And remember, as with many things in life, less is more.

Thanks so much to Emily + Andrew for sharing your beautiful day with us! We wish you both all the best!!


photography: Jagger Photography // venue name: Mazama Ranch House // wedding dress: vintage // bride's shoes: Fidji (so comfortable and perfect!) // groom attire: pieced together from vintage and thrift stores // music: the Gallus brothers // invitations: hand drawn by Emily + Andrew