Real Wedding: Eileen + Ian’s Ranch Wedding

Happy Monday everyone. I hope everyone had a great weekend. I have a gorgeous wedding to share with you all today. The wedding takes place at the stunning Orella Ranch in Santa Barbara – the views here are amazing! Eileen + Ian wanted a fun wedding that captured both their love for outdoors and a unique venue and I think we can all agree they succeeded! I’ll let Eileen talk a bit more about their day :)

orella ranch wedding

Because Ian was happy (too happy) to leave the wedding planning to me, it was important to me that he was still fully-represented in the flavor of the day.  Since he is an avid backpacker, backcountry skier, mountain biker (you get the picture) and I am a fervent world traveler (with insatiable wanderlust), I thought that venue-wise, the rustic and wildly beautiful oceanfront ranch would capture his love of the outdoors and my love of unique and unparalleled moments. The venue then influenced all of the other decisions.  It was also very important to me that when my guests would later think or talk about the wedding, their first thought would be “fun!”  so I wanted my guests to be comfortable and have creative touches to enhance their experience (watermelon mojitos in jars with paper straws, the blue grass band and a dj for dancing later, stuffed cupcakes, fun late night pizzas, etc.).  It is a party, after all!

purple wedding shoes bouquet

Most memorable moment of your wedding day? Well I have two: (1) my husband-to-be peaking around the guests trying to see me as i walked up the aisle – meeting his eyes that first time was the best feeling i’ve ever had; and (2) (my husband will kill me for this) bumping into Kobe Bryant when we got back to our hotel (after all, the lakers are my second family).  I tell people, it was like the universe asked itself: “what else can we give eileen to make this her absolute best day ever?  We have already given her a perfect wedding, family, friends, and two rainbows.”  The answer of course was Kobe. :)

orella ranch wedding

orella ranch santa barbara wedding

santa barbara wedding

wedding hair long wavy flower

flowers hanging vases tree

orella ranch wedding

hanging flowers from trees

watermelon mojitos

wedding reception tables

enjoy cupcakes wedding

Any advice for those planning now? It was very important to me that i had vendors that i felt i could rely on completely and who understood what i wanted (and gave me the freedom to be creative too).  By the time the wedding rolled around, i was not at all worried about anything vendor related – i trusted them completley, and in return, all of them gave me more than i could ever have dreamed of.  You should be able to enjoy your wedding and i would recommend hiring folks who make that their prerogative.

I would say that even if you feel that you are not a creative diy person (it certainly is not my strong suit), if you spend some time figuring out what you like and talk to friends, you will definitely find ways to contribute and make the wedding even more of your own: my husband built furniture and he and his father made the signs; I made or coordinated a lot of elements that the vendors ultimately put together (the escort cards, drinks, etc.); I burned music cds as favors (every one of the cds was different) while my friend who has a baking buisness made fresh cookies and assembled the favors; another friend made (unbelievably delicious) beer and then made signs that described each of the beers offered (even the ones he did not make).

Getting Ready Venue: Bacara Resort
Wedding Dress: Monique Lhullier
Hair: Mikell at Salon Patrece Encino, Make-Up: Bacara Spa
Venue: Orella Ranch
Catering: Pure Joy Catering
Cake/Cupcakes: Enjoy Cupcakes
Florist/Event Design:  GD Design
Invitations: heatherjeany from
Bluegrass Band: Chris Carins Band (from AMS Entertainment)
DJ: Morgan William (from AMS Entertainment)
Photography: Jackie Wonders

Jackie Wonders is based in San Diego and available for travel worldwide. Thanks Jackie for letting me share your lovely photos and big congrats to Eileen + Ian!