Santa Margarita Ranch Wedding: Julia + James

Julia described her wedding as a “country-bumpkin-rustic-shabby-chic-church-picnic wedding” and I just love it! Julia + James really wanted their wedding to reflect the simple, warm family values they grew up with. Lively down-home band? Check. Kids included? Definitely. Every step of the way they asked themselves, “Does this represent who we are or what we strive to be?” And it shows. And not only is their wedding beautiful, it was planned in 6 months – and was planned remotely (they live in St. Louis and the wedding took place in Cali)!

Congrats to Julia + James and thanks so much to our amazing sponsor, Ashley Maxwell for sharing the gorgeous photos! And did I mention Julia + James found their photographer here on GWS! I just LOVE being able to connect amazing couples with awesome vendors. Yay Love!

old theatre wedding marquee

bridesmaid dresses hanging

bride's shoes

rustic wooden crate

bridal hair pieces

bridemaids in pastel

groom in beige suit

groom wearing floral tie

Love the groomsmen ties from General Knot – they are all made with vintage fabrics!

groomsmen and streamliner

What song did you walk down the aisle to? Bluegrass version of the Wedding March. We exited to “She Said Yes!” by Mumford & Sons. Both played by Bremen Town.

ring bearers and sign

burlap wedding altar

burlap wedding altar

bride and groom in tall grass

We loved Santa Margarita Ranch from the moment we saw it back in early January, only three weeks after getting engaged. It was the first and last venue we checked out — it was perfect.  We both have large families and lots of friends that feel like family. We wanted our wedding to feel like a sweet summer church picnic.

 bride and groom by old truck

bride and groom in field

barn wedding reception

bride and groom name initals decor

snow cones at wedding

lollipop favors

rustic centerpiece

chalkboard reception sign

birdie wedding cake topper

honey jar favors

reception sign

bride and groom reception exit

Most memorable moment of your wedding day?
Julia: Holding James’s hand as we walked back down the aisle together as husband and wife with friends and family cheering! We had the most amazing band named Bremen Town covering a Mumford & Sons song, “She said Yes!” It was perfect!
James: I have to agree with Julia. Walking back down the aisle, knowing the rest of the evening we got to love and appreciate all the fruits of our (mostly her) hard work. Also, driving away in the truck… feeling on top of the world, knowing we had just experienced something so genuine and amazing. And the awesome food. Oh, and the stellar music.

Any advice for those planning now?
Julia: LOVE every moment of the planning process, it flies by! Just love and be grateful for all the darling family and friends that are there supporting you on your big day, it is just so special. Oh! And most importantly, find a way to have time stand still on the day of your wedding day.
James: Don’t try to self-will the perfect wedding day. Love the twists and turns. Be patient with the process. Know that if you and your future-spouse have laid a good foundation, then your day will turn out perfectly regardless of anything unexpected. “Patience must have her perfect work” (James 1:4, KJV).

Also, we used a couple of great sites to organize our wedding day. We used Wedding Window to share information and have people RSVP for different wedding events. was great as it let people buy us activities on our honeymoon.


photography: Ashley Maxwell // venue name: Santa Margarita Ranch, in Santa Margarita, California // wedding dress: Casablanca, customized 1914, from Happily Ever After Bridal // hairpiece: Which Goose // bride's shoes: Bride - Seychelles, Groom - Frye // bridesmaid dresses: Alfred Angelo // paper goods: Bride and Groom (design for paper goods) Kamren Charpentier (invitations) Sealed with a Kiss (program assembly) // catering: Trumpet Vine Catering // cake: The Cakery // music: Bremen Town // event coordinator: Jenn Hocker with Allure Event Designs // floral design: Jenn Hocker with Allure Event Designs // groom Suit: Indochino // groomsmen ties: General Knot // cinematography: Stillwater cinematography // invitations: Bride and Groom (design for paper goods) Kamren Charpentier (invitations) Sealed with a Kiss (program assembly)