Turn up the “When Harry Met Sally” soundtrack for this one! It’s all the romance of a stroll through Central Park in the fall — but with a California spin! Kelsey always wanted a New England or New York autumn wedding, emphasis on the changing leaves. And when she and Joe happened upon the secluded Franciscan Gardens in Orange County, they were smitten:
We knew it was perfect. A private outdoor ceremony + cocktail hour and an indoor space that reminded us of a New York loft with exposed brick and wood beams. There was so much character but also room to bring in our own inspiration. Between the venue and wedding planners who put together the PERFECT team, we were able to create our magical fall dream wedding.
Such a pretty color palette in the invitation suite by Poste and Co.!
All the Fall Colors
An autumn wedding requires, above all else, autumn florals! And this gorgeous bouquet by JL Designs is only the beginning of the foliage-filled day!
The Secluded Ceremony
As cliché as it may be, the ceremony and specifically our vows, was one of the most memorable moments. We got to stand up together in front of the most beautiful ceremony arch ever created, holding hands, in front of the most important people in our lives, and express what so deeply we love about one another and the excitement we have for our future. Kelsey's uncle officiated the wedding. We didn't read what he was going to say ahead of time, so it was a special surprise to hear his wisdom on love and marriage for the first time. We said our handwritten vows to each other — noticing the wonderful sea of family and friends before us and simultaneously only noticing each other. What couldn't be ignored was the noise of Kelsey's maid of honor and brother sobbing behind her.
After cocktail hour, our photographers grabbed us for a few photos and some moments of peace away from everyone else. It was really special to have those moments together, just the two of us as husband and wife for the first time. We also got to see the reception space in its untouched state before the party began. I highly recommend doing this, as you get to see the culmination of months of planning come to life.
The Magical Autumn Wedding Reception
K + J named their (super pretty) signature cocktails after their pets!
Dr. Seuss quotes made their way into the design details, with a special focus on the “mutual weirdness forever” sentiment…sounds about right when you meet the one!
Loving how those New York fall vibes work effortlessly in combination with the California-boho feel!
If you have the resources, hire a wedding planner. They make the whole process painless. If you do have a planner, do not micromanage. Give them your vision and let them create a story. I told Sterling Social I wanted a fall wedding and they put together the perfect team and designed the perfect day, from the invites to the napkins. The same thing goes for your florists — let them have fun with your vision. That is what will make it so much more personal and unique.
Also, I highly recommend a husband and wife photography team. They can show you the poses, bounce ideas off of each other and make you feel natural and comfortable. We felt like we were just hanging out with Troy and Aimee.
Finally, hire Erica at 10.11 for your hair and makeup because she is perfection and you won't have to worry at all about looking like yourself and looking extra gorgeous all at the same time.
We love this simple fig wedding cake by Sweet & Saucy!
Mutual weirdness, indeed ;) Such a beautiful day and a lovely couple! Congrats to K + J from all of us at GWS!
photography: The Grovers // venue name: Franciscan Gardens, San Juan Capistrano, California, USA // event design: Sterling Social // planning: Sterling Social // florals: JL Designs // wedding dress boutique: The White Dress // bride's shoes: Jimmy Choo // bridesmaid dresses: Jenny Yoo // hair stylist: 10.11 // makeup artist: 10.11 // videography: Aaron Novak Films // paper goods: Poste and Co. // calligraphy: Anne Robin Calligraphy // handmade details: JDH Iron Designs // catering: 24 Carrots Catering // cake: Sweet & Saucy // desserts: 24 Carrots Catering // tabletop rentals: Casa de Perrin // furniture rentals: Found Rentals // linen rentals: La Tavola Fine Linen // specialty rentals: Theoni Collection // music: Haute Mobile Disco // officiant: Bride's Uncle // lighting: Premier Lighting and Production // photo booth: MirMir // ceremony + cocktail hour musicians: Will & Wyatt // stir sticks: Poppyjack Shop // circular ceremony arch: Archive Rentals