Monday, August 5, 2013

Our Vintage Country Wedding

I'm so sorry that I haven't posted in what seems like forever. I got caught up in wedding projects, then came the wedding, then after the wedding seemed like "phew, I need a break!" Now I'm back. And I want to share some photos of the wedding with you all.

Ryan and I paid for the wedding ourselves. Neither of us make a ton of money, but we were creative, included as much DIY as possible, and had help from tons of amazing friends and family. 

We had bought our dream home in January (a screaming deal!). Twenty-two beautiful acres in Northern California. After looking around at outrageously expensive wedding venues, we thought "Why not just do it at our place?" Instead of paying several thousand dollars to rent someone else's barn, we could put that money into building a barn of our very own. 

So we did. A high school friend of Ryan's has a family-owned construction company. He came up to take a look at our place. He asked if we were sure we didn't want to just do a metal barn - it would be cheaper. We told him that we were set on a pole barn with a tin roof. Just like they would have built 50 years ago. 

In true procrastinator's style, barn construction began in the second week of March, the wedding date was the second week of April. Cutting it close!

The flowers turned out beautiful! I actually have a friend that teaches a floral arrangement class at a local charter school. She offered to have her students do all of our flower arrangements for free. We just paid for the flowers wholesale through one of her contacts. It was a life saver!

We kept the attire comfy casual. The guys wore pressed wranglers and vests. The girls wore sundresses and cowboy boots. Pretty low budget. I'll break down the cost in another post.

We filled mason jars with true homemade Apple Pie Moonshine for favors. The real deal. If you've never had it, it's ridiculously good! Most people broke into their favors early, which made for a lot more people shaking it on the dance floor.

My little nephew, Riot, made everyone smile. My sister, who is currently in beauty school, did my hair and make up - subtle and romantic for an outdoor wedding.

The photos were taken by a long time friend, Sarah of Sincerely, Sarah B Photography. She is absolutely amazing! You should check out her blog.

Our neighbor let us use his 1930's fully restored tractor. It was beautiful for photo ops. I actually rode into the ceremony behind it on a trailer with quilt covered hay bales. After the ceremony, our neighbor gave kids hay rides around the pasture.

We loved the vintage doors as a backdrop.

Mason jar drinking glasses with chalkboard labels. So easy to make and everyone loved them. Several guests took their's home, which was fine by us.

You can see at our feet that the wildflowers were in bloom. In the area we live, wildflowers explode all over the table top in March and April. Yellow, white and purple as far as you can see. People from town come up in droves to have picnics here (there's a state-owned wildflower sanctuary nearby).

We took on the task of planning food and drinks for 100 people without a caterer. With the help of a couple keys friends and family members, we pulled it off. Marinated tri-tip and smoked chicken in a barrel. For those of you wanting to cater your own wedding, I'll lay out the full menu and cost in another post.

Ryan made this chandelier out of a wagon wheel and mason jars. Love it!

I have a huge collection of vintage blue mason jars, all shapes and sizes. So I brought them to the students to fill with flowers. My mom made table runners out of burlap and lace for a rustic touch.

We placed a dance floor directly in front of the barn facing the sunset. We rented posts with cafe lights to hang around the dance floor from Anything's Possible Events & More. They had so many amazing pieces to rent, like the vintage doors and fruit crate cocktail tables. I will be doing an entire post on them, because they were incredible!

Notice the horse trailer in the background? Some of our best friends own a pony ride business. They own the neighboring ranch and brought a couple of ponies over for all the little ones to ride after the ceremony. 

Here's a guest's instagram shot of the dancefloor as the sun was going down.

We really do live in a beautiful place. It must be shared! We have a couple looking to rent our barn for a wedding next summer. I do believe we are now the proud owners of the perfect little wedding venue. Now we just need to think of a sweet name.

Make sure you check back. I'll be sharing all of our DIY projects and tips in the coming weeks (most aren't even shown here). Thanks for stopping by. And if anyone has any name suggestions for our little ranch, we'd love to hear 'em! Seriously, we can't decide.

To inspire names here are a couple of little details about our property: we have lots of old oak trees, natural springs, wildflowers, rolling grassy hills, lots of quail and hummingbirds always around, an incredible view of the sunset over the valley, and a vintage home built between 1910-1920. If you think of anything, leave a comment and throw a name out there.

Almost all photos by Sincerely, Sarah B Photography.


  1. So incredibly beautiful!! Can't wait to hear more details about it, it's just so charming. Not sure how the "hill" really plays into, but if you've got hummingbirds and rolling hills "Hummingbird Hill" came to mind.

    1. Ooo...I kind of love it. Hummingbird Hill...Hummingbird Hill Ranch. Thanks for throwing out a name! I'm adding it to my list of possibilities. :)

  2. Ashley,

    I do believe that this is one of the BEST weddings that I have ever seen. Everything is so adorable and I love all of the ways that you were able to save money throughout the process. Your pictures are beautiful! Thanks for sharing this at the Inspiration Gallery.


    1. Thank you so much Sarah! We worked really hard on everything. Even I'm surprised that we pulled many things off without spending a lot of money or hiring someone else to do it.

  3. Your wedding was beautiful! You guys did such an amazing job! Im getting marred next June and this is exactly the kind of wedding I want, details are not my strong suit tho lol. Where did you guys find the little mason jars for the favors?

    1. Thanks so much! For the moonshine favors we used 1/2 pint Kerr jars. We found that Walmart had the best price. Good luck on the wedding planning!


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