We’ve had some gorgeous real weddings this week, and I’m so excited to end with this adorable DIY California wedding from Raya Carlisle Photography. Almost everything was found at vintage stores, which goes to show that you don’t have to spend a fortune to have an amazing wedding. Here’s more from the bride…
The wedding definitely had a vintage feel. We both have a passion for vintage things and do lots of shopping at the flea market here in Santa Cruz, so it seemed only natural for the wedding to be filled with all our favorite vintage treasures.
Originally our colors were brown and yellow, but that didn’t last very long. Once we decided the bridesmaids were going to wear mix-and-match vintage dresses I had to add some mint and salmon to the color palette. I felt like I was breaking the “rules” of wedding to have so many colors, but in the end I loved how all the colors looked together.
When I met with my florist and friend Erin Adams I told her I wanted flowers that were colorful, vintage, and had a wild hand-picked look. In my bouquet she used golden craspedia and dahlias to give it those bright colors, maidenhair ferns for a more wispy shape, and little chamomile that look like daisies to give it a vintage look and tie it in with the daisies on my headpiece.
The bridesmaids carried clutches down the aisle in place of bouquets. (Handmade by my dear mother!) The groomsmen weren’t wearing suits and had nowhere to put a boutonniere, but Kyle wore a single golden craspedia. We also hung flowers from the trees in mason jars. There were some behind us for the ceremony, and others hanging above tables during the reception. And for our centerpieces Erin created organic mounds of moss with a twig to hold up the table number.
We did a lot of DIY projects that definitely made the wedding unique and more personal. The second we laid eyes on the redwoods in the grassy area behind the Corralitos Community Center we envisioned lanterns and chandaliers lighting our reception at dusk. My mom and I put wire around mason jars and tied twine to the wire, making lanterns that could easily be hung from the redwoods and filled with candles, flowers, and oversize whirly lollipops. I found a few old chandaliers at the flea market and antique fair here in Santa Cruz and my dad set out to restore them, fixing the worn-out electrical. We also made the arch for our ceremony. We gathered twigs and branches and wired them to a wooden arch which was stained a dark walnut color. The day of the wedding we draped moss over some of the branches and sprinkled it on the ground below the arch. When flowers were hung in mason jars behind the arch, our little redwood grove ceremony became so beautifully colorful and woodsy.
Another DIY project that gave our wedding a more personal touch was our place cards. I found a seller on etsy who was willing to make me a custom order of yellow die cut birds. Kyle and I hand stamped each guest’s name and table number on the little birds in a typewriter font. Although it was a tedious project, it was well worth the work. On the day of the wedding we clipped the little yellow birds to a line with clothespins. They were adorable!
There are so many favorite memories, but the one that stands out most is the one I wasn’t expecting. Kyle and I have always loved music and, in fact, it was playing music that brought us together. Completely unbeknownst to me, Kyle and his groomsmen hid musical instruments behind a tree. Before our vows began they pulled out their guitars and harmonicas and Kyle sang a song he had written for me in the weeks leading up to the wedding. With words like “darlin’ take my hand” and “I wanna grow old with you”… I was a total disaster. I looked back and saw a line of teary eyed bridesmaids. Luckily my sister-in-law Annie had tissue at hand. And thank god for waterproof mascara.
I would have to say my favorite detail from the wedding were the whirly pops. We gave one to each of the children as a wedding favor, and the second dinner had ended there were kids walking around licking lollipops bigger than their heads. I think I even saw a lollipop sword fight. There was nothing more precious than all those sticky little lips, chins, and noses.
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While most of us wouldn't be brave enough to host an outdoor ceremony during winter, this beautiful setting seems to beg for it. This old dock in front of a quite pond is accented with florals and blankets in a muted palette that don't detract from the greyed wood, while handmade ice candles give a delicate nod to the season. Read on for incredible winter wedding flower inspiration!