Carefree fun and whimsy seem to be the delightful theme of this next wedding and we have to say there's so much in this California garden wedding we want to share! From the brides gorgeous Lea-Ann Belter gown with its beaded spaghetti straps to the cute and quaint rustic chic reception in the shadow of a beautiful barn! But trust us, there are so many details, you need to just take a look for yourself.
Keep scrolling to find oodles of ideas for your big day thanks to the talents of Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events. Then be sure to check out the full gallery where you can see EVEN MORE details, (we couldn't fit them all into our post). Everything was beautifully photographed by the talented Carlie Statsky.
These gorgeous navy blue bridesmaid dresses are from Amsale. Looks like they are wearing a mis matched assortment of bridesmaid dresses.
Whimsy For Your Wedding
From Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events: Nicole and Joe wanted a fun and whimsical day set along the Northern California Coast and when we saw Rancho Soquel we knew we had found a special venue. With lush gardens and a rustic barn set in the background our vision was quickly brought to life and gave us the perfect canvas to decorate. Chelsea of Caitlin Arnold Weddings and Events worked with the couple to design the perfect day filled with flowers, clever signage and desserts galore!
With an intimate first look on the beach (which you can see more of in the full gallery) and the rest of the wedding in the secluded hacienda in the hills of Soquel, we were able to achieve the best of both worlds. Lawn games and a whiskey bar allowed guests to let loose while personal touches of childhood photos and specialty cocktails and appetizers kept the day intimate and true to the couples personality and style.
Can I Give You A Little Advice?
From the Bride: A lot of people say that your wedding goes by in a flash but I remember being able to savor every minute. I think that's because I knew I had done all I could do in advance and trusted our amazing vendors, family and friends to handle everything else on the day. My advice would be to plan ahead as much as you can but to also let yourself be in the day - you can only get stressed by snafus or things that come up if you let them - it's your day, celebrate it!
I'd also suggest doing a shot list of all the must-haves for your photographer and trying to get some done before the ceremony. A lot of people don't like to do this because they want to save the "first look" for the wedding but we found it let us enjoy the celebration and get all the pictures we wanted. Our photographer also built in time right after the ceremony for pictures of just the two of us, which was actually amazing to have some "alone time" and just enjoy our first few minutes of being a married couple.
Welcome Whoops & Driving Confusion
Our transportation vendor was not organized (despite our excellent wedding planner) and I am not the first bride I know of who had issues. I had multiple drivers calling my cell phone the morning of the wedding and one shuttle even delivered folks to the wrong location. I would just be really explicit with anyone about directions if you have a hard-to-get-to-venue and make sure to have a lot of signage on the roads to ensure folks know where to go. We had a sign but probably should've added balloons or something since a good number of people got lost.
We put together welcome bags for our guests because most of our guests were out of town and we wanted them to know we were excited about them being there for our big day. We spent a lot of time and a good chunk of money putting them together and planning for their delivery. It turns out that most people stayed in AirBnBs or with friends and the hotel didn't give everyone a bag so for all we know only a few people ended up with a welcome bag and we had a ton of extras. I would suggest only doing the welcome bags if most of your guests are staying in one hotel, otherwise just skipping it altogether. It's a nice gesture, but not necessary.
Budgeting For Your Big Day
Happy to share some of our budgeting since I can understand how helpful estimations would've been when I was planning my wedding too.
(Photographer, Photobooth, Hair and Makeup, DJ, Videography, Wedding Planner, Florals) - $25,000
Catering, Dessert Table and Rentals - $14,000
Venue - $8,000
Paper Goods and Decorations - $2,000