A very warm welcome to Ashley and Ricky today who are kindly sharing their enchanted forest wedding with us. They were hitched on the 7th September 2019 at Pageo Lavender Farm in California on the most beautiful Autumn day. Their wedding vision was everything you guys, inspired by Disney, Maleficent and The Secret Garden. Think whimsical, magical and romantic vibes all round.
Firstly they had a very emotional first look followed by a forest ceremony complete with a flower arch dripping with blooms behind them. They then partied in the modern style barn, which they decked in moody, dark décor. There were lush burgundy flowers, a black floral adorned cake and enchanting lighting. The result was just spectacular! I love all the outfits, (Ashley and Ricky looked just stunning) the sweetheart table and the glorious stationery.
Kristen Booth Photography captured the whole day and what beautiful images they are. This Moment Weddings was also in attendance and behind the wonderful film. I am so grateful to be sharing these images and film, thanks guys!
Ricky proposed to me at lake Tahoe on his birthday February 10th, 2018 at the beacon on the only patch of snow available on the beach. I had always told Ricky that I wanted to be proposed to in the snow. We were on a family trip for Ricky and I’s birthday and had a big dinner planned for his at the beacon. That particular day it was freezing cold and there were super strong winds, this is important because when he asked me to go outside to look at the beach I was a little hesitant. I was also super surprised to find both of our moms and my sister and brother outside on the beach with champagne and flute in front of a little patch of snow. Ricky pulled me to the beach and told me “it would be the best birthday present if you would be my wife”, I was ecstatic and I obviously said yes. Our proposal was sweet
and simple in a place that means a lot to both of us. We are both outdoorsy and love nature. It was the perfect proposal.
When I first started planning I really wanted a forest wedding in the snow but after our engagement were we were all freezing I decided the fall would be a better option. So with that we began searching for venues at first we looked at places that were in the mountains and then decided it would be better to go with a place that was local. The first and final that venue we visited was Page Lavender Farm in Turlock California. We set a date and that started my vision, I knew from the beginning I wanted it to be nature forward and almost feel like you were walking through an enchanted forest. I also knew I wanted the flowers to be lush and plentiful and just a bit different. I didn’t want something that was main streamed I wanted it to be unique and really speak to my tastes. We both are into hunting, fishing, and
camping, so that was for sure going to be involved in some way. Another big component was Disney, I am a HUGE Disney fanatic and wanted it incorporated in any way I could big or small. My favorite princesses is Aurora so I pulled a lot of inspiration from her movie plus the new live action Maleficent. The hardest part of my vision was deciding on colors, I knew I wanted it to be very elegant though I also had this pull to these really dark colors with bright pops throughout. My vision was really a mix of light meets dark and all things magical. What my main vision ended up being was an enchanted forest is the best way to describe it.
The Planning Process
Planning was a bit stressful. I am a type A person so I got really stuck on small things I would find and then I had to have them. My mom and I joke that I could find anything from any picture without a tag or context. I was very into every little detail and I believe this is partly because I second shoot for my mom at weddings, so I look at it in a this would be cool to capture way. I would find really obscure things and then would spend hours actually finding the one I thought was perfect. What made my planning a lot easier is having amazing vendors. The only thing I really had to stress about was finding all my small details and certain things that we couldn’t find for rent like my black chargers. Overall though it was tough to find things that were in budget and met my vision I really enjoyed hunting for wedding
items. Another part of planning was compiling a guest list which was probably the toughest part of the whole thing because even though we would have liked to invite every person we know we needed to make sure we stayed within budget. So that was tough but we ended up being able to invite almost everyone we wanted to.
The groomsmen outfits are also from Rossini’s, they wore the same thing as Ricky just with a white shirt. Our ring bearer and Jr groomsmen booth got their tuxes off Amazon which was great because they came fast we ordered them a little last minute because we know how fast little boys grow. They were super sharp looking and good quality for a cheap price.
The bridesmaids dresses we got from Davids Bridal they are part of there Vera Wang collection. I wanted something sleek and classic and found it pretty easily at Davids Bridal. Davids Bridal was really convenient because I had a bridesmaid who was out of state, ordering from them made it easy for her to be able to go get and try the dress on. My junior bridesmaid dress was from an online shop. Our flower girl dresses were from BHLDN.
Our venue was Pageo Lavender Farm in Turlock California. It was the first and last venue we looked at. Its a beautiful garden venue that is also a working lavender farm (which means it also smells great). When you pull up you think that the place looks really small but once you walk through the main gate you see that there is a lot of room where they have the weddings. The one thing I truly loved about this venue is that they had good space there was a good flow to the space and how I could transition my day. What really sold the Pageo was the building they had just built called “the barn” though it’s called the barn it doesn’t really resemble one at all, it’s modern and rustic all in one, it was really a blank space that you could make your own. Another big seller was the staff they were amazing from start to finish. My mom and I would be out there almost every weekend planning and they were always so happy to see us and to answer any questions we had. Josh, Anna, Kiley, and Sam were just some of the awesome staff at pageo that made sure my day went as smooth as possible.
Your Outfits & Accessories
My dress was from the San Fransisco bridal Galleria. I have always been obsessed with say yes to the dress and particularly the designer Lazaro Perez. I actually had tried this dress on at one other bridal salon in walnut creek and had fallen in love with it crying immediately after putting it on. The only problem was it was in a blush/sherbert color and I was really set on wearing white or ivory. At the time the dress was brand new straight off the run way and there wasn’t many pictures and it being such an expensive dress I didn’t want to order it without seeing it in ivory, so I walked away from it. In the meantime I tried on many dresses at different bridal stores. Until on a whim I searched for Lazaro trunk shows and saw there was one on a weekend and decided to take the jump and go. When I walked I met my consultant her name was Kim which is my moms name so it was perfect, I told her about the dress and was a little disappointed because I didn’t see it there. She asked to see a picture so I showed her and she immediately pinpointed exactly where that dress was. They did have it and it was in Ivory everything just fell into place after that. I tried on a couple other dresses that day but was always pulled back to the detail and whimsical look of the dress I chose. When I went into dress shopping I was really into satin and I came out with a tulle ball gown. Having an open mind was a big part of my dress buying process.
For my shoes I actually found a picture that had these awesome flats that were by Rene Caovilla, I scoured the internet for the exact flats and found them, though they weren’t my size and sadly they were limited edition from Nieman and Marcus and out of season. So I decided to go back to San Francisco to the few stores that carry that designer and hunt for something similar. I didn’t find anything that really made me feel amazing. Next I went on his website after a new release and found my heels they were perfectly dressy while giving me a little height. I knew the moment I saw them that they were it. They were perfect and I almost wore them all night. For my jewelry I got my earrings at the same place I bought my dress it. I had actually done my hair and make up trial before my fitting so it made it a lot easier to choose accessories because I knew exactly how it would all look together. The only other jewelry I wore was a humming bird bracelet that I got off of Etsy and a hand me down butterfly ring that was my great grandma Short’s (she had recently passed). The humming bird is a symbol for my grandma Angie who had also passed. Those two pieces were really important to me. I had a floral hair piece made by my florist.
For my husband we went to two places and ended up going with a local tuxedo rental place called Rossini. We looked for his inspiration together on Pinterest, this basically consisted of me making a bored and him saying what he liked and didn’t like. We decided on all black for him to have him stand out and to have him feel comfortable (black is pretty much all he wears). At Rossini’s they were really awesome and helpful at finding things that were in style and matched the look we were going for. We didn’t really do many accessories for him but we did get him some super hero socks because he loves super heroes.
My hair was done by Haley Belle Beauty. I found her on the knot she is a really amazing make up artist and uses quality products, she also recommended the girl who did my hair. Taylor C owner of bridal MUAH did my hair and she was super amazing and fast and really listened to what I liked and didn’t. These girls where both super awesome and were really good when I changed some things I wanted on my big day.
Ricky is a simple man and did all his grooming himself. I offered a barber shop for a shave but he wasn’t into it.
For my photographer I had actually booked one that I wasn’t sure about and ended up switching to Kristen who was my initial pick. I didn’t initially book her because she was in southern California I thought it would be too expensive to have her travel to northern California. I am really obsessed with her work and glad I decided to switch photographers. She is really nice, funny, and has a great work ethic. She sent us a very cute package that came with a magazine that really helped me make good choices for my day/timeline. I always felt at ease while she was taking our photos. She was also very discreet at our event and you hardly noticed her and her team. My wedding photos are amazing, I couldn’t imagine them being done by someone else. They are something I will treasure forever. Kristen was one of the best decisions we made for our big day.
I really wanted a black wedding cake that really took our event over the top. Our florist really made our cake pop with the flowers she put on it. We went with just a blank canvas for the cake. It was beautiful and also delicious.
This was my favorite part of choosing decorations as I really love flowers. I knew from the beginning flowers would be a big part of my budget. I used Bella Fleur Floral Design, owned by Hanna Overholtzer. Hanna is amazing! She was the sweetest person and so flexible throughout the whole process. I had many panicky emails to her that she really took in stride. She put my nerves at ease multiple times. Hanna took my vision and made it happen even with very vague information, and lots of Pinterest pictures that were kinda what I wanted though not exactly quite right. My flowers were totally over the top, different, and worth every penny. Seeing my flowers were my first tears of the day. When I started planning my flowers I had a vision of walking through a beautiful enchanted forest that was very happy and bright for my ceremony, then having that plot twist that turned dark and moody for my reception. My wedding flowers really encompassed a fairytale dark, light, and enchanted. Hanna took my vision and really made it happen. Investing in a good florist was really key to my big day.
The Readings & Music
My Uncle officiated and we didn’t have any religious readings. Down the aisle for family was “Somewhere over the rainbow/simple gifts” by the piano guys, the bridesmaids walked down to “You are mine” by Spencer Combs, I walked down to “you are the reason” by Daniel Jang, for our sand ceremony “Can’t help falling in love with you” by Daniel Jang, for going back down the aisle we did Stevie wonders “signed, sealed, delivered”, for the wedding party walking into the reception “hooked on a feeling” by Blue
Swede, For Ricky and I we chose “come and get your love” by red bone.
For our first dance we danced to “Annies Song” by John Denver, we chose this song because John Denver is a family favorite of mine and I introduced Ricky to him and made him listen to a whole greatest hits CD on our way to camping. Where he rightfully fell in love with John Denver.
Father daughter Dance “My little girl” by Tim McGraw. Mother son dance “Stand by me” by ben e King, This was a really sweet moment because my husband had cancer when he was 7 and every time he and his mom were on there way to treatment they heard this song, then before our wedding in January his mom was diagnosed with breast cancer and Ricky was then taking her to treatment and the first drive there this song came on the radio, this is truly their song.
We really wanted very classic songs and things we knew we would want to listen to forever.
We used this moment wedding videography, owned by Doug Davis. He really captured our day perfectly through video. It was the perfect little snippet of our day and will be awesome to share with our family for generations to come.
The Details & Décor
I did a lot of hunting for my decor my mirrored glass vases and tall candle holders I bought myself. I also found all my black vases that were on my cocktail tables at a grocery store. I found it hard to find things to rent or just really expensive so I would deep dive online and find things that matched what I had going on. Etsy was my best friend during this time. A big detail of my wedding was my invites that I had custom designed by my calligrapher Holly Anna. She was a really amazing helped my black wedding invites and signage come true. She hand designed my invite and gave me plenty of choices and a mock up of my final version. I was really lucky to have found her. She is a very creative and talented individual. A lot of details in my wedding held big significance for me. The red handkerchief I carried down the aisle was my grandfathers that he gave to my grandma Sharon at their wedding, the hummingbird bracelet represented my grandma Angie, and the butterfly pinky ring I wore was my great grandma Vera’s who had recently passed. I also had my Mother in laws pearls from her wedding attached to my bouquet. I am a person who really like to put meaning behind everything I do.
We went to Alaska on a cruise. It was really beautiful and relaxing. After all the wedding planning it was nice to go on a cruise and know next to everything was taken care of. We really enjoyed our time in Alaska. We did a salmon bake, whale watch, and lots of shopping. Our favorite thing about our cruise was the Salmon Bake it was a really cool experience with super yummy food.
My most memorable moment would probably be my first look it was really awesome to get to share a sweet intimate moment before the ceremony. Another moment was walking down the aisle I ended up being the crier and my husband was just really happy. I don’t think I could pick a favorite moment from that day it was all together a dream. Another really special moment/choice was having my uncle officiate our wedding. Also walking through my reception hall before everyone got there was amazing it was my first tears of the day.
Advice For Other Couples
The biggest piece of advice is to have a time line and someone who is in charge of making decisions for you. Take time and let this person know what you want so you’re at ease with them making decisions. The other big thing is to take a moment and pause on your day, sneak into your reception area and check it out before hand. Walk your whole wedding before hand you may not get to really take it in once all your guests are there.
Credit Where Credit Is Due
Kristen Booth Photography
Pageo Lavender Farm
This Moment Weddings
Holly Anna Calligraphy
Ashley and Ricky thank you ever so much for sharing your utterly gorgeous nuptials with us xo Lou