A Sunny Santa Ynez WeddingWords by Courtney Kellar
Photos courtesy of Lisa Mallory Photography
Justin and Caryn hail from Los Angeles and knew they wanted to travel somewhere special for their wedding. “We figured what better way to spend a weekend than in the beautiful wine country where there was a lot for our guests to do during the weekend,” says the bride. “We wanted our wedding to be a unique and fun getaway for our guests.” Ultimately, the couple chose Santa Ynez, California for their wedding destination.
“When it came to planning a wedding, we knew we wanted to get married somewhere with a beautiful backdrop, so it was only natural that we started exploring venues in Santa Ynez,” says the couple. “When we saw Apple Creek Ranch we fell in love with it because the scenery is breathtaking and the property is beautiful. We also loved how the entire wedding took place outside because we both love the outdoors.”
The couple never doubted their decision to host a wedding away in Santa Ynez, but they did go to great lengths to make things as convenient as possible for their guests. “The only thing we really worried about was hotel prices can be expensive in the summer in Santa Ynez Valley,” says Caryn. “Therefore, we encouraged our guests to book hotel rooms early.”
Caryn and Justin had to be flexible throughout the planning process for a number of reasons, but learned to go with the flow. “The hardest part about planning a destination wedding is meeting with out of town vendors,” recalls the bride. “Since Justin is a fireman and works 24-hour shifts, we had a difficult time finding days to travel to meet with our various vendors…” The couple also had to keep in mind that their chosen venue, Apple Creek Ranch, is still a working ranch and also doubles as a guesthouse rental.
Come W-Day, the couple’s wedding vision came to life in the form of rustic, DIY details, sun-drenched fields and sentimental moments. The bride and her mom put in countless hours of work to create a lot of the personalized details seen around the ceremony and reception. “With the help of my mom, we created the 160 little succulent pots that guests received as a favor,” says Caryn. “My mom and I went to the Long Beach Flea Market several times to find different decorations and things to use at the wedding (a wheel barrel for our programs, a cake table, etc.).”
Justin and Caryn really credit their loved ones for helping make their wedding day all that it could be. “Our family really helped us create the wedding of our dreams. It was amazing to sit back and look at everything during the reception and know that we helped create every aspect of our wedding.” Thankfully, their hard-working loved ones had an amazing time exploring Santa Ynez Valley during the wedding weekend.
Caryn has some final advice for other brides planning a destination wedding: “Remember to take time on your wedding day to take everything in and enjoy every minute because it goes by quickly. It’s easy to get caught up in the stress of wedding planning, so remember to have fun with it. Also, guests notice the little touches and thought that you put into planning, so be creative! Our guests are still raving about how awesome our wedding was because we created an experience for our guests. It truly was the best day of our lives.”
Vendors: Photographer: Lisa Mallory Photography, Wedding Planner: Hayley with Kramer Events, Ceremony/Reception Site: Apple Creek Ranch in Santa Rita Hills, CA, Cake: Sweet Pea Cooks, Makeup: Absolutely Fabulous, DJ: Kramer Events, Florist: Rita’s Flowers, Gown Designer: Mikaella, Groom’s Clothing Designer: Tommy Hilfiger, Bridesmaids/Groomsmens’ Clothing Designer: Ann Taylor/Alfani
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