Rustic Ranch Wedding in Santa Barbara

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Erin and Justin wed in El Capitan Canyon in the hills above Santa Barbara.  This ying and yang couple both grew up enjoying different things – she loves a massage and fireplace on vacation; he grew up camping by a campfire.  El Capitan Canyon was the perfect marriage of both.  She from Southern California, he from Pennsylvania, the location provided the feeling of both while weaving in their pasts.

The invitation was firefly inspired and certainly told guests what fun was to come at this unique place!

firefly wedding invitation

To kick off the festivities, an opening night party was held.  The couple shared their story with us.  “We had a BBQ Friday evening as folks came into town and it was great to start the weekend off with good food, music and lots of laughter.  At the BBQ on Friday evening, guests filled out Mad Libs that night about the couple that were displayed at the reception on Saturday evening.”

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Then, on the wedding day the flowers were all local and seasonal, fitting of the natural environment.  In hues of lavenders and purples the colors popped with that elegance she wanted and that rustic feeling he knew so well.

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The entire weekend was very special and oh-so personal.  “Both of us are very non-traditional in terms of the way we viewed our wedding and our commitment, and each choice and detail we included, or chose not to, reflected that.  We picked El Capitan Canyon because it meant that the friends and family who were available to join us would spend the weekend together in community a little ways out from the city of Santa Barbara surrounded by trees, hills and the ocean. Our community has been incredibly important to us and we really wanted time to laugh, tell stories and catch up with our guests.

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Their ceremony incorporated their favorite songs – Have a Little Faith in me by Joe Cocker, Mushaboom by Feist, Simple As It Should Be by Tristan Prettyman and more. And then the bride and groom read one another their own written vows, which included much laughter and tears.

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Then it was off to the beach for some quick but memorable photos.  “Capturing the wedding was Maya Myers who could not have been more fantastic. She was a joy to work with, and she managed to capture the wedding in a way we couldn’t have hoped for. The pictures she took have been so meaningful for us – and working with her and her assistant was simply tons of fun. She even encouraged us to slip away right after the ceremony for a few shots on the beach at sunset – it was one of the most special parts of our day and we had a great time working with her.”

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The bride did include some of her own elements, handmade just for the big day.  “The glass ball jars filled with lights and peet moss topped with wooden labels that Erin burned E + J into and wire holders to mimic fireflies caught in jars. The firefly jars were on our invitations and it was a motif we carried through the event.”  Erin also made the wooden signs herself!

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 “We chose our favorite wines from the local Curtis Winery for the reception dinner, and picked handmade sea salt caramels from Pennsylvania (where Justin is from) from the Caramel Jar on Etsy which are incredibly addictive.” 

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For dessert?  Mini pies!  “We got to pick our favorite pies, banana cream and peanut butter chocolate in addition to peach, apple and chocolate silk. It was nice to have something other than cake, where we could offer several choices.”

Justin wasn’t without projects too – he painted the lattice that held the Mad Libs at the reception and painted the four tier pie display, among other things.

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We love this last sentiment from the bride and groom!  “The wedding was definitely the happiest weekend of our lives together so far, but we’ve got years to figure out how to top it.”

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Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Wedding Vendors: Venue & Catering: El Capitan Canyon, Photography: Maya Myers Photography, Planner: Sunny Lee (friend of the bride, part time event planner), Flowers: Riley’s Flowers, Ceremony Music: Ceremony Tunes, Eric Brown Guitarist, Allison Hernandez Vocalist, Hair & Makeup: Ann Kelleher from 19 Blue Salon & Spa, Caramel Favors: The Caramel Jar on Etsy, Wine: Curtis Winery, Videography: David E. Thompson, friend of the bride, Officiant: Rev. Nancy Brink (Director of Church Relations at Chapman University and friend of the couple), Photo booth: Thought Box Photo Booth Rental, Bride’s Dress: J. Crew, Bridesmaid Dresses: Dresses were picked by the individuals, Cake/Desert: Mini Pies by Simple Things Sandwich & Pie Shop