Ashley and Ryan have both lived in the San Diego area most of their lives, but neither had been to the San Diego Botanic Garden until Ryan proposed and the pair started hunting for wedding venues. "I got goose bumps the first time we saw the Gazebo Lawn," says Ashley. And so it was settled: The couple started planning a wedding for October 10th, 2014 (just eight months after they got engaged!) and invited 100 guests to celebrate with them.
The couple dressed up the natural space with moody glamour, using soft shades of gray, gold, and pink and adding a fall feel with wine tones. The bride and her family took on DIY projects that ranged from building an altar out of vintage porch posts to dip-dying napkins and hand-making crepe paper flower escort cards. Keep reading to see the gorgeous details, photographed by SheWanders!
It all started with the invitations, mixing gold foil, flowers, and ombré watercolor details.
Ryan and his groomsmen looked comfortably classic in black pants and light gray jackets. Ashley's bridesmaids matched them in gray chiffon gowns, accented with bold bouquets. The flower girls wore light pink tulle dresses, and the bride's eldest niece wore shimmering gold.
The bridesmaids' bouquets included bright pink garden roses, dahlias, and peonies, while Ashley's white-and-cream bouquet, tied with flowing ribbons, mixed roses and gardenias.
Ashley and her father used vintage porch posts to construct the altar, which her florist decorated with dahlias and roses. Aisle seats were tied with ribbons and strings of sequins.
Guests waved ribbon wands after Ryan and Ashley were pronounced husband and wife.
The bride wore an off-white Alencon lace Anne Barge gown with a cocoa underlay. "I dragged my mom, grandmother, sister, and niece to four different bridal shops, where I tried this dress on every time," says Ashley. "It was one of the first ones I tried at the first appointment, but I had to keep trying on others to be sure it was the one!"
Ashley and her sister hand-made crepe paper flowers that were used as the guests' escort cards. They attached them to a moss-covered wall decorated with additional oversized blooms, which became the backdrop for the photo booth later in the evening.
Farm tables were left bare, topped with gold chargers and low vessels full of roses, dahlias, and greenery. A sequined tablecloth and garlands of greenery marked the sweetheart table.
Napkins that faded from white to pink were hand-made by the bride and her sister. Silverware was wrapped in scrolls featuring playful twists on wedding vows, such as "I promise to let you watch your favorite shows... during the commercial breaks of my favorite shows."
After guests dined on garlic mashed potatoes, braised beef brisket, and gouda mac and cheese and sipped Moscow Mules and Jack and Coke, the bride and groom cut into a banana cake decorated with fresh flowers, then hit the dance floor beneath café lights and a crystal chandelier.
The couple headed to Tulum for five days on the beach, then wined and dined (and took a ghost tour!) in New Orleans. Says Ashley, "Some of my favorite memories from our wedding day are the moments Ryan and I had just the two of us. And I'm so glad we had a wedding coordinator! It's impossible to have everything go as planned, and I'm so glad we were able to enjoy the day as much as we did and not worry about the little things."
Ceremony & Reception Venue: San Diego Botanic Garden || Month-of Coordinator: Luxe Events || Bride's Wedding Dress: Anne Barge || Shoes & Jewelry: BHLDN || Hair: Audra René || Makeup: Elena T Beauty || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Jenny Yoo || Groom & Groomsmen's Attire: Friar Tux || Engagement Ring: Rock For Her || Bride's Wedding Band: Catbird || Florist: Flowers Annette Gomez || Invitations & Paper Goods: Brightly Designed || Music: Sleeping Giant Music || Catering: EcoCaters || Cake: VG Bakery || Rentals: Archive Rentals, Farm Tables and More, Concepts Event Design Inc., Bright Ideas Lighting || Photography: SheWanders
Did you love this colorful ceremony and reception? Check out another bright bash in the video below!