Here's a good reason to look your best as a wedding guest: you might just meet your future spouse! Talia Hancock, owner of hand-crafted clothing line TALIA, and Bryan Petersen, a baseball player for the Milwaukee Brewers, met at a wedding on January 12th, 2013, after the bride and groom spent months trying to set them up. "I swear Bryan knew everything about me before I got there — he even had my picture so he could pick me out from among the single ladies!" laughs Talia. They were seated at the same table, and spent the night talking and dancing, then made plans to get breakfast together the next morning. "Unbeknownst to each other, we both texted our moms and said we were getting married," Talia remembers. "Bryan even thanked the groom for introducing him to his wife that night!"
Just shy of two years later, on January 3rd, 2015, the couple celebrated their own wedding at The Retro Ranch in Temecula, California. "Our priorities were to have an organic, outdoor feel and to have food trucks do the catering, and we were so happy to find a place that would let us!" says Talia. With help from family and friends, all the DIY projects came together in just 6 months, timed perfectly for Bryan's off-season and the couple's anniversary. Says the bride, "It was just plain awesome."
Keep reading to see how they did it, photographed by John Robert Woods!
After seeing her godmother's convertible wedding dress, Talia knew she had to have one of her own. "I loved the element of surprise," she says. When the selection of convertible gowns didn't offer what she was looking for, the bride focused on finding a gorgeous base dress and going from there. She selected a geometric guipure lace gown by Sottero and Midgley, then worked with Casablanca Bridal to create an ivory tulle overskirt that gave her sleek column gown a ball gown silhouette. Talia carried a textured bouquet of garden roses and peonies, with her late paternal grandmother's wedding and engagement rings tucked inside a rose.
Bryan looked sharp in a black three-piece suit. He wore a pocket watch, as did his groomsmen, and had a boutonniere made of wildflowers tucked into a shotgun shell and duck feathers as a nod to one of his favorite off-season pastimes.
Talia's bridesmaids wore gowns of their own choosing in shades of gray. "I wanted them to pick a shade and style that was flattering for each of them," she says of their mismatched styles. Bryan's groomsmen followed suit, donning dark denim, plaid shirts, brown boots, and gray blazers.
The ceremony aisle was edged with tree stumps, eucalyptus garlands, candles, and white cabbages. For a coordinating look, the couple draped their altar with the same garlands, and featured strands of twine tied to hooks. Talia's bridesmaids carried birdcages and mason jars full of flowers down the aisle and then hung them when they reached the altar.
Bryan and Talia wrote their own vows, limiting themselves to three lines each. "It was fun, but so challenging!" she says. "I followed the rules, but Bryan used as many commas, semicolons, and other punctuation as he could to make his super long (and beautiful)."
After the ceremony, Talia slipped off the tulle skirt to reveal her form-fitting geometric lace gown.
The reception took place at long tables arranged in a starburst pattern beneath strings of café lights and paper star lanterns. Birdcages, lanterns, and mason jars covered the tables, filled with blooms and nestled between eucalyptus garlands. Talia and Bryan were seated at a head table draped with eucalyptus that was surrounded with rose petals and votive candles.
Antique suitcases were filled with fleece blankets to protect guests from the evening chill. Marquis letters decorated the bar, which guests visited between trips to food trucks serving sliders, surf and turf kabobs, and Mexican street tacos. After dinner, another truck served fresh waffle cone Sundays, warm cookie ice cream sandwiches, and root beer floats.
A friend of Bryan's, Washington Nationals third baseman Greg Dobbs, performed "She Is Love" by Parachute for the couple's first dance. A nearby boulder displayed whiskey, moonshine, and cigars, while the cake was set up on a vintage dresser decorated with garlands of greenery.
The two-tiered cake featured traditional Peruvian wedding cake (yellow cake with whipped cream and fresh strawberries) and chocolate cake with chocolate cream. Bryan requested an Oreo ice cream cake as the groom's cake — his favorite!
As the sun set, guests gathered around the bonfire to roast s'mores. "We loved getting to spend New Year's Eve and the days before the wedding with our loved ones, who came from around the globe to be with us," says Talia. "Wedding planning was trying for us, but having our families step in to help us made the experience so rewarding. And seeing it all come to life was magical!"
Ceremony & Reception Venue: The Retro Ranch || Day-of Coordinator: Pure Lavish Events || Bride's Wedding Dress: Sottero & Midgley, Casablanca Bridal || Shoes: Gucci || Hair: Serenity Salon Experience || Groom's Attire: Ermengildo Zegna || Wedding Bands: King of Jewelry || Florist: Desi Gilbert Floral || Music: Kevin Miso || Catering: Me So Hungry Food Truck, Street Foods Co., Frankies Frozen Treats, IE Gourmet Food Trucks || Videography: Hancock Media || Photography: John Robert Woods
Want to see more California weddings? Watch another couple wed in a colorful bash in the video below!