Kelsey Soderstrom and Noah Nelson first met through mutual friends in 2012, but it wasn't until they reunited at a wedding later that year that the pair really hit it off. As interested in each other as the couple was, once the evening was over, the pair had to go their separate ways — Kelsey returned to Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo for college while Noah went back to Nevada to work at a cattle ranch. The duo wouldn't let their connection slip away, though, and the two stayed in touch over the phone and through Facebook. By June 2013, both Kelsey and Noah found themselves in California, and after months of dating long distance, the pair was officially a couple.
On March 14, 2014, Noah asked Kelsey to be his wife while on a walk around her family's ranch in San Louis Obispo. As they started planning their wedding for later that same year, the couple immediately knew they would tie the knot on the same ranch where they got engaged. "Turri Ranch has been in our family for over 100 years," the bride says. "I was born and raised on the ranch and it means the world to me!" The couple worked with Touch of Style Events to plan a relaxed, rustic wedding and on September 13, 2014, 230 guests watched as Noah and Kelsey said "I do!" Keep reading to see Stewart Uy's photos of the day.
The Idea Emporium created a casual, colorful stationery suite to invite guests to the big day. Kelsey and Noah asked guests arrive in casual barn attire for their outdoor ceremony and laid-back reception.
The bride decided on a lace fit and flare wedding dress from Maggie Sottero, but the original style she purchased looked entirely different than the one she walked down the aisle in. "At first it had a satin belt with a big flower and tulle straps," she remembers. "I liked the silhouette and material but I wanted to make it my own. I added the lace straps and made the sash."
Kelsey carried an unstructured bouquet of peach-and-cream garden roses that was finished with lush greenery and trailing sweet pea vines.
In honor of their rustic wedding venue, Kelsey's bridesmaids wore cowboy boots with their mismatched mint dresses. "I wanted my bridesmaids to pick their own dresses so they would pick something they felt beautiful in and would hopefully wear again," the bride says. Their bouquets included blooms like peach garden roses, lavender, sweet peas, and lisanthus.
Noah and his groomsmen all came dressed in jeans paired with dress shirts and suit jackets. It was the perfect mix of formal and casual. "I married a cowboy that doesn't like to get fancy, so jeans were a must," Kelsey says.
The couple exchanged vows in a rustic ceremony in front of the old family creamery that the bride's grandparents used back when they ran the ranch. Kelsey's mother, who the bride says is an avid gardener, planted over 80 pots of dahlias that they used to decorate the space. Guests took seats on covered hay bails and waited for the bride to make her entrance.
Before Kelsey and her father walked down the aisle, the couple's youngest attendants made their ceremony entrance. The bride's three nephews (one sound asleep!) made their way down the aisle with a wagon and a sign that read, "Welcome to the family cowboy Noah" before Kelsey's niece sprinkled flower petals along the aisle.
"We didn't write our own vows but our pastor did ask us each to write the story of how we met without sharing it with each other," Kelsey says of their ceremony. "He shared the stories during our ceremony and then we had a family member and friend read bible verses." They said "I do" with the bride's life-long collection of crosses decorating the backdrop behind them.
After cocktail hour, guests made their way to an antique hitching post to locate their seating card.
Their barn reception included a mix of long and round tables that were topped with small arrangements of different flowers. At each place setting, guests found the couple's wedding favor, a clear bag filled with three tasty meringues from Paper Cake Events.
A large floral chandelier, decorated with hanging glass vases and pink streamers, hung near the peak of the barn and delicate café lights were draped beneath it. "People still talk about that amazing chandelier," Kelsey admits.
After a BBQ dinner, the couple cut into their one-tiered wedding cake. Guests helped themselves to treats from the abundant dessert table, which included cupcakes in tasty flavors like sea salt and caramel, snickerdoodle, and chocolate cream.
"The day you get married goes by so fast," Kelsey reminds other brides. "Try to enjoy every second of it!"
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Turri Ranch || Day of Coordinator: Touch of Style Events || Bride's Wedding Dress: A Heart's Desires Bridal || Hair: Janina Cannon of Blue Bird Salon || Makeup: Rhyan Townsend || Groom's & Groomsmen's Attire: Tux and Tulle || Florist: Adornments Flowers & Finery || Invitations & Paper Products: The Idea Emporium || Music: AMS Entertainment || Catering: The Hitching Post || Cake: Bello Mundo || Rentals: All About Events || Favors: Paper Cake Events || Photographer: Stewart Uy
Want to see more outdoor weddings? Then check out another couple's California celebration in the video below!