Holly Bowers grew up going to big family reunions at Hidden Springs Ranch, her aunt and uncle’s home near Santa Barbara, California. After she and David McCormick got engaged, they immediately realized it would be the perfect wedding backdrop. “We wanted something beautiful but isolated, where people could bring kids, be as loud as they wanted, and just have fun,” says Holly. With plenty of help from loved ones who pitched in to plan and execute nearly every step of the day, the couple stuck to their modest budget without sacrificing style. If compromise and creativity are essential elements of a happy marriage, these two are well on their way. —Lexi Dwyer

Creative Customizing

Twirl Time: Inspired by a photo in magazine, Holly place a half-dozen colorful parasols around the reception site—both kids and adults loved using them as photo props.

Let It Shine: Guests received colorfully decorated mini-flashlights as favors. “They used them to find their cars in the dark!” says Holly.

Match Game: After the wedding, the couple went through their guest book and added a wedding-day photo of each person alongside their good wishes.

Inspired by years of barbecues and reunions, this DIY couple planned a playful day on a family ranch

Holly Bowers grew up going to big family reunions at Hidden Springs Ranch, her aunt and uncle’s home near Santa Barbara, California. After she and David McCormick got engaged, they immediately realized it would be the perfect wedding backdrop. “We wanted something beautiful but isolated, where people could bring kids, be as loud as they wanted, and just have fun,” says Holly. With plenty of help from loved ones who pitched in to plan and execute nearly every step of the day, the couple stuck to their modest budget without sacrificing style. If compromise and creativity are essential elements of a happy marriage, these two are well on their way. —Lexi Dwyer

Creative Customizing

Twirl Time: Inspired by a photo in magazine, Holly place a half-dozen colorful parasols around the reception site—both kids and adults loved using them as photo props.

Let It Shine: Guests received colorfully decorated mini-flashlights as favors. “They used them to find their cars in the dark!” says Holly.

Match Game: After the wedding, the couple went through their guest book and added a wedding-day photo of each person alongside their good wishes.

Holly carried sweet peas, dahlias, and peonies. The bride’s vintage veil and heirloom purse were both on loan from an aunt who’s been married more than 30 years. “She only has sons, so it was nice to borrow from her.”