A Formal Rustic Outdoor Destination Wedding in California
The Happy Couple
A nature-loving New England couple venture west to coastal California for a ceremony in the presence of friends, family, and a forest full of soaring redwoods.
'"Magical' is the only way to describe it," says Laura of the Santa Lucia Preserve, a 20,000-acre nature wonderland near Carmel, California, where she and Justin were married. The couple grew up in Connecticut and met on Martha's Vineyard, but when Justin proposed in November 2009, Laura knew immediately that the preserve, where her parents own a house, would be the perfect setting for their nuptials.
Light filtered through towering redwood trees in Carmel Valley. "We were all blown away by the setting," says Laura.
Laura, with one of her bridesmaids, wears Monique Lhuillier and carries magnolias.
The Bridal Bouquet
"I wanted all of the flowers to be local and in season, not flown in from far away," says Laura.
The Bridesmaids' Bouquets
The bridesmaids' bouquets were composed of pink and yellow roses and sweetpeas.
The invitation, inspired by Laura's favorite novel, "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close," by Jonathan Safran Foer, began with the phrase, "We would be extremely honored and incredibly psyched ... ."
A pianist performed a concert en plein air: The bride walked down the aisle to Cat Power's "Sea of Love," and the recessional was Eddie Vedder's "Rise."
The Tree-lined Ceremony
A turquoise window served as the ceremony marker.
To create a living-room feel, the couple had cozy furniture brought in.
Newlyweds Laura and Justin Hokin steal a kiss in the 1937 red Ford they rented for the reception.
Signature cocktails were a salute to Justin's family's resort.
Rustic Seating Display
Escort cards were handwritten on craft paper.
The Barn Reception
Chandeliers and vintage mirrors hung from the rafters and walls of the aged wooden structure, and centerpieces of dahlias, peonies, and ranunculus dot the tables. The meal included foraged-mushroom quiche and pork chops -- "Bird Metz even ate one!" says Laura.
Laura, in her Lanvin reception dress, poses with officiant Dave Metz in the fabric-backed photo booth; "he was hysterical," she says.
A horse watches the party unfold.
Atop vintage Haviland china plates are artwork favors by stationer Jenny Pennywood; the invitation's graphics were made into fabric table runners.
Yellow chairs distinguish the couple at dinner.
The famous Bird Metz.
Location and Catering: The Santa Lucia Preserve
Event Planning and Design: Alison Events
Flowers: Brown Paper Design
Cake: Earthbound Farm
Stationery, Textiles, and Artwork: Jenny Pennywood
Wedding Photographer: Jesse Leake
Menswear: Astor & Black (shirt)
Sweets Buffet: Edith Meyer
Ceremony and Cocktail Hour Music: Innovative Entertainment
Reception Music: DJ Blue
Videography: Bliss Productions
Restrooms: Golden State Portables
Lighting and Sound: Refraction
Transportation: Main Event Transportation
Hair and Makeup: Winc Artistry
Jewelry: The Natural Sapphire Co.
Groom's Custom Shirt: Astor & Black
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