A Bohemian Summer Wedding in California's Wine Country

jena donny wedding couple walking holding hands
Ashley Ludaescher Photography

Jena Wilson and Donny Myrick started dating in middle school but spent years apart while they were away at college. During a two-week window when Jena was home on break, her friend made it her mission to reconnect the pair—the couple essentially picked up right where they left off. "It was on this night that I sat talking to Jena until five in the morning that I knew my feelings for her never left," Donny says.

After dating for another three years, Donny planned a surprise proposal during a trip to a winery in the Santa Ynez Valley. "We got there and about 30 seconds into our tour we were being shown this romantic underground cave," Jena remembers. "I walked into a room with my engagement ring set on the table with candles." The best part? Donny popped the question with both of their families present ("They all drove out an hour to be there," says the bride) to witness the big moment.

Even though Jena works as the Director of Events at her family's ranch, Greengate Ranch and Vineyard, where the pair hosted their wedding, the couple enlisted Kelsey from A Lovely Creative to make sure their big-day design and execution was flawless. The newlyweds, and the 150 guests who joined them for their boho-inspired vineyard wedding on August 18, 2018, maintain that everything about the event was picture perfect, the result of a team of incredible vendors. "Something that was also super meaningful to me was that all of our vendors are people we can call friends. I knew my guests were in great hands, being served delicious food and amazing drinks by genuinely nice people that we have formed personal relationships with through working in the industry," says Jena.

As for her best advice for all brides-to-be? "Give yourself time to adjust and relax. If you haven't handled everything at least a week before your wedding, don't feel bad asking someone for help—and delegate some tasks," she adds. "You have no idea how your body and mind will react to such a big life event!"

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The Engagement Ring

jena donny wedding engagement ring
Ashley Ludaescher Photography

Donny customized a five stone engagement ring for Jena, featuring an assortment of gray and white diamonds in the center. The diamonds on each end of the main setting were taken from a tennis bracelet that Jena's father once gifted her mother.

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The Invites

jena donny wedding invitation stationary suite
Ashley Ludaescher Photography

The overall style for the big day was inspired by an Instagram photo Jena and her planner came across, which featured statement-making rattan light fixtures. With the aim to incorporate natural wood and woven elements into the invitation suites, Prim & Pixie designed taupe invitations with a rattan back. The envelope liners featured a marbled geode pattern—another detail that carried into the big day. The wedding date was stamped onto a wooden belly band.

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The Location

jena donny wedding outdoor reception tables and hanging lanterns
Ashley Ludaescher Photography

The venue was an easy choice for this couple—Jena's family owns Greengate Ranch and Vineyard in San Luis Obispo, California, and the pair even lived and worked there together when they first began dating. "It has always been the perfect place for us to relax after business hours and roam the 140-acre property with our two dogs," Jena says.

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The Gown

jena donny wedding couple holding hands in tall grass
Ashley Ludaescher Photography

This bride had her eye on the "Inca" wedding dress long before her first bridal appointment at Grace Loves Lace. "I love the style of their dresses so I figured if not the 'Inca,' I would find something else I loved," Jena says. She tried on the gown and instantly fell in love with its lace long-sleeves, high neckline, and open back. "My favorite thing about it is how light and comfortable it is, while still being very classic and modest with the white underlay."

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The Bouquet

jena donny wedding bride with bouquet
Ashley Ludaescher Photography

Inspired by a bouquet that April Flowers created for another bride, Jena asked April and her team to create a unique arrangment, full of protea, fern, greenery, lunaria, and dried florals, for her.

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The Groom's Look

jena donny wedding couple holding hands
Ashley Ludaescher Photography

Donny wore the Napoli Blue Suit from Suit Supply and accessorized with Trask's "Brady" shoes and a fitted white button-up shirt from Patrick James. His final touch? A Treehouse watch, complete with a personal inscription on the back from the bride.

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The Boutonnières

jena donny wedding boutonnieres and pink ribbon
Ashley Ludaescher Photography

Chrysanthemums and dried palm berries made for unexpected, but on-theme boutonnières.

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The Bridesmaids

jena donny wedding bridesmaids and bride
Ashley Ludaescher Photography

Jena's bridesmaids and maid of honor wore deep gray dresses from Nomad Boutique, which featured floor-length lace over a romper.

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The First Look

jena donny wedding couple first look
Ashley Ludaescher Photography

Having recently bought a new home across the street from the venue, Jena and Donny had their first look at their house before heading to their ceremony site for family photos.

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Ceremony Location

jena donny wedding outdoor ceremony couple
Ashley Ludaescher Photography

The couple chose to have their ceremony on the property's Terrace Lawn, where they often sat on the steps and watched their dogs play when they lived there.

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The Vows

jena donny wedding outdoor hexagon structure
Ashley Ludaescher Photography

The bride and groom exchanged personal vows in front of a unique hexagon altar, which the couple has since installed in their backyard. For Donny, reciting his vows was the most memorable part of the entire wedding day. "Back in middle school and high school I use to write poems to Jena, so I decided to input some of my old lines into my vows," he says. "As we did not share our vows before the wedding, I was stunned to hear Jena finish her vows quoting an old poem with the same line I had put down as the very first sentence in my vows. To me this showed the great history and bond we share."

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Cocktail Hour with a Vineyard View

jena donny wedding appetizers on tray
Ashley Ludaescher Photography

While the couple shared a much-needed quiet moment together post-ceremony, guests headed over to a lawn overlooking the grounds' vineyards for the cocktail hour. There, they enjoyed music from an acoustic duo, The Cimo Brothers, and some of the pair's favorite appetizers, like sushi and pigs-in-a-blanket from Field to Table.

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Several Signature Cocktails

jena donny wedding cocktails drinks and menu
Ashley Ludaescher Photography

Along with plenty of wine, beer, and liquor options, Sidecar Cocktail Co. served Jena and Donny's guests several signature cocktails, including a daquiri and an old fashioned.

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The Seating Chart Installation

jena donny wedding seating chart wall
Ashley Ludaescher Photography

This couple chose a large installation with an agate-patterned wallpaper as the background for their seating chart. Guest names were written in white on wooden hexagons with an acrylic overlay by Lovelyfest.

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The Boho Reception

jena donny wedding outdoor reception tables
Ashley Ludaescher Photography

For the reception, rattan light fixtures from Bella Vista Designs hung over a large white dance floor. Long farm tables were topped with a simple gauze runner to showcase the natural wood and lush floral garlands; round tables were covered with creamy velvet cloth.

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The Tabletop Details

jena donny wedding placesetting tablescape centerpieces
Ashley Ludaescher Photography

Each guest's place setting included a classic white plate topped with with a menu and an personalized acrylic hexagon by Lovelyfest. Gold-rimmed glassware added a metallic accent to the table, while glowing candles created a cozy setting.

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The First Dance

jena donny wedding first dance couple dip black and white
Ashley Ludaescher Photography

Jena and Donny shared their first dance to "From the Ground Up" by Dan + Shay. "This song talks about how Grandma and Grandpa painted a picture of being together for a lifetime, and I want that to be us one day, no matter the hardships that come," Jena says. "My Grandma and Grandpa have been a big inspiration to us—they have been married now for 74 years!"

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The Photo Booth Van

jena donny wedding outdoor reception tables and photo booth van
Ashley Ludaescher Photography

Jena and Donny brought in an SLO Photobus van to allow guests to bring home memories of the wedding. "The owner made all of these adorable felt props that were really nice quality," Jena says. "We still look through those photos at all of our silly guests!"

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The Agate Design Wedding Cake

jena donny wedding agate pattern cake display
Ashley Ludaescher Photography

The newlyweds asked Paper Cake Events to create a stunning agate two-tier to match the escort display.

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All the Desserts

jena donny wedding desserts table
Ashley Ludaescher Photography

Jena and Donny also treated guests to an assortment of desserts, including cookies, macarons, and cobbler. An ice cream truck, which offered scoops and ice cream sandwiches, from Negranti Creamery rounded out the dessert options.

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jena donny wedding couple kiss sitting at reception
Ashley Ludaescher Photography

Photography, Ashley Ludaescher

Venue, Greengate Ranch & Vineyard

Event planning and design, A Lovely Creative

Flowers, April Flowers

Invitations, Prim + Pixie

Calligraphy and escort display, Lovelyfest

Bride's gown, Grace Loves Lace

Hair and makeup, Janet Villa

Bridesmaids' dresses, Nomad Boutique

Groom's suit, Suit Supply

Groom's accessories, Trask; Patrick James

Groomsmen's suits, Mens Wearhouse

Catering, Field to Table Events

Bar, Sidecar Cocktail Co

Linens, La Tavola Linen; Blush Fine Linens

Cake and desserts, Paper Cake Events

Ice cream truck, Negranti Creamery

Ceremony music, Cimo Brothers

Reception music, Malik Thorne

Rentals, All About Events; Elan Rentals; Avenue Twelve; Theoni

Lighting and drapery, Bella Vista Designs

Photobooth bus, SLO Photobus

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