A Rustic, Modern Brown-and-White Wedding on a Ranch in California
Jose and Joel
How do a wedding filmmaker and photographer explain what makes them click? With camera metaphors, of course. “He is a Holga,” says Joel Serrato (the filmmaker) of his longtime love, Jose Villa (the photographer), referring to the cultish toy camera that produces artsy, imperfect images. “He’s taught me how to create beauty with simple, inexpensive things.” And Joel? “A Hasselblad,” says Jose, with a laugh, invoking a pricey professional model. “High-maintenance and a bit complicated -- but we balance each other out.”
Clad in custom Hugo Boss suits, Jose Villa (far left) and Joel Serrato say “squeeze!” in California on their wedding day.
The showpiece at the 150-acre Figueroa Mountain is a 200-year-old farmhouse.
The Invitation Suite
Letterpress invitations were bundled in onionskin paper and twine, then slipped into hand-stitched leather envelopes for mailing -- calligraphy and stamps went right onto the material. Coasters branded with the couple’s initials carry the look through to the reception.
On the big day, Jose kept his late grandfather close, displaying his antique camera in the couple’s dressing room.
Before the ceremony, Joel gave Jose this lamp made from antique camera parts.
Together, the couple walked down an aisle flanked by wooden benches and succulents, including prickly pear cactus. “We wanted to let the setting speak for itself,” says event planner Lisa Vorce of Oh, How Charming! about the less-is-more decorating approach. “Jose reminded me to take it all in -- to look at the mountains and watch the wind passing through the grass,” says Joel.
The couple’s Polaroid collection, which launched the design scheme, shows up on ceremony programs.
The Happy Couple
The couple shared a private moment after the ceremony.
Female relatives carried bouquets of ranunculus, ‘Claire de Lune’ roses, dusty miller, and succulents wrapped in linen.
The grooms chose from three sets of succulent boutonnieres; their pick is embellished with vintage “J” buttons, while the other options feature copper leaves or tangerine echeveria blossoms.
Bags of clementines were on hand for color -- and snacking.
Backed by their venue, the Figueroa Mountain Farmhouse, Joel and Jose were congratulated by good friend Lacie (who’s also the studio manager for Jose Villa Photography) and her boyfriend, Tyler.
The Place Setting
Leather napkin wraps, finished with wax seals, distinguish each place setting.
Monogrammed muslin bags hold sweets from the Mexican-themed dessert bar.
The cake features sugar succulents on a snowy fondant canvas.
Window-box-like centerpieces brim with prickly pear cactus, echeveria, Aeoniums, garden roses, and Spanish moss.
All Together Now
A hay-bale wall, knocked over by heavy gusts, becomes the perfect platform for a group shot.
Nothing’s more romantic than dozens of flickering candles on a windswept night. Their wrought-iron perches, along with frayed-edge linen tablecloths, galvanized-copper floral containers, and all that worn wood, create an at-ease, elbows-on-the-table effect.
Location: Figueroa Mountain Farmhouse
Event Design & Production: Oh, How Charming!
Event Design & Flowers: Mindy Rice Floral and Event Design
Catering: New West Special Occasion Catering
Stationery: Papel Paper & Press
Calligraphy: Anne Jones
Cake: Sweet and Saucy Shop
Lighting: Bella Vista Designs
Wedding Photography: Elizabeth Messina
Wedding Filmmaker: Joe Simon Wedding Films
Ceremony & Cocktail Music: Bolero Soul
Reception Music: Michael Antonia of The Flashdance
Rentals: Classic Party Rentals
Specialty Décor: Barker Décor Service
Wedding Bands: Waxing Poetic