A Formal Rustic Wedding in a Barn in California
Emily and David's Americana Wedding
It was instant attraction when Emily Current and David Brotherton met 12 years ago at a small Hollywood concert. The creative SoCal pair—he’s a studio drummer, she’s a designer and the co-creator of the cult denim line Current/Elliott—bonded and became pals, but it took a few years for them to make the leap beyond friendship. “Once we did, we never looked back,” David says. On a bluff in Maui in April 2011, Emily accepted David’s unexpected proposal. They chose to marry at Dos Pueblos Ranch, just outside of Santa Barbara, because of its awe-inspiring natural beauty and laid-back vibe. The décor combined Americana touches with the bride's favorite fabrics (denim, muslin, and ticking stripes). On July 14, 2012, their 100 guests streamed into a clearing on the ranch’s grounds, took their seats on canvas-covered hay bales, and witnessed the couple’s exchange of self-penned vows.
The couple beckoned guests with stationery showcasing nautical elements, airmail details, and earthy kraft envelopes. An illustrator created a hand-drawn font for the text, and a calligrapher lettered addresses on the envelopes.
A Stylish Pair
Programs that Pop
Customized brown paper bags of Trader Joe’s popcorn played multiple roles: as a holder for snacks; as programs (the service’s details were printed on the back of each); and as an alternative to rice for guests to toss at the newlyweds as they strolled up the aisle.
Canvas-covered hay bales in the couple’s ceremony space played up the day’s laid-back, rustic vibe. Bags of popcorn set on the bales served double-duty as the ceremony programs and a fun alternative to the rice toss.
Flower Girl Processional
Family and friends rose to watch Emily, accompanied by her best friend’s daughter, make her way down the hay-strewn aisle.
The groom’s aunt, who lives in the area, was the natural choice to officiate the ceremony. “She’s funny, she’s interesting, and she could bring some spark,” says Emily.
Husband and Wife
The bride and groom were all smiles as they exited under a hail of fluffy kernels.
Emily and David joined his stepfather and mother for a predinner photo.
The Get Down Boys, a popular Los Angeles band that plays a mix of bluegrass tunes, original songs, and twangy covers of modern hits, provided the sound track for the cocktail hour. “The music really fit with the environment,” David says.
Servers clad in classic chambray shirts, khaki pants, and ticking stripe aprons treated guests to French fries from trays they hung from their necks.
A Bite to Eat
An hors d’oeuvre of fried macaroni and cheese with truffle salt also made the rounds at cocktail hour.
Chipboard pockets with grommets were secured onto two framed mats, filled with escort cards, then hung to flank the entryway to the reception in the barn.
Unique Table Numbers
Hand-painted beer growlers did a stand-up job marking the tables.
On the Table
Tablescapes were decorated with paper sacks of ripe red cherries, amber glass vessels, and floral arrangements. The bride used ticking stripes as napkin holders and for servers’ aprons.
Centerpieces of garden roses, Queen Anne’s lace, hydrangeas, kale, astilbes, scabiosas, wheat, and green privet added some natural charm to the celebration.
Dinner is Served
Guests sat down to a family-style dinner of watermelon salad, French fries, and three types of burgers (beef, Portobello mushroom and ahi tuna) in the Dos Pueblos Ranch barn beneath a rustic ‘chandelier’ made from a wooden rod wrapped in light bulbs.
The back of each menu featured a bingo card to entertain guests.
Four fashionable guests gathered outside the barn pre-reception.
Fun and Games
Vintage Pin the Tail on the Donkey, playing cards, and dominoes served as both activities and decor. “The games, photo booth, and silhouette artist Karl Johnson of Cut Arts gave people things to do besides just dance,” Emily said.
Some of the bride’s Hollywood friends—here, Minka Kelly, Mandy Moore, and Raina Penchansky—turned out to fete the newlyweds.
Two For One
A fan of silhouette art since visiting Disneyland as a kid, Emily hired an artist to create two portraits of each of the couple’s 100 guests—one to take home, and one to stick in the guest book with a well-wishing note.
A Sweet Finish
What better way to end their “glorified barbecue” than with a dessert bar full of tiny pies and treats, including caramel-glazed carrot cake, banana pudding, strawberry shortcake panna cotta, and passed ice cream sandwiches.
Souvenirs to Sip
Emily and David’s anchor monogram, another nod to the bride’s love of all things Americana, was stamped onto keepsake flasks filled with tea and lemonade (and vodka upon request).
Location: Dos Pueblos Ranch
Photography: Jose Villa
Event Production: Lisa Vorce Event Design & Production
Catering: Food Matters
Flowers and Event Design: Mindy Rice Floral & Event Design
Cake: The Scootabaker
Calligraphy: Roxanne Bock of PenGraphics
Rentals: Classic Party Rentals
Hair: Colleen Conway
Makeup: Dawn Broussard
Bride's Earrings: Dana Rebecca Designs
Lighting: Peterson Event Lighting
Cinematography: Joel Serrato Films
- It Was Flower Central at This Couple's Open-Air Venue in Greenville, South Carolina
- Four Things to Consider Before Resetting Your Grandmother's Engagement Ring
- Gwen Stefani's Family Just Threw Her a Surprise Bridal Shower
- This Backyard Wedding in Texas Was Predicted-Decades Ago-by the Bride's Father