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.

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Nautical Stationery

Jose Villa

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.

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Natural Beauty


Floral designer Mindy Rice fulfilled Emily's vision for a bouquet that was both pretty and natural with a lush combination of garden roses, astilbes, native bay leaves, millet, and scabiosas.

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A Stylish Pair


Emily, in Carolina Herrera, and a dapper David, in Dior Homme, fit right into Dos Pueblos Ranch's casual elegance. To put her stamp on the designer gown, the stylist bride worked with the design house to add ruffles, ensuring that it was even more "comfortable and easy to move around in."

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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.

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No-Fuss Seating


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.

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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.

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Family Affair


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.

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Husband and Wife


The bride and groom were all smiles as they exited under a hail of fluffy kernels.

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Family Time


Emily and David joined his stepfather and mother for a predinner photo.

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Lively Tunes


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.

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Signature Sips


The three signature drinks created by Black Lab—Watermelon Mojitos, Ginger Mules, and Tipsy Jalapeños—hit nice, summery notes.

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Comfort Food


Servers clad in classic chambray shirts, khaki pants, and ticking stripe aprons treated guests to French fries from trays they hung from their necks.

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A Bite to Eat


An hors d'oeuvre of fried macaroni and cheese with truffle salt also made the rounds at cocktail hour.

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Seating Arrangements


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.

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Unique Table Numbers


Hand-painted beer growlers did a stand-up job marking the tables.

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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.

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Garden Variety


Centerpieces of garden roses, Queen Anne's lace, hydrangeas, kale, astilbes, scabiosas, wheat, and green privet added some natural charm to the celebration.

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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.

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The back of each menu featured a bingo card to entertain guests.

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Stylish Guests

Jose Villa

Four fashionable guests gathered outside the barn pre-reception.

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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.

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Famous Faces


Some of the bride's Hollywood friends—here, Minka Kelly, Mandy Moore, and Raina Penchansky—turned out to fete the newlyweds.

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Two For One

Jose Villa

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.

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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.

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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).

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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

Stationery: Scout's Honor Co. (save-the-dates); Papel Paper & Press (printing and guest book)

Cake: The Scootabaker

Calligraphy: Roxanne Bock of PenGraphics

Music: The Get Down Boys (ceremony); Sheila Ford's Harlem Review (reception).

Rentals: Classic Party Rentals

Hair: Colleen Conway

Makeup: Dawn Broussard

Bride's Earrings: Dana Rebecca Designs

Lighting: Peterson Event Lighting

Cinematography: Joel Serrato Films

Photobooth: Smilebooth

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