The Contemporary Décor at This California Wedding Contrasted Beautifully with the Natural Setting
The vision Caitlin Rowland and Fletcher Boyle had for their wedding was one where the focus was on fun. "We just wanted to have a big party with all of our favorite people, amazing food, drinks, and music," Cait says. "All, of course, in a beautiful setting."
That setting was chosen shortly after their engagement ("Fletch surprised me with a trip to New Orleans and he proposed at The Columns Hotel," recalls Cait), during a birthday trip to San Francisco—that was rerouted, last minute, to San Luis Obispo. "Unfortunately, the wildfires were so bad that everyone in San Francisco was wearing medical masks and every drug store was sold out of them," explains Cait. "So, we canceled all the plans I had made, rented a car, and drove to San Luis Obispo. I went to Cal Poly for undergrad and grad school, and I'm pretty much in love with SLO, and have been talking about how amazing it is since the day I met Fletch." While the pair was driving down, Fletch did a Google search for "most spectacular wedding venues," and among the long list properties available was Greengate Ranch & Vineyard. "Fletch called on a whim, and scheduled a time to see it," says Cait. "We fell in love with it at first sight and never looked at any other venues."
The couple joined forces with Vanessa Noel of Vanessa Noel Events to design a wedding that was relaxed, but chic. "Cait mentioned early on that she isn't really a 'girly girl,' so we kept things on the more neutral and textural side," says Vanessa, who brought in modern pieces to help the event stay contemporary in its design. The verdant grounds of the property served as the beautiful backdrop for the ceremony, while a rustic-chic wooden barn hosted the reception.
"We both love it when our friends and family are having a blast, and so our focus was really just on throwing a fun party," says Cait. "That's probably the best way the wedding reflected who we are as a couple. Also, we wanted the ceremony to be intimate and authentic, and we think that was a pretty solid reflection of us as well."
When it comes to advice they have for other couples, the pair says to keep it simple. "Pick a beautiful venue that speaks to you," Cait advises. "It sets the scene for your memories of the day and creates a vibe for your guests to soak in."
The couple kept their invitation design clean, simple, and contemporary, a look that spoke to the overall aesthetic of their big day. "Invites were black-and-white with modern typography," says planner Vanessa Noel of Vanessa Noel Events. Envelopes in a deep forest green added a touch of subtle color, while a leather tie held all notes together; the ties reappeared on the reception's napkin treatments.
Owe You One
Cait wasn't initially a fan of her Rue de Seine wedding dress. "My friend pulled it out and I told her how ugly it was, but said I would try it on so she would owe me one," recalls the bride. "I put it on and immediately, we all loved it. I guess I owe her one!"
The bride's bouquet featured anemones accented with white peonies and blush roses.
Something Blue Groom
Fletch donned a bespoke, three-piece blue suit from Burdi Clothing for the big day.
Cait asked her bridesmaids to wear the long white dresses of their choosing, resulting in a beautiful mix of cohesive styles.
Fletch's group of groomsmen presented a unified front; they wore their own navy suits, sans ties.
An Emotional First Look
Cait was nervous about sharing a first look with Fletch ahead of the ceremony. "It's weird having an intimate experience while people are watching, filming, and taking pictures," she admits. "But after I saw and hugged him, I felt calmer and way less awkward."
Fletch was extremely moved by the moment. "I was trying to prepare myself not to cry when I saw her, but no luck there," he says.
The ceremony décor was designed to be gentle on the senses. "We wanted a sort of overgrown, organic, garden-party feeling for the ceremony set at the pond," says Vanessa.
"Carla with Idlewild Floral created an arch structure made fully of floral and foliage. Nothing was too bold or saturated; all the elements in the arch were textural, soft, and airy," adds Vanessa.
A Tisket, a Tasket
Smokebush-filled baskets marked the foot of the aisle, and played nicely with rows of wooden garden chairs.
A Lighthearted Ceremony
The couple had two friends officiate the ceremony, which was filled with laughter. "It was absolutely perfect," says Cait. "The weather was amazing, the music was exactly as we envisioned, and we enjoyed being in a little bubble together with all our friends and loved ones there to celebrate with us."
Sealed with a Kiss
After being pronounced husband and wife, Cait and Fletch recessed back up the aisle, sharing a kiss as they reached the top.
Guests ordered beverages, listed on a custom sign, from an aqua-blue mobile bar that was set up just outside the reception area.
Contemporary Lounge Seating
Lounge areas were placed outdoors; the modern indoor furniture offered a chic contrast to the natural surroundings.
Lawn games, like cornhole, were splayed out on the lawn, much to the delight of the attendees.
Find Your Seat
Modern signage, attached to a chic black stand flanked by baskets of grassy foliage, showcased guests' seating assignments.
Into the Barn
Greengate Ranch & Vineyard's soaring wooden barn served as the main reception space.
A Striking Focal Point
The party's most defining feature? The lighting and draping placed over the dance floor. "To break up the darkness in the barn, we planned a criss-cross pattern of draping," explains Vanessa. "But in an effort to not have anything feel too glam, we opted for a natural muslin that didn't offer too stark a contrast. We layered various whitewashed and gray beaded chandeliers overhead for even more impact."
Elegant Reception Tables
Long tables on criss-cross stands were arranged together and surrounded by chic black bistro chairs.
A Touch of Color
One of the couple's favorite elements was the dark green stoneware that rested at each place setting. Paired with vintage rocks glasses and accented with leather-tied striped napkins, the plates were nestled with die-cut menus.
In lieu of a wedding cake, Cait and Fletch had an ice cream truck on hand to serve guests; a sundae bar was also set up, so guests could fashion their own desserts.
A Joy-Filled First Dance
Cait and Fletch took their first dance to "Coming Home" by Leon Bridges. "Fletch loves Leon Bridges and we felt that it was a beautiful and fitting song for us," says Cait.
Light the Night
String lights lit up the night and the barn's exterior, where the celebrants retreated to take a break from the merriment just inside.
Photography, Ashley Ludaescher Photography
Venue, Greengate Ranch & Vineyard
Event Design and Planning, Vanessa Noel Events
Videography, Vision on Fire
Flowers, Idlewild Floral
Invitations and Stationery, Fete & Quill
Officiants, Sarah Spooner and Cory Bangert
Bride's Gown, Rue De Seine
Jewelry, Dana Rebecca
Shoes, Alexandre Birman
Hair, Blushing Beauty
Makeup, Amanda Olson Beauty
Groom's Attire, Burdi Clothing
Engagement Ring, Tapper's
Wedding Bands, Brilliant Earth; Tapper's
Music, Lucky Devils Band
Catering, Field to Table Catering & Events
Ice Cream Truck, Negranti Creamery
Rentals, All About Events; Avenue Twelve; Embellish Vintage Rentals; SCOUT Rental Co.
Transportation, SLO Safe Ride
Lighting, Bella Vista Designs
Bartending, Copper & Crystal