A Bohemian Barn Wedding in San Luis Obispo, California
Though Kaitlyn Brayton remembers that she and Kevin Driscoll met as dorm floor mates during their freshman year at UC Santa Barbara, Kevin's memory is more specific: As he returned to the dorm from a laundry trip, he and Kaitlyn—back from volleyball practice—parked their cars at the same time. "Kaitlyn asked me to carry her bag of volleyballs up to our floor which I thought was somewhat strange, since we only met a couple weeks ago, but I am a gentleman so I willingly carried the largest bag of volleyballs I had ever seen up to the 10th floor," he says. The two spent the next three years in the same group of friends, but when they returned to campus as seniors, Kevin had other plans. He began texting Kaitlyn and inviting her to hang out without the rest of their pals, and by the middle of their senior year, they were an official couple. In August 2018, says Kevin, "I decided I wanted to spend the rest of my life with my old college friend and proposed to Kaitlyn at a winery in Napa."
She said yes, and the couple began putting together a wedding for 205 guests the following summer—August 24, 2019—at Greengate Ranch in San Luis Obispo, California, with the help of LovelyFest Events. "A major factor in choosing Greengate was being able to have all our friends and family stay in the houses on the property during the weekend, so everyone was close by," says Kaitlyn. They chose a "bohemian-yet-classic" theme with textured materials, a natural color scheme, and wood, rattan, and leather accents, adding a craft beer bar, dessert buffet, and 60-person after-party to continue the celebration. As for their best advice? "Decide what really matters to each of you, and try to prioritize where you spend your energy and money," says Kaitlyn. "We wanted our wedding to portray us as a couple, but ultimately it was all about our guests having a good time."
An Elegant Invite
For their color palette, Kaitlyn and Kevin chose a combination of neutrals and gold accents. "My one request," she says, "was no pink!" Gold foil invitations from Paper Habit were accented by rich chocolate-colored envelope liners and an intricate lace cut-out.
Lovely in Lace
Though most stylists warn brides not to judge a wedding dress on the hanger, Kaitlyn's fitted lace Christos gown caught her eye instantly. "I saw it on the mannequin at the first store we went to and immediately loved it," she says. "I tried on quite a few dresses but nothing compared to that one. I loved the lace detail on the back." She added a necklace, belt, and earrings from Haute Bride, and traded her Jimmy Choo ceremony heels for sparkling Kate Spade sneakers at the reception.
Florist Katie Noonan from Noonan's Designs created a crescent-shaped bouquet for Kaitlyn with white-and-green blooms that included hellebore, ranunculus, blooming pieris, spray roses, and lace cap hydrangea. Preserved flowers—including bleached ruscus and Eulalia grass—softened the bright emerald gardenia foliage.
Kaitlyn asked her bridesmaids to wear flowing gowns in the same pale shade from Show Me Your Mumu, but encouraged them to each select their own silhouette. "I wanted all the girls to be able to choose which style of dress they liked so they could look and feel their best on the big day, too!" she says. "I liked the natural taupe color—it went with the theme of the wedding."
Kevin and his groomsmen wore dark gray suits and vests with black ties from The Black Tux. In a nod to his favorite basketball player and team, Kevin sported socks with Kobe Bryant's numbers—8 and 24 (which also matched the couple's wedding date).
Kevin and Kaitlyn wanted to share as much of the evening with their guests as they could, so they posed for portraits after their first look and before the ceremony. "[We felt] a little nervous prior to the first look, but all the nerves disappeared after that," says Kaitlyn.
At the entrance to the ceremony area, the couple accented a gift table covered in velvet sage linen with a loose floral arrangement in a low white vase; the table also held a custom card box. A leather sign welcomed guests, while a rattan basket added natural texture.
Shades of Green
Kaitlyn and Kevin opted for a ceremony spot by the pond at the ranch, providing guests with sunny water views while they said their vows. A tall square frame created a focal point for the service, while towering displays of white blooms and lush greenery stood out against the area's natural landscape.
After sharing an emotional first look, Kaitlyn and her father arrived at the ceremony in one of his classic cars—a Shelby GT350 '65—before he escorted her down the aisle. "My dad is a big car collector so it only made sense to have him drive me to the ceremony," says Kaitlyn. "That was one of my favorite moments of the day—driving down the hill and seeing everyone for the first time."
Saying "I Do"
Kaitlyn and Kevin exchanged traditional vows before recessing to a recording of Zac Brown Band's "Cast Away."
Raise a Glass
At the cocktail hour, a vintage trailer-turned-bar served up signature drinks—a margarita and an old fashioned—while guests sipped the couple's favorite brews at a craft beer tasting bar. Passed small bites included barbecue chicken pizza, ahi tartare, and bacon-wrapped shrimp.
Lounges All Around
Outdoor lounges included umbrellas to shield guests from the August sun, and incorporated a variety of textures and materials to create the couple's elevated bohemian atmosphere: equipale cocktail tables, copper chairs, rattan tables, wood furniture, and leather upholstery.
A Clear View
An oversized white table with a woven base became the centerpiece for the couple's escort display, where guests found their names printed on sheets of acrylic. Tall displays of pampas grass behind the clear sheets incorporated the duo's floral design, while a collection of baskets around the table added texture and interest.
Kaitlyn and Kevin took advantage of the season by setting up their reception outside the ranch's weathered barn.
They chose three different table setups—round tables with velvet linens and wooden chairs; long tables with white embroidered cloths and copper chairs; and farmhouse tables with velvet runners and white chairs—and moved to the center of the space to share their first dance during dinner.
Light and Bright
White-on-white centerpieces included dried accents to coordinate with the bouquets and other floral accents, while emerald-green foliage allowed the creamy blooms to pop.
On the Table
On the round tables, sage-colored velvet linens showed off minimalist white china, gold-accented votives, and handmade table numbers created with cane backing and vinyl numbers.
Embroidered white tablecloths were topped with rattan chargers, white plates, fringed napkins, textured water goblets, and gold flatware, while pillar candles, white bud vases, and copper tea light holders surrounded the floral arrangements. Wooden bead tassels secured white place cards to the custom printed menus.
"Field to Table created a menu based on our likes and dislikes; it was very personalized to us," explains the bride. "We had chicken and tri-tip for the main dish and then a salad, Brussels sprouts, veggie stir fry, and risotto. Most talked about was how delicious the chicken and risotto were!"
Just inside the barn, the couple presented their Papercake Events confection—a two-tier with one layer of confetti and one of chocolate peanut butter—alongside a selection of all-white desserts. (Monogrammed bags nearby let guests take their sweets to go.) A dried floral installation overhead led to the indoor dance floor, where lights and tall, leafy arrangements decorated the dance area and the DJ's stage.
The duo took their first spin as a married couple to "Give It All We Got Tonight" by George Strait. "We listen to a lot of country music and have liked this song since we first started dating," says the bride.
Photography, Mirelle Carmichael
Venue, Greengate Ranch
Event Planning, LovelyFest
Catering and Cake, Field to Table Events
Flowers, Noonan's Wine Country Designs
Videography, Chromatic Collective
Stationery, Paper Habit
Cake, Papercake Events
Music, DJ Malik Thorne; Miller Time Music
Rentals, All About Events; Avenue Twelve; Blush Fine Linens; La Tavola Fine Linen Rental
Bride's Gown, Christos
Bride's Accessories, Haute Bride veil and jewelry; Jimmy Choo shoes (ceremony); Kate Spade shoes (reception)
Hair and Makeup, Jess Wilcox (bride); The Queen's Bees (bridesmaids)
Bridesmaids' Dresses, Show Me Your Mumu
Groom's and Groomsmen's Attire, The Black Tux
Lighting, Bella Vista Designs
Transportation, SLO Safe Ride
Bar Catering, Sidecar Cocktail Co.
Ice Cream Truck, Negranti Creamery
Rings, Kay Jewelers