(Photography by Deborah Coleman)

Wedding Inspiration: A DIY Garden Party at Big Table Ranch in the Sierra Foothills

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Lauren Lederman and Blaire Bridges wanted a wedding with traditional customs but also some quirky touches—not to mention fresh baked pastries.

At their big day at Big Table Ranch, a venue just outside Yosemite from the same owners at San Francisco's beloved El Rio club–their nuptials had it all, plus a lush outdoor setting with panoramic mountain views to boot.


Nearly all DIY, they labored to put together the celebration of their dreams. There were handmade signs, vases of flowers with bright blooms, and sweetheart-shaped napkin ties with names and the date of the wedding.

Traditional met quirky in their picnic-style bash with Jewish traditions including ketubah signing, the seven blessings, smashing the wine glass at the end of the ceremony, "yihud" (private time right after the ceremony), and horah dancing; and an eclectic assortment of personal touches and colorful attire. Following yard games and bubbles, the bride carried a pineapple down the aisle to a birch arch, adorned with lush foliage. A "seeding chart" showed guests to their blanket or table where they noshed on vegan Mexican fare complete with fresh agua fresca. Their friends also baked for several days to present a sprawling spread of pies and desserts. While the dance party began outside with sparklers, they took it indoors—along with the pastries—once the sun went down.

Finally, the newlyweds capped off the night with loved ones around a campfire amid a grove of trees.

Venue: Big Table Ranch

Catering: Vegan and Sarah

Photographer: Deborah Coleman

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