From a proposal that followed a 30-mile bike ride up the Santa Barbara coast to a ceremony amid the lush landscape of the Santa Rosa Valley, this is a true California romance.
But before all that, this couple first bonded over their shared love of their native Ohio and of the movie Father of the Bride. Nice foreshadowing, eh?
Jon Adam popped the question to Laura Thornhill in a Santa Barbara park over snacks and a game of Boggle. "A good friend popped out of a nearby bush for a candid photo shoot," Thornhill remembers. To celebrate, they toasted with a glass of red wine as the sun was setting.
Of course, when the big day arrived, the atmosphere would be every bit as picturesque.
The rows of blueberry bushes and avocado trees at Gerry Ranch in Camarilo, CA were about all the decor that was needed to set a bucolic scene, accented with sweet DIY and earthy elements. At brunch on the Friday morning before the wedding, the bride and her squad ("including my sassy 88-year-old grandmother") made the bouquets and centerpieces together—romantic arrangements of ranunculus, roses, sage greens, and succulents. "They were my proudest DIY wedding element," she recalls.
The welcome sign, altar, and corn hole boards for cocktail hour were also all handmade.
But when it came to the dress, Thornhill decided to go for glam in a 1920s-inspired gown. "I loved my dress. I actually found it on the way to happy hour in San Francisco about a month after Jon and I got engaged. I talked about the dang thing all night and walked myself right back to the shop and bought it the next day." On her wedding day, she channeled Grace Kelly, keeping her look simple and elegant with a side-swept bun. Her bridesmaids chose their own complementary blush-hued frocks.
Nestled among the lemon orchards, the lovebirds said "I do" surrounded by friends and family, and then danced beneath the full moon and a dazzling starlit sky. Sparklers were lit to signal the end of a magical night.
Of course, doing it yourself requires expert planning. The bride's advice? Google spreadsheets and delegation.
"It was the best way to organize venue ideas, vendors, payment deadlines, and most of all enlist our parents to help track down great aunt Sue's long lost address. Have some fun with doing portions of the event DIY, but don't hesitate to delegate either; sometimes it is worth it to pay someone to print your invites and set up the tables and chairs."
Venue: Gerry Ranch
Caterer: Command Performance and Catering
Cake: Sugar Lab Bake Shop
Florals: Fifty Flowers
Photography: Cameron Jordan Artistry