We are swooning over this dreamy DIY SoCal wedding at Orcutt Ranch!
Shea Shoemaker
Shea Shoemaker June 15, 2020

Dreamy DIY SoCal Wedding at Orcutt Ranch

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“We met in 6th grade at Santa Fe Middle School. It started with Andres flirtatiously teasing me and saving every last dance at the school dance for me. In 7th grade, He passed me a note in class that read “I.H.F.F.Y.” I spent most of the day trying to figure out what it meant, until I realized it stood for “I Have Feelings For You.” That’s when our love story began…

Throughout middle school and the first half of high school, we continued our on-again, off-again relationship. Although we had strong feelings for each other and made many memories growing up together, we were too young to know how to make it last long term. So we decided to take a break.

College came and went, six years later we reconnected when mutual friends decided to have a small reunion with their old high school group. I reluctantly went not knowing whether or not Andres would be there. He showed up late (for the first time ever) and the moment I saw him again, my heart skipped a beat. I realized he still had a piece of my heart no matter how much time had passed.

Andres felt the connection and immediately pursued me, but it wouldn’t be easy. Our history was a double edged sword and we were both moving on from our prior relationships. Over the next couple of years, our love helped us overcome our obstacles and grow as individuals and as a couple. The term “what is meant to be will be” had an all new meaning and we knew it was true to us. We moved in together and continued building a foundation for what would be a lifetime of love and adventure.

On March 20th, 2016 Andres proposed (not realizing it happened to be National Proposal Day of all days)! He asked me on the water at Huntington Beach where we spent our first weekend away together as a couple. Although we talked about marriage, I had no idea that this day would be the day to change our lives forever, or that Andres snuck off to my Mom’s the night before to officially ask for my hand in marriage. In fact, I almost ruined his entire plan by not wanting to walk to the water at first (going to the beach was unplanned and everyone knows I am a planner). Thankfully, I went! While enjoying the view and the sand between our toes, I noticed that Andres was nervous, I could literally feel his heart beating through his chest as we hugged one another. Not wanting to be wrong, I ignored the signs until Andres began to kneel with his back to the ocean. I stared right into his eyes (for fear of looking down and not seeing a ring) and blurted out “what are you doing?” Once the words “Stevie, will you marry me” came out of his mouth and his emotions showed through, I knew it was really happening. This is it… the moment that officially meant we would share the rest of our lives together! Our wedding hashtag became #ihffytoido to represent our story.” -Stevie, the Bride

What is your favorite wedding day memory?

Wow this is a tough one… the day went by SO fast, but I still remember every detail. These are a few moments that stand out the most.

That moment walking down the aisle with my mom by my side… I was so nervous (and so was she as she kept repeating “oh my god this is happening”) but the moment I saw my soon-to-be husband’s handsome crying face, it all went away. Our friend played acoustic guitar to our song “Tribal Seeds – In Your Eyes” as I walked down the isle. Feeling the energy of our love throughout the rest of the ceremony is something i’ll never forget.

When we were introduced just before our “1st dance” and were surrounded by all our most special people in our lives cheering and ringing bells. That moment was so full of genuine love and happiness!

The speeches were so so special! We asked both our mom’s, Andres’ sister, my MOH (best friend) and BM (groom’s brother) to each say something. Each speech was so different and special in their own way and it meant to much to hear the love & support from each of them… my husband and I both cried!

We had a lot of fun taking our sunset photos after the speeches while everyone finished their meals. We had a few spots on the property chosen for photos. We were starting to cut it close on the timeline (it was almost time for us to do the garter/bouquet toss) but REALLY wanted photos in the citrus grove. Our photographer told us “ok but we gotta HURRY!” so we scurried over to the grove (champagne still in hand) for our last few photos. It was a silly little moment and our photographer actually took a photo of that moment of us running through the fall leaves to get to the grove.

What did you DIY for your wedding?

For my “will you be my bridesmaid”- I stained wooden boxes with each of their names on them. Since not all my bridesmaids knew each other on a personal level, I included “Meet the Bridesmaids” cards where I wrote how I knew each girl and what I love so much about them. I included a swatch of their dress color,

My dad passed away and I wanted to include him as much as possible, so I bought DIY vintage looking photo charms and inserted photos of him and I to safety pin onto the fabric around my bouquet stem. We bought our invitations, but due to budget, decided to make the pocket envelopes that hold the invitation and cards. What we wanted was specific, but pricey so it saved a good amount by making them ourselves!

We bought small birch wood “trunks” to add to the centerpieces for the tables. My cousin helped me write phrases of love I had saved to add a personal touch.Our venue had a gazebo that we used for decor so we could sit with the rest of our wedding party. Part of that included banners we made with photos of family that has passed away but still there in spirit.We bought raw wood signs, stained them, and a family friend wrote on them with paint markers for specific areas throughout our wedding. My sister’s mom is an amazing baker and made the most adorable and delicious cookies and truffles for guest to enjoy and take home. In the dessert/cake room, we hung photos of my husband and I throughout our relationship.

Did you have a something old, new, borrowed and blue?

Yes! My something old and borrowed was a necklace and a pair of earrings from my Sister’s mom. She has lots of vintage jewelry passed down from her family and graciously offered them to me for our wedding day. My dress, shoes, and hairpiece were my something new. Lastly, my something borrowed and blue I bought a vintage broach with a blue gemstone that I attached to the fabric around my bouquet.

What is your advice for brides currently in the planning process?

If you want your wedding to be intimate, it’s totally okay to draw the line with only those who are closest to you. Don’t feel obligated to invite anyone you wouldn’t miss not being there!

While one of my best friends was doing my make-up, a sudden wave of emotion came over me out of nowhere. It’s hard to describe but I instantly started crying overwhelmingly happy tears…I had dreamed of this moment for so long and it was really happening! Having done make-up for many brides, my friend said “you’re having THE moment…it’s okay, it happens!” I was glad she was there with me for that. It’s okay to feel all the emotions on your day…it’s a big deal. Let yourself be in the moment!

When it comes to the day of, don’t stress over the little things that go wrong. No matter how much you plan, something is bound to happen the day of and you can’t let it put a damper on your special day! Thankfully, our wedding coordinator Jen handled several issues that arose… some we weren’t even aware of. -Stevie, the Bride

Event Credits

Photography: Jessica Yvonne Photography // Venue: Orcutt Ranch // Wedding Planner: Burlap and Rose // Florist: Robinson's Flowers // Catering: Noho Cuisine // Cake: Porto's Bakery // Invitations: The Knot Invitations // Officiant: SoCal Wedding Ministers // Ceremony Music: The Bash // Videographer: Jeremy Foster Films // Rentals: A Rental Connection // Engagement Ring: Robbins Brothers // Bride's Attire: Pebbles Bridal // Bride's Shoes: Macy's // Bridesmaid's Attire: David's Bridal // Hair: Hair by Amanda M. // Make-up: Make-up by Naz // Groom's Attire: Macy's // Groom's Shoes: Burlington // Seating Chart: San Francisco Crafts // Bride + Bridesmaid Hangers: So Lovely Weddings // Bouquet Charms: Jrocks Jewelry // Wine Box for Ceremony: Modern Silo // Birch Trunks for Reception: Exstore // Cake Topper: Cork Country Cottage