Gardener Ranch Wedding–Carmel Valley Wedding Photographer
We had the amazing honor of photographing Kyle and Erica’s STUNNNNNINGGGGGGG private estate wedding at Gardener Ranch in Carmel Valley, California and it was one of the most fun/gorgeous weddings we’ve ever had the opportunity of capturing. If you have ever dreamed of having a wine country wedding that has total ‘summer-camp’ vibes then look no further!
At Gardener Ranch your best friends and family (and your DOGS!) stay on site among the rolling hills and grapevines. It’s the perfect destination for nature seekers, adventurers and couples who want to plan an unbelievable experience for their wedding guests. This notion of a destination wedding getaway full of memories, laughter, and family camp vibes was exactly what Erica and Kyle wanted for their wedding extravaganza! You’ll want to scrollllll deep for this stunner of a wedding!!!!
WORDS FROM THE BRIDE:
- Tell us a little bit about your love story: Kyle and I met in college and immediately felt connected. We never put on an act with each other, and both felt so much more at ease while together. Our relationship has always been built on mutual trust, respect, and patience. We don’t look at each other as perfect, and would never want a perfect person. We love each other for all our little quirks and things that make us, us. We are the type of people who truly get the most joy out of life by seeing those we love happy, and seeing each other happy is the ultimate sign of success for us in our lives.
- What was the inspiration for your wedding day? The inspiration was actually just all of the good times we’ve had with those closest to us. Cabin trips with our best friends to Lake Tahoe or the Redwoods, ski trips to Colorado, beach trips with our family’s/ friends’ dogs, etc. Our venue was reflected in this with the family-style houses with all of our important groups sharing a single space together. While this is sometimes messier than staying separately, it always accounts for the best stories and funniest memories 🙂 We wanted everyone at our wedding to focus on having a great time celebrating love, and to not worry as much about transportation, dress codes, etc.
- How and why did you pick Carmel Valley + Gardener Ranch for your wedding?? We chose Gardener Ranch because we loved the idea of spending the entire weekend together with our closest friends and family, rather than just one day. We loved having our loved ones just a house away, and it allowed everyone to be more relaxed and, “at home” compared to a more formal venue. We also love Carmel because of how dog friendly it is – Our happy place is definitely on the beach with our dog Leah, and Carmel Valley allowed us to be close to both the beach as well as the amazing wineries in the valley.
- What special details did you include in your wedding or reception?? Our dinner tables were labeled with destinations Kyle and I have traveled to together, and each marker also included a photo of us at that location. Traveling is one of the things we love to do most together. Our candle votives on the dinner tables were used at all 3 of the sisters’ weddings in my family (mine, Jackie’s and Janelle’s). We also had Leah as our ring bearer, which was significant because she’s both of our best friend and so important to us. Lastly, Kyle’s grandmother, Pat (“Mema”) officiated for us, which meant so much to us, as she is someone who knows our relationship well and has always shown nothing but support for us and our love. She did a beautiful job of telling our story, and even included a joke about losing my wedding ring (sneaky reference to me losing my diamond on my bachelorette party in Mexico – only to be found by my 2 sisters on the floor of a bar).
- How did you make your wedding day special and make it about the two of you??! Writing our own vows – strangely, we both ended our self-written vows with, “and I will love you always.” Our vows were so meaningful and personal. Also, our first dance was choreographed and practiced by Kyle and I in secret. We didn’t get help from anyone professional or otherwise, and spent many evenings practicing and coming up with the moves alone in our living room <3
- Most memorable moment (s) of your wedding day? (From Groom and from Bride) Mine was definitely our first dance. It sounds so cliché – but it honestly felt like we were the only people in the room at times. Just the two of us, being dorks, having fun. It’s what our relationship is all about 🙂 Runner up is definitely the speeches. All of them were amazing, (FOB’s, MOHs’, and Best Man’s). Kyle’s most memorable moment was, “the first time I saw my beautiful bride walking down the aisle.” 🙂
- Any advice for those planning now? Get a seamstress you’re very comfortable with and never stick with a vendor who makes you feel picky, demanding or uncomfortable when your requests are valid! You have every right to be selective on your wedding day as long as you aren’t being unreasonable or disrespectful!
- Music (all performed live by our friends Jenna and Max)
- Processional: Bridal Party: You’re My Best Friend (Queen), Bride: XO (John Mayer version)
- Recessional: Signed Sealed Delivered (Stevie Wonder)
- First Dance: Stand By Me (Otis Redding version)
- How was your experience working with The DeLauras?? Honestly, hiring The Delauras was one of the best decisions we made regarding our wedding! They not only took gorgeous photos for us, but also supported us as friends and stepped in at crucial times throughout the day. Anthony helped wrangle our crazy groomsmen, helped Kyle tie his bow tie, and even put duct tape on the bottoms of Erica’s shoes to make them easier to dance in. Kendal offered kind & honest feedback about accessories, and tips on how to look “perfect”, (taking off your bra early to avoid lines, etc.) She also helped tremendously with establishing our wedding day timeline. Their artistic vision produced amazing & beautiful shots that I hadn’t seen taken previously at our venue. The DeLauras really know weddings!!!
- Anything else you want to add??? Our entire family banded together to make sure we had the perfect wedding and helped us SO much. My sisters/ MOHs Jaclyn & Janelle were basically my wedding coordinators and florists all wrapped up into one, not to mention my shoulders to cry on, (literally at times). My brothers in law made our wedding arch from scratch the night before the wedding because someone… (me) forgot to get one. They also made all the stands and hung the string lights for our outdoor dinner the day before/ of the wedding, and even helped prevent a major beauty emergency 2 days pre-wedding. My parents and aunt helped with so much as well – both leading up to the wedding financially and supporting us on the day-of; running around steaming dresses, sewing GoPro harnesses for Leah, etc. Kyle’s grandmother was our officiant, and did an absolutely beautiful job telling our story.
getting ready + ceremony GARDENER RANCH| destination CARMEL VALLEY |event planner EVENTS BY BREA| floral design THE BRIDES SISTERS| wedding dress designer ANAIS ANETTE | bridal dress shop A&BE BRIDAL PORTLAND | hair & makeup BLUSH MONTEREY|bridesmaid dresses AZAZIE | grooms suit THE BLACK TUX | officiant KYLE’S GRANDMOTHER| photography THE DELAURAS |