I want to become a society lady Rockin' a new rock?!

Elyse and Steve’s wedding at Heartstone Ranch in Carpinteria was entirely focused on family. One of our favorite ideas they had was the welcome bags for guests, which contained a contribution from family members so each were represented. We also got a little teary when Elyse told us that her family found a old recording of her grandfather, who was an opera singer, and decided to play it for the father daughter dance. Often times, all the moments in between the gorgeous images help tell the entire story! Very special thanks to Matt Haines Photography for sharing his beautiful images! Read along for the rest of Elyse and Steve’s day!

Wedding Blog Elyse and Steves Wedding at Heartstone Ranch
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Tell us about your gorgeous day!

I’m sure every bride and groom would tell you that their wedding day was the best day of their lives- and we would be no exception. What really made the day special to us wasn’t a small detail but really an overarching theme- Family, in every sense of the word. Our families both supported us and worked together to help us plan the big day, down to every detail. And our families are really so much of who we both are. And it was so special to have both everyone from our extended families there and ready to bear witness to our big day, and then of course to celebrate. Even Opa got down on the dance floor. What stands out the most to me is just the amount of love and two families coming together. The beautiful HeartStone ranch venue in the foothills of Carpinteria overlooking ocean vistas in the background made it a unique combination of rustic elegance as well.

Wedding Blog Elyse and Steves Wedding at Heartstone Ranch

Wedding Blog Elyse and Steves Wedding at Heartstone Ranch

Wedding Blog Elyse and Steves Wedding at Heartstone Ranch

What made your wedding unique and special?

We had a lot of fun making the wedding our own. Starting with our website- Steve (the groom) wanted to use it as a chance to learn a little bit of coding- so he built it from scratch! (elyseandsteve.com). We also went to one of our favorite wineries and corked our own bottles of red and stored them for about 8 months for the wedding (and of course, created our own labels). Our wedding programs were another really fun project, we designed both the agenda and put a custom built crossword on the back that Steve built himself (crosswords are a passion of ours). Each of the clues were facts about us, our relationship and our families. The welcome bags for out of town guests were also pretty amazing- They had a little bit of each family represented. Inside burlap bags which steve’s mom sewed by hand, were assorted nuts from Steve’s home town, Honey from Avocado trees (avocado’s have helped put Carpinteria on the map), home baked goods by Steve’s mom. A guide to places to dine and things to do in the area put together by Elyse’s parents. Lastly, as a part of the ceremony we did a unique portion where we involved our brothers, grandparents, parents and closest friends- to really reinforce how important our family is to us!

Wedding Blog Elyse and Steves Wedding at Heartstone Ranch

Wedding Blog Elyse and Steves Wedding at Heartstone Ranch

Wedding Blog Elyse and Steves Wedding at Heartstone Ranch

What memory of the day stands out most to you?

Standing up in front of everyone we love, in one place at one time, can’t really be topped- and still feels like a blur. For Elyse, another memorable moment was in her father daughter dance. Her grandfather, whom she never met as he died before she was born, was an opera singer. We found an old recording of him singing the aria “Nessum Dorma” and Steve used his audio engineering skills to clean it up, and that was her father daughter dance. It was really special to have him be a part of the day in a way. For Steve, a memorable moment was the first dance. Even though they took some lessons, he was very nervous. Luckily, when it came to the dance his nerves we’re overcome by her beauty and he was able to enjoy the moment with his new bride.

Wedding Blog Elyse and Steves Wedding at Heartstone Ranch

Wedding Blog Elyse and Steves Wedding at Heartstone Ranch

Wedding Blog Elyse and Steves Wedding at Heartstone Ranch

Tell us your love story and how you became engaged!

We met when we both worked for the same tech company in Long Beach, California. We realized very quickly that we had a lot in common- both played music, water polo, loved jazz and the lakers. The small things that feel big when you first meet someone and feel that spark. After building a friendship, things grew into more. In addition to everything we already had in common, we found new things to be passionate about together. Steve loved to ride his bike so I bought one and we started riding to work and doing longer rides on the weekends. Elyse loved to scuba so steve got certified and started going on Elyse’s family trips. The rest is history! We moved up to the bay area together when Steve got a great offer for a tech company in that area. That September (2012) when on a scuba trip in the carribbean with my family and my best friend (and later maid of honor), steve found a secluded spot on the beach at sunset and popped the question!

Vendors: Photography: Matt Haines Photography // Caterer: Pure Joy Catering // Music: DJ Patrick’s Mobile Disc Jockey // Florist: Avec Shell’s Petals // Lighting: Brite Star Lighting // Venue: Heart Stone Ranch // Invitations: By Invitation Only // All other paper goods designed by Bride & Groom // Dress Designer: St Patrick // Shoes: Christian Louboutin // Jewelry: Nadri // Suit: My Tailor // Transportation: SB Trolley // Valet: BlueStar Parking // Photobooth: Thoughtbox

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Haley and Seth planned a fall wedding that combined her talents as a graphic designer with their desire to make everyone feel like “home” at their wedding. As these celebrations are often times a family reunion of sorts, they embraced the occasion to bring their loved ones together for plenty of candid photos on the lawn, custom cocktails, yard games, and a night full of dancing! Photographer, Brett Heidebrecht, who we love love love love, shot all of these gorgeous images and we are so honored to share them with you, along with the full story of Haley and Seth! (Pssst…did you know we featured Haley and Seth’s engagement too? It’s beyond. Seriously.)

Wedding Blog Haley and Seths Wedding at Red Barn on Waldos Pond
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Wedding Blog Haley and Seths Wedding at Red Barn on Waldos Pond

Wedding Blog Haley and Seths Wedding at Red Barn on Waldos Pond

Wedding Blog Haley and Seths Wedding at Red Barn on Waldos Pond

Wedding Blog Haley and Seths Wedding at Red Barn on Waldos Pond

Wedding Blog Haley and Seths Wedding at Red Barn on Waldos Pond

Wedding Blog Haley and Seths Wedding at Red Barn on Waldos Pond

Tell us how you met:

Haley & Seth’s paths crossed on the soccer field (an apt place if you know them both). Their mutual friend Stephanie invited Seth to come out and play on a Dallas social sports league co-ed soccer team. Haley and Seth started to talk at one of the games and realized MANY common denominators, most of them coming from growing up in Edmond and all of their Oklahoma friends connections. They were lucky in that their Dallas social group was a massive collection of people that was continually evolving and expanding. Most weeks, they could count on at least one if not several group “funtivities” going on. One of these was an outdoor Coldplay concert, where they first really talked beyond the soccer field and got to know each other. They continued to stay friends, play soccer as teammates on “Kiss My Arsenal” on Monday nights, and see each other at the group activities.

FINALLY, Seth asked Haley out after a long and rambling late night friend conversation. Their first date was at The Libertine Pub in Dallas and consisted of snacketizers, beverages, and 3 hours of fun (okay maybe some awkward pauses), non-stop conversation. This evolved into more dates, group hangouts, river float trips, concerts, film festivals, movie nights, and just complete enjoyment sharing life with the other. The rest, as they say…is history!

How did you become engaged?

Seth and I were in New Jersey for his cousin’s wedding that weekend. Sunday morning Seth, his parents, and I headed over to NYC to do some exploring and see our friend Laura for a few hours. Little did I know, Laura and Seth had been scheming (along with our friends, Erica and Stu) for weeks trying to plot the best spot for him to pop the question in NYC while we were there. Long story short – Laura was hiding in Central Park documenting our adventure through the park (this includes Seth changing the plans and me getting irritated… then after the fact, me feeling quite bad for getting irritated, haha). Seth finally got up the nerve and popped the question on this pretty wooden bridge in Central Park. It was incredibly sweet, funny, and so Seth.

Wedding Blog Haley and Seths Wedding at Red Barn on Waldos Pond

Wedding Blog Haley and Seths Wedding at Red Barn on Waldos Pond

Wedding Blog Haley and Seths Wedding at Red Barn on Waldos Pond

Wedding Blog Haley and Seths Wedding at Red Barn on Waldos Pond

Wedding Blog Haley and Seths Wedding at Red Barn on Waldos Pond

We want to hear about your wedding day!

Our wedding day was pretty magical and just how I pictured it being. A crisp, sunny, Fall day with friends and family scattered outside visiting, hugging, taking photos, drinking cocktails, playing yard games, and dancing. I almost just wanted to be a fly on the wall so I could really just watch everyone else enjoy this special reunion. It made me feel overly blessed.

There were so many details that I loved. We really wanted everyone to feel at home and comfortable, so we wanted to keep everything very warm and natural. There was a lot of wood, lace, gold, greenery, deep oxblood, soft lighting, and our flowers were some of the most unique ones I have ever seen. I feel like I can say that because I didn’t pick them out or have a specific bouquet or centerpiece in mind, but basically put my trust into the incredibly talented Katie Huskerson at Birdie to really do what she thought would represent us best. I was completely blown away.

Since I’m a graphic designer I really wanted to have personal design touches, that being the bar signs, the big painted itinerary, and our invitations. I loved being able to be crafty again and use my hands. It was nice to see those things scattered around the venue. Dana Scott, my wedding planner and coordinator was a huge help and is also very creative. She styled the venue so perfectly. Being able to put trust in people is very liberating but also scary – I felt so blessed that our “dream team” made it all come together for us.

Wedding Blog Haley and Seths Wedding at Red Barn on Waldos Pond

Wedding Blog Haley and Seths Wedding at Red Barn on Waldos Pond

What is your most vivid memory from the day?

I’ll start this one with the beginning of the day. I was at my sisters house with all my girlfriends and mom getting ready and it was time to put my dress on. So, I’m putting it on and I look over and I see all of my girls in their flannel shirts and leggings all scrunched in the doorway watching this moment I’m having with my mom, sister, and baby niece. That was the first time I got really teary. For me it wasn’t that I was putting on my dress, but it was just that I felt so loved in that moment and I cherish every one of them so much and was just so thankful to have them there with me. (Still gives me lump in my throat!)

The next vivid memory was when Seth and I were getting ready to be announced into the reception as Mr. and Mrs. Seth Scherm. I picked the song “Take Back the Night” by Mr. Justin Timberlake to walk in to because, well… its Justin Timberlake and I knew it would give everyone a little hop in their step! Hand in hand, we turned the corner to enter the barn and it was a full on tunnel of love, smiles, and loud cheering – I honestly don’t know how I didn’t burst into tears. Pure joy.

Wedding Blog Haley and Seths Wedding at Red Barn on Waldos Pond

Wedding Blog Haley and Seths Wedding at Red Barn on Waldos Pond

Wedding Blog Haley and Seths Wedding at Red Barn on Waldos Pond

Wedding Blog Haley and Seths Wedding at Red Barn on Waldos Pond

Which vendors helped make the dream happen?

Holy cow. We had the dream team. I know everyone probably says that but I just felt so taken care of and so heard throughout it all. I’m so thankful for Dana at Archive Events for everything. I can’t even write it all out because she did too much. She was the person I would call when I knew no one else would REALLY care about random things or thoughts throughout the process and she answered with so much support and wisdom. From beginning to end, Dana was there for everything – she put me at ease and that was always so comforting.

I also got VERY lucky when my sister married a photographer. Not just a photographer, but an insanely talented one at that! Brett Heidebrecht was made for this kind of thing – you can see it within every photograph. I really wanted our photographs to be beautifully natural and not overly processed or photoshopped and that’s why I love Brett’s work. He gives you photographs that actually look like what you remember your day being like. To make a photograph look very professional yet still very real and hardly touched is hard to do, so I always have to rave about him!

Flowers, flowers, flowers. Birdie smashed it. I already mentioned a bit above about them, but I will go on. Immediately when we got engaged I already knew I was going to use Birdie as our florist. I’ve seen their work at other weddings and I just knew I had to have them. I met with Katie and basically just told her that I didn’t want any of my flowers to look like I showed her a photo of a bouquet or an idea on pinterest, but to try and create something we hadn’t really seen a lot. I wanted something different – something she hadn’t done before and I wanted her to come up with it. She started naming all these flowers and I was like – yes, yes, yes, I have no idea what that is but that sounds good – let’s do it! They delivered the bouquets to the church and I yelped a few times. I was blown away. I couldn’t wait to get the reception to see the rest.

Rhonda and Colleen at The Red Barn on Waldo’s Pond were wonderful. When I first heard about their barn I went out there and it was totally gutted and being transformed into a working venue. Not everyone saw the vision of what the finished barn would look like – but I just knew that it would turn out to be beautiful. I just had to have it for us.

There were so many other wonderful vendors that helped us have a memorable day. Matt Vaughen at Beat Boss Entertainment put on one heck of a party for us in the barn – lots of dancing, glow sticks and lights. The Mills Band played an acoustic set for us outside in the paddock during cocktail hour – incredible! IES lighting hung up some beautiful bistro lighting around the venue so that everything was glowing and magical. We rented some gorgeous farm tables from Kahoy Studios that were just perfect for our outdoor setting. Local Eatery provided a divine slider bar and some yummy cocktails! Michelle at Michelle’s Cakes baked and decorated the most beautifully delicious cakes. And lastly, I have to thank the two girls who did my makeup and hair, Sandy at The Social Club for my hair-do and my friend Kristyn Ersteniuk for doing my makeup.

Vendors: Photography: Brett Heidebrecht // Reception Venue: Red Barn on Waldo’s Pond // Planner/Designer: Archive Events // Floral Designer: Birdie // DJ: Beat Boss Entertainment // Hair: Social Club // Cakes: Michelle’s Cakes // MUA: Kristyn Ersteniuk // Table Rentals: Kahoy Studios // Cocktail Band: The Mills Band // Lighting: IES

Today, we are thrilled to feature an idea many of us are seeing in the restaurant world, but that’s new to weddings: farm-to-table! Photographer Kat Braman and her team of vendors discovered Swank Farms–an up-and-coming venue for beautiful, one-of-a-kind farm to table dinners where local chefs have the chance at creating meals using the farms stunning array of micro-greens and veggies–and decided they’d put together an inspiration feature to show you how you could embrace the idea of a local, sustainable farm wedding. We absolutely adore that although it’s rustic, it’s still elegant.

On a side note, one of our favorite take-away ideas from this feature is the idea of a beer tasting with local craft brews! I know my husband would have LOVED that!

Wedding Blog Farm to Table Wedding Inspiration
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Wedding Blog Farm to Table Wedding Inspiration

Wedding Blog Farm to Table Wedding Inspiration

Wedding Blog Farm to Table Wedding Inspiration

Wedding Blog Farm to Table Wedding Inspiration

Wedding Blog Farm to Table Wedding Inspiration

Wedding Blog Farm to Table Wedding Inspiration

Wedding Blog Farm to Table Wedding Inspiration

Wedding Blog Farm to Table Wedding Inspiration

Wedding Blog Farm to Table Wedding Inspiration

Wedding Blog Farm to Table Wedding Inspiration

Wedding Blog Farm to Table Wedding Inspiration

Wedding Blog Farm to Table Wedding Inspiration

Wedding Blog Farm to Table Wedding Inspiration

Wedding Blog Farm to Table Wedding Inspiration

Wedding Blog Farm to Table Wedding Inspiration

Wedding Blog Farm to Table Wedding Inspiration

Wedding Blog Farm to Table Wedding Inspiration

Wedding Blog Farm to Table Wedding Inspiration

Wedding Blog Farm to Table Wedding Inspiration

Vendors: Photography: Kat Braman // Planner/Designer: Desiree Dawn Events // Stationery: Make Merry! // Floral: Julia Rohde Designs // Venue: Swank Farm // Vintage Rentals: Unearthed Vintage // Chef: Michael Wurster of Malcolm’s at The Omphoy // Baker: Earth & Sugar // Bridal Gown: Bacio Bacio Bridal // Bridesmaid Dress: Kostum Designs // Beer: Due South Brewing Co. // Makeup: Amy Kubik // Hair: Nicole S Marks // Band: The Killbillies

Arisa and Evan’s nautical seaside wedding featured a relaxed setting with all the right elegant touches for a fun and personal wedding that combined the best of the south east coast. Everything from their seafood bar (that reflected a southern flair paired with fried green tomatoes) to entering the dance floor accompanied by their alma mater’s football theme song–reflected their personalities, history, and love for one another! Be sure to read along with Arisa’s story as you check out the images by Vicki Grafton Photography.

Wedding Blog Preppy Seaside Wedding at Sanderling Resort
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Wedding Blog Preppy Seaside Wedding at Sanderling Resort

Wedding Blog Preppy Seaside Wedding at Sanderling Resort

What made the wedding special and unique?

We wanted a fun and relaxed setting, balanced with the formality that accompanies a wedding. Being beach lovers, we decided on the Sanderling Resort that offered the perfect combination of understated elegance: a laidback beach ceremony on the Atlantic Ocean coupled with a gracious reception on the Currituck Sound at sunset. We also wanted to share the highlights of the area, so we invited everyone to a North Carolina BBQ, had steel drums play at our ceremony, and selected a tasty seafood bar for cocktail hour, along with fried green tomatoes and surf and turf for dinner. What really made the day special were of course, our guests. We felt so lucky to be surrounded by a cozy group of family, and friendships that dated back to our elementary school days. From Evan hugging every bridesmaid and dapping every groomsman as they walked down the aisle, to the warm and heartfelt speeches and toasts, the collective feeling of the day was fun and intimate.

Wedding Blog Preppy Seaside Wedding at Sanderling Resort

Wedding Blog Preppy Seaside Wedding at Sanderling Resort

Wedding Blog Preppy Seaside Wedding at Sanderling Resort

Wedding Blog Preppy Seaside Wedding at Sanderling Resort

What were some touches added to make it personal?

We sprinkled in a few fun things throughout the day that reflected us. While we were getting ready, I sent over Dachshund cufflinks, representing our beloved puppy, Bruno. Evan sent back an initial “K” necklace reflecting my new last name. During the ceremony, we wanted to emphasize the joining of two families and had my nephew, serving as the ring bearer, carry a sweet sign that said “Uncle Evan, Here Comes the Bride.” At the reception, we wanted a song that would get the crowd charged up as we entered in as husband and wife. Graduating from Virginia Tech and being devout Hokies and football fans, we thought it was only fitting to be announced to the same song the football team enters the field to – “Enter Sandman” by Metallica. It was overwhelming to see our guests on their feet jumping up and down! We also bucked tradition and had our first dance professionally choreographed to Montell Jordan’s “This is How We Do It.” That is until Evan blanked on the moves, improvised by simply twirling me around, and then invited everyone to the floor to kick off the dance party. It looked like we didn’t miss a beat!

Wedding Blog Preppy Seaside Wedding at Sanderling Resort

Wedding Blog Preppy Seaside Wedding at Sanderling Resort

Wedding Blog Preppy Seaside Wedding at Sanderling Resort

What was the most memorable part of the day?

It’s so hard to narrow down the most memorable part – from putting on the dress to Billy Joel’s “Piano Man” concluding the evening – each were so fantastic in their own right that all culminated into a dream day! If we had to choose, it would likely be our vows. We wrote our own and the words that tumbled out not only tied up our 20 year history in 2-3 minutes, but also set the foundation for our future together. Seeing every single person on the dance floor rocking out to Living on Prayer was pretty priceless too!

Wedding Blog Preppy Seaside Wedding at Sanderling Resort

Wedding Blog Preppy Seaside Wedding at Sanderling Resort

Wedding Blog Preppy Seaside Wedding at Sanderling Resort

Tell us how you met and became engaged.

We grew up in the same town, 10 minutes away from each other. We met at 14 years old during our second or third week of our freshman year of high school. Evan played football; I cheerleaded, so our early “dates” consisted of Friday night football games followed by a McDonald’s dinner. We proceeded to “break-up” and “get-back-together” over the next four years in true dramatic high school fashion. We both attended Virginia Tech but went our separate ways; typically keeping in touch around our birthdays as we’re two days apart. It wasn’t until over a decade later when I moved back to the area that we reconnected and got back together for good. With this kind of history, Evan knew the marriage proposal had to be good. He crafted seven letters, each one documenting a stage of our relationship and placed them all around my apartment with a path of rose petals directing me to the next one. Letter 1 started with freshman year Homecoming and Letter 7 ended with a proposal cued to Snow Patrol’s “Just Say Yes”. After reading it, I turned to Evan who was down on one knee with a gorgeous ring. Our wedding was two decades in the making and absolutely worth the wait!

Wedding Blog Preppy Seaside Wedding at Sanderling Resort

Wedding Blog Preppy Seaside Wedding at Sanderling Resort

Wedding Blog Preppy Seaside Wedding at Sanderling Resort


Vendors: Photographer: Vicki Grafton Photography // Ceremony and Reception: Sanderling Resort, Duck, NC // Wedding Coordinator: Jessica Chapman at Sanderling Resort // Dress: Monique Lhuillier ‘Candy’ // Shoes: Ivanka Trump // Makeup: All Eyes on the Bride // Hair: Sanderling Resort Spa // Bridesmaid Dresses: J. Crew // Men’s Suits: Brooks Brothers and Jos A. Banks // Officiant: Rev. Jay Bowman // Rings: Forbes Jewelry, Pittsburgh, PA // Cake: Just Desserts // Flowers & Design: Holiday House // Videographer: Birdhouse Productions // Ceremony Music: Minsky Delmonte, Steel Drums // Invitations: Rebekah Seegar // Paper Goods: Confetti Grey