Anne and Brandon hosted a wedding completely dripping in casual romance at Graf Barn in Oxnard, California. Photographer Josh Elliott put an absolutely golden touch on all these images and we are completely smitten with the result. We can only apologize that it was so difficult to choose our favorite photos, that we shared ALL our favorites.
I think the venue was a huge part of what made our wedding feel like us. From the moment we stepped onto the property, we were drawn to the intimate, relaxed feel. We loved getting to work with a team that wanted to create a day that represented us, rather than force us into any set menu, timeline, or overall feel. It gave us the ability to blend traditional elements with personal touches and an overall more casual feel which is exactly what we wanted.
Tell us about your gown and where/how you found it!
I actually found the dress the first time I went out shopping. I knew my work schedule was going to get crazy, so I was in check-tasks-off-the-list mode when I went shopping. The original dress actually had lace going up the chest and a high neck, which was beautiful, but definitely not my style. It took a little imagination and much more impulsiveness than is characteristic, but I bought it that day!
What were some touches added to make the day personal?
Brandon’s mom did all of the flower arrangements for the barn and ceremony (we had a florist do the bouquets, rose petals, and other barn decor). One of my best friends who I grew up with sang our first dance (along with her brother – they also did all of the music for the ceremony). Another personal touch was that Brandon walked my two best friends down the aisle. I have known both of those girls since elementary school and we lived together for almost five years after college. Brandon was the “house boyfriend” for a long time (I’m not kidding, when he would bring me flowers he used to bring three bouquets so we each would get one!). We referred to ourselves as the “sister wives” and felt it appropriate that he walk them down the aisle.
What was the most memorable part of the day?
There are two moments that always stick out to me when I think about the wedding. The first is when we were announced and walked into the barn – in all of the special moments of my wedding day that I had dreamed about, this is one I never thought of. We walked into this unbelievably beautiful barn (the barn alone is truly magical) that is just on fire with candlelight, full of so many people we love, all of who are so excited for us and for our future together. I got completely choked up, I have never felt so much love and support in any single other moment in my life. The other was the final dance we did alone in the barn. It’s such a special tradition they have at the Graf Barn – they have the bride and groom dance one last dance alone in the barn before the wedding ends. It’s the only time you are really alone during the reception and allowed us to take a minute to slow down, enjoy each other, and take it all in.
Tell us how you met and became engaged.
Technically, we met years ago… My brother played baseball with Brandon at UCLA (and actually had played with Brandon’s brother when they were younger), but we got to know each when we both started working together in August 2010. My dad actually owns the company, which makes for some interesting staff meetings (and the implementation of a relationship policy)! We sat in facing cubicles for nine months before we started dating, but once it started it didn’t take long for us to realize it was the real deal.
Brandon didn’t want me to have any idea the proposal was coming, so he spent months throwing me off track. We spent an entire dinner the night before we got engaged planning a Europe trip that we were supposedly going to take in 2013 since, per Brandon, we “would be going on our honeymoon in 2014”. We were in Napa at the winery of the wine we drank the first time we ever hung out alone, before we started dating (Brown Estates). After we finished our tasting, the friends we were with slipped away (to take pictures, unbeknownst to me). Brandon and I save corks from wine (yes, we LOVE wine, hence the anniversary wine guest book at the wedding) and write who with we drank it with and where. He told me he had taken the cork from the tasting and handed me a cork that asked me to marry him on it. My head was totally spinning and before I knew it he was down on one knee. He got his wish… I was SHOCKED! I acted how any sweet, loving girlfriend would: throw the cork at him and forgot to say yes before bursting into tears. After two solid minutes of crying and hugging, he had to ask if that response meant yes!
Vendors: Photography: Josh Elliott Photography // Venue & Catering: Graf Barn, Oxnard, Ca // Coordination: Amber Weir // Floral Design: A Beautiful Day Productions (bouquets, hanging candles in barn, eucalyptus in barn, rose petals in aisle) Groom’s mother created all ceremony and table arrangements // Hair & Makeup: Yana Beauty Studio // Wedding Dress: Eugenia Couture // Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka