I have something pretty darn special to share with you today!
In the three years that I’ve been running this blog, I’ve featured some amazing weddings from all over the world. But not until today have I had the pleasure of featuring a wedding from my hometown, the town I grew up in and live in today.
Lauren and Ramin’s neutral palette wedding at the Ventura Mission was sent over by Driver Photo, a wonderfully talented husband and wife photography team that I’m thrilled to have recently connected with.
As you’ll read in our Q & A with Lauren below, the bride and groom designed the colors and details to blend seamlessly with the area’s natural environment, another attribute I absolutely love. So without further ado, I hope you enjoy this lovely hometown soiree!
Do you have an interesting back story to share? Was there a big proposal, did you have a long engagement, was it love at first sight?
We met while working at the UCLA Biomedical Library in college. He has a very dry sense of humor, so for a good year, I thought he was joking whenever he tried to ask me out. Eventually I wised up and agreed to go out with him – after I’d graduated, of course, and was no longer one of the student supervisors at the library.
What flowers did you use in your arrangements?
Per my Aunt Jane, who did the table arrangements, she used “stargazer lilies, white hydrangeas, white roses, tuberoses, eucalyptus greenery, sedges, some fern, plus a few others for filler.” We wound up having the bouquets/boutonnieres done by a florist at the last minute, and the sweet folks at The Growing Co. were incredibly helpful. Unfortunately I don’t remember the specific rose variety that went into the bridesmaids’ bouquets, but mine had ordinary white roses and seeded eucalyptus.
Was there a theme to your wedding? If so, why did you choose it?
As much as there was a theme, the theme was “Ventura.” We wanted it to feel very rooted in a specific place, and that place was my hometown. We chose classic Ventura locations and decorated with colors that felt like they were pulled from the landscape – tan, sage, dusty greens, cream. Ventura is a dry, agriculturally-focused area, so we wanted to draw on the succulents that everybody grows in their yards, the eucalyptus trees that serve as windbreaks for citrus groves, the oak trees that are local landmarks, and the dry riverbeds that surround the town.
How did you pick your venue?
I grew up in Ventura, and Mission San Buenaventura has been the cornerstone of this community for over two hundred years. I can remember going there for field trips and musical events and family weddings. We wanted to get married somewhere that incorporated the history of the town we’d chosen to return to, both because it helped us feel rooted and because it was a great way for our friends from out of town to learn a little about Ventura. The priest who presided at our wedding is a family friend who also presided at my parents’ wedding almost exactly 31 years earlier.
The same rationale underpinned our decision to have the reception at the Museum of Ventura County. We wanted people to have a real sense of the town they were visiting, and the museum is a great place for that. The exhibits stayed open for a couple hours during the reception, and the reception site itself is built with a lot of local materials, including river rock from the Ventura River. It didn’t hurt that the museum was just across the street from the mission, either.
What can you recommend to couples planning their wedding?
When people offer to help, take them up on it! There’s no way we could have pulled this off without the help of our families. In addition to getting married last summer, we also bought our first house (which needed major renovations) and moved 60 miles, and I quit one job just before the wedding and started another not long after the wedding. The day of the rehearsal, I had an assembly line of cousins helping me put together our favors/seating assignments. My sister, Suzi, was my maid of honor and she was absolutely indispensable. My Aunt Jane did the flowers for the reception venue, my mom coordinated with the church and the museum (including getting a menu figured out – we never even had time to taste the food before serving it to everybody), my cousins Geoff and Scott picked up the cakes and drinks, my Aunt Grace and Uncle Mark hosted all the guys while they were getting ready the day of the wedding and then got us all to the church, and everybody involved in the wedding itself, from the readers to the gift bearers to the ushers, were cousins of ours. It was a family event from start to finish.
And don’t be afraid to cut costs on things that are not your priority. Our two priorities were food and photographs, and we realized we didn’t care about having a DJ or a fancy cake (we don’t even like cake). We cut costs by assembling a few playlists in Spotify and piping the music through the venue’s built-in speaker system, and by buying a bunch of delicious cheesecakes at Costco instead of going for a more traditional wedding cake.
Thanks for stopping by!