A Camarillo Ranch wedding // Julie and John

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  “We have been together for over 7 years so we have known for a while that we would get married, but taking the vow to become family created a bond between us that we didn’t know could exist!” – Julie You could see the excitement in Julie’s face, she had been waiting for this day for almost a decade. It was really important to them to create a day that reflected them perfectly as a couple for their Camarillo Ranch wedding. So every detail was handmade, and the whole family was involved from the bridal shows, to the tastings, to the assembly lines gluing, printing, cutting, sewing, the invitations – even John and Julie’s Dad braved the long days being the only men in the room. (I am so impressed by the list of DIY’s that I have included them below for some inspiration!)  My absolute favorite DIY project of the day was John’s song to Julie. John is a very talented musician (one of the more well known bands he plays in is Tenacious D) and music is very important in his life. So he recorded their first dance song, she knew he did it, but hadn’t heard it until the night. He played every single instrument and sang. It was such a sweet moment to see both of their faces on the dance floor. There was a whole lotta love in that room!

I think sometimes weddings get overwhelming for people and it is hard not to get caught up in making sure all the hard work is being executed perfectly on the day. It is hard not to get upset when something just doesn’t work out right after all those months of planning (and especially in Julie and John’s case as they did nearly everything themselves!) Julie and John were truly an inspiration – they let nothing get in the way of their Camarillo Ranch wedding. And I think that is a reflection of the fact that they had so much family support. They were truly present on the day, ridiculously happy, and more in love than ever.

DIY Extravaganza First Dance Song: John recorded our first dance song. It has always been “our” song, but the original version was too fast to dance to. So John rerecorded a slower version. He played every instrument and sang. Invitations: We couldn’t find invitations that combined the upscale/vintage feel that I liked with the polar opposite casual/rustic feel that John liked. So my sister (MOH, Christie) designed them and we handmade them. (i.e., we cut the paper, printed them at home, glued, cut out the hang tags, stamped our signature J&J on them, tied the twine, etc.) This project caused me to call in sick quite a few times, lol! Programs & Program Holders: My mom & I cut and sewed each program holder that hung on the chairs at the ceremony. We used a heavy duty gray felt that I cut into rectangles, my mom sewed them together and attached the ribbon that they hung from. My sister designed the programs that we put in the program holders using the same fonts as the invitation…and we printed and cut them. Menus: We also printed the menus that were on each place setting at the reception. SuperMatron of Honor designed those too! Favors: We made S’mores packs as our favors. We set up fire pits outside for roasting! My Mom & I bought graham crackers, marshmallows, chocolate bars, and roasting sticks…and we packed them into clear bags and tied them closed with twine. My sister, (MOH Christie), designed, printed and cut out the hang tags “S’more in Love Than Ever”. Escort Cards/Table Numbers: John is a musician, so my sister designed the Escort Cards to look like a concert ticket (using the same fonts from the invitation). The “Lead Singer” was on the “ticket” and the guests had to find their table name by finding that singer’s “Backing Band” (i.e. ticket = Bill Haley; then the table name = The Comets….Bill Haley and the Comets….KC & The Sunshine Band is another example). Wooden Signs: Ceremony/Cocktails; Happily Ever After Begins Here; Here Comes the Bride/And they lived happily ever after……John built the signs and stained them, and my sister and I printed the vinyl lettering. Video: The Father of the Bride made a video of baby pictures of the bride and groom. It played throughout dinner. Welcome Bags: My sister and I vinyl-printed welcome totes…my Mom & I gathered a ton of snacks and beverages and my Dad filled them. John and I hand-delivered them to each guest in their hotel rooms. It was really nice to have a moment to welcome each guest individually! Family Tree: We created a Family Tree of Wedding Pictures. My Mom gathered the wedding pictures of our great grandparents, grandparents, parents, etc. and we framed them and hung them from a tree to create a family tree. The bride & groom’s baby pictures were at the bottom. Best Men/Bridesmaid Gifts: My sister and I do screen printing/vinyl printing, so we printed our own totes, sweatsuits & tshirts for our bridal party. Flip Flop Basket: I tied flip flops together with twine, and we made a sign that read “Kick off your shoes and Let’s Dance!”

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