High school friends Lauren and Santino (whose nickname is Sonny) continued to run into one another, long after high school. Even when they lived in different cities, they seemed to see each other on a fairly frequent basis. Sonny wasn’t exactly shy about the fact that he thought they should date, but Lauren’s boyfriend at the time probably would’ve had an issue with it. Fortunately, Lauren did eventually become available and Sonny didn’t delay. Living in different cities made things difficult, but they were both willing to do the work.
While dating, Lauren was in a horrific car accident, which Sonny witnessed from within another car. A year later, he took Lauren to Disneyland to celebrate her survival and recovery from serious injuries. The couple enjoyed the amazing fireworks show from near the castle, and afterward took a walk to the fountain. Sonny began fumbling over his words, but held it together long enough to drop to one knee and propose. Lauren said yes without any hesitation.
The bride-to-be began planning the wedding right away; in fact, she started long before the proposal even came. Sonny would ask her what she was doing and she’d respond, “Planning my wedding. You’re welcome to be there if you’d like.” Apparently Sonny got the hint.
They both knew they wanted a less formal wedding outdoors and loved the idea of having a venue with a barn. Taber Ranch stole their hearts immediately and they knew it was the one. Selecting the food and dress, on the other hand, were not such easy decisions.
The groom’s one request was barbecue for the food. Lucky for him there are some amazing barbecue caterers in our area. They ended up selecting Ludy’s Catering, but Sonny just couldn’t get Buckhorn Catering’s coleslaw off his mind, so Lauren surprised him with it at the wedding.
Sonny got his barbecue and Lauren was excited to get the bridesmaid dresses—tea-style and made from vintage linens from the ’50s and ’60s—she had been eyeing long before the proposal. Not only were they beautiful dresses, but also the cut looked amazing on all of her bridesmaids (not an easy feat as most brides know). Lauren made sure to not leave the groomsmen out of the vintage vibe. She made their boutonnieres out of felt with vintage buttons found at a local antique faire. She was also able to turn the fabric samples from the bridesmaid dresses into pocket squares.
The big day was all about celebration. The ceremony was short, sweet and to the point, and then on to the party they went. When guests arrived at the reception they completed advice cards, which the DJ read while guests waited in line for the food. Most of them were pretty comical and provided great entertainment. The newlyweds, along with all of their guests, couldn’t wait for the dancing to begin and kept it going all the way until midnight when the venue closed. They weren’t ready to stop the party, so they simply brought it back to the hotel.
Lauren and Sonny departed for their honeymoon right away. Hurricane Isaac may have put a damper on the timing of their cruise, but the happy couple certainly didn’t let it ruin their time celebrating. As for kids, they both want two, but for now, they’re happy just being newlyweds.
Lauren & Sonny's Wedding Resources
A Song for Mama by Boyz II Men
Pure Imagination from Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory
Boombastic by Shaggy
We had a two-tier round stack cake:
• 7″ round cake (top) was a buttermilk cake with fresh strawberries and bananas with a cream filling
• 9″ round cake (bottom) was a lemon poppy seed cake with raspberry butter cream filling.
The frosting was an Italian butter cream dyed a very soft pink. The sides were textured with bottom beading borders. Our florist provided flowers for the topper.
• The bridesmaid bouquets were made up of all white hydrangeas with jute and/or burlap for the stems.
• My bridal bouquet was white hydrangea, light peach stock, ivory spray roses, peach garden roses, and other natural elements with lace finished stems. (Overall look: Round, hand-tied in style. Romantic. Soft and light in color with light peaches and light blush pinks).
• The Groom/Groomsmen boutonnieres were handmade flowers that I made out of felt and old buttons.
• The ceremony flowers were mixed flowers in ivory, light peach, pinks and blue accents placed in mason jars hung from shepherd hooks.
• Flowers for the reception area (tables/lounge areas) were placed in old silver teapots, milk glass, candlestick holders, mason jars, and vintage tin containers (mixtures of each on tables).
Our favors were a CD with love songs picked by the Bride and Groom. I picked out an image to put on the front of the CD and Disc Makers printed the image onto the blank CDs; then I burned the music at home. I also made the CD sleeves.
• My mom created a beautiful photo booth wall. I made most of the props that went along with the booth – minus the hats – those I purchased from Evangeline’s Costume Mansion in Old Sacramento.
• I think my favorite parts of the wedding (other than marrying Sonny…LOL) would have to first be the bridesmaid dresses and then the venue. I found the dresses at Louise Hedley’s Etsy shop because she was getting in new fabrics all the time…needless to say I was obsessed!! Her dresses are made from vintage bed sheets = and the style of the tea dress is AMAZING! It even has POCKETS! Plus, getting married mid-August, outside, they were uber comfortable. I was a little concerned with her shop being all the way in New York – but it was super easy. She has a list of all the different fabrics on her website and then you pick the ones you like. She mailed me swatches of all the ones I chose. (I eventually turned those swatches into the pocket squares for the groomsmen to match who they walked with). She sends you a how-to guide on taking your bridesmaids’ measurements and then you just email them back to her. She creates her masterpieces and then ships them back to you. Everything fit perfectly!
• Taber Ranch. What an amazing venue!! The barn is so stinking cute! I don’t know if you’ve ever been there but man – just walking up the garden walk to the barn and lawn area – I said – O, yea, this is the place! The garden walk on the way up to the barn is eclectically decorated with things ranging from old wagon wheels, a retro fridge, cat and frog statues, metal sculptures, cups, random vintage kitchen items and even a Wizard of Oz reference (which happens to be my favorite movie).
• The barn is three levels of awesome. You can use it for the dining part of the reception, but we used it mainly to party…our guests dined out on the lawn. Kim & Bonnie have done a great job hunting for treasures to decorate the property. They took an old school bus that they used to transport guests from the parking lot to the barn and made it into a bridal suite area to get ready – it’s even equipped with AC! Sonny’s selling point was the bocce ball court… even the bathrooms have so much character. Sonny and I loved Taber Ranch so much because it had so many awesome features that typical wedding venues just don’t have. Did I mention how amazing it was to work with Kim and Bonnie?! Every time we’d go to see the venue to get ideas or show our parents around – they were so helpful and accommodating and would get just as excited about planning as we did.
• Have a budget and a plan!
• Don’t be afraid to cut back on guests. Your guest count can add up quickly so don’t be shy about saying that your uncle’s next-door neighbor’s grandma isn’t invited.
• Be crafty! Sonny actually helped with a lot of the crafting and wasn’t too bad at it either. Plus – it’s something fun to do together and he was super proud to see his final products! Our guests loved seeing the items that we put our time and creativeness into.
Have a budget and a plan!
Don't be afraid to cut back on guests. Your guest count can add up quickly so don't be shy about saying that your uncle's nexy door neighbor's grandma isn't invited.
Be crafty! Sonny actually helped with a lot of the crafting and wasn't too bad at it either. Plus - it's something fun to do together and he was super proud to see his final products! Our guests loved seeing the items that we put our time and creativeness into.
Take advantage of all the fun wedding expos and food tastings!!
• Since a lot of my decor and favors were handmade, I would have liked to have had them finished a lot sooner than I did. Nothing like waiting until the last minute on some things.
• Oh, and I wished we would have taken more photos in the photo booth.