When Brandon was stationed at a new U.S. Air Force Base in an area he knew little about, he relocated with a bit of nervousness. Yet, fate had plans for Brandon’s future that he never could have imagined. “Looking back, it really seems so crazy, as Travis Air Force Base was last on my dream sheet of places to be stationed,” says Brandon.
A few short weeks after getting to the area, he was invited to a backyard barbecue that was joined with a neighboring event, resulting in a fun mix of new and interesting people. There he met Stephanie, who came from the gathering next door, and their connection was undeniable.
When the time came, Brandon brought Stephanie back to the spot where they had gone on their first date, and in that same place, with their parents nearby, Brandon kneeled in front of Stephanie asking for her hand in marriage. They spent the next year planning their special day, focused on teamwork and communication to make sure their wedding represented them and their love in the most authentic way possible.
“Our goal was a moody, vintage and romantic wedding with subtle hints of our favorite time of year: Halloween,” Stephanie says. “We tried to keep in the wedding traditions but put our own unique twists into it. It was important to us to still make it feel like a wedding but our wedding.” They also incorporated their golden retriever, Forrest, into the ceremony by having him join them for a walk down the aisle.
Stephanie says that whether or not the elements of the wedding were traditional, they still reflected her and Brandon’s personal style. It was not a decision they took lightly, but it was one that was important to them. “I wanted to look back at our wedding and be happy that we took the risks to make this wedding our own…this theme was very much us, from the ‘American Horror Story’ themed welcome sign to our all black cake, we were really happy we stuck to our personal style.”
She says she thinks their guests will remember how unique their wedding was, but for them, the most memorable moment was standing atop Taber Ranch, overlooking their reception while the sun set behind them. “We could see all of our beautiful friends and family, we could see the wedding we worked so hard on for months and we were officially married. It was the most surreal, special feeling in the world.”
Steph & Brandon's Wedding Resources
Sara Gutierrez at Kle' Salon (bridesmaids)
Christine Garcia (bridesmaids)
Island Importer (shirt)
Neon Sign Kingdom
Getting Hitched Design + Rentals
Celebrations! Party Rentals & Tents
Neon Sign Kingdom
Grand Californian Resort Disneyland and Meritage Resort and Spa in Napa Valley
“Beautiful Crazy” by Luke Combs
“There You’ll Be” by Faith Hill
“Take Me Home, Country Roads” by John Denver
“Pour Some Sugar On Me” by Def Leppard
“Any Man of Mine” by Shania Twain
“I Put A Spell On You” by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins
“Friends In Low Places” by Garth Brooks
We had a multi-tiered multi-flavor black cake. One tier was churro cake filled with pastry cream, a second tier was chocolate cake filled with a chocolate mousse, and lastly, a vanilla cake filled with caramel and sea salt.
Silver Roses, King Protea, Peonies, Orchids, and Dahlias
Koozies from Sip Hip Hooray
• A unique moment at our wedding had to have been when the power was shut off because of winds and October being during fire season. Taber Ranch was amazing and had anticipated this happening and set up generators before hand. They kicked on and most of our guests had no idea of the power interruption.
• We truly had the best vendors! Kelly at Blossom Farm Rentals was such a huge help. We were really trying to have our own unique moody wedding, which made it tough at the start of planning to make our ideas come together. She gave us a lot of professional insight and gave us a stack of Real Weddings Magazines to help get us kick started and give us some inspiration.
• Raving about our vendors we could not leave out our sweet Mindy, our photographer! Not only did she take beautiful pictures and capture all the fun that day and night but she went above and beyond making sure we were having the best time and that everything was running accordingly.
Our best advice to couples planning their weddings today would be to plan the wedding they want and not what everyone else tells them they should have. Stick to your style, don’t afraid of being unique.
Honestly we were asked about budget throughout the wedding. We knew what we wanted, and we worked so hard each month to save and pay for this special day. We knew numbers we did not want to surpass but we also knew we would kick ourselves if we didn’t include certain little details that meant so much. Taber Ranch was amazing and provided a lot within the venue cost. Dixon Florist and Taber Ranch worked together to reuse floral arrangements around the venue as the location moved from on top of the hill for the ceremony to the lawn for dinner at the reception. This helped so much on cost and looked so beautiful. Looking back we don’t regret a single thing.