Jennifer + Paris’ California wedding was a rustic fairytale, right down to the open-air, twinkle-lit reception at a family friend’s estate. Jennifer’s maids were effortlessly chic in frocks from David’s Bridal. (We love that first shot of the bridal party!) And while the little details (table numbers + clothespin escort cards) are ranch-ready perfect, it’s the dessert spread we’re crazy for. I lost count of how many different kinds of cupcakes Stephanie Benbow-Barker of Shortcake’s Bakeshop prepared for the newlyweds, but Jennifer + Paris’ cupcake tree is a sugar addict’s heaven. Photographer Cooper Carras has more from this wonderfully homespun affair waiting for you on his blog.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? To stay true to our rural-country setting, we served BBQ tri-tip, roast vegetables, corn bread and baked beans. For our beverages, we had beer on tap and made sangria and mojitos with fresh fruit, served out of large glass infusion jars – all this served behind our authentic western saloon bar. Our table tops were centered with large antiqued candle lanterns, sitting on a bed of lush, grassy ground cover. Each table was numbered using antiqued shipping tags attached to the lamps. We also used shipping tags for our name tags, which were given the same antiqued treatment. The name tags were strung along the arena fence by ribbon and clothes pins.
Describe your wedding cake: We decided on cupcakes rather than a traditional wedding cake to fit the rustic theme of our wedding. Lucky for us, Paris and I are friends with two very talented bakers. The groom’s display consisted of Jalapeno Cream Cheese, Kaluhua Mocha, and Guinness and Whiskey cupcakes. The Bride’s display was made up of Classic Red Velvet, Ube with Macapuno Frosting, Tiramisu with Marscapone Buttercream, and Chocolate with Chocolate Ganache Frosting cupcakes. Both displays were topped with a small cake, which held two unique, handmade custom toppers of the bride and groom, designed, sculpted, and painted by Paris.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The biggest challenge had to be preparing the venue itself, which was Paris’s parent’s property: a beautiful 5-acre working ranch in Jamestown, CA. We had to make sure we had the arena properly wired for the string-lighting, caterers and sound. We even had to rent portable toilets because their home could not accommodate the 175 guests we anticipated for the wedding. It was a lot of hard work, but we felt all the more connected to the venue, which made it all worth it.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? In the middle of our reception, while the band was in mid-swing and the party was on the dance floor, the electricity just shut down. While our electrician-friend Jody ran (and fell) to the rescue to fix the issue, Paris and I continued to mingle with our guests when we started to hear singing. In the darkness under the stars, our friends began to sing “That’s What Friends Are For,” and more and more people joined in until the evening was filled with singing voices. It was such a beautiful and spontaneous moment – we simply felt overwhelmed and enveloped by love. We will never forget it. It epitomized the spirit of the event.