by: Lauren

Inspired by a rustic country style and the laidback ambiance that comes with it, this California wedding from Lukas & Suzy VanDyke is fun, beautiful, and filled with details! Wildflowers, lace and burlap, the coolest signs, and hay bales for seating are all details that you don’t want to miss! The lovely bride, Molly, is here today to share some of her planning story:

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What (or who) helped you most in your planning process and/or on your wedding day?

My mom was a huge help in the planning process. She knows I am very opinionated, so she did an excellent job of standing back and letting me do my thing but also being there whenever I needed her.  She is one of the most hospitable people I know, so she did an amazing job of organizing and spoiling the people that came to help make invitations, favors, etc.  My sister and sister in law, Cate and Janie Pearce, were also essential parts of  our big day.  Cate was my maid of honor, and was there to help and support in all of the planning.  Janie, an amazing talent and artist, helped fine tune my vision and was my helping hand in all of the many projects we did surrounding the wedding.

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What was the most important thing to you when deciding who to work with for your wedding?

Because we were working with a limited budget, we relied on the help of close friends and family to stretch our dollars as far as possible.  I did not “hire” a designer, but am blessed with a sister-in-law, Janie, who has an expert eye and visual design experience.  She was able to help me turn my vision into reality, and keep me focused on the feel I was after.  My mother-in-law, Judy Hazel, is an amazing florist, and she was able to provide us flowers at cost and free design (  I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted in my flowers, and she did an amazing job of working with me and giving me flowers more perfect than I could have imagined.  Our family friend and neighbor, Laureen Mgrdichian, coordinated the whole wedding day.  There were so many small details to be organized and done that day, and I knew she was the woman for the job.  She did an amazing job and I knew I had no reason to worry with her in charge.  Our family friend, Charli Tuttle, was our food coordinator.  She caters different events, and was a champ at organizing the food getting there and the friends that were helping clean and serve.  We were also privileged to work with the incredible Lukas and Suzy VanDyke as our photographers.  They photographed my brother’s wedding, and I knew they were who I wanted to so perfectly capture every detail of our big day. 

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What was your inspiration for your wedding details and/or design?

I grew up in Southern California, but have always loved the country feel. We decided to get married on my parents property in Sand Canyon.  This area of Southern California is filled with horses and open space, so making it feel country was fairly easy.  I was going for a very distinct “feel” for our wedding. Caleb would ask me what our wedding colors were, and I’d say, “We don’t have colors, we have afeel“. This made it fun, but also very challenging in that we had nothing definitive to lean back on. The feel I was going for was a laid-back-old-time-festival-in-the-country-feel.  I focused on muted colors, textures, music, and options of festival activities to accomplish this feel.  We had a lot of burlap and raw wood to create our textures, including wine barrels and a torn apart piano as our bar area.  I wanted there to be life among the brown landscape of the ranch, so we had basic white daisies strewn around the property.  After the ceremony, the guests went to a separate waiting area we called “The Commons”. Here we had musicians Raul Reynoso and Tom Corbitt playing fiddle tunes to create the festival atmosphere. We also had areas to play horseshoes and croquet, places to look at photos, and simple white and yellow face painting for the children.  In all, that laid-back-old-time-festival-in-the-country-feel I so desperately wanted was absolutely accomplished. 

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What was your favorite thing about your wedding? 

All my girls and I wore cowgirl boots, fitting in with the country feel.  As the bridal party’s  entrance into the reception, we decided to continue with the country theme and indulge in our/my love for line dancing.  After the bridal party was individually introduced over “Moves like Jagger”, the song slid into Rascal Flatts’ country hit “Banjo”.  The bridal party met on the dance floor and went straight into a wonderfully prepared line dance. Our bridal party members were such good sports… And it was amazing to look around at our friends supporting us as we danced together.

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What is your best piece of advice for other brides?

I absolutely loved the wedding planning process! Caleb… Not so much. We were long distance for our whole planning process, so the stress on top of the stress made it tough.  I would encourage brides to enjoy the process, but remember the you’re getting married to your man, not your wedding. Preparing your relationship for marriage and knowing that unity with your future husband is the purpose of the whole process is most important. The other thing I’d say is to organize well in advance, and then when it comes to the day, force yourself and your mom to drop all of the details and soak in the day. 

Molly’s advice to also prepare for your marriage- absolute perfection, and a very necessary reminder!

All of the details in this wedding are just amazing! I think my favorite was the choice of three different favors. That’s such a great idea, especially if you can’t decide on what to give your guests!

What are you doing for your own wedding favors? Have you ever thought about giving your guests options of what they can take home?


Vendors who made it all happen…

Photographer:  Lukas & Suzy VanDyke // Calligrapher:Calligraphy by Tami // Floral Designer:Ever After Floral // Caterer: Stonefire Grill // Etsy Designer: Tasteful Tatters //

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Owner & Editor at Every Last Detail
Lauren Grove is the editor and owner of Every Last Detail. A clueless bride-turned-wedding planner, Lauren uses her experiences and knowledge to educate and inspire brides all over the world.

Latest posts by Lauren (see all)

3 responses to A Country Inspired California Wedding

We love your comments, but please remember to keep them kind and positive, as this is a place for inspiration and sharing information. We have the right to remove or not approve any negative or harmful comments.
  1. Suzy VanDyke (a Vendor)

    Thank you so much for the feature! Caleb & Molly are such a sweet and adorable couple!

  2. Natalie (a Bride)

    Loved all the details and the soft pallets of this wedding.Thanks a lot for sharing.Congratulations to Caleb and Molly!!

  3. Christie O. {Mountainside Bride} (just curious)

    What a sweet and down-to-earth wedding. I especially love the dainty daisies in the brides hair. So sweet!

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