A Day in the Sun

December 3, 2012 in
Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

Leigh Ann Smith

Leigh Ann is an interior designer, visual merchandiser, and general creative thinker – don't ask her to add without a calculator! She loves ankle boots, Stevie Nicks and Indian food.

Armando and I have known each other since the 7th grade, where we met in Ms. Gallegos’s English class. Even though we were always just friends, we secretly had the hots for each other (I bored my friends to death about my love of his super sculpted arms, ha!).

We completely lost touch with each other after high school, until one fateful night when we ran into each other at our hometown bar. We got to know each other again over spicy tuna rolls and Sapporo, and the rest, as they say, is history!

When we started planning our wedding, we knew our extra-small budget was going to be a challenge. We also knew that we wanted our day to be casual and fun, with good music, games, and yummy food, surrounded by our friends and family. What fun is a wedding if it’s not a reflection of you as a couple? When we found the Los Penasquitos Ranch house, with its old California ranch charm and Southwestern landscape, we knew it was the perfect place to throw a rad party!

With my dear friend Melissa of PowWow Events, we began planning by taking inspiration from the Southwest. Using a color palette of turquoise, mustard, red, purple, orange, green, and rustic wood, we started pulling together all the elements for our day. We decided on moon cactus and succulent centerpieces, and scoured thrift stores to find vintage pots. I also hunted for vintage southwest motif postcards to use for the guest book (our guests strung them on twine to create a banner around the DJ). To honor our fathers, who have both passed away, we used pairs of their cowboy boots as a focal point behind the caterer’s table.

I am super lucky to have a clan of creative and talented friends and family. My mom made hundreds of yarn tassels for our wedding canopy and sewed the table runners out of curtain panels from World Market. Melissa provided the vintage furniture for the entire wedding, creating a fun, colorful setting using mismatched vintage pieces. Melissa also created an amazing Alfombra aisle runner out of dyed sawdust – it was a total showstopper!

The lovely Heather of Sweet Revelry Events painted an adorable welcome and dessert bar sign, and made custom arrow cake toppers. I also contacted some Etsy vendors to create custom details, like the mason jar tags from ModernTypography. I sent her a picture of the table runners, and she used the color palette for the chevron design. We also got custom stamps from Sugarskull7, hemp from Patontheback, and postcards from Burstsofcreativity. The custom leather belt is from Contrivedtocharm. There were so many DIY projects that it would be hard to name them all – let’s just say the whole thing was a labor of love!

Our day would never have been so perfect without our amazingly talented team of vendors. They all totally got our vision for the day, and contributed so much to our wedding that I could never thank them enough. Planning your own wedding is a trying job, but seeing everyone you love drinking, eating, dancing, and carrying on in celebration of your love makes all the blood, sweat and tears worth it – trust me!

All photographs by John Newsome Photography.