We love weddings that are simply about everyone having a fantabulous time, just like Samantha and Steven's 'Best Day Ever' blow-out. The adorable music-loving couple held their ceremony in Campbell Creek Ranch Estate in Alpine, California, where Steven grew up and where they hope to raise a family. With vast greens spanning 55 acres, the ranch was a great place to unleash their unique combination of cowboy fun (his) and a penchant for all things rose gold and sparkly (hers). There were plenty of fun games – giant Jenga, anyone? – and DIY elements, including much of the decor. Read on as Samantha shares all about the memorable day....

On how they met:
"We met while working at the Boys and Girls Clubs of San Diego. He was a music instructor and I ran the music department, so I was technically his boss! In February 2011, I had an extra ticket to a Dave Bazan show after work and asked if he wanted to join me. We went to Taco Tuesday before the concert, and that started a tradition – it's been four years and we haven’t missed one since. He proposed to me on April 20th, 2014 at the Carlsbad Flower Fields, right in the middle of a field of Ranunculus."

On the dress:
"I had seen Grace Loves Lace dresses all over Pinterest and I loved the effortlessness of the designs. I’m not an overly fancy person, I don’t wear heels, but I still love to dress up and feel beautiful. I knew my overall vision was to look like a magical woodland fairy, and I think the combination of my dress and the beautiful flower crown from Isari Flower Studio really made it all possible."

On the groom’s outfit:
" We wanted something classic, but also a little more modern. We went with a dark navy suit, a gingham shirt and a blush-colored tie. I had to talk him out of wearing his cowboy boots – the wingtips he picked out were way more sleek."

On the decor:
"Our main colour scheme was blush with accents of peach, rose gold, and lavender. We also decided to use ranunculus as the main flowers since he proposed to me in a field full of them. Our venue was so beautiful that we really didn’t have to add much to it. We kept the details pretty sentimental. For the table settings, we used Alpine Beer Company bottles to hold the table numbers (it's our weekend spot, and also where Steve told me he loved me for the first time), and Bulleit Whiskey bottles from the bar where I used to watch Steven's band play – our favourite bartender saved them for us. Everything else was handmade by me and my Pinterest-loving bridesmaids!"

On the ceremony:
"My older brother did a reading from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, which is a beautiful passage that Steven and I both loved. We were married by my uncle, so the whole ceremony was very personal and special. We also had our parents write down their “wish” for our marriage, which we placed in a giant confetti balloon and released at the end of the ceremony."

On one of the best moments:
"We didn’t do a first look, but I did one with my dad. My dad seeing me for the first time and crying was really special. He had just finished crying in time to walk me down the aisle, at which point Steven started crying. It was beautiful."

On her DIY touches:
"I designed and drew the save-the-dates, invitations, programs, and thank you cards. Luckily, one of my bridesmaids is the Martha Stewart of bridal crafts and she made all the signage, wedding favors, table settings, banners, seating charts, etc. In this age of Pinterest, it’s hard to imagine not doing it yourself!"

On the food:
"Since we were up to about 163 Taco Tuesdays at the time of our wedding, it seemed only fitting that we hire a taco truck to cater! It was delicious, fun, and easy. My friend Krissy has a home bakery and made a beautiful dessert spread that included mini cheesecakes with lavender and heart-shaped pie pops. Steven’s sister used to own a bakery, so she made our wedding cake. For the cocktails, we had a Bride’s Dirty Shirley and a Groom’s Old Fashioned."

On the music:
"Steven was in charge of the wedding playlist. Since he is a very serious musician, this was really important to him. Our playlist was probably not the most traditional because it involved a lot of Waylon Jennings, old school punk, Beyoncé, and 60s British Pop.

Their first dance:
"You Can Never Hold Back Spring" – Tom Waits

On the entertainment:
"For wedding games, w
e had giant lawn Jenga, bochi ball, horse shoes and corn hole (which my dad built)."

On wedding favours:
"Guests were given mason jars with chalkboard labels to keep as their glass for the night, as well as packets of wildflower seeds."

Her advice for brides-to-be:
"No matter how much you plan, not everything will go perfectly. Uninvited guests will show up, a groomsman will spill beer down the front of his white shirt before the ceremony, and your nephew will probably pop a balloon during the middle of the vows. At the end of the day, this isn’t the stuff you remember. You’ll remember the look on your husband’s face when he sees you for the first time, the joy of dancing your heart out with your best friends, and all the happy moments that truly made the day perfect. Be sure to take a step back at some point and just observe, because it is going to fly by so fast."

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Vendors

Bridal gown & veil: Grace Loves Lace
Shoes: Betsey Johnson
Groom and groomsmen suits, shoes & accessories: Men’s Wearhouse
Wedding planner: Francine Ribaeu Events
Florist: Isari Flower Studio
Food and drinks: San Diego Taco Company
Transport: Haynes Antique Car Rentals
Photographer: Brooke Aliceon Photography  

Budget: US$15,000

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