A Elegant, Rustic Wedding at a Private Residence in Bakersfield, California

Danika Youngblood (22 and a real estate agent) first crossed paths with Frankie Hurtado (22 and a certified nurse's assistant) in the weight room at California State University, Bakersfield, where they were both athletes—Danika was a volleyball player and Michael was a wrestler. For their winter wedding, the two made it a true home game: “We had our wedding in Frankie's parents’ backyard,” Danika says. “We picked this venue because it would save us some money, plus we could do whatever we wanted with the wedding design.” Danika says she wanted “a very elegant wedding that was still natural and rustic.” This elevated, rustic look was conveyed through a palette of deep wine reds and plenty of soft, natural greenery. After exchanging vows outside before a backdrop artfully draped with a dozen green garlands, the newlyweds hosted their 250 guests in a glammed-out clear tent equipped with chandeliers, long wooden tables, a vibrant black-and-white dance floor, and crisp white lounge furniture. After a hearty dinner of tri-tip and mashed potatoes, everyone danced into the night. “I would suggest hiring a wedding planner if you can,” Danika says. “You have to put all trust into your wedding planner. It’s hard to let go on a day you want to be so perfect, but they know what they are doing and everything works out in the end—even better than you could have imagined yourself.” —Carolyn Meers