A Rustic Backyard Wedding With an Elegant Twist at a Private Residence in Santa Barbara, California


                    Megan Young (28 and an investment professional) and Brian Featherstun (28 and a lawyer) had their elegant, rustic wedding in the

Megan Young (28 and an investment professional) and Brian Featherstun (28 and a lawyer) had their elegant, rustic wedding in the backyard of Megan's aunt and uncle's house, where countless family gatherings filled with happy memories had taken place—including their own engagement. "So much love had been put into the landscaping of the property over the years. We didn't have to do much other than bring in some rustic details to complement the vibe," Megan says. The mint and gray invitations gave guests a glimpse into the wedding day, which had tree designs draped with string lights that symbolized the tree where Megan and Brian got engaged. They played up neutral colors with pops of peach and pink throughout the outdoor space, which added bright accents to the natural setting seen through various details—from the floor-length bridesmaid dresses to the bridal bouquet filled with roses and ranunculus. Three long family-style wooden tables created an open environment where guests socialized and mingled, decorated with wooden boxes overflowing with colorful flowers. We love that Megan and Brian carried out the Southern tradition of "burying the bourbon," where they buried a bottle at the ceremony site and dug it up just before the reception dinner. "I don't think it's part of the tradition, but the good-luck bottle ultimately made its way around the long dinner tables throughout the evening," Megan says. See more of the details incorporated into this rustic wedding with elegant touches, below.

Megan and Brian got engaged at the tree in the backyard of her aunt and uncle's house in Santa Barbara, California. So when they had their wedding there, they wanted to incorporate the symbolic importance of their love with a tree design. The mint save-the-dates prepared guests for the big party in store, with sunglasses depicted on the front that read “Bring It.”
Megan held on to a peach, pink and white bouquet filled with roses and ranunculus, accented with green eucalyptus and plenty of leaves. "Rather than going the traditional route of a white bouquet for the bride and colors for the maids, I did the opposite," Megan says. "I think the end result was really well balanced and highlighted the gorgeous blooms."
“I wanted the bridesmaids to pick out something they loved, so the only criteria were that it had to be a maxi dress in the coral color family,” Megan says. “I loved the look of them all being different yet cohesive.”
The signage at the wedding embodied natural, rustic elements that went along with the theme perfectly. A chalkboard sign welcomed guests to the occasion, framed in wood with a green garland draped on the corner.
Guests sat in vintage wooden chairs set up in the yard for the ceremony. The chairs positioned next to the aisle and on the outside of the ceremony space had long romantic garlands accenting the backs, with colorful roses, dahlias and chrysanthemums added into the mix.
Megan sported a classic look in her ivory strapless dress accented with lace, and added a touch of sparkle with her silver teardrop earrings embellished with crystals.
Vintage brown boxes held an assortment of rose petals in kraft paper cones, which guests used to toss in celebration as Megan and Brian walked up the aisle.
"I wasn’t sure if I wanted a veil, but I fell in love with this double-layer veil with a lace trim that coordinated perfectly with the lace on my dress," Megan says. "It was definitely a splurge, but it ended up being the perfect bridal touch to top off the look."
The groomsmen matched Brian's look and wore light gray suits. They paired them with light-blue-and-white-striped ties, embodying a classic look.
Brian had an ivory rose mixed with small green succulents for his boutonniere, matching the day's neutral palette. The arrangement went nicely with his light gray suit paired with a light blue-and- white-striped tie.
The three dining tables covered with white linens had long, green garlands draped down the middle, accented with vibrant blooms that added pops of color to the mix. Megan and Brian used three long dining tables for seating arrangements, which created an open atmosphere that welcomed mingling.
White numbers depicted on dark wooden slabs marked each table, positioned next to overflowing garland centerpieces speckled with blooms.
Megan and Brian made their grand entrance into the reception with pink and blue shades on, and Megan threw her bouquet up in the air as an act of celebration. As they entered the reception space, they walked by the big tree where Brian had proposed.
Each dining table setting had kraft paper tags with seating assignments, attached to dark ribbon that tied around silverware. Sprigs of rosemary sat under the silverware, adding a natural touch to the display.
Megan and Brian shared a love for the Mexican cuisine of Southern California, so they served a fresh veggie platter and taco buffet for dinner—allowing guests to create their own meals.
Megan and Brian took part in a Southern tradition called "burying the bourbon," and buried a bottle of bourbon where they stood for the ceremony. Then, before the dinner reception started, they dug it up and passed the bottle around for everyone to enjoy.
"Dessert was an assortment of cupcakes from Enjoy Cupcakes," Megan says. "The flavors were mango lime chardonnay—also the flavor of the cake—cookie dough mudslide, strawberry and sweet corn along with honey and salted caramel flan. The cupcakes were such a huge hit, I think they were gone in 10 minutes—and there was one for everyone."
The small cake topped with peach and pink roses had mango lime chardonnay filling—a sweet dessert for a sweet occasion. Megan and Brian cut the small cake and also served cupcakes in a variety of flavors.
Brian wore a light gray jacket and pants combination ordered from Suit Supply, accented with a light-blue-and-white-striped tie. Megan's uncle drove his vintage pickup truck to the wedding as a last-minute decision, and it ended up being used in many photos.