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A Vintage, Rustic Wedding at Santa Margarita Ranch in Santa Margarita, California

Chi Nguyen (33 and an attorney) and Ryan Cox (32 and an attorney) met at a coffee shop in Syracuse, New York. Chi was running late and reaching for a

Chi Nguyen (33 and an attorney) and Ryan Cox (32 and an attorney) met at a coffee shop in Syracuse, New York. Chi was running late and reaching for a lid on a high shelf when she heard a voice asking if she needed help. Once she turned around and noticed the handsome Ryan, she got nervous and rushed out of the shop. It turned out that Chi and Ryan were both on their way to the same class, so it wasn’t long until they saw each other again. When they were transitioning from friends into much more, Chi and Ryan spent time watching 'Hedwig and the Angry Inch' together -- who would have thought that someday Chi would walk down the aisle to "The Origin of Love” from the musical! The couple was married under an oak tree on Estrada Garden Lawn at the historic Santa Margarita Ranch in Santa Margarita, California. Since the venue's surrounding landscape supplied plenty of natural decor, the couple felt there was no need for a color palette and allowed the wedding party to select their own dresses and suits. The reception took place inside the barn on the property, where their vintage and rustic celebration came to life through succulents potted in teacups, mismatched china place settings and 1920 antique mason jars used as centerpieces.

Traditional Set of Silver Wedding Rings
“We suggested that everyone, including the wedding party, wear their Sunday best. No specific colors, themes or threads required,” Chi says. “Our bridesmaids picked out their own dresses, and the groomsmen also wore mismatched attire. Ryan's best man had the best outfit, which was a three-piece denim suit!”
Wedding Trolley Transportation Chalkboard Sign
From the beginning of their wedding planning, Ryan wanted to get married underneath a large oak tree. So when they had their outdoor ceremony at Santa Margarita Ranch, they selected a large tree on the property to say their vows in front of.
Couple Saying Vows at Outdoor Ceremony
At the outdoor ceremony, bottles filled with bubbles were given to guests to blow when the couple walked back up the aisle during their recessional.
Chi and Ryan walked back up the aisle after their first kiss as a married couple. Their guests blew bubbles as they passed by them to celebrate their marriage.
Flower Girl, Baby's Breath Flower Crown
Chi and Ryan Kissing on Wood Trolley
During the cocktail hour, guests were able to take rides in a yellow Disney-themed passenger train for a tour of the property.
Historic Santa Margarita Ranch, Wedding Venue
At the barn reception, round tables were dressed in white tablecloths and decorated with book centerpieces with hydrangea and lavender arrangements.
Lush flower arrangements of ivory anemones and lavender were arranged inside a rustic wood box and served as a table centerpiece.
“Some of my favorite pieces were the 160 mismatched china place settings, 1920s antique mason jars used for centerpieces and the baby succulents potted in vintage teacups by Ryan and his green-thumbed pals,” Chi says.
“Neither of us had ever visited the Central Coast before, but as soon as we set foot on the ranch, we couldn't imagine getting married anywhere else,” Chi says. “The property is full of history, and the landscape is absolutely breathtaking. Ryan's grandmother was a huge admirer of owls. When the barn doors opened, we were greeted by the cutest barn owl; it was definitely a sign, to say the least!”
“One of the most personal pieces that stood out was our cake topper -- a homage to Ryan's grandmother and her love of owls. The owls were actually vintage salt and pepper shakers restored and redesigned by my best friend, who designed our super shabby-chic dessert table as well,” Chi says.