A Romantic, Rustic Wedding at Lago Giuseppe Cellars in Templeton, California

Cara Ceasar (27 and a pharmaceuticals sales rep) and Scott Ramer (31 and a consultant) planned an elegant, whimsical affair with a soft, neutral palet

Cara Ceasar (27 and a pharmaceuticals sales rep) and Scott Ramer (31 and a consultant) planned an elegant, whimsical affair with a soft, neutral palette, textured florals and a slew of unique, personality-packed details for their early fall wedding. 

The minute the pair laid eyes on the stunning outdoor event space at Lago Giuseppe Cellars in Templeton, California, they knew their hunt for the perfect venue was over. The sprawling green lawn, quaint lake and grove of oak trees dripping in Spanish moss instantly won them over. “It made us feel like we were on vacation in Italy,” Cara says. 

 From there the details fell into place effortlessly, with the stunning setting providing endless inspiration. The florists at The Little Branch filled the site with eucalyptus garlands and arrangements of garden and spray roses, ranunculus, andromedas, astilbes and proteas, which worked with the Central Coast landscape while also delivering a healthy dose of romance and sophistication. Lighting was key in creating the inviting ambiance the couple were after, so flickering candles, strings of bistro lights and chandeliers were incorporated throughout. Vintage furnishings and antiques belonging to the couple’s grandparents delivered visual intrigue and old-world elegance, while DIY details like chalkboard signs, photos of significant moments throughout the couple’s relationship, and vintage teacup candles allowed Cara and Scott to put a personal stamp on every part of the day. 

The couple shared heartfelt letters during the ceremony and offered a pizza bar later in the evening as a nod to their first date. A tip from Cara and Scott: “Try not to stress as it gets closer to the big day, and just know and accept that some things will go wrong. You will see some minor hiccups, but that’s just life. Remember why you're having the wedding in the first place—to marry your best friend—so no need to cry over a slightly late shuttle for your guests.” —Libby MacCarthy

Cara  was drawn to the timeless femininity of Amsale’s designs and chose a classic cream color and a formal, floor-length silhouette for her bridesmaids' gowns. “I let them pick whatever neckline they wanted because I wanted them to be happy and feel comfortable,” Cara says.
The Little Branch knocked the wedding’s florals out of the park, creating interesting, textured and vibrant bouquets with a mix of classic and unexpected blooms. “I came to them with dreams of white peonies, but they guided me in the direction of blooms that would be more cost effective, seeing as it was late September and peonies aren’t in season,” Cara says. The result was even more stunning than Cara imagined, with king proteas, eucalyptus, spray roses, ranunculus, lamb’s ear, olive branches astilbes and andromedas filling the bridal and bridesmaid bouquets.
Before kicking off the ceremony, Cara and Scott invited guests to mix, mingle and sip on refreshing beverages like fresh-squeezed lemonade, iced tea and infused waters. Vintage furnishings were incorporated throughout the ceremony site. “We also used a handful of my grandparents' vintage trays and brass decor, which meant a lot since neither of my grandparents or my husband's are still with us,” Cara says.
Cara and Scott provided rose petals for guests to toss as they exited from the ceremony as husband and wife. They were displayed at the entrance to the ceremony atop a vintage banquette alongside small white cones in which to place them.
Incorporating a few vineyard-inspired pieces into the decor was a must for the couple. At the reception tables, they swapped out traditional table numbers for green wine bottles featuring hand-lettered numbers in gold ink. As the sun set, the light from flickering candles bounced off the bottles to romantic, ambient effect.
To give guests a taste of the event to come, Cara and Scott had Kara Anne Custom Paper and Lettering design a custom invitation suite. The letterpress stationery featured soft gray script, delicate floral detailing, playful illustrations and bright floral stamps.
Wanting to give their families and friends something to remember the wedding by, Cara and Scott had custom totes made for their guests. The favor combined personality and practicality and also captured the day’s simple, elegant feel.
The couple kept the ceremony short, sweet and nondenominational, focusing on their story. Cara and Scott exchanged traditional vows under the shade of lush oak trees, sharing their handwritten letters. "Our personal letters of why we wanted to marry each other were my favorite part of the ceremony. They were heartfelt and had some funny little quirks in them, which I think really showed our families and friends who we are together," Cara says.
A slice of Decadence’s four-tier cake was a much anticipated part of dinner, but dessert didn’t stop there—the pair also served a selection of French macarons. “I love to bake them, and they even played a part in our engagement—Scott stored the ring in a macaron-shaped box,” says Cara.
For the escort cards, the name of each guest was hand-lettered in purple ombre ink onto white card stock and placed in a small gilded frame. The frames were displayed on a vintage table.
Cara and Scott knew that hitting the dance floor can work up quite an appetite, which is why they surprised guests with a late-night pizza bar where everyone could refuel and return to getting their groove on. Guests chose from five kinds ranging from classic cheese to barbecue chicken.
When guests wanted to kick back after breaking it down on the dance floor, they headed to the lounge, where they could cozy up by a roaring fire under the stars.
To add depth and dimension to the reception decor, Cara and Scott filled the lawn at Lago Giuseppe Cellars in Templeton, California, with round and rectangular wooden farm tables. “Our round tables had a slightly more traditional look with round low arrangements made with the same flowers in my bouquet, while the rectangular tables had a more laid-back, central-coast feel with a simple eucalyptus runner dotted with ivory blooms,” Cara says.
Traditional wasn’t going to cut it for Cara and Scott when it came to their first dance. Instead of the standard long song, the pair danced to “Wild Horses” by the Rolling Stones. “Our first-dance song wasn’t by any means a traditional wedding song,” Cara says. “It was just a song my husband and I love."