This Effortlessly Chic Vineyard Wedding at Saddlerock Ranch in Malibu, California, Had Epic Mountain Views
Kat Landeta, owner of Bride Loves a Sale and Second Look, and Jason Lawler celebrated their marriage with a vineyard wedding in the mountains at Saddlerock Ranch and Vineyard in Malibu, California. "Since Jason is from Sonoma County, we wanted to get married at a vineyard as a nod to his wine country background. I’m from the Valley in LA, and so the Malibu mountains nearby seemed like the perfect fusion of our backgrounds. We fell in love with the natural beauty of the vineyard at Saddlerock Ranch and its majestic mountain views, which paid off when we were graced with a stunning sunset over the Malibu mountains during dinner," explains Kat. The bride goes on to share that the couple "wanted to complement the venue’s natural beauty, so chose neutral tones of dusty pink, taupe, and ivory as our color palette. Stylistically we sought a classic but fresh, chic but understated vibe. Also, food experiences and hosting friends for dinner has also been central to our relationship. Our unofficial theme was, 'the garden dinner party of our lives.'"
In terms of the aesthetic of their Malibu, California, wedding, the couple "wanted our wedding to be chic and classic yet feel effortless and relaxed," says Kat. "Florals were a major element of our vineyard-garden design. For the ceremony, our floral designer created a lush floral arch for the structure at Saddlerock Ranch’s Vineyard site, which overlooks the Malibu mountains. Our goal was for the arch to look preexisting and for the florals to give an organic 'secret garden' vibe."
Kat goes on to share that "for the reception, we wanted a simple but chic look with flowers in bud vases and set up multiple lounge areas for guest comfort. We had string lights to make the space feel more intimate, while also bringing attention to the open summer sky. For dinner, we were struck by the dramatic look of two long tables on the hilltop. Our vendors heroically flipped the ceremony site while we did our first dance and reception on our venue’s upper lawn. We sat at a sweetheart table beneath our ceremony arch and it was the perfect vantage point to soak in the moment together. As we sat at our sweetheart table and looked out at our loved ones enjoying dinner, it felt like pure magic. It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime moment, and the long wait and all the planning effort was worth it."
In addition to celebrating their future through the wedding, it was also paramount to Kat and Jason that they honor their roots. Specifically, Kat paid homage to her Filipino heritage through a cord and veil ritual during the wedding ceremony and yet again through the reception menu during dinner. "We had a cord and veil placing during our ceremony, which is traditional in Filipino culture: the veil symbolizes a couple's unity as they start a new family together as well as the love and support from their friends and family, protecting them in their marriage. The cord, shaped in an infinity symbol, represents the couple's everlasting love. It was truly meaningful for our marriage to be blessed by two sets of my titas and titos (aunts and uncles) who have been married the longest and, even more special, we used the exact cord and veil one pair of them used in their wedding over 30 years ago." In addition to the cord and veil situation, the couple "also incorporated my Filipino culture through the food: We garnished my signature cocktail, a spicy calamansi margarita, utilizing calamansi fruits (a citrus fruit native to the Philippines) that was harvested directly from my tita and tito’s garden. Also, as a reference to Filipino adobo, my favorite Filipino dish, our hors d'oeuvres included adobo pork belly nigiri, among others of our favorite foods."
Kat's Filipino heritage wasn't the only symbolic element the duo brought into their catering menu. They also chose to honor their pup through the wedding's signature cocktails. "To incorporate our dog, Gordon, we offered a signature drink in his name and personalized drink stirrers with a sketch of his smiling face and his commentary ('I do, too! -Gordo')."
Given that Kat works in the wedding fashion space, it's no surprise that her own bridal fashion was a major focus during wedding planning. "On our wedding day, I wore two gowns by Filipino-French designer Monique Lhuillier," says Kat. "I bought my reception gown within the first year of our three-year-long engagement. I had seen that style on social media and it had everything I was looking for: soft lace, a sweetheart neckline with eyelash lace, an exposed corset bodice, and a soft trumpet silhouette. When I first went to the Monique Lhuillier boutique asking for it, my stylist Nicola Glover Horton told me that it was an older style that had been discontinued. Disappointed but feeling committed to finding a gown with everything on my list, I kept searching and went on to try on probably a hundred dresses.
"As luck would have it, Nicola reached out to me a few weeks later and said she learned that their studio had just enough of that design’s fabric to make one more of the gown. It felt meant to be that I would get to wear that gown, and after she told me I’d be the last bride to ever wear that design, I knew I had to have it. I did not initially plan to have two wedding gowns and never imagined myself wearing a ballgown. However, in the last few months of our engagement, I started falling in love with Monique Lhuillier’s fresh takes on ballgowns. I fell in love with one particular style and couldn’t get the silhouette, unique neckline, and couture lace out of my mind. I customized the gown by having the straps removed and wore it during our ceremony."
"I like to joke that I can now understand when The Bachelor/ette falls in love with two people, because in this case, I had truly fallen in love with two wedding gowns. My husband fell in love with the ballgown too; it’s so special to him that he refuses to let me resell it. For my 'something blue' I asked my entire extended family, nearly 40 people, to wear shades of blue. I am so happy that they all participated and it felt like the perfect way to include them."
"Jason wore a tuxedo with a classic white dinner jacket from The Black Tux. I wanted him to have a special wedding day look for himself but he was skeptical when I first suggested that he also wear white. When we went to the showroom to try it on in person, he understood my vision immediately. He ended up buying the jacket, not because he will ever wear it again (what could be less re-wearable than a white tux?), but he couldn’t let go of it."
To other couples in the throes of wedding planning, Jason emphasizes how beneficial therapy can be in preparing for your wedding and marriage. Meanwhile, Kat warns about the potential downfalls of social media with regard to wedding planning. "My biggest advice to couples is to plan their wedding like social media doesn’t exist. It’s easy to be influenced by wedding content and think that lavish arrangements and extravagant displays are the norm because that’s what’s frequently shared. But what’s most important is to make decisions that feel reflective of you and your relationship – and not just what’s trending in the wedding industry right now. Of course, social media can provide helpful inspiration and creative ideas. Nonetheless, I encourage couples to focus on how certain elements will make your guests feel on the day-of, not how it will look on Instagram the next day. In other words, don’t do something for your wedding just because you’re seeing it all over social media. And if you can’t afford it, don’t do it. Period."