One Couple's Casual, Rustic Wedding at Holman Ranch in Carmel Valley, California
Eva and Nico's wedding at Holman Ranch Wedding in Carmel Valley, California, celebrated a blending of cultures against a beautiful backdrop of mountains. "The inspiration behind our day was 'California hacienda,'" says Eva. "We were both born and raised in Northern California and wanted everything to reflect our home state and our Latin American heritage. We wanted to honor our roots both in the ceremony and in the food and music. It was important to us that our guests felt like they knew more about us as a couple by the end of the night. We decided we would have a Jewish ceremony and a Mexican 'pachanga' (party). Nico's siblings constructed our chuppah using my father's tallit (prayer shawl). We used my family's kiddush cup from my parent's Jewish wedding ceremony and Nico's parent's lasso from their Catholic wedding ceremony. We asked friends and family from both sides to deliver their own versions of the Jewish seven blessings and even had Nico's godmother translate the ceremony into Spanish. Our culture and our relationship were the inspiration of the day. We only included things we loved and were excited to share with others."
When it came to decor for their wedding in Carmel Valley, California, Eva explains that "Holman Ranch was such a beautiful venue that we wanted small pops of decor to accentuate the natural beauty of the space. We decided to use blush and sand colors to complement the stone all over the ranch. We added in pops of teal for some more color. Most of our decor was DIY from the shutters for the seating chart to all our signage. We even ordered hand-painted Talavera tiles from Mexico. We painted table numbers and letters onto the tiles and then propped them up on little easels we stained. We also painted mason jars in our colors to place around the venue. It was the perfect mix of putting our own spin on things, while keeping it simple and manageable."
In addition to making sure the wedding complemented the natural beauty of Carmel Valley, personalization was also paramount for Eva and Nico. "We wanted every detail to reflect us as individuals and as a couple, and share what we love with our guests," says Eva. "We were very specific with our music and how we could use music to set the tone for each part of the day. We had klezmer music for the ceremony, a mariachi trio for the recessional and cocktail hour. Then, we had a Cuban big band for dinner and Latin dance music for the end of the night. Everyone was on the dance floor by the last dance. For cocktail hour we had Jewish-inspired hors d'oeuvres, and for dinner we had a full taco bar (including handmade tortillas!). Nico's parents own a chips and salsa company and they supplied a chips and salsa bar. It was important to us to have plenty of options for people who didn't want to only drink and dance. We made sure to have plenty of non-alcoholic options that still felt celebratory since Nico doesn't drink. Our caterer made us horchata and agua fresca. Then we had an espresso cart from dinner through the end of the night. Instead of cake, we decided to have locally handcrafted ice cream. They helped customize flavors for both of us. The coffee and ice cream was a huge hit with all our guests. We also had a cigar bar and plenty of areas for guests to sit and chat, smoke a cigar, or drink a coffee. And of course there was plenty of salsa dancing happening on the dance floor."
Looking back on the wedding day, the couple notes that "after almost a year and half of the COVID-19 pandemic and postponing our wedding for a year, the most anticipated moment was being all together in the same place celebrating our love. We live on the East Coast, Nico's family lives in California, Eva's family lives in the Midwest, and our friends are spread all over the country. In some ways, it really was a destination wedding! We decided to plan an entire weekend for our closest friends and family so we could make up for some of the quality time we had missed over the previous year. It was amazing to have time together that wasn't just the six hours on the day of. It allowed us to really focus on each other on the wedding day. It was unreal to see everything finally come together after having been isolated for so long and postponing for a year."