This Wedding at The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe in California Will Make You Fall In Love With Pink and Peach
Anne and Brett wanted a garden-inspired vibe for their wedding and The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe, with its magical sunsets and serene countryside feel, provided the perfect setting. A color palette of fiery coral and soothing teal, exquisite floral details (like the ceremony's bougainvillea backdrop) and eye-catching fashion moments (such as the bride's wedding dress which was covered in chiffon flowers) were key to the design of this colorful California celebration. Beyond being a stunning event, it was also packed to the brim with personalization. Notably, the event included plenty of nods to Anne's home country: Germany. Both a surprise lederhosen schuhplattler performance and fresh German pretzels wowed guests. To cap off the epic celebration, the duo drove away in an Aston Martin that even James Bond would've been jealous of.
"We really wanted our wedding to be a celebration of love after having to be in a long-distance relationship for almost two years," says Anne. "Most of my family came to San Diego from Germany, so we wanted to go all-out on the experience, to make their trip worthwhile. Simultaneously, we wanted to find a venue that had a grand space for the ceremony, but an intimate space for the reception, and the Inn at Rancho Santa Fe gave us this. It was important for me to pick a hotel venue so that my family members and all out-of-town guests could stay in one place without having to travel back and forth. The Inn really delivered, they made us feel at home. This elevated backyard feel, along with the wish to really make bright and vibrant florals the focal point of the wedding, set all the wheels in motion. Furthermore, we wanted to highlight our different backgrounds and unite our families. Our goal was just to have a really great elegant party filled with love, happiness, good food and great drinks in a comfortable environment."
Epic florals (inspired by the floral accents seen on the bride's dress) informed every detail of the wedding day, down to the cake's trellis-like pattern that mirrored the botanical trellis seen in the escort card display. "Florals were center stage at our wedding," recalls Anne. "The inspiration for our flowers came from my dress, the Atelier Pronovias Carolina gown, which had a magnificent blush-colored train adorned with countless silk flowers, and had a bodice bedazzled with floral beading. Using the dress as a key pillar of the wedding, we envisioned the wedding florals to be equally as vibrant and saturated. I never saw us having an all-white or muted wedding palette, we wanted quite the opposite. Brett and I are lively, boisterous people and both Dani of HauteFetes and Plenty of Petals' Kasia took this vision and ran with it. My dreamy bridal bouquet featured delicate orchids, and the color palette complimented my dress. For our ceremony backdrop, we chose a lawn facing a naturally occurring bougainvillea arch, creating a sea of pinks in the background. This aligned well with our vision because we never wanted our florals to look artificial or too manicured, rather, we were looking to achieve an organic feel. Using florals that were already there, and enhancing their beauty, felt just right to us. Not to mention the wonderfully created florals that lined and surrounded the aisle. This gave the illusion of walking through a fairytale oasis, what's not to love about that?"
"Adding personal touches to our wedding was one of our top priorities," explains Anne of the details threaded through the wedding that reflected the couple and their story. "Our story as a couple is very unique and we went through a lot in order to get to the point where we could celebrate a wedding together. As we come from entirely different countries, not to mention continents, we wanted our wedding to be a celebration of our cultures and our heritage. Given that our ceremony took place in the US, where Brett is from, and I am a German native, it was vital for us to weave in some German elements. We were fortunate enough that the chef at the Inn at Ranch Santa Fe was accustomed to making German pretzels, and pretzels are a German staple, so we took the opportunity to serve homemade fresh pretzels to our guests, alongside a selection of mustards, during our cocktail hour. When the time came to toast during dinner, rather than simply serving champagne, we also served our guests German Schnapps, as this is a traditional way to toast in Germany! We were surprised with another traditional element when my entire family changed into their traditional German Lederhosen for men and Dirndl for women and performed a ceremonial German/Austrian wedding dance. Needless to say, everyone, Brett and me included, was speechless and we could not have been more impressed!"
Honoring both of their fathers was key to Anne and Brett. "Our wedding day was filled with many special moments and it was very sentimental because Brett lost his father to cancer just months before the big day. We knew that he would have wanted us to celebrate this day to the fullest!" At the end of the wedding, the couple made their grand exit in an Aston Martin that was chosen because of its special connection to the bride's family. "One of the best moments during the day was walking toward a getaway car. This was really special to me, as we arranged for an Aston Martin to be the car my dad drove me to the ceremony spot in, and for Brett and me to drive off in because my dad was the CEO of Aston Martin for many years. I really wanted to honor my dad with this gesture, it was very important to both of us that my dad didn't simply walk me to the aisle, but that he could drive me there be and share those special minutes before walking down the aisle together. And as this was near and dear to my heart, Brett and I decided that I would drive the getaway car. There are many traditionally designated roles during a wedding for the bride and groom, and driving the getaway car felt empowering and exciting! It was a feeling of pure joy to drive off together and to enjoy a moment of peace and quiet before getting back to the hustle and bustle of the reception!"
Looking back on the couple's pink-filled wedding day at The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe, Anne encourages all current to-be-weds to remember "to evaluate what is really important to you and your partner so that no one gets overwhelmed or frustrated. It's okay to ask for help, and I found hiring a planner to be the best investment. Most importantly, enjoy those quiet moments in between, when you are alone with your partner."