Lush English Garden Outdoor Wedding

May 20 2014

We are thrilled to feature Ben and Robin’s colorful California wedding today. Ben and Robin were married this past February at Twin Oaks Garden Estates–a gorgeous historic venue surrounded by a giant forest and lush English gardens. One of our fave focal points is the arbor walkway and its canopy of twinkling lights…wow! These gorgeous grounds are the perfect backdrop for Robin and Ben–our playful, joyful bride and groom whose “unofficial” wedding theme was colorful. Julio Fonyat of Fonyat Photography did an amazing job of capturing the beauty of the grounds and the essence of this captivating couple. Enjoy as our lovely bride shares wedding advice and moments from their big day.

Wedding Style: Rustic & Playful
Wedding Colors: Royal Blue & Yellow
Ceremony & Reception: Twin Oaks Garden Estates, San Marcos, CA

photo Save the Date and Thank You Card

Photographer: Julio Fonyat, Fonyat Photography
Save the Dates & Thank You Cards: MagnetStreet Weddings

adorable bridea and groom

Highlights from the day…
Oh man! Everything! Lol…really though, it was just a fantastic, wonderful day. Some highlights would probably be getting the entire wedding to join us in for our first dance, an epic conga line, and a precarious chair-lifted kiss.

getting ready

garden wedding signs

blue wedding shoes

Tell us about your dress, shoes …
The dress turned out beautifully, a trumpet gown with a simple front and an elegant chiffon flowy back. Though, it was almost a bit of a disaster, since my original tailor cut a bit too much off here and there and we didn’t get it to actually fit until about three days before the wedding! You gotta take it all in turn. I ended up putting straps on for the ceremony to ensure I wouldn’t pop out, but it was great because I sort of felt like I had two dresses! I went with a birdcage veil–which I absolutely loved, as well. My shoes were bright blue.

bride holding colorful wedding bouquet

Is there advice you’re glad you took?
Absolutely. Hire experts and then trust them. They do this for a living, you don’t know more than they do. Your opinion matters, of course, but if they say that something isn’t a good idea, then you’re probably best off skipping it. Also, the first look can be a wonderful experience–a few private minutes with your loved one before the chaos of the day begins.

first look wedding photo

first look wedding photos

first look wedding photo in a garden

California real wedding party

Is there advice you wished you’d taken?
Don’t buy dresses online to save money. Seriously–nothing like ordering rush bridesmaid dresses because no online dresses fit.

What advice would you like to give?
Choose what you want your wedding to feel like, not to look like. The best thing we did in our wedding was to include our guests in special ways: having friends and family share quotes during the ceremony, having them all give their blessing before our vows (with a big “We Will!”) and turning our first dance from a slow romantic one to a crazy one with all our favorite people on the dance floor. If you’re having a wonderful time and show it, everyone else is going to follow suit.

wedding ceremony flowers

father walking daughter down the aisle

walking down the aisle

father and daughter at the altar

bride and groom reciting wedding vows

wedding party at the altar

bride and groom at the altar

plugged in wedding ceremony

What was the best part of the whole wedding day?
The overwhelming, and even surprising, outpouring of love and support. I did not realize how tangible it would all be in the moment, and how alive the night would make me feel with my new husband. So ultimately, the best part of the whole wedding day (besides, you know, getting married to my favorite person in the world) was all the people who came out to share it with us.

outdoor wedding ceremony

chalkboard wedding sign

tall floral wedding centerpiece

reception table decor

white wedding cake with cascading flowersfirst wedding dance

first dance

wedding reception dancing

chair on the dancefloorwedding reception speeches

black and white wedding photo

outdoor wedding photos

tree canopy of lights

bride and groom under canopy of lights

Congratulations Ben and Robin–thanks so much for sharing your day with us! It was truly magical. 


Wedding Pro Shout Out

Julio Fonyat, Fonyat Photography. The BEST EVER.
I was extremely impressed with Julio’s work. He is an incredible value for what you get, and was practically invisible the day of the wedding. Even guests remarked how they barely noticed the photographers (he had an assistant) the entire night. I couldn’t be happier with my wedding photos.

Jerri Disney, Florist
I was super impressed with our florist as well, and couldn’t believe the gorgeous job she did. I literally had a total of one meeting with Jerri and she had everything she needed to run with for the wedding. Of course there were a handful of phone calls and emails, but I had never seen any samples/etc before the day of. But she totally delivered – she did incredibly beautiful work, especially since my husband and I decided to keep our floral budget low. She did a lot with a little.

DJ Mark Huntzinger
This guy IS weddings. He’s done…I think…1100 weddings? He knows exactly when to make a joke, play a good song…just naturally good at reading the crowd and adapting. He did a fantastic job at keeping the party going all night (seriously, the dance floor was never empty) and was extremely easy to work with. Very reasonable price, and he helped us plan our timeline from beginning to end, with suggestions on what he has seen work and what has not. Without Mark, the wedding would not have run nearly as smoothly. He was essentially our wedding coordinator for the night.

MagnetStreet Weddings
I was pretty impressed with MagnetStreet (plus the save the dates box ended up being our wedding storage box all year!) – what attracted me was the prices. Weddings are expensive enough these days! The customization process was super easy, and I LOVED being able to order one to test {Just One® Program}. We ended up ordering singles of about half a dozen designs we created (yeah, I know, so decisive), which ultimately helped us choose our final one. It is fun having all those on our fridge right now, though.

I was about to go for the super cheap for Thank you Cards as well, but Magnet Street had much nicer designs, and also really reasonable prices. We definitely liked the idea of having the front be an entire picture, and liked the overlay of the Thank You on the one that we chose. It was obvious enough to see, but didn’t over shadow the picture.

We chose a fairly generic save the date, but chose colors that we had in our wedding that made it look a bit more fun. We did the same with the thank you cards–loved the full front pictures, and was able to customize the Thank You on front to a color that fit well with the picture.


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  1. Pingback: Best Wedding Day Advice for Enjoying the Big Day!Truly Engaging Wedding Blog

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