Welcome to a wedding full of so much natural beauty from the Californian coast of Mendocino. Picture horses roaming through the rolling meadows whilst the sun shimmers through towering oak trees. Our real wedding couple Nick and Carson couldn't imagine saying their vows anywhere else in the world but here, and we can totally see why they chose Blackbird Farm in the Anderson Valley. This bohemian wedding is full of unique elements, surprises and everything out of the wedding ordinary! The DeLauras Photography captured the beauty of this very special day along giving us tonnes of inspiration along the way... take a look!
The romance between these two Californian sweethearts first began with a big 'super like' from Nick on Tinder in 2017. After exchanging a few messages, during which Carson learned that Nick worked for a drone company, the couple decided to meet in Sausalito to fly Nick's drone on what happened to be the hottest day of the year. As Nick left his house in Oakland, drone in hand, his roommates told him definitely that the drone is not a cool idea. Carson explains: "When Nick arrived in Sausalito, he told me that the drone was broken. I was disappointed so instead invited Nick to a local dive bar. After spending the afternoon getting to know each other, Nick surprised me when he went in for a kiss. We agreed to see each other again!"
Carson wrote a sweet note on the sole of Nick's shoes as a little surprise - such a cute idea. But let's rewind to another big moment. The proposal was not without its challenges! Nick enlisted Carson’s best friend Ali to help plan a trip to Angel Island. The plan was to take Ali and her boyfriend’s boat but once they set out and just as they started to gain speed, the motor died. Desperately the group revived the engine, simultaneously checking that the oars were on board. As they approached the island they noticed a sign saying that the island was closed due to the pandemic. "We beached the boat and talked a park ranger into allowing us to stay. Finally, we all went for a hike around the island. Once ahead and with a view of Sausalito, the fog and the Golden Gate Bridge, got down on one knee, and asked me if she would marry him!" says Carson.
In a fitted tight lace dress with the most beautiful workmanship, boho-chic bride Carson dazzled in a backless halter neck gown. A french braid and radiant, natural makeup finished off her look along with some sentimental accessories. She wore prayer beads that were a gift from a Buddhist monk in Bhutan, a blue bracelet gifted by a German friend who was unable to attend the wedding, and custom-made blue topaz earrings encased in sterling silver from her mom.
On to the dashing groom Nick! His eccentric polka-dot tie and the dark blue suit look gorgeous with the vivid flower buttonhole and vibrant bridesmaids who we will be getting a sneak peek at soon! The couple's priority for their dream bohemian wedding day was to get married under a California Oak tree. "We wanted a setting with natural beauty. We wanted also a wedding weekend experience with our friends staying on-site, along with being able to have long conversations feeling like we could take it slow, and enjoy the time together," they say.
Love is in the air! Surrounded by the most idyllic scenery, it was time for Nick and Carson to share their first look, under the oak trees before embarking on their new journey as husband and wife. We adore how Carson's eye-catching florals burst with colour against the natural setting.
The stylish wedding party joined their sides before they made their way to the charming ceremony space in less than an old yellow school bus - take a look below. But first, let's start with the beautiful bridesmaids, all wearing individual mix-and-match gowns in a range of different yet complementare shades. Inspired by a photograph of a blossoming bouquet, the ladies were then asked to choose a dress guided by a colour from the image. Their colour palette consisted of shades of red, and pink, mustard and plum. The groomsmen followed in a similar style to the groom wearing blue suits and navy silk neckties.
As a poignant touch on the day, Carson framed pictures of Nick's father, who had sadly passed away a few years before. They had it placed at the wedding ceremony, reception, and dinner to ensure his presence was felt throughout.
Our couple's wedding theme was inspired by a mixture of Wabi Sabi (the Japanese aesthetic of appreciating the beauty of nature and accepting the beauty of imperfection), shabby chic, peace, balance and harmony! As they are both the children of hippies, they ensured their love for 60s and 70s style, with plenty of colour shone through! There were also elements of surprise throughout the day, with a horse at the end of the wedding ceremony, a French scavenger hunt game between dinner courses, and a beat drop during the first dance. "We tried to keep our guests on their toes!" they explain.
Here comes the bride! Accompanied by her parents, arm in arm, Carson makes her way down the aisle to the love of her life.
Everyone, let us introduce you to the VIP - very important pooch - Charlie. Carson describes the moment she met Charlie at the aisle: "At the end of the wedding ceremony, we were heading back down the aisle and all of a sudden I felt my dress catch on to something. When I looked back to see our dog Charlie standing square in the middle of my train smiling up at us. Having our dog Charlie there was really special!"
Forget throwing confetti, how about a bubble shower instead? The beautiful venue, Blackbird Farm, consists of scenic vineyards and untouched rolling valleys. The couple explains what made this exact spot the place to say their I dos: "We were looking at the photos and were struck by a photograph of an oak tree that had grown into two very strong branches. We knew that was the tree we wanted to get married under."
The main dinner reception was held in the horse corral under festoon lighting, and the evening dancing took place in front of the barn. This al fresco wedding the perfect blend of laid-back style, from the comfy outdoor lounge area to the delicately placed dining tables touched with the same selection of cheerful flowers. If you take a closer look you might even spot the fresh berries hidden amongst the coral and magenta dahlias.
The newlywed's advice is simple. "Keep in mind what matters, there will be bumps in the road to your wedding day, such is life, but it all smooths out in the end!"To keep the celebrations going, the couple hit the coast on a mini moon where they camped on the Lost Coast. They followed that with a glorious honeymoon to Portugal the following spring.
Remember they mentioned how they kept their guests on their toes - literally, they did! During the dinner reception, they played a French wedding game that is a combination of musical chairs and a scavenger hunt. Basically, you pick a person to represent each table and ask them to bring back common items such as a fork or a tie. The last person back loses and must return to their table. "Normally the last item to collect is a twist and we chose the item to be Nick’s mom. As it happened, Nick’s mom had escorted herself to the restroom, so the two remaining contestants had to run to get her in the restroom. When she finally appeared, everyone applauded and she took a long deep bow. It was hilarious!" says the couple.
A very special moment they loved, was the heartfelt speech Carson's father gave. Carson explains: "The candlelight at each table and the sting lights above provided the only remaining light after the sun had set. He is an incredible storyteller, speaking slowly and softly. Everyone listened intently, laughing and crying. It was a very intimate moment."
A drool-worthy ice cream station was on hand for the guests for a refreshing treat!
As for the last surprise of the evening, the duo came up with a unique idea for their first dance one night when they were dancing in their living room. "We realised that we have the most fun freestyle dancing. So we decided to start with a slow more traditional love song In My Life by The Beatles and then we asked our DJ to scratch the record and drop the beat with the song Fisher by Camel Power Club. I still remember making eye contact with a guest whose face dropped thinking the DJ had messed up our first dance and then laughed realising this was all on purpose!" says Carson.
What a special wedding day! A huge thank you to Nick, Carson and The Delauras for sharing such an inspirational bohemian wedding day with One Fab Day. Check out more gorgeous photos in the gallery below.