Sunday, September 15, 2013

Mandy & Derek : Figueroa Farmhouse Wedding

Hi Friends!

I am so excited to share with you this very special wedding day! I can honestly say that in the five years I have been planning weddings, this one is easily the most memorable one I have been a part of!  For starters, it was at the Figueroa Mountain Farmhouse.  All my wedding peeps and maybe even several of you lucky readers know how drop dead gorgeous {and how incredibly challenging} this location can be.  The Farmhouse is a unique, private retreat above the Santa Ynez Valley that just oozes with both tranquility and character.  Where the map ends on a worn mountain road, your markers usher you to a narrow windy path that drops you into a secluded mountain bowl of rolling hills and flat meadows.  The view and the feel of the space is absolutely intoxicating... every single fiber of your being feels the soul of that place.  It's sensational.

Then there's Mandy & Derek.  I met Mandy over 10 years ago when we both worked for the Angels Baseball Club.  I've always known Mandy to be sweet and funny and carefree, and when we reconnected to plan her wedding I instantly picked up on how creative and passionate and sprited she had grown to become.  In our conversations, it couldn't be more obvious that she loves her family, her friends, and her fiance. And she loves them hard.  It was no surprise to me when meeting Derek, that he shared that same affinity for the people around him.  His presence is warm and his demeanor is hospitable and gentle.  I'm basically obsessed with these two.  

After boasting that I've done over 70+ weddings without a single one being rained on, it rained poured for hours before and during their big day. This obviously created several large problems for us.  For starters, this happened...

Ya that would be the groom and the best man {lifesavers!} towing our car up a muddy mountain to get to the venue. {I took the most hilarious video of this but there's a lot of inappropriate words in the video -woops!- so I'll spare you!}  Would you believe they did this for several cars that wedged themselves into the mud?! It's still so funny to think that a day that started this ridiculous turned out so perfect in the end!

Our plans to tent the event were also curbed by the mushy mud, so some quick thinking, a little discussion, and a lot of prayers and help from their gracious families put a new plan in motion to move 100+ guests inside the main house for the reception.  This kind of Plan B would break any bride {it's ok Mandy, I was crying on the inside too!} but I begged our lovely lady to keep on keeping on, and to trust us to make sh*t happen. {I swear I didn't use those words, though when it comes to wedding days, I'm not above it! lol}

I could go on for hours recounting the stories that made this day so memorable... about how this amazing family rolled up their sleeves {and pants!} and helped us pull it off.  How even when given the choice to watch from the indoor deck, nearly everyone opted to instead grab an umbrella and head out to a wet ceremony. How Mandy & Derek shook their heads but laughed and smiled as the weather sprayed every which way. How we tactfully but hastily blow-dried Mandy's dress post nuptials. How the rain {of course} departed only moments after we moved inside. How my fearless team moonlighted as stagehands, florists, and caterers that weekend. How guests took the "minor details" all in stride and unanimously vowed to be of good cheer and celebrate the newlyweds.  How her adoring mom and I shared the biggest hug, a huge laugh and sigh of relief, and a smore at the end of the night.  And of course, how Mandy and Derek so intentionally and admirably focused on each other, like they'd been doing for years, as they danced into the wee hours of the night.  There is just so much to be said about two people who can dance in the rain.  Literally.  What better depiction of a love that's resilient and determined than one that can withstand a stormy sky!  I LOVE THIS.

I've said an earful!!  It's time for the eye candy!  Without further ado and with the help of my new friends, Joseph & Andrea from Connection Photography, I am so thrilled to {finally} share with you all the magic that was Mandy & Derek's big day.  Enjoy the photos!

Venue: Figueroa Farmhouse
Wedding Planner: V3 Weddings & Events
Photographer: Connection Photography
Flowers: V3 Weddings & Events
Lighting: Bella Vista Designs
Rentals: Archive Rentals
Catering: Epicurean Cowboy
Band: The Dupp Brothers

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