Rancho Valencia, Valencia Circle, Rancho Santa Fe, CA, United States
When you have a new team member, you hope you’re not only going to be great co-workers but possibly friends. How do you know if this new teammate is going to be a fit not only for the company but IRL? For starters, you could look at their wedding. When The Venue Report team found out our newest confidante was married mere months ago at one of our favorite San Diego venues, Rancho Valencia, our eyes lit up with excitement. Turns out, she’s a gal after our own hearts by styling her wedding full of cacti, lots of texture and the prettiest wash of neutrals you’ve ever seen.
We chatted with Alana about the day, her inspiration and her relationship that shaped this ultimate Southern California wedding. Guests sipped on local craft beer, had breakfast for dessert by way of gourmet donuts and took in the sun going down over the Pacific Ocean while they celebrated Alana and Brennan’s love. See how our newest work bestie got married in magical style, collaborated with some of our favorite event creatives and has one heckuva story to go along with it.
Photography by Aubree-Lynn Photography
Tell us how you and your husband met AND got engaged? We see that ring ;)
My hubby and I met in a class our sophomore year of college. I’d had my eye on Brennan all quarter. He was the guy that showed up in a vintage orange plaid blazer and vans when the class had to wear business casual for a presentation; I instantly knew he was the kind of person I needed in my life (his style has progressed a bit since then, but he definitely still keeps things playful!) Our professor serendipitously paired us up in a group for our final project- little did she know she’d be making a love match.
Fast forward 7 years later, we were strolling around Encinitas on a Sunday morning, iced coffees in hand. We got to the overlook at Moonlight Beach and gazed out at the ocean; before I knew it Brennan was down on one knee asking if I would marry him (I was so surprised!) It was sweet, simple and so heartfelt.
You got married at one of our fav SD venues, why did you choose Rancho Valencia?
I honestly think the venue chooses you! We wanted the celebration to take place outdoors and be close to our home in San Diego. Rancho Valencia definitely checked the boxes of an airy and light setting for a beautiful ceremony and a super fun party.
As someone who loves plants, I was especially smitten with the olive tree groves, cacti and lush tropical foliage and knew that the greenery would make an awesome backdrop for the day. After touring the venue, we had tacos and champagne in The Pony Room (Rancho Valencia’s restaurant) and knew this was the place!
We knew you were one of us when we saw your wedding design. What was the inspiration behind your design/decor?
When a space is naturally beautiful, you get off a little easy because the decor can be really minimal. We brought in a few personal touches to accentuate the venue but mostly let the natural qualities of the space shine through. I’m a big fan of texture and mixed materials so we used wood, marble, copper for inspiration (and of course lots of plants and greenery!)
What did the menu look like? Any special food or drink?
As far as drinks, since Southern California is known for it’s craft beer scene, we wanted to share some of our favorites with our guests that traveled from afar. We each chose a favorite brew from where we grew up (mine: Saint Archer White Ale from San Diego, his: Hangar 24 IPA from Redlands.)
As far as food, everything the culinary team at Rancho Valencia served was divine. Their focus on fresh, local, and sustainably-harvested everything was really incredible. I wish I could eat our wedding dinner again and again.
We rounded out the night with cake, donuts from our favorite local spot Devil's Dozen, and late-night street tacos!
We noticed the groom did an outfit change but you didn't - what's the story there?
As mentioned, the groom has a very playful sense of style and he’s a big fan of the short sleeve button down (“SSBD”.) I found this awesome brand from Australia that makes fun shirts and gifted him a cacti-print SSBD the day of our wedding along with a little note telling him how excited I was to marry him. About halfway through the reception he went missing for a little bit and later emerged wearing his new shirt. Not only was it funny, but it definitely got the party started!
Favorite moment from the whole day??
There’s a surreal feeling when you realize that all your favorite people from all different parts of your life have gathered in one place to celebrate the love between you and your best friend- it’s unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before (it also makes for one awesome dance party!)
Venue & Catering: Rancho Valencia | Photography: Aubree-Lynn Photography | Florals: Bloom Babes | Rentals: Pow Wow Design Studio | Coordination: Mel Montoya | DJ: Who's That DJ | Cake: Whole Foods | Donuts: Devil's Dozen