A Rustic California Ranch Wedding at Santa Margarita Ranch

Photo courtesy of Danielle Poff Photography

Buckling wooden boards, whispering meadows and trees that seemingly could tell a story or two epitomes the setting that is Santa Margarita Ranch. This authentic ranch has become a coveted spot to tie the knot, especially as barn weddings rise in popularity. It is no wonder that couple Kim and Brett decided to get married in this classic California ranch setting in June. The working ranch and vineyard provided the perfect backdrop to illustrate the couple’s laid back and soft Western wedding.

A Rustic California Ranch Wedding at Santa Margarita Ranch

Photo courtesy of Danielle Poff Photography

The Location

Kim and Brett chose to get married at Santa Margarita Ranch. The ranch sits in central California, just outside of the town of Santa Margarita and San Luis Obispo. Located in San Luis Obispo County, Santa Margarita Ranch boasts 15,000 acres, covered in vineyards, gardens, open fields and historic structures. The location proves ideal for weddings, as the venue is just one mile from Highway 101. Hotels and accommodations are also just 10 minutes away, making it easy for guests to reach the wedding location. At the same time, Santa Margarita Ranch still has the appearance of taking guests and couples to an old Western ranch far removed from any sort of civilization.

A Rustic California Ranch Wedding at Santa Margarita Ranch

Photo courtesy of Danielle Poff Photography

The Ceremony

For Kim and Brett’s ceremony, the couple used Santa Margarita Ranch’s designated ceremony site. Perched underneath a large oak tree, the space elevated the couple and the wedding party with the guests seated below, making for a more dramatic look. Kim and Brett framed the ceremony location with a floral garland, composed of greenery and peach hued blooms matching the bride’s bouquet.

A Rustic California Ranch Wedding at Santa Margarita Ranch

Photo courtesy of Danielle Poff Photography

The couple also took advantage of the venue’s white chairs. As part of the wedding packages at Santa Margarita Ranch, couples don’t have to seek out chair rentals from outside companies. The venue provides chairs for couples to use for both the ceremony and reception. The Santa Margarita Ranch ceremony location lends couples the look and feel of the old West. It also provides a blank canvas in which couples can truly do whatever they want to the space. In the case of Kim and Brett, they kept the décor and feel relaxed in keeping with the overall theme of the wedding.

A Rustic California Ranch Wedding at Santa Margarita Ranch

Photo courtesy of Danielle Poff Photography

The Reception

Once the ceremony concluded, Kim and Brett welcomed their guests to the reception site in Santa Margarita’s historic barn. The indoor reception space proves ideal for couples worried about unpredictable weather on their wedding day. The historic barn can hold up to 200 guests. Kim and Brett outfitted the barn in elegant yet rustic fashion with lights draped from the barn beams, peach napkins and simple chalkboard framed table numbers. In addition to the barn reception space, Santa Margarita Ranch also boasts gardens where couples can have their reception with up to 1,000 friends and family.

A Rustic California Ranch Wedding at Santa Margarita Ranch

Photo courtesy of Danielle Poff Photography

Style and Décor

The style of Kim and Brett’s wedding was decidedly rustic yet soft and beautiful. The couple achieved a laid-back feel specifically through attire. The groom wore jeans with a suit jacket and vest while the bridesmaids adorned their feet not with heels but rather cowboy boots. The bride achieved a more relaxed vibe by also having her bridesmaids wear different dresses. Due to the ranch feel of the wedding, the casual attire fit well with the setting.

A Rustic California Ranch Wedding at Santa Margarita Ranch

Photo courtesy of Danielle Poff Photography

The invitations also harked back on the days of old with printed florals and a classic font. Kim mirrored the florals and colors on the invitations throughout her flowers, accent colors and bridesmaid dresses. By keeping the color scheme soft and simple, Kim and Brett avoided being too casual for a wedding but also not overly formal that their guests would feel uncomfortable.

A Rustic California Ranch Wedding at Santa Margarita Ranch

Photo courtesy of Danielle Poff Photography

Unique Touches

Kim and Brett kept with the spirit of the old West by incorporating a whiskey and cigar bar. Guests could sip on the golden liquid or puff on a cigar. One of the advantages to using Santa Margarita Ranch is that couples can have a custom bar like Kim and Brett. The venue lets you choose a licensed caterer and allows you to host your own bar with no corkage fees. Couples don’t have to go with the venue’s catering, allowing them to control beverage and food costs more easily. Kim and Brett also featured an old timey dessert table perched on wooden barrels with cakes and pies for those with a sweet tooth.

A Rustic California Ranch Wedding at Santa Margarita Ranch

Photo courtesy of Danielle Poff Photography

Santa Margarita Ranch also has its own built in unique touches in which couples can use for their wedding. Perhaps the most unique amenity on site is the ranch’s Pacific Coast Railroad. The venue boasts a narrow gauge loop around the property, complete with passenger cars from a former Disneyland steam train of the 1950s. The rail service is available for hire for weddings at Santa Margarita Ranch.

Santa Margarita Ranch also lends uniqueness merely due to its history. The ranch was established as part of Father Junipero Serra’s famed Mission Trail back in the late 1700s. Due to its extensive history, the site is one of the longest continually operated cattle ranches in the Golden State.

The Photo Ops 

It is difficult for brides and grooms to not glow at Santa Margarita Ranch. The venue provides a number of settings and backdrops for dramatic and romantic photographs. Kim and Brett took advantage of Santa Margarita Ranch’s acreage, posing in golden wheat fields, under wispy trees and alongside historic ranch buildings. Danielle Poff Photography captured their “no-filter necessary” photographs. Photo ops at this location tend to look as though the couple has time traveled back into the old West. Couples have a bounty of locales on site to choose from for their photo sessions including oak studded meadows, lush gardens and even old-fashioned railways.

A Rustic California Ranch Wedding at Santa Margarita Ranch

Photo courtesy of Danielle Poff Photography

Your Turn…

What did you love about Kim and Brett’s wedding at Santa Margarita Ranch?

Share your favorite details in the comments below.