Written by bride, Taylor Stewart
THE LOVE STORY
Twenty Twenty – the year of the backyard wedding! We will always be forever grateful to my aunt and uncle for opening their Southern California hilltop home to us and our guests. Their home ended up being the perfect location for our intimate, rustic wedding all the while providing the most romantic sunset view during our first dance. Despite getting married amidst a global pandemic, which is not for the faint at heart, we were determined to bring our vision to life, accompanied by our own styles and with the most romantic, charming details. Being country people, we always thought a country-themed wedding was a no brainer, especially since that’s where both of our styles met in the middle. Not to mention, you can’t have a country wedding without some finger-lickin’ BBQ, Kyle’s favorite.
I’m a down home country girl at heart, but I love to get all dolled up with hair and makeup and show my taste for the fancy things in life. Glitter is my favorite color with sequins being a close second. My favorite hobbies are shopping, crafting, and home decor. I love the french country meets farm style, with a little hint of a classy, charming, antique vibes.
Kyle is the strong silent type. But I know him as the loving, sweet, caring, generous, hardworking, off-road racin’, gun-shootin’, sweet tea-drinkin’, fishin’ lovin’, beef jerky-makin’, quail chick-raisin’, old car-buildin’, traeger-smokin’, good ol’ boy, country man o’ mine. Although he doesn’t look it, he is also part Native American- he is a registered tribal member and grew up with his family on an Indian reservation.
Is it just me or does country plus tribal equal boho western? Since Kyle is both Cowboy and Indian, we had the perfect excuse for some tribal accents. This combination created the perfect inspiration for our wedding style while allowing us to stay true to the classy, rustic vision we started with. It being the fall season, the best one in my opinion, the autumn color scheme intuitively added to the boho infusion. I took advantage of the beautiful fall colors and asked my makeup artist to use my personal favorite, warm, earth tones and requested my hair stylist part my my boho waves split down the middle. (weird for a forever-side-part girl, like me). As soon as I saw Elizabeth’s Etsy listing for the turquoise bridal earrings I knew I found the piece that tied my look together. The turquoise stones accented by the rhinestone studs speak “classy, boho western,” making them my perfect “something blue.”
Not only did our florist add deer antlers to our rustic wooden arbor, he also added pampas grass and pheasant feathers to my country floral bouquet. I found the prettiest white western booties to go with my romantic, long sleeve Lillian West wedding gown, which was the first dress I tried on! I felt the dress would also be complimented by a pure white cowgirl hat and a white fringe denim bridal jacket I found on Amazon, that I just HAD to get personalized with my new title, of course.
From the guest “log” conveniently found lying in Kyle’s dad’s woodshop to the bolo ties made with stones we handpicked for each of the men in our family, our details were carefully planned and executed to portray both our heritage and style as a couple. Throw in an amazingly talented photographer who captured those details and, more importantly, captured our love, it would be safe to say our wedding vision truly came to life.
UNITY BRANDING CEREMONY
Kyle hand-crafted our photo backdrop and ALL but ONE of the signs we displayed for the wedding. (Our welcome sign was purchased). He also painstakingly built my favorite thing, our unity board. After we braided and tied the Cord of Three Strands, we branded it with a custom made branding iron of our last initial. We also branded log rounds with the same brand to gift to our parents and grandparents during our reception.
Branding is a tradition that signifies identity and a sense of belonging. A brand means history, family, and the love that started it all.
It is a sign of love for each other, the intertwining of our lives, and the fire that burns within our souls for each other. May the depth of the feelings and love that we have for each other be branded upon our hearts, by God, as we created a unique piece of artwork only ever created by the two of us.
This brand will be on permanent display in our home to show our devotion to one another today, tomorrow, and the rest of their lives. May it serve as a visual reminder of this love that is etched within our hearts that has brought the two of us together. As this brand, once forged, cannot be undone, so shall our promise to each other will stand the test of time.
Photography: @gracedayphotography www.graceddayphotography.com
Rentals (tables/chairs/arbor): @rusticparties www.rusticparties.com
Catering: @panzarellocatering www.panzarellocatering.com
Flowers: @flowersetcbeaumont www.flowersetcbeaumont.com
Wedding dress: www.justinalexander.com/lillian-west/
Wedding dress shop: @theproposal.bridal www.proprosalbridal.com
Wedding alterations: @jkcreationssewing www.jkcreations.com
Custom Unity Branding Iron: @theweldedkeller www.theweldedkeller.etsy.com
Groom’s Suite: Men’s Wearhouse
Groom’s Band: @northbands www.northbands.com
Handmade Custom Bolo Ties: www.rockymountainwestern.com/
Bride’s Rings: Neil Lane
Bride’s boots: Betsey Johnson
Brides Turquoise Earrings: @miri.bridal www.etsy.com/shop/miribridal