Just a Little Bit Country for Your Wedding: Alisal Guest Ranch, Solvang

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If you and your groom are “country at heart” and want some wedding inspiration — take a look at these wedding images from a ceremony and reception at the Alisal Guest Ranch in California, as presented by Jackie Wonders. As the afternoon sun shines over the Santa Barbara hillsides, guests gather for a simple outdoor ceremony. Décor is nostalgic for the occasion: old love letters and poetry books wrapped in ribbon…simple nosegays and tiny bouquets in pottery…party favor bags of delicate cloth. The bride wears white lace; the groom wears pale blue and cream, a vest, a dashing hat. And no bridesmaids are unhappy with a one-style-fits-all dress here — because they’re in dresses of every color of the rainbow, a bouquet of smiling faces, all set off by cowboy boots.

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Romance carries through to the ceremony: a simple wooden pergola twined with garlands of flowers sports a string of cowbells and a bright streamer on top. Friends offer music and song, the groom wipes away a tear…and then it’s time to celebrate. Young and old alike have a spin in paddleboats, while a plane writes the word “LOVE” in puffs of smoke on an azure sky. Here, you can write the bride and groom a note with a colorful marker — there, you can enjoy a slice of wedding-cake confections marked “bride” and “groom.” Then, as the sun sets and lights come on the pier amid laughter and dancing, the bride and groom are seen in a sailboat made just for two! It’s a ranch wedding, country all the way — and it might be just the kind of wedding you’re dreaming of.

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Written by Janet Butler

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Janet W. Butler is a freelance writer, editor, and editorial consultant by day and a “small soprano” by night. An RWA Golden Heart Winner, she is the author of the inspirational romance From the Ashes (“the best little book no one’s ever heard of”), published by SANDS Publishing in 2001; and a romantic suspense, Voice of Innocence, from Desert Breeze Publishing. She is a Chicago native transplanted to northeast Indiana, where she lives with her husband, daughter, and Cassandra “Trouble” Butler, S.R.C. (Spoiled Rotten Cat).