After dating for eight years – mostly long-distance between Los Angeles and San Francisco – Kelly Thwaits and Evan Orenstein knew it was time to make things official. About one year after moving in together, Kelly and Evan had a picnic in the park the evening before a vacation with family and friends. 

“While sitting there enjoying the view and the city, Evan asked what I was most looking forward to about the trip. When I asked him the same, he said he was excited to go with his fiancé instead of his girlfriend,” describes Kelly. “He pulled out the most gorgeous ring and asked the question… Immediate yes!” 

When planning their wedding, the couple hired Tessa Brand of Tessa Lyn Events to orchestrate their dream fête. “She made the entire day come together perfectly,” affirms the bride. Though they got engaged in San Francisco and explored venues in Napa, the pair ultimately chose to get married near Los Angeles, where they met and bought their first home. They selected a beautiful ranch venue that reminded them of a trip they’d taken to the Amalfi Coast. “We wanted the venue to feel ‘magical’ and special to us… We knew it was the one right away,” she says. 

On the warm June day, friends and family were seated on the lawn beneath towering trees for the sunny alfresco ceremony. As Evan’s family is Jewish, the couple chose to incorporate the traditions of his faith into the ceremony and exchanged vows beneath a gorgeous chuppah embellished with peach, pink, and white roses. “Our rabbi did an incredible job of combining our families’ cultures… and also brought a lot of tears and laughs to our guests, which felt very in line with the atmosphere we wanted to create,” affirms Kelly of the heartfelt vow exchange. 

“The whole weekend felt so ‘us!’”

A joyful cocktail hour commenced, with the pair highlighting their beloved pup throughout. “We are obsessed dog parents, but Roo is not exactly the most well-behaved dog,” admits the bride, adding that although she was not present at the event, they found ways to incorporate her likeness in the details. A “Roo’s Bar” cocktail menu featured her photo, the “Roo Special” – a water on the rocks – was available for loved ones, and specialty cocktail napkins read, “Drinks on me! Love, Roo.” To further personalize the event, guests discovered their table assignments by way of escort cards attached to gold magnetic safari animals in honor of the pair’s honeymoon to East Africa

Desiring a classic and timeless vibe for their wedding, Kelly and Evan continued the color scheme of nudes, gold, and blush for their outdoor celebration. Wooden tables were surrounded by X-back chairs, and tablescapes showcased an array of bright pink and peach blooms including roses, peonies, and ranunculuses. Light pink taper candles in ceramic candleholders, glass votives, and golden flatware and gilt-rimmed charger plates at each guest’s place setting completed the elegant look. 

“The whole weekend felt so ‘us!’” confirms Kelly of the festivities they wouldn’t change a single thing about. After such a perfect wedding weekend, the bride offers the following advice to other couples planning their celebrations: “Enjoy it! You really won’t remember the small details, but you’ll remember how you felt leading up to it,” she shares. “Soak in all the little moments, and remember the reason you’re doing all of this: to celebrate your love and relationship!”