BREELAYNE RING & JAMES HUNTER CARTER
July 18, 2015, Carmel, California
When BreeLayne Ring and James Hunter Carter started planning their wedding, they knew they wanted to create a woodland fantasy for their guests. The spot they chose for their vows, within a 20,000-acre preserve in the hills of Carmel, is called a fairy ring: a natural circle of towering ancient redwoods that all sprang from the same parent. A quartet played music from The Legend of Zelda, golden rays from a setting sun streamed through the trees, and the bride rode off afterward on a white horse. “We both had always wanted to get married in the woods, and we’re pretty spiritual and connected to our environment,” says BreeLayne. “It ended up being so magical, like we were on another planet.”
The two met in 2011, after he saw her walking her dog on the West Hollywood street where they both lived. They immediately hit it off. Two years later, James proposed by attaching a ring to the wheaten terrier’s collar, and the creative couple—she’s a fashion designer, and he’s an entertainment consultant—started planning their wedding. “We mixed and matched vintage pieces from different eras, everything from chairs to china, silverware, and glassware, which gave it a feeling of timelessness,” says James.
To maximize the impact of the landscape, they kept the location a secret, transporting 160 guests via shuttle to the stretch of pristine, untouched nature set among rolling hills. The bride and her father walked down an aisle covered in white rose petals and gardenia blooms, and in a nondenominational ceremony, the pair exchanged vows they had written themselves. After BreeLayne’s dramatic horseback exit, guests were ferried to the preserve’s 1920s barn. There they enjoyed a dinner that included farm-fresh fare (grilled-peach and candied-pecan salad) combined with southern comfort food (buttermilk fried chicken so good, it even met Louisiana native James’s standards) amid dancing and toasting. In an especially old-fashioned touch, the preserve didn’t have cell reception, “so everyone was present and in the moment,” says BreeLayne. A bit of magic, indeed.
After the ceremony, the bride, in Galia Lahav, and groom, in Gucci, stole a quiet moment among the Santa Lucia Preserve’s soaring redwoods.
Watercolor and calligraphy save-thedates, by Burbank’s Tiny Pine Press, came wrapped in handmade kraft paper and sealed with a small twig.