Stephanie and Ben were wed exactly one year before this party. They eloped in Hawaii and always meant to throw a little reception for their families afterwards, but the timing just worked out better to wait a year and do it as an anniversary party. Though they’ve been together for thirteen years, this would be the first time their families would meet each other. They chose Harley Farms as their location because Ben’s family has owned a farm for four generations so the barn setting would be extra special, and plus, Stephanie loves animals of all kinds, and there were animals aplenty! Think lots of goats, a pair of dogs, a donkey, and a llama. Of course we got photos with them all.
As guests checked in, they were greeted with plenty of adorable goat-themed decor and a clipboard introducing the first of the two games of the afternoon: a trivia quiz about the happy couple.
Ben, pulling off his somewhat casual, somewhat dressy look.
Stephanie was trying to stay halfway between casual and formal since it wasn’t their actual wedding, but she had to go for it with this adorable tulle skirt. I personally thought it was perfect. Please note the llama shoes as well.
Some neighbors across the street as we walked over to the secret garden where Stephanie and Ben greeted and mingled with their guests.
All of the flowers and much of the food for the day was harvested from the grounds! Such a wonderful touch.
After our time at the secret garden, we headed back to where the goats live! And for cocktail hour, we got to enjoy all different types of goat cheese made here at the dairy. This is my new favorite: a honey lavender. So. Good.
Babies meeting baby goats!
And our happy couple goes in to meet all the animals. First, the goats.
Then we add the llama and the dogs! Did you know that llamas are protective and serve to guard their herds? The only reason I know this is because I’ve visited alpaca farms with a whole bunch of (not so smart but very adorable) alpacas with one llama looking over them.
And here’s Rosie the donkey too! She hangs out with Bob the goat.
We had to walk away from the animals eventually, but we headed over to the barn for dinner and the rest of the evening’s festivities.
The famous artichoke bread from Arcangeli’s Grocery Store in Pescadero! This stuff is amazing, and I stopped by the store beforehand just to make sure I had a loaf to take home with me too.
Stephanie’s sister Kathleen and her boyfriend Kevin announce the winners of the games from earlier. I forgot to mention the second game, which involved photos of Stephanie and Ben from when they were younger, and guests had to guess their age in each photo. This one was thrown in as a trick question; it’s a photo of Ben’s father.
Somehow, after dinner, arm wrestling! Between the two dads! Haha. It was all in good fun.
Then the youngster stepped in and had his chance… and he won. Well, I can’t say I’ve ever seen this before at any of my other events!
Finally, towards the end of the night, we migrated downstairs into the lounge for a whiskey bar, desserts, and dancing.
Plus a bit of fun with sparklers and a bonfire outside.
Congratulations, Stephanie & Ben! Way to throw an anniversary party in style and make it all your own.
Anna Wu is a wedding and portrait photographer based in San Francisco, California but often jetsetting around the world. She combines a “fine art” aesthetic, with a photojournalistic approach to beautifully capture the moments of a wedding day. Follow her daily adventures on instagram and view more of her work at annawu.com.