Taylor + Raul | “Mexican-Rustic” Barn and Nature Wedding in the Oaks | Temecula, California

Taylor + Raul

“Mexican-Rustic” Barn and Nature Wedding in the Oaks | Temecula, California

“We tried to blend two themes that we both like, and came out with ‘Mexican-Rustic!’” Taylor is from Vermont and leans toward a more rustic/laid-back theme, and Raul’s family is from Mexico, so they incorporated some bright colors and papel picado, with bold colors like marigolds and peonies.

They chose to host their wedding at Whispering Oaks Terrace in Pala, loving how many “interesting and quirky” spots there are at this venue. “We ideally wanted to have a big backyard potluck-style wedding,” but with their guest count and the fact that they were planning the wedding from across the country, they realized that they would need to find a bigger venue to accommodate. “Whispering Oaks Terrace was recommended to us by a waiter at my cousin’s wedding, and we felt that it had many of the outdoor party elements we hoped to have. We really like how ‘handmade’ and unique it is, with so many cool spots for pictures!” Specifically, they identified the stained glass windows in the rock wall by the venue’s entrance, the venue’s bottle wall, and the giant oak tree behind the bar as places they wanted to have couple’s portraits taken. The giant oak tree has lights and a swing, perfect for creating some beautiful night portraits.

They provided Mexican catering with hors d’oeuvres including esquites, taquitos, and, of course, chips and salsa. Dinner was a taco buffet with self-served toppings, rice, and beans. (If you know me, you know that Mexican food is one of the easiest ways to make this wedding photographer a happy vendor!) Dessert consisted of a cake for cutting and serving to the family, with cupcakes for the rest of the guests.

In anticipation for the wedding day, they were most looking forward “to sharing this time with our family and friends, and to meeting important people from both sides of our new family that we haven’t met yet.” The couple lives in Washington DC, but the majority of the people most important to them are split between California and DC. “We were tempted to elope but decided to go through with a wedding because it was an opportunity to introduce each other to the loved ones that we, unfortunately, don’t get to see very often. We’re hoping it’s really lively and that it feels like a fun house party.”


Venue: Whispering Oaks Terrace

Hair & Makeup: Aly Rose Beauty

Photography: Paul Michael Cooper Photography

Videography: SD Wedding Films

Coordinator: Missy Ellis — Miss With The Assist

DJ: DJ Revenue

Catering: Calle Quince Catering

Cake & Desserts: Suzanne’s Bakery

Yard Game Rentals & Photo Booth: Snap That Photo Booth


Your story matters to me, and it's at the heart of my process. I believe in a personalized approach, getting to know you and your story to capture your wedding authentically while ensuring you can truly enjoy your special day.