It looks like I have a brand new venue obsession and it’s a little piece of paradise called Nestldown.  Of course, I have this stunning affair captured by Courtney Lindberg Photography to thank for introducing me to all of its rustic splendor AND for gracing us with a big ol’ bundle of gorgeous, including beautiful blooms by Asiel Design, a dreamy color palette of orange and blue and one very awesome mojito bar.  Yummy.  All designed by the uber-talented bride, I could get lost in this lovely for hours.  Join me in the gallery for even more!

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From the Bride… Mike and I really cherished the opportunity to bring everyone we love to one place and celebrate. We aimed to create a day that celebrated love, family and friends with lots of personal details that personified us as a couple and that would be memorable for our guests. We started by choosing Nestldown, a private estate in the Santa Cruz Mountains south of San Francisco, as our venue.  It is truly a magical place filled redwood trees, flowers, lakes and a magnificent barn affectionately known as the ballroom of the forest.  We chose a fun and summery palate of blue, orange and white to compliment the natural setting.

Mike and I love music and so the first thing we booked after our venue was acoustic guitar player, Tini Grey for the ceremony, cocktail hour and dinner and Pop Fiction, a fantastic band based in the Bay Area. The wedding party and groom walked to “Over the Rainbow/Wonderful World” by Iz Kamakawiwoole and I walked with my parents through a sea of smiling faces to the Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun”.  Looking at Mike at the end of the aisle smiling and waiting for me was such an amazing moment. We wrote our own vows and Mike’s uncle wrote and performed the ceremony beautifully.  After we sealed the deal with a kiss and Mike broke the glass we skipped back down the aisle to Queen’s “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”. All the songs we choose had special meaning to us.

We arrived to the outdoor cocktail hour in an old London taxi provided by Nestldown. Flavored mojitos were served in mason jars, adorned with old fashioned straws and custom tags announcing “Mojitos and Merriment!” Cocktails in hand, guests were treated to rides around the property on the Nestldown train and Tini Grey filled the late afternoon air with songs by some of our favorite artists Jack Johnson, John Mayer, Bob Marley and Frank Sinatra. There was definitely no shortage of food or drinks throughout the night. In addition to the mojito bar, we personalized our bar menu with our favorite wines from Napa Valley, beer we helped brew with our friend at Petaluma Hills Brewery and oatmeal cookie shots that were a guest favorite. One of my favorite touches of the day were the white chocolate covered strawberries waiting for guests at their seats with flags that said “life in unpredictable, eat dessert first!”

Other personal touches included a basket of flip flops for dancing, an antique birdcage for depositing wedding cards and using Lonely Planet’s “The Travel Book” as our sign in book. Inside the barn was a shelf with wooden letters spelling ‘love’ surrounded by mason jars containing photos of generations of couples from Samantha and Michael’s families. There was never a question that love was the theme of this night! Our food was all gourmet comfort food and included some of our favorites like sweet potato fries, brie grilled cheese with tomato soup, meatloaf sliders and gourmet pizza. For dessert we served cake pops, mini cupcakes and pies. Towards the end of the night we also had an ice cream truck show up and jumped on to serve our guests. After the final dance to Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” and lots of group hugs we made a grand exit through a tunnel created by our guests stretched arms. It was an epic celebration of our love that exceeded our expectations and gave us a lifetime of unforgettable memories.

From Courtney Lindberg Photography After jumping in a pool with Sam & Mike to capture their engagement session underwater at a dive pool in San Fran I knew this couple was one of a kind.  When they told me that they had booked Nestldown for their venue, I was thrilled and knew it was the perfect venue for them to say, “I do!!”  Sam had incredible ideas about how to add personal touches to their wedding day that she brought together and designed.  She worked with one of my best friends Amber Moon of Pitbulls & Posies to create their invites and the papery for the big day, which added so much heart. All of the love they poured into their day made it a truly magical, one of a kind wedding.  The setting was stunning, the music was incredible, the details were impeccable, the food was delicious, the party was rockin, the guests had a blast, but most importantly it was a dream come true for a wonderful couple. Capturing their story through my lens was a great honor and pleasure.

Wedding Photography: Courtney Lindberg Photography / Event Design: The Bride / Floral Design: Asiel Design / Invitations + Papery Detail: Amber Moon of Pitbulls & Posies / Wedding Ceremony + Reception Location: Nestldown / Day-of Coordinator: Nicole Lisanne Weddings and Events by Design / Wedding Dress: Martina Liana / Guitarist: Tini Grey / Band: Pop Fiction / Caterer: Thomas John Events / Cake Design: Sweet Tooth Confections / Ice Cream Truck: Aunt LaLi’s