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Santa Cruz Redwood Winter Wedding Inspiration

The fact that this shoot was held at a real, book it tomorrow venue is beyond. Nestled right in the Redwoods of Cali, it’s seriously something out of a movie. So when Whitney Nelson Events + The Floral Shovel got their hands on it, you better believe that magic was going to happen. And with images by A Girl and a Camera, this is inspiration that will most certainly go the wedding distance. Click here for more!


From Whitney, of Whitney Nelson EventsBeing from Northern California, we are so fortunate to have such amazing venues at our fingertips. Most importantly, venues that speak to the character and love of a couple. We wanted to feature the stunning grounds at Stones and Flowers Retreat just outside of Santa Cruz, where the giant redwood trees almost wrap themselves around you, and the serene sounds of nature transport any guest from the hustle and bustle of daily life to their own private retreat.

Mixing textures such as reclaimed wood, glass, metal and leather in an eclectic yet modern way was the overall vision, and bringing a cooler color palette into play that complimented the setting and almost gave the feel of winter blossoming into spring was the ultimate goal in my mind.

I first had to find the perfect table and chairs and I was in awe when I stepped foot into The Wooden Duck in Berkeley, CA. It was my own personal, reclaimed heaven. On top of that, they had the cabinet I used as the cake table, and the amazing metal tub chairs in a wide range of colors, so I knew I could bring a little funky color splash into the guest seating by mixing silver with bright kelly green.

For the table top, I used antique silver platters of various sizes as chargers, pressed glass plates and mis-matched antique silverware. The vintage seltzer bottles, bronze deer antlers, mercury glass and squared off stemware brought in a little masculine vibe to the design that I think worked beautifully. The Aerialist Press crafted the amazing stationary and incorporated leather by creating unique embossed leather straps that I used as escort cards. Of course, no design would be complete without breathtaking florals and foliage, and we were so fortunate to work with The Floral Shovel.

From Michelle, The Floral ShovelThe florals for this shoot were inspired by the woodland location and the colors found naturally in the redwood forests of northern California. The florals featured varying shades of green from the dark green of the ferns to the almost florescent green of the protea, to the faintest hint of green in the miniature roses. 

The goal was to keep the arrangements feminine and soft to balance the wood and metals, yet keep the wild and unfussy forest inspired look. White flowering cabbage (a great alternative to traditional roses or expensive peonies) and bright green protea added drama and elegance, while moss covered twigs and various types of ferns contributed to the woodland, earthy feel. Then queen anne’s lace, poppy seed pods, and miniature light green roses provide texture and balance to the arrangements.

The organic shaped bridal bouquet was oversized and filled with bright green colors and texture for added drama. The groom’s boutonniere incorporated a deer antler to coordinate with the antlers used in the tablescape as well as the cake topper.

It was such a blast to work with everyone on this shoot, the funky rustic design came together perfectly, and it truly was due to each vendor thinking a little outside of the box and having fun! A big thank you goes to the incredibly talented Jennifer at A Girl And A Camera Photography who brought us all together, found this stunning venue and captured the amazing beauty of the day.

Photography: A Girl And A Camera Photography | Floral Design: The Floral Shovel | Wedding Dress: Haute Bride Design | Cake: Cake Coquette | Invitations: The Aerialist Press | Reception Venue: Stone And Flower | Event Planning/ Design : Whitney Nelson Events | Make Up / Hair : The MakeUp Dolls | Rentals: The Wooden Duck | Video: Life In Digital

The Makeup Dolls - Airbrush Makeup and Hair Artistry is a member of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
The Makeup Dolls


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Romantic Santa Cruz Backyard Wedding

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a 1,000 times, but the backyard wedding really is my favorite (I swear). It’s intimate and special and it holds the secret of the bride’s girlhood days, which, at least in my case, were spent in the backyard dreaming of this day. Add fabulous pros like Hannah Suh Photography and Feast for a King to the mix and what you have, my friends, is perfection.


From Hannah Suh Photography… Morgan and Greg had the loveliest backyard wedding at their parent’s home in Santa Cruz. When they first contacted me, I was thrilled to hear about the kind of event they were planning. 

Everything about the wedding felt so natural and easy, with everything taking place in a secluded cul-de-sac in Santa Cruz. The space beside the driveway to the house was used for the ceremony site and it looked like something out of a quaint European villa. Morgan and Greg purchased the house just three doors down and so Morgan was able to get ready in her old childhood bedroom while Greg got ready in the new house they had just purchased. So everything felt so close knit and homey. Dinner and dancing was in the backyard around the pool and lighted with string lights. They had a cigar bar and a huge array of desserts for guests to enjoy. And the final spectacle of the night were lanterns that they released into the night sky.

Photographer: Hannah Suh Photography | Planner: Denise Addesso | Florist: Country Essences | Wedding Dress: Jim Hjelm | Caterer: Feast For A King | Band: The Cheeseballs

Hayley Paige and Jim Hjelm Occasions are members of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here. JLM Couture, Inc is a member of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
JLM Couture Wedding Gown Bouti...

Santa Cruz Wedding at Hollins House

Fridays call for weddings that will leave you smiling all weekend, and this Santa Cruz stunner captured by Julie Cahill Photography will do just that. With a palette so pretty I could cry, beautiful florals from Country Essences and one adorable duo – this wedding planned by Coastside Couture is just the best way to end an oh-so-pretty week. See even more here.

Golf Club

From Julie Cahill PhotographyKathy and Gabe didn’t change partners all night. It was customary to change partners after one dance at the local salsa studio in San Francisco CA. However after their first dance nobody could cut in on these two and by the end of the night, Gabe had already dreamt up his first date with the Russian beauty. Nine months and much salsa dancing later, Gabe proposed to Kathy during a romantic weekend in Napa. Gabe and Kathy flew in their favorite salsa band from Colombia for their wedding day. Their wedding took place over looking the Monterey Bay under a glorious old oak tree in the warm summer shade of Santa Cruz California. The Colombian duo, Individuo played some mellow tunes while guest mingled and filled out the “key” to a happy marriage tag for the newlyweds. Kathy said that the wedding coordinators Heidi and Karissa from Coastside Couture took her vision and made it more than she could have envisioned with soft colors of summer along with burlap runners, antique vases and personalized details. After dinner concluded, Kathy changed into a flirty little dress for their first salsa dance as husband and wife. Gabe twirled, lifted and dipped Kathy around the dance floor with grace and passion. I have never seen such a HOT first dance! These two did not take their eyes off each other the whole dance- Just like the night they met.

Photography: Julie Cahill Photography | Florist: Country Essences | Cake: Edith Myer | Band: Individuo | Officiant: Barbara Boyd | DJ : Santa Cruz Live Music DJ | Golf Club: Hollins House | Party Rentals: Alexis Party Rentals | Wedding Coordinators: Coastside Couture

Coastside Couture is a member of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
Coastside Couture