A Ceremony Set in an Enchanted Forest
January 4, 2017
RusticOutdoor WeddingsFall Weddings
Lea and Michael wanted to wed in what felt like an enchanted forest, so the UC Berkeley Botanical Garden was their perfect spot. Nestled in the Redwood Grove, they shared vows amongst the ones they love and let nature serve as the ultimate decor. Sorella Muse photographed and you can see the entire day right here.
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From the Bride... We weren't sure where we would get married but knew we wanted an outdoor venue nestled amongst the trees. So when we arrived at the Redwood Grove at UC Berkeley Botanical Garden, I knew we had found our place.

As you walk in it feels like you've entered an enchanted forest. As you continue to walk towards the ceremony site, the trees clear and you are greeted by a lovely little amphitheater hugged by redwood trees. At that moment we both knew it was perfect!

When you are a creative by profession, planning your own wedding feels like working on a masterpiece. I didn't really have a theme for our wedding, but I knew I wanted to play off the natural beauty of the garden. I took inspiration from the redwood trees and interesting plants that grow all throughout. The rustic sticks in the table arrangements were inspired by the Redwood Grove. The guest favors were small potted succulents with wood slices engraved with our names and wedding date. Even the lace details on my dress were delicate flowers that looked more natural than feminine or girly.

I kept the color palette simple and soft using champagne and ivory to contrast with the deep green and brown tones of both the ceremony and reception sites. The bridesmaids wore champagne-colored dresses and the groomsmen wore navy. We used deep red to add small pops of color throughout.

For the reception we wanted our guests to have fun and discover a place some never knew existed. We kept the guest list to an intimate group of family and friends to share the day with, to laugh over a few funny stories and dance the night away. The next day, we were whisked away to our honeymoon, which was a perfect end to the magical day.

From the Photographer... It was such a pleasure photographing Lea and Michael's beautiful wedding at the UC Berkeley Botanical Garden! I absolutely love fall weddings, when it's still warm enough to say "I do" outdoors but just chilly enough as the sun sets for a cozy dinner indoors.

As sweet and intimate as each part of the day felt, my favorite moment came towards the end of the evening, when the traditional bouquet toss would usually happen. Lea chose to re-interpret this bridal tradition. As a photographer who sees so many wedding celebrations, there's nothing I love more than putting a personal spin on wedding traditions. Instead of tossing her flowers, Lea chose to gift them to her grandmother, to honor the strong marriage and enduring love that her grandparents had shown was possible and which she was inspired by, as we should all be. It was one of the sweetest things I had ever seen! Her grandparents then shared their own dance on the dance floor, and it made me remember that weddings are just the first day of a long adventure you embark upon with the one you love.