Enchanting Secret Garden Wedding at Gardener Ranch
November 8, 2018
California
Al FrescoGarden WeddingsSummer Weddings
This secret garden style affair crafted by Alison Events + florals by Natalie Bowen Designs is all about accentuating the natural beauty of Gardner Ranch. Think dried grasses and textured blooms lining the ceremony aisle, rustic bench seating and dinner tables under a blanket of lanterns. Speaking of those tables, it's a reception made gorgeous at the hands of Found Vintage Rentals, Theoni Collection, and La Tavola Linens and all photographed to perfection by Christina McNeall. FULL GALLERY HERE
From Jesse of Alison Events... For Meegan & Mike, their ceremony was the most important part of the day. At their rehearsal the day before, their Officiant, Lauren, truly honored and honed in on what mattered most to the couple, so the bridesmaids, groomsmen and immediate family (almost 30 people) participated in a group circle where each attendee shared a memory about the couple and an antidote on relationships and advice. It was super meaningful and really beautiful, and brought the group together in a deeply intimate way. It’s something Lauren suggested and I will suggest to clients in the future, especially with larger bridal parties where all the participants don't already know each other.
Meegan's father passed away about a two years prior to the wedding day, and we wanted to incorporate him into each part of their day so that Meegan and her mother could be reminded that he was there with them. For the ceremony, our floral designer Natalie Bowen Designs found a beautiful pillar candle and glass vessel that sat on a table in front of the ceremony area. The candle kept flickering and blowing out throughout the wedding ceremony, and to the couple and Meegan's mother, it was a sign her father was there in spirit. We also incorporated a ceremony box—a tradition in which the couple writes personal notes to each other to read at monumental anniversaries (5yr, 10yr, 20yr). The box was blessed by the guests and the couple and then sealed until it is opened on the five year anniversary. Ceremony Design
Our goal was to accentuate the natural beauty of the venue, so Natalie Bowen Design used an assortment of dried elements in the aisle decor giving the design lots of texture and sense of place. To represent Meegan’s father, we incorporated a large candle from Hudson Grace. With a large number of ceremony attendants, we kept the personal flowers simple and classic with soft white garden inspired blooms and whimsical greenery. The men's boutonnieres included elements like green strawberries and dried grasses for texture. 
The cocktail hour took place on the river walk lawn next to a creek at the back of the property. Elegantly sloped and shaded by several mature trees, the area was a perfect place for a glass of wine and a rustic passed appetizer from Jessica Lasky Catering. Our lounge vignette from Found Vintage were used throughout the space in rich hunter greens and velvet's to give the lawn an elevated garden party feeling. We passed French 75's and Champagne along with French wines and assorted local beers. Truffle scented french fries wrapped in fresh Prosciutto and seared sushi grade tuna with shiso leaves and grilled lemon were nibbled on by hungry wedding guests. 
The dinner area was meant to feel like a magical secret garden. Hensley Event Resources and I designed a custom structure to hang greenery and lanterns from, evoking a sense of rustic elegance all while feeling completely enchanting. We draped the tables in La Tavola ’s Tuscany linens with an open weave overlay to add layering and texture while giving a sense of simplicity and sophistication to the overall design. 
Silver rimmed glassware and chargers added sparkle and shine. The deep green color from the stationery was mimicked by the green taper candles. Inspired by a French Bistro menu, Jessica Lasky Catering designed a meal including breakfast radish with salted butter, summer tomatoes with fresh burrata, and steak frites with truffle sauce.
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