Summer camp wedding and redwoods are words that should always be used in the same sentence. Stephanie and Richard rented out the 50+ charming little cabins at Dawn Ranch Lodge for their guests to enjoy an extended weekend getaway.
Nestled in the Russian River Valley near Sonoma, the Dawn Ranch property encompasses 15 acres of land. The festivities kicked off on Friday, with canoeing down the river and an outdoor movie night under the stars. Stephanie and I discovered we are kindred spirits after their feature film, Wayne’s World, started rolling on the projector.
Their wedding day was nothing short of dreamy. Before the ceremony, we slipped away to the nearby Armstrong Woods for some romantic couple portraits. Richard and Stephanie exchanged vows in a meadow under giant redwood, then shared toasts and good food with their guests in the sunny apple orchard.
After 10 solid years together, you can imagine how often marriage comes up in conversation. Richard and Stephanie wanted their day to be nothing short of memorable for their loved ones and this venue successfully charmed our pants off.
I also want to extend a huge thank you to my good friend and second shooter on this trip, Brogen. Time to let some images do the talking.
The morning of the wedding, guests had more opportunities to explore the river or hang out by the pool before preparing for the day. The guys dressed in the boathouse near the lawn of the movie screening, while Stephanie and her girls got ready in the bridal cabin on the other side of the venue.
With much anticipation hanging in the air, we borrowed one of our favorite cabins to hide Stephanie away in before their first look. Richard couldn’t keep the smile from crossing his face as the wedding party giggled profusely in the corner leading up the reveal.
We managed to whisk Stephanie and Richard away to the Armstrong Woods for some quiet moments together before their ceremony began. Even a slim 20 minutes under these giants can do wonders for your piece of mind. The light poking through the trees in the early afternoon was pure magic.
We arrived back to the venue with just enough time to slip in line for the processional. Guests were seated in chairs lining the edge of the meadow, with more ancient redwoods as the backdrop. And even though they had already seen each other minutes beforehand, it did not dull the effect for Richard of watching his beautiful bride make her way down the aisle to him. Not one bit.
As guests made their way to the apple orchard for cocktail hour, we had a little more fun exploring the woodsy landscapes around Dawn Ranch Lodge for couples portrait. But the party didn’t truly start until Stephanie and Richard made their entrance to the reception.
These two are loved so dearly by their friends and family. The tables were ordered by cities and countries to signify how far everyone had traveled that weekend to be there with them. The reception hour in the orchard was literally, and figuratively, embracing us in a warm glow as the sun kissed the tree tops.
After toasts and dinner in the orchard, guests were invited to the pool deck for dessert and dancing under the market lights. I can say with much certainty that not one single guests didn’t find their way to the dance floor at some point during the evening. Two of them even made it into the pool, fully clothed. Stephanie was convinced it was the pull of the swan.
Congratulations Richard and Stephanie! May the next 10 years be even better than the first.
Cake: Village Bakery // Coordinator: Meghan Magnasco, So Eventful // Dress: Pronovias Sample // Entertainment: Dart DJ // Florist: Green Petal Designs // Groom’s Attire: Black Tux // Invitations: Good on Paper Design // Make Up Artist: Selyca Medford // Officiant: Irene Kane, Ceremonies & Celebrations // Photography: Paige Nelson; Second Shooter: Brogen Jessup // Shoes: Stuart Weitzman // Wedding Favors: Coffee Mugs, Discountmugs // Venue: Dawn Ranch Lodge