Tucked away on little lagoon in Northern California is a flourishing nature reserve — scientists, students and volunteers flock to it in order to study the ecology of migrant shorebirds and waterbirds, as well as the ebb and flow of the bay. And it just so happens that the father of today’s groom works there… So the bride and groom, Kristen + Shane, got special clearance to have their wedding in an empty greenhouse on the property and dance the night away under the glistening moonlight.
When the bride saw the abandoned greenhouse, she was giddy with joy and knew that it would make for the perfect ceremony space. With the help of family + the groundskeeper, they were able to clean it up and transform it for the special day. Kristen shares We felt our wedding really symbolized who we are as a couple by having it on the nature preserve where my husband grew up. We are both ocean lovers and nature enthusiasts, and Shane has been an avid surfer for most of his life — so there were many references in our ceremony of our love for all things ocean and nature. Having our wedding on this property, seemed the most natural choice for us, as we both cherish privacy and time away from the city. We also wanted a non-traditional ceremony and decided to go without a bridal party, which also made each moment feel more about “us” and our love for one another.
Let’s head to Northern California to see all the natural delights of this wedding, captured by Karra Leigh Photography!
Mack Floral Design seriously nailed it with all the florals — bouquets, garlands, centerpieces and table runners… We’re pretty in love with the loose + leafy florals!!
GORGEOUS!! And so fitting for the nature reserve setting!
Kristen designed + planned every aspect of the wedding (she’s an event designer – Kristen Kellys Designs – so it comes as no surprise that her wedding was brimming with gorgeous details). One of the sweetest touches? Her wedding band was her late father’s ring, and she had it fitted to wear with her custom wedding ring from Young in the Mountains.
Our most memorable moment was when we shared our "first look". Our photographer arranged for us to see each other on a road nestled between beautiful, tall Cypress trees located on the preserve. We had politely requested that our guests (who were camping for the weekend), take some time on the morning of the wedding to explore the surrounding area so that we could have some privacy. I don't think either one of us will forget the moment that we saw each other in our wedding attire for the first time. We had already been together for 6 years prior to our wedding, and yet, that was the most special moment to us as the realization set in, that we would soon be sharing our vows as husband and wife! It was just raw emotion and pure happiness!
A vintage door adorned with florals and string lights made for one stunning backdrop!
Letters and Dust created the sweetest calligraphy signs.
How good is that eucalyptus table runner, especially when paired with the white candles + rustic chairs from Encore Rentals?!
That sweet two-tiered cake is by Let’s Do Cake.
On your wedding day, remember to go with the flow. Of course you want your guests to be happy and have a great time, but "this day" is going to go down in the history books of your life as the "one" you shared your vows with your best friend. Cherish every second, because the day will fly by in a blink of an eye and if you're like us, you will look back and wish it lasted for a week instead of one evening.
We love a good sparkler exit!! We’re so thrilled for you, K + S! Thank you for letting us in on your special day!
photography: Karra Leigh Photography // venue name: Cypress Grove Research Center, Marshall, California, USA // event design: Kristen Kellys Designs // florals: Mack Floral Design // wedding dress: Rue De Seine 'Florence Gown' // wedding dress boutique: Dress Theory Seattle // bride's ring: Young in the Mountains // groom's shoes: Aldo // calligraphy: Letters and Dust // cake: Let's o Cake // desserts: Lets do Cake // tabletop rentals: Encore Rentals // furniture rentals: Encore Rentals // music: Robert Payne, Bennett Saueregger, Bobby Oliver