As a lifelong hiker, Chessa has always been drawn to the Redwoods in California. Her boyfriend at the time, Jordan, knew this and picked her up in a 1970s VW bus (her dream car!), telling her to grab an adventure bag and that’s it… little did she know what he had in store. They made their way through the woods in Santa Cruz, and Chessa stumbled upon a trailed lined with candles and a teepee he’d built, right across from a waterfall. She spills: The teepee was covered in lights, there were sunflowers and champagne, and of course, a ring! It was completely magical.
The summer after that, C+J said their vows surrounded by redwoods at Santa Lucia Preserve. It wasn’t just about the proposal, but the significance of the trees; Chessa shares: The trees are incredible, they thrive in community. They feel each other’s sickness. The older trees joint youngest ones to ensure their growth and survival. Their bark cannot be burned and it is rare that they are broken. Redwoods care for one another, therefore they endure. Redwoods grow in rings around the center tree that nourishes them, connected at the roots. Isn’t that such a beautiful sentiment to kick off a marriage? We sure think so!
These two wanted a really organic feeling for their wedding day, and Allison Smith of Allison Weddings made that a reality. With the help of genius florist, Christine Cater, the two expanded on the natural environment to create one earthy + organic event.
Ready to take a walk through the woods in the photos captured by Carlie Statsky? Let’s go!
Isn’t this invitation suite from Emily Rose Ink absolutely lovely?! We adore the hand-painted greenery and the inclusion of the map with torn edges. It’s all in the details, friends. :)
The prettiest rose gold ring we ever did see!
All the ladies in white! This is a look we’ve been seeing more + more of lately… and we kinda sorta LOVE it!
Isn’t Chessa’s dress SPECTACULAR?! Lady looked like a dream in her Rue De Seine gown!
Chessa shares: Sunflowers are my favorite flower, so it was totally perfect that the dress basically had embroidered sunflowers all over it. For me, it wasn’t about looking like a princess or feeling really special, it was more about finding a dress that reflected who I am right now. I wanted something awesome and something I could boogie in!
To complement the natural scenery, Christine Cater crafted bouquet brimming with greenery + florals that look like they’d been plucked from the nearby grounds.
The Ceremony in the Redwoods
WOW, WOW, WOW. How’s that for a wedding in the woods?!
To us, our circle ceremony was really important. It seemed more meaningful to stand amidst out family and friends than front of them. This is how life happens, amongst your group. We wanted our ceremony to reflect our philosophy of marriage, in that we hope to consistently surround ourself by people who love and encourage us and hold us accountable to the vows we made at our wedding.
Chessa shares: Christine Cater is a floral goddess. All I really asked was that we focus more on greenery than florals and that the ceremony be in a circle. Christine did everything else and it was breathtaking.
My dad walked me down the aisle. He has been my hiking buddy my entire life. Our walk down the aisle was very long through the woods and as we were waking he smiled and said, “Hey Chess, we’re hiking.” This was one of my favorite moments.
Processional: Like Vineyards by Little India
Recessional: Wherever is Your Heart by Brandi Carlile
First Dance: Everywhere by Fleetwood Mac, sung by AnnaChristie
The Wedding Party
We dig the denim jacket for the ladies! Thinking this could be fun for your group of gal pals? We’ve crafted this DIY, so you can even customize them!
1. Sneaking away during dinner to take incredible sunset mountain-top photos with my man and our amazing photographer, Carlie!
2. Getting the sweetest letter from my man while I was getting ready for the day. He had also sent me a huge bouquet of flowers and an amazing bracelet to wear with my dress.
3. Being woken up the morning of the wedding by my best friends jumping on my yelling, “It’s today it’s today!” and then finding they had drawn me an essential oils bath. These girls and I have been together a long time and that morning is so special to me.
Relax. Your wedding isn’t about a fancy party, it is about celebrating the covenant of marriage with your person. Delegate as much as you can, and let the small, and the big things go!
The Modern Meets Rustic Barn Reception
The dynamic duo didn’t have a particular color palette in mind, so they took inspiration from the redwood grove.
The escort card chart featured a variety of greenery on darling watercolor paper, the handiwork of Emily Rose Ink.
What a way to bring the natural environment indoors, right?!
For some funky bohemian touches, the interior was decked out with macramé table runners and long green garlands. Christine Cater also made chandeliers out of macramé table runners — one of Chessa’s favorite elements!
We are in serious AWE of how beautiful all of this is… We adore how the whole day reflected nature + had a deep spiritual connection for the both of them. Congratulations and best wishes to the both of you!
Want to be swept up (even more) by their big day? Check out this clip from Spencer Sarson Visuals:
photography: Carlie Statsky // venue name: Santa Lucia Preserve, Carmel, California, USA // event design: Allison Weddings // planning: Allison Weddings // florals: Christine Cater // wedding dress: Rue De Seine // bride's shoes: Swedish Hasbeens // getting ready robes: custom by her cousin Britt Castanos (owner of Daughters of Simone) // hair stylist: The Hair and Makeup Co. // makeup artist: The Hair and Makeup Co. // groom attire: J Hilburn // videography: Spencer Sarson Visuals // paper goods: Emily Rose Ink // cake: Edith Meyer // tabletop rentals: Borrowed Blu // furniture rentals: Classic Party Rentals // linen rentals: La Tavola Fine Linen // specialty rentals: Cultivate Vintage Rentals // music: Dart Collective // photo booth: The Booth Bus // ceremony + cocktail music: AnnaChristie Sapphire // transportation : The Main Event