Hannah & Carter’s unique forest wedding

Hannah & Carter planned a Lord of the Rings themed reception to follow their Orthodox Christian ceremony and the gorgeous redwoods of the Santa Cruz mountains served as the perfect setting for both the reception and their portraits.

Now, my dear friend Hannah LOVES to climb on things, so the discussion we had about getting her and her betrothed atop this stump in her wedding gown was quite short.
bride & groom on redwood stump

How cute are they!? Neither the bride or groom wanted to be stuck with tradition when it came to their outfits. Hannah’s flower crown and bouquet were constructed using local ferns and foliage with teal accents in flowers and peacock feathers to match her custom made dress.

couple whispering and smiling

black & white romantic kiss

There was plenty of tradition during their ceremony. Held at the Orthodox Christian church they both have attended their whole lives, surrounded by a strong community that supports and adores them as individuals and now as a couple.  For all the reverence, there was a distinct undertone of celebration and love, even laughter at times.

Christian Orthodox wedding entrance

Christian Orthodox ceremony

Christian Orthodox  ceremony crowns

Christian Orthodox ceremony laughter

Christian Orthodox ceremony


Christian Orthodox ceremony

With the formalities of the ceremony over, bits of their Lord of the Rings theme became more apparent. Here we see the Matron of Honor signing the marriage certificate while wearing a beautiful silver elven earcuff. Elven Earcuff and headband

Themed directions to the reception (or, more accurately, Directions to the Shire) were handed out as the ceremony guests exited the church


Signage continuing the theme and reiterating the sentiments of the invitations welcomed guests to the reception.


Thoughtful details reflected the theme and created a sense of whimsy and merriment that was downright contagious.

The cake table


Sweetheart table decorations:


Oversized silver goblets overflowing with wildflowers, ferns and berries adorned the long communal tables.


A signature cocktail, named “Barlog’s Fire Brew” is rumored to have similar ingredients to a Moscow Mule. ( vodka, spicy ginger beer, and lime juice)


The groom’s goblet:


The bride’s goblet:


The cutest Hobbit you ever did see was kind enough to hold the buffet table signage for a photo. His little sister also wanted a turn.


The number one question we receive when telling people we photographed a Lord of the Rings themed reception was “so, did people dress up?” Yes, yes they did. MMP21893

And they danced.


Thank you, Hannah & Carter for the opportunity to experience your truly magical and unique forest wedding. It’s an honor to capture love and creativity in so many ways all at once. You saw me cry a lot on Sunday, I cried again when I looked through your images today, all happy tears. Love you guys. Here’s a few more of our favorites. Enjoy Bali!






flying veil

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