So this Slowcoast Lodge wedding was one of my favorites of 2019!
From the Bride (because she elaborated the day so much better). 🙂
A few of the reasons Mitch and I fell in love was our shared love of the outdoors, how much we enjoy making things together, and how much we value the people closest to us. To put a couple of those in perspective, we got engaged on a snowshoe hike in the middle of a blizzard in Yosemite, and we actually made our wedding rings for each other out of wood from both the sites of our engagement and wedding ceremony. We knew we wanted our wedding to reflect those same values, and that we wanted it to be beautiful and laid back. Rather than touring traditional venues we decided to look for a spot in the woods where we could fit a food truck and a campfire and throw a hell of a party for 80 of our closest friends and family.
We’re so lucky we found Slow Coast Lodge–we stumbled across the property on Airbnb and we knew before even visiting it was right for us. Not only was it in a secluded canyon against the backdrop of the redwoods that are so important to us, but the main house could house our entire wedding party right there with us. We tackled finding a food truck and a photographer willing to travel to the middle of nowhere with us, and the Holy Cannoli Catering team and Michelle Sobel are incredible people that did an amazing job the day of. After that, we got to work–we knew those would be our only traditional vendors and we’d DIY the rest.
I made the napkins and table runners, and learned how to use chalk pens. We painted signs from an old redwood fence that was torn down next door, recycled amber bottles to make centerpieces and asked one of our best friends in the world to officiate. In addition, we made hours and hours of Spotify playlists. My incredibly talented work friend agreed to coordinate day of. We stocked the bar with wine and beer from a local store and sourced all of the florals from Trader Joe’s, and put together the bouquets, boutonnières, and flowers for the reception with the bridal party and mother of the bride. The wedding party threw in the elbow grease to help set up the venue and fire up the woodfired pizza oven in the lodge for the rehearsal dinner. Everyone did their own hair and makeup, with the MOH/Sister of the Bride doing mine.
It was those little touches throughout the day that really brought us joy. The lace from my mom’s wedding gown wrapped around my bouquet. My sister and I both crying as she brushed eye shadow across my lid. The groomsmen each handing Mitch a different object significant to our relationship during his vows. Seeing friends from different parts of our lives meet and laugh around the campfire. The homemade giant cinnamon rolls my mom made. Toasting hot chocolate and Bailey’s (our favorite!) with everyone. And giving each other the rings we made for each other will stick with us forever.
Advice for Future Brides
I think my advice would be to get in touch with and don’t be afraid to lean into what’s most important to you and your partner, even if other people don’t understand it at first. For example, when we decided to create our own playlist instead of hire a DJ or band, people told us we were totally nuts and it wouldn’t work–but it ended up being one of the best decisions we made. We loved creating the vibe we wanted at every part of the day and knowing all the music was our own, and people are still telling us how great it was. Don’t be afraid to break from what’s traditionally done!
The entire day came together thanks to the helping hands of us, our family, and the wedding party. The love and community that surrounded the day made it truly special, and we hope it shows!