The beauty of Johanna & Phil’s wedding at Camp Navarro in Mendocino, California was overwhelming to say the least. There were meaningful flourishes sewn into every aspect of the weekend. So I’m going to split this wedding up into two posts. It’s just entirely too epic for one. 

The delights started before I arrived at Camp Navarro. As I drove up to Mendocino from the Bay Area, I was treated to a wedding podcast hosted by the bride and groom. There was an interview with the flower girl, an analysis of the distinction between genres of brokenbeat music, interviews with the parents, and advertisements for camp style activities all set to the theme music from This American Life, Serial, et al. I laughed and laughed as I drove North.

Camp Navarro is nestled in a remote redwood forest, a few hours North of San Francisco. When you arrive, the smell, the light, the feeling of the air in your lungs, makes the rest of the workaday world fall away.

I started with Johanna and her bridesmaids where I was treated to a sneak peek of her fabulous dress: a marigold to white ombre theme by Leanne Marshall. Once she had slipped the dress on, she looked as if she had walked out of a Helen Frankenthaler painting.

Sitting on the table in the getting ready cabin was a printout of Johanna & Phil’s initial text exchanges. At the center of these exchanges was a connection around Johanna’s expertise as a midwife, and Phil’s desire to be a Birth DJ. As the romance unfolded through these messages, it became clear how funny each of them were, and well matched to each other.

One of my favorite frames from the day came as we were readying to head over to the first look. The ring bearer hopped on the back of a bicycle, and was pedaled across camp.

After the first look, we had a ketubah signing before heading over to chuppah. One of Johanna’s friends did all of the florals. I particularly loved the sunflowers on the chuppah that matched Johanna’s dress.

The officiant, a close friend of the couple, wore an exuberant, rainbow, shawl that tied together the colorful bridesmaids dresses.

During the ceremony, when the officiant asked the assembled guests if there were any objections to the marriage, an objector jumped up and spoke about some of the limits of marriage as we now, and have historically practiced the convention. Johanna and Phil both addressed their vows to the objector. It was an emotional rollercoaster to say the least.

Click here for part 2

Click here for part 2

Venue : Camp Navarro
Photographer : Paul Gargagliano – Hazelphoto
Wedding dress : Leanne Marshall
Suit : Knot Standard
Florist : Morgan Johnson
Wedding planner : Sonya Houston – Mendocino Wedding
Hair and makeup : Jordyn Condit- Mendo Bridal Beauty
DJ and/or band : Ashleyanne
Cake : Shani’s Sweet Creations
Catering : Camp Navarro
Invitations: Minted
Officiant : Ilyse Magy