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This Santa Cruz wedding shot by Meg Perotti brings in a jolt of energy for this cloudy afternoon. With an army of bright colors as their palette, and Coastside Couture Planning at hand, this wedding sets the tone for a gorgeous yet zen intimate affair in the woods. They were married at Buddhist retreat as their venue to boot!

mother of the bride dresses
pashmina shawl wedding ceremony
Woodsy Santa Cruz Wedding
door shutter escort cards
pashmina shawl wedding ceremony

Woodsy Santa Cruz Wedding
mismatched bridesmaid bouquets
woodsy Santa Cruz wedding
orange wedding tables

View all images from this wedding in the gallery

From Cate: We wanted our ceremony to feel like a celebration of life, with a little magic mixed in. The “fairy ring” of redwoods brought the magic, the flowers, bright colors, and people brought the life. Especially the kids, hilarious. We had 8 or 9 flower children (one had be in her Mom’s lap, but she still counts). We wanted a woodsy, non-urban setting, but fun venues for the rest of the parties. Santa Cruz, CA has a fun relaxed vibe and is beautiful. All the kids had fun at the boardwalk and the grownups explored the coastline. The Dream Inn was really cute throwback to the era of woody’s and highwaisted swim trunks. It fit with our style b/c it was pretty and comfortable while maintaining a playful atmosphere. Pema Osel Ling speaks for itself.

It was at a Buddhist retreat, so the color orange was a big inspiration. That was the base that we kept coming back to, but, as my niece puts it: “my favorite color is rainbow.” So…

We encouraged everybody to wear whatever made them feel happy and come for a good time. No worrying about impressing anybody or meeting expectations.

Any advice for brides planning their weddings now? Don’t worry too much about it. Pick out a few details you really care about and take care of those. The day of will be perfect no matter what goes “wrong.” If at the end of it all you’re married to the person you love, it was a success. Having an awesome wedding planner helps a lot – ask her about do-it-yourself projects. She brought a lot of ideas to life that I didn’t have time to do. Also, I requested the DJ play a certain song without checking that he’d got the right one. It was not the right one, but it didn’t matter.

Wedding Songs:

First dance: “3 Rounds and a Sound”- Blind Pilot

Wedding Vendors and Venue (Santa Cruz, CA):

Venue: Pema Osel Ling Retreat Center / Photographer: Meg Perotti / Wedding Design and Planning: Karissa Paxton of Coastside Couture / Florist: Laughin’ Gal Floral / Wedding dress: Adele Wescheler / Wedding veil: her mother’s from 1971 / Caterer: Pema Osel Ling / Wedding Cake: Edith Meyer / Ceremony Music: Francois & Rodrigo / Wedding invitations: Barclay Papers printing in Austin, TX / Rentals: Alexis Party Rental

13 comments
  • absolutely love all the bright bright colors! and yay for meg!

  • What a fun, colorful wedding! I love the streamers on the baskets. :)

  • Love the bouquets of different types of flowers. So great!

  • i love the mom picture and how everyone has different bouquets! i had never thought of having completely different bouquets with completely different flowers in each. great idea!

  • Thanks so much for featuring this amazing wedding. We had so much fun putting this wedding weekend together! I love working with bright colors and I encourage my clients to go with colors they feel (like what Cate did with the orange). I just adored the flowers and what Amanda from Laughing Gal and I came up with. It was a beautiful weekend.

  • I love the light in these photos. Beautiful!

  • emily

    Love the colours in this one…and would never have thought to have different bouquets for each bridesmaid, but what a fab idea!

  • I love the bright colours! Such fun.

  • I love the vibrant colors and the woodsy backdrop. The photos are beautiful.

  • Jennifer Valentine of Sacred Cake

    I think that is one of my most favorite “kiss” photos…and love the one with the brides mom’s eyes so wide…that would be me. Always the loud kid.

  • Kari Kosub

    Cate!!! How funny that I run across your wedding on a wedding blog!!!! Lovely, so perfectly you!!! Congrats on the wedding and best of wishes in your journey. Hope to see you soon my dear!

  • Beautiful!!! I love the colors and the woods! And Blind Pilot is my favorite band, so I love when other people love them!

  • WEDSI

    I adore outdoor celebrations – and this couple have incorporated nature so beautifully into their wedding day. The luscious greens, the timeless or ancient setting with those incredible trees as a backdrop – just makes it look like a wedding which will stand the test of time. Really, truly beautiful.