Sunlight shining through the tall redwood trees in this California wedding was captured beautifully by photographer Erin Leigh. Tree planting, sharing poetry and spreading love were the top priorities on this couple’s very special day.
From the photographer, Erin Leigh: Matt and Lisa were married under the redwoods in beautiful Oakland, California. They began their ceremony with a ritualistic blowing of a shofar. Family and friends from each side had gathered in separate locations and journeyed through the redwoods to come together for a special tree planting ceremony to mark the beginning of their union then followed by a traditional ceremony.
The ceremony was filled with readings from the bride’s favorite poet and writer, Kahlil Gibran by her friend that introduced her to him. There was a hand tying ceremony with a poem read by the bride’s sister as well as several other readings including The Owl and The Pussycat by Edward Lear accompanied by guitar and an excerpt from Summer and Austin Have Left Their Apartment for a House by Rommie Scott.
During the reception, the couple asked their guests to refrain from the traditional tapping of glass and instead had to read a poem or sing a song. The wedding was also filled with musically talented friends and family. After the ceremony, they gathered on the lawn for games and music festivities which also continued into the reception.
In place of a guest book, the couple asked everyone to sign a marriage declaration as witnesses to their union, as well as provide poems, drawings and sentiments on small cards that would later be assembled into a book.
All of the wedding decorations were created by the bride, friends and family. Everything from the flowers to the food to the marriage declaration.
Location: Oakland, California / Photographer: Erin Leigh / Floral Designer: Alexandra Harker / Reception Venue: Leona Lodge