UC Botanical Garden | Mather Redwood Grove | David Brower Center | Wedding | Alex + Chris


Alex and Chris's lush redwood grove wedding is a special one. It was so much fun photographing two people who have such a cool sense of style and great sense of humor. They kept us and their friends laughing the whole day.

One of my favorite moments is when, randomly, everyone started singing Weezer while we were hanging around in the UC Botanical Garden's redwood grove. And when Chris's best man got about 70 people to text Chris during his speech as retribution for being unresponsive to texts. Enjoy!

Photography by Ingrid, Jerry and Austin.

Alex and Chris filled their wedding with fun and colorful details. 

I asked Alex and Chris some questions about their feelings during their big day:

What are some memorable moments from the day?

The awkward feeling when you first see your groom at the altar and wait for the officiant to begin.  I stuck my hand out and shook his.  The reception, looking around the room and seeing faces from all over the world, together because of us.  Crazy!  And lastly, who could forget the Best Man (Jeff) and his awesome speech :-)

Inspirations/Vision that helped create the vibe of your wedding?

I wanted our wedding to reflect our personalities and where we lived.  So we decided to showcase the state since 90% of our guests were from out of town.  I made the majority of the small decorations and wanted our space to feel homemade, not grand or staged.  I would say our style was a mish mash of boho, rustic and mostly DIY.  We also wanted our food and flowers to reflect the current season, region and time.  We gave no colors or palette to Laura, our florist.  She came up with what she thought would be me after spending few lunches together.  I didn't have any expectations and had no idea what the colors or flowers looked like until she delivered them the morning of our wedding.  

Would you like to share the story behind how you both met, fell in love, and the decision to start your lives together?

I saw a handsome, quiet and reserved yet manly fella in the corner on my friend's bar one night.  I went home wondering who this strange person was. 
Time after time, I would run into this kind face and one night, I asked the bartender (my best friend Brigette), "who's that guy in the corner with the Kansas City hat on?" She told me he was new to our area from Kansas, that he only ordered Bud Light, never comes in with a girl and never leaves with one.  She said he was a good tipper too. 
One night, I was there with a loud and obnoxious girl from work who was quick to befriend his handsome roommates.  That was my in!  God bless her now.
I came to get to know Chris at a slow pace.  His walls were high and wide. Early on, I learned that his mother died of breast cancer when he was 7 years young.  He was raised by his US AIr Force father who was never home. Being able to tell that this affected him, I pulled back and befriended him.  No romance, no nothing.  Just good old fashioned friendship.  When I was drunk, he would hold my hand and my hair.  When he was drunk, I would walk him home and tuck him in.  I never left him without saying "Bye, I love you".  For about 2 years, he never once said it back.  The big secret was, I was in love with my best friend (him) all this time and he had no idea. 
Until one day, I met a guy.  He was a client of mine, 7 years my junior.  He constantly made excuses to visit me at work and after umpteen requests for a date, I finally gave in.  That lunch date turned into dinner dates and weekends away.  This was about the time Chris started to notice I wasn't around as much.
About one month into my new yet evolving relationship, Chris told me that he got a job offer and he was moving to Texas.  Upon considering the offer, he made a list of pros and cons.  The cons he mentioned were leaving an amazing place (SoCal) and behind his bros, Jeff and Ryan...and then me.  He proceeded to mention that he realized his feelings for me were stronger than he thought and my presence was missed.  He wasn't shy about being jealous toward my short lived boyfriend, Jack - Jack who that night, was broken up with.
I started becoming a frequent flyer and spent every other weekend in Dallas.  8 months of back and forth finally got to us and I got him to and ask my parents if I could move in with him.  That weekend, we packed up my MINI Cooper and drove it 1500 miles.  This move definitely had the challenges the first one didn't.  We hardly saw each other, we were miserable, trying to fit into the city, work, meeting people etc...eventually we broke up for 5 days.  I was miserable, but it was probably the best thing that happened to me/us.  It allowed us to re-evaluate what we wanted out of life and from each other.  We got to slow down and enjoy our new home together.  Most importantly, we realized that all the experiences we shared together up to that point, that we didn't want the other to miss out on any new stuff in the future.
The following year, he blindsided me with a proposal. When I wasn't thinking about it, literally, peeing on the toilet, I heard him come in from a walk with our dog and minutes after that, I was his fiance.
After I flushed the toilet, he came into our bedroom and asked how my day was, like regular.  As we were both sitting on the edge of the bed, he asked me if I remembered last week when he had to leave work super early on Friday, around 5am. Then he went into the other room to grab his phone and said that he wasn't at work last Friday.  I then asked casually, uh, ok, where were you? He said, Orange County (where my parents live).  Then, I wondered, why?  Still not really curious as to why, just making small talk.  He proceeded to tell me that he met with my mom and dad.  I then thought the worst!  My mind thought one of my parents was sick and they didn't want to tell me, so they told Chris and he visited them or something extreme and bad.  He then whipped out his phone, started a slideshow and it began with him at the CalTrain, then, him on the plane, then my parents, then my dad and his shit eating grin, my mom holding the ring and Chris in the middle.  I'm now crying and confused.  So, he gets Ninja (our puppy), she jumps on the bed and the ring is around her little collar and voila, instafiance.  Still trips me out to this day.
And then, we lived happily ever after :-)

venue: UC Botanical Garden - Mather Redwood Grove // coordinator: Leslie Struble with Dandelion Events // wedding dress: Golden Lights by Sarah Seven // shoes: Jimmy Choo // hair & makeup: Richie Kim from MAC Nordstrom SF // groom's attire: Hugo Boss Suit and John Varvatos Capped Toe Oxfords // flowers: Laura Miller Design // special jewelry: Groom's grandmother's pin with blue stone from WW2, Bride's platinum wedding band was also from Groom's grandmother // cake: Susie Cakes on Chestnut Street, SF // invitations: Wedding Paper Divas // dj: Boutique DJs - dj Vaugh Wooster // Flipbook : The Laugh Box // catering: Dovetail Catering