Planning A Northern California Mountain Destination Wedding
Planning a destination mountain wedding is such an exciting time! Though, with so many couples coordinating the details of their day from a distance, I often have clients ask me for ideas and inspiration that may work well with the feel of a mountain wedding. Couples are often unable to do multiple site visits when planning a destination wedding and getting a vision for decor and details can become a challenge. In an effort to help couples with their mountain wedding planning, i’ve compiled some amazing images of details and planning ideas sourced from last seasons weddings that I photographed in the Graeagle area.
Graeagle California is tucked away in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in Plumas County (about an hour North West of Lake Tahoe). This little town and the surrounding area has become increasingly popular for destination mountain weddings. Hundreds of couples travel here every year to experience a mountain getaway wedding.
About The Twenty Mile House Eco-Wedding Venue in Graeagle:
Most of the images represented here are shot at The Twenty Mile House, a venue that I work very closely with; though all of these ideas will work well with any mountain wedding.
The Twenty Mile House has become one of the most popular Northern California wedding venues. The property has a ton of history dating back to 1854 when it was originally built as a stagecoach stop. Now the property has been transformed into a dream destination wedding venue for mountain weddings. The stunning eco-estate boasts 200 wooded acres of riverfront property with the Sierra Nevada mountains as a backdrop. The properly also offers the original red bricked estate home with beautiful gardens and the rustic general store from the 18000’s.
I love sharing ideas for wedding planning!
I hope these ideas help to spark your inspiration when creating your own wedding day vision. You can click each image for a explanation and details.
Even if i’m not photographing your mountain destination wedding, feel free to contact me for vendor referrals in the Graeagle area or tips and ideas!
Welcome Table Ideas
Your wedding welcome table / gift table will be one of the first things that you guests see when they arrive at your wedding. rustic wooden card boxes work well to blend with the forest background of a mountain wedding and you can even have them engraved. Other items that work really well are antique or vintage items to blend with the rustic history rich setting of Plumas County. Another top pick of many couples for the welcome or gift table is organic materials such as moss or plants, these work well with the trees and natural feel of your mountain wedding backdrop.
Decoration and Details Ideas
This past season I saw so many quite ideas that added character and charm to these weddings. If you are going for a rustic feel, try hand painted jars with wildflowers or antique frames with a clothes line photo display. For a vintage theme, an old typewriter with books and other antiques is wonderful. Another fun touch that I saw and feel in love with is the newlywed advice box where couples can share their tips and tricks for a long happy marriage or a the date idea jar! Also, don’t forget the signage. This year many couples were using wooden hand painted signs and even “wedding maps” to share the days details with guests.
Succulents and more succulents! These little guys made their way onto many wedding tables this past season and i’m sure they will be very popular for this wedding season as well. Succulents in wooden boxes are a perfect centerpiece for a mountain wedding or any wedding with a rustic feel. The beautiful tones and fun shapes match so well with an outdoor setting. Another hit for mountain wedding centerpieces is moss, vibrant addition to your wedding table that incorporates the woodland feel in a big way. Other centerpiece ideas that blend well with a mountain wedding are soft colored flowers, especially when they are tucked in a mason jar and set on a wood round.
Guest Book Ideas
I have very much enjoyed watching the evolution of wedding guestbooks over the past 10 years! Why have your guests write their names in a book that you will never look at when you can have a piece of wedding memory art! Of course some of my favorites for a mountain wedding would have to do with trees. The wedding tree thumbprint guest book that gives guests a good reason to play with colorful paints! Also the tree guest book where every guest signs their name in the leaf of the tree. Another mountain wedding guest book idea is a polished round of wood that guests can sign and will become an art piece for your home as well. Lets also not forget the growing popular Polaroid guest book, what better way to remember the friends and family that attending your wedding than a funny photo!
Looking for that perfect wedding favor that says “I had a mountain wedding”! How about something made with love, like homemade jam or local honey. The cutest wedding favor idea I saw this season was little mason jars filled with homemade pickled vegetables topped with a cute decorative top and bow. Another great idea for a mountain wedding or any wedding with a country feel is mason jar cups, the guest can drink out of them all night, then take them home for a souvenir that they will use every day.
Table Place Cards
My favorite table place card holder for a mountain wedding has to be the little pieces of thick branch, slotted to hold your table cards; you just cant get any more “mountain wedding” than that! I also love the idea of having the names of guests and/or table numbers engraved into little pieces of sanded wood, this works wonderfully as well! Another beautiful idea that I saw this past wedding season was a hanging clothesline type display of name tags, this isn’t so much themed towards a mountain wedding, but it made for a beautiful display and fun photos.
Wedding cake, the most delicious part of a wedding 🙂 Couples often have a hard time trying to envision a wedding cake that would match the style of mountain wedding setting. I can see why this is a challenge, but this past season I saw three cakes that I thought worked perfectly with forest backdrop! I just love the pennant banner cake, with the white flowers, such a fun idea for a more rustic feel. The hand caved wooden cake toppers also bring an element of the woods and mountains to the cake. But the cake I saw “take the cake” this season had to be the tree cake with the “carved” initials in the side, you cant get any more perfect for a mountain wedding.
Fun Reception Ideas
Fun activity tables with crafts and bubbles can be a great way to keep kids entertained while parents enjoy the wedding reception; but don’t let the kids have all the fun. Props for adults have been making an appearance at wedding receptions. From funny signs, inflatable animal friends on the dance floor to awesome hats and costumes. Bring the child out of all of your guests with some of the ideas below.
Ceremony Decoration Ideas
With beautiful trees and beautiful mountain scenery of an outdoor mountain wedding you can defiantly get by with less flowers and decor than weddings indoors. Here are some ideas of decor that bled beautifully with the trees and natural beauty of mountain weddings. Some of my favorite ideas are wooden arches, wildflowers and mason jars of beautiful arrangements. Below are some highlights.
Blending style and elegance with the feel of a mountain wedding is a balance when planning your bouquet arrangements. Greens and whites with a hint of your favorite color can be a great balance. Another great idea is having your bouquet fashioned with lace or burlap to complete the tone.
Wedding Attire Ideas
The question I hear the most from couples is “what kind of attire works well with an outdoor wedding in the mountains?”. For men’s attire, most couples choose tones that will match well with the forest setting like browns and grays and sometimes jeans. For women lighter colors like yellows, peach, pinks or white work well. The boho feel is also very poplar with mountain weddings and bridesmaids in white or cream lace with a bohemian flare can work beautifully with the forest setting.