Magical Forest DIY Wedding Under a 200-Year-Old Tree
“We wanted the wedding to be very much about family. We loved the tree. The tree for us very much symbolizes family… family is our inspiration for our wedding. For 15 months, we planned and made decorations. We wanted the wedding to be very much ours. The flag bunting was particularly special to me because some of the fabric came from my grandmother’s sewing collection. The Mason jars that lined the wedding aisle were given to us by a close friend of ours. Those simple personalizations had such a strong impact to our wedding.
With the tree being our focal point, we created our wedding around the tree. We really wanted to stay local to our San Diego community. We had Phils BBQ, a San Diego favorite. The weekend Angela proposed to me, we had a slice of Nutella cake at this delicious pastry shop called Dolce Italia. It only made sense for us to have them make us a small Nutella cake for our wedding. We both have a love for pie as well and decided to order various pies from our local Julian Pie Co.
We could not have asked for a better day to get married. The sun was out; the weather was perfect! Time to get married.
That morning our friends arrived early to help us set up. Local Boy Scout Troop 663 happened upon us during set up and helped us haul and set up all the chairs!!!
After, we went home to get dressed and came back walking toward the wedding tree. It was just magical, just perfect! Everything came together.”
Sylena: “Our family and friends were all there. I was left speechless. Our friend Trish married us. My best memory of the wedding was after being pronounce wife and wife. We turned around with Angela’s two sons and faced everyone, affirming to everyone: This is our family! That was such a great moment.”
From Lauren Perkins of StopGo Photography:
There is a reason why the sprawling 200 year old oak tree in Louis Stelzer County Park is so affectionately dubbed the Wedding Tree here in San Diego. This 25-foot-tall live oak is the perfect canopy to marry the love of your life under. And that’s exactly what Sylena and Angela did last weekend. When I meet these two, one delt out hard knocks as a roller derby skater and the other helped save lives as a parametric. I’ll leave it to you to determine which was which. Though the origin of their meeting has always been wildly contested by friends and family, these two undeniably share a “mutual weirdness” that runs deep. That reference was from one of their favorite quotes that spoke about love and weirdness, one that they had custom incorporated into a vase piece to join their sweetheart table on their big day.
Their wedding day was intimate and beautifully offbeat with western details and tons of handmade custom touches the two brides lovingly poured themselves into. One bride wore a pink, lacy dress with a flowy-forest vibe, complete with a rosette and butterfly headdress instead of a bouquet. The other bride wore a dapper handmade garden long tie that complemented her own pinks, grays, and tans. There was a burlap runner, a custom made bunting, and a s’mores station set up around a fire pit. There were ribbon wands, coloring pages, and a ring toss for the kids.
The space seated about 75 guests for the ceremony, with a handful of long rustic picnic-style tables for the reception. The dancing space was huge, where pretty much whereever you wanted to get down, you got down. One of bride’s sons performed a special serenade in the tune of “What a Wonderful World.” It was such an honor to have been invited to photograph Sylena and Angela’s wedding day. The bond you two share is so special, it’s only fitting that the space you chose to be wed at was pure magic.
Ceremony and reception venue: Louis Stelzer County Park, San Diego, CA
Sylena’s Tie: Etsy, TheWoolFish
Food: Phil’s BBQ, Julian Pie Co
Cake: Dolce Italia
Wedding cake topper: Etsy LittleBun
Photographer: Lauren Perkins, StopGo Photography