“We were aiming for a romantic fairy tale in the woods filled with lots of green that had an organic, simple elegant feel to it,” describes photographer Amber Cruse of the concept she envisioned for this alfresco styled shoot with designer and coordinator Katie Barnes. After an extensive search for a venue, the lush, picturesque grounds beside a river at the Oak Canyon Ranch in Agoura, California, enchanted them. In fact, they learned that the venue was a filming location for one of the Robin Hood movies. This bit of information inspired Amber and Katie to combine their vision with the folklore legend.

Highlighting Robin Hood’s archery prowess, an arrow motif illustrated the invitation suite and menus. Directional signs in the shape of arrows were also strung on a bow and pointed guests toward the festivities. Continuing the theme, seating assignments for the reception were listed on a parchment scroll affixed to a tree with an arrow.

Befitting the natural landscape, benches for the ceremony were crafted of weathered planks and branches. The altar was marked by an arch composed of tree branches decorated with foliage, white fabric, lace, and garlands of violet, champagne, and vanilla flowers. The fair maiden donned a strapless ball gown with ruching on the bodice and a sparkling starburst pin at the waist. Her short hair was arranged with a side braid and curls, and adorned with a headpiece of pearl roses and small aubergine, pink, and ivory blooms. The bride’s bouquet was composed of blush, lavender, purple, and alabaster florals accented with verdure bound in lovely lace and golden ribbon. The modern groom was attired in maroon trousers, an azure blazer, sky blue shirt, striped tie, and a boutonniere that resembled a small bundle of flowers tied with twine.

Various crostini hors d’oeuvres, served on a slate slab nestled in moss atop a weathered tree trunk, welcomed guests to the reception. The rustic dinner table was decorated with a moss runner and a medley of blush, ivory, mint, and violet blossoms in metal vases and an urn. The table number was branded on a wood medallion, and taper candles in antique candlesticks added to the romantic ambience. Elegant place settings varied between antique rose- or emerald-hued charger plates and china with verdant rims and a vine motif. Amber, blue, and green stemware, along with champagne satin napkins, lent other colorful touches to the tablescape. 

Resembling a medieval feast, the dessert table displayed a tantalizing array of cakes, pies, and tea cakes. A tall, white confection was etched with a tree-trunk pattern and crowned with purple and ivory flowers, moss, and blackberries. A three-layer cake was embellished with cascading sugar leaves featuring dashes of gold. The center of the berry pie featured a floral pastry center. Tying to the literary theme of the event, stacks of aged books were used as clever stands throughout the décor.

Especially inspirational for couples that love the outdoors or those that desire a rustic aesthetic for their weddings, this event offers plenty of whimsical wedding ideas to stoke the imagination. For more décor ideas, please visit our weddings page.