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The Dawn Ranch Lodge is truly one of our favorite outdoor venues in Northern California’s wine country. It’s located in the town of Guerneville, right on the Russian River, and the scenery all around this area is just breathtaking. Upon hearing from Erin and Kris, we were thrilled to invite them over to our home studio to learn all about their wedding day.

Right away we knew that this will be a laid back, relaxed, wedding focused on simply enjoying the day and the relationships between the people. We also learned that Erin will be wearing a GREEN wedding dress (which was a surprise for Kris) and we thought it was quite an original idea. How often do you see a bride in a dress as unique as this? Erin and Kris were also working on many DIY projects and we love it when we see couples infuse weddings with their personality. With a relative carefully selected to conduct their ceremony, they were all set for a wedding done just their way.

One of the things we love about Dawn Ranch weddings is that events here really become all-weekend celebrations. Erin and Kris hosted a casual BBQ at the same venue on the day prior to the nuptials and it seems that giving people a chance to spend time together is such a great way to get the party started. Guests were able to meet and mingle with everyone staying at the cute cottages on the property.

The actual wedding day was also beautiful throughout. Here are some faves from the day:

Green wedding dress during bridal preparations at Dawn Ranch Lodge in Guerneville


Loved the rustic flowers and details which fit the venue so well:

Wedding shoes and rustic bouquet at Dawn Ranch


Bride getting ready at the Olive Cottage


Preparations took place at the Olive Cottage:

Bride putting on a green wedding dress at the Olive Cottage at Dawn Ranch


Bride putting on the earings


Erin chose to wear a floral wreath on her head and it looked so different and fresh!

A purple and green floral wedding wreath


Bride and Groom portrait in the lush gardens of Dawn Ranch Lodge


A boutonniere with succulents and purple flowers


Part of the Dawn Ranch Lodge is an orchard and people often have their receptions and even ceremonies among the apple and plum trees:

Ripe plums at the Dawn Ranch orchard


Erin’s floral reef looked good on Kris too! Love her reaction :)

Groom wearing a purple and green wedding wreath


This dress was just perfect for a Dawn Ranch wedding – Erin looked like a fairy in the woods:

Bride and Groom portraits in the orchards at Guerneville


Groom with rustic and earth-toned wedding attire


Groom holding a bouquet with wildflowers


Their ceremony was on the giant lawn in the center of the property. Old redwoods provided a stunning backdrop as well as great shade from the sun:

Outdoor ceremony on the lawn at the Dawn Ranch Lodge


Cocktail hour was perfectly back-lit by the afternoon sun:

Cocktail hour on the central lawn at Dawn Ranch


Dawn Ranch Lodge roadhouse restaurant sign


A bar for the outdoor wedding reception in the orchard at the Dawn Ranch Lodge


First dance at the outdoor wedding reception


OK I have to confess – this was my favorite part of the day :) I absolutely loved this cake display – different color and size cake stands made for a stunning table. And the various flavored cakes from Miette were to die for!

Variety of vintage cake stands for a display of Miette cakes


Wedding reception dancing in the orchard at Dawn Ranch


Black and white photo of an outdoor wedding reception


Black and white photo of an outdoor wedding reception


Low light exposure at twilight in the Dawn Ranch orchard


Wedding rings


Slow exposure of the dance floor for an outdoor wedding reception


We are excited to come back to Dawn Ranch for another wedding this winter which also promises to be unique and has us filled with anticipation! It’s truly an amazing place to share the day with people who mean the most to you.

All the wonderful vendors of the day:

Ceremony & Reception Venue: Dawn Ranch Lodge
Hair & Makeup: Ali @ Studio 12
DJ/Band: Sean Patterson @ DJ St. Patrick
Florals: Studio Choo
Catering: Dawn Ranch Lodge
Wedding Cakes: Miette

To see more gorgeous Dawn Ranch Lodge weddings photographed by Choco Studio visit Dawn Ranch Lodge Wedding Guerneville

9 Comments August 22, 2011
posted in: Weddings

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Mike and Nat are a husband and wife photography team based in San Francisco Bay Area. Their relaxed style allows them to capture authentic moments while creating a stress-free experience. Choco Studio photographs weddings throughout the San Francisco Bay Area including Napa, Sonoma, Carmel, and Monterey.