A Rustic Travel-Themed Wedding at Chalet View Lodge in Portola, California

Alexandra Johnson (25 and a lawyer) and Joel Guerra (25 and a law student) planned a lighthearted alfresco soiree for their late-spring wedding at Chalet View Lodge in Portola, California. “We both have a love for the outdoors and international travel, so we wanted that to come across in our theme,” Alexandra says. Chalet View Lodge’s rustic flair provided endless inspiration for the decor, including charming wildflower invitations and a flower-topped naked cake. The day unfolded with an intimate ceremony in a nearby clearing, where the couple exchanged vows against a backdrop of lush greenery. A custom-built birch arbor framed Alexandra and Joel as they said their “I dos,” with ivy, vibrant bouquets of roses and peonies, and cascades of colorful cranes adding a pop of color to the serene setting. The newlyweds’ travel-inspired theme was in full swing for the reception, the first indication of which came in the form of custom gold compasses that led guests to their seats. “Joel and I have traveled to 18 countries together. For the names of the tables at the reception, we chose the names of some of our favorite international cities,” Alexandra says. “To find their table assignments, guests had to go to a table where we laid out golden compasses with the names of our guests on them. Once they found their compasses, they had to open them to see what city they would be ‘traveling’ to.” One thousand origami cranes hung over the reception tables, a nod to Alexandra’s Japanese origins and a symbol of happiness and good luck. For dinner, the pair served traditional cuisine from a variety of regions across Mexico to pay tribute to Joel’s heritage. “We also had a mariachi band perform on the Friday night of our wedding weekend,” Alexandra says. Halfway into the evening, they treated guests to a tequila and mezcal bar, which featured a wide range of libations from all over Mexico. All tequila-tasting aside, perhaps the most memorable detail was a surprise wedding rap to Drake's "Hotline Bling," which came as a shock to everyone in attendance. "What we wanted most was a fun wedding surrounded by our closest friends and family," Alexandra says. —Libby MacCarthy