A Whimsical Garden-Inspired Wedding at a Private Residence in Redwood City, California

Whimsy and rustic romance shone through every detail at Erica Ruggeri (29 and a recruiter) and Stephen Mendonca’s (28 and a senior art director) woodland wedding in the heart of Redwood City, California. Inspired by the majestic redwood trees and lush florals coloring the landscape at their private venue, the couple selected a palette of soft green, blush and periwinkle and looked to bountiful flower arrangements to bring their vision to life. “Our flowers were very important to us. My family owned a flower business for 80 years in San Francisco called Silver Terrace Nurseries,” Erica says. “Since my middle name is Rose, great care was taken to include [its namesake] across the various design elements and floral arrangements.” Custom-designed invitations were also used to communicate the theme to guests. Stephen created the suite himself, using a vintage-inspired periwinkle rose print to infuse the stationery with a touch of old-world elegance. The day of the wedding, Erica and Stephen gathered their families and friends at the Church of the Nativity in Menlo Park, California, where they wed in a traditional Catholic Mass. Fluffy white hydrangeas lined the aisle and floral marquee letters—an S for Stephen and an E for Erica—greeted guests as they arrived at the church. The newlyweds then whisked guests off to a private home for the celebration. The couple opted for an alfresco fete, taking advantage of the lush green scenery and awe-inspiring redwood trees. Tables draped in ivory linens dotted the lawn and were dressed to the nines with mother-of-pearl roses, cafe au lait dahlias, lavender lisianthus, hydrangeas, floribunda roses and eucalyptus. Candlelight twinkled as the sun began to set, casting a warm, ambient glow over the clearing. After dinner, Erica and Stephen treated their guests to a VintageFiesta photo booth housed in a bright Volkswagon bus, an espresso bar, dessert bar and popcorn bar, as well as live music by Pop Fiction, who kept the dance floor moving all night. A tip from Erica and Stephen: “Hire a wedding planner. They have all the contacts, relationships and advice and are great mediators. We truly do not know what we would have done without ours.” —Libby MacCarthy