Minimalists Will Swoon Over This Orange-and-Blue Wedding at Ruth Bancroft Garden in Walnut Creek, California

Even on the most mundane of days, fantastic things can happen. A typical day at work for Maggie (handling the front desk at the Berkeley Art Museum) a

Even on the most mundane of days, fantastic things can happen. A typical day at work for Maggie (handling the front desk at the Berkeley Art Museum) and Mario Azary (a visiting landscape architect) turned into an electric meeting between the two. “Mario invited me to dinner after my shift ended, and I agreed—which was out of character for both of us!” laughs Maggie. “A little over six years later, Mario asked me to marry him while we sat on a bench at Lake Merritt, where we had our second date (and first kiss).”

As they set out on their wedding planning adventure, the overall design was a focus for this artful couple. “One of the most important aspects of our wedding was the setting,” Maggie shares. “We both love plants and flowers, so we started with inspiration from our venue, Ruth Bancroft Garden, which already had beautiful, natural colors, plants, hidden corners and more. We wanted our colors to add pop to the muted tones of the garden, and it all built out from there!” With the natural textures and tones shining as an idyllic backdrop, Maggie and Mario elected to decorate their space minimally.

The bride and groom’s fresh-and-clean style carried through to the day’s fashion. “I didn’t want anything too frilly, sequined or loud as I thought something sleek, simple, silky and light would compliment the venue. Once I found my dress at Sarah Seven, there was no looking back,” says Maggie. Her one-shoulder gown gave the bride a subtle Grecian vibe that she accented with delicate drop earrings. Mario chose a classic black suit with a touch of bold color emanating from his orange boutonniere.

When the wedding day arrived, the couple’s nearest and dearest met in the garden to witness the intimate ceremony. “My close friend from high school played the guitar as I walked down the aisle—he played my favorite band, Simon and Garfunkel,” tells the bride. Maggie joined her beloved, as well as Mario’s aunt, who acted as the officiant, at the alfresco altar under the glow of the afternoon sun. The lovebirds said “I do” with the backdrop of verdant trees, bushes and a peaceful pond. “My father is Iranian, and though we didn’t want to do a full Persian ceremony, we did want to recognize that side of my heritage,” Maggie explains. “We selected a beautiful poem in Farsi that my father read during the ceremony, and Mario’s father read the poem translated to English immediately following. It was nice to have our loved ones standing there with us.”

The newlyweds walked back up the aisle and led their attendees into their second space for dinner and drinks. A beautiful selection of fruits, meats, veggies and dips awaited hungry friends and family at a colorful grazing station. “We wanted the night to feel relaxing and true to us,” says the bride. “We created that feeling with the family-style tables, which we hoped would inspire conversation and connection. We also did smaller, more frequent flowers, various candle heights and little bursts of color.” Long tables displayed soft blue linens matching the tile on the venue’s half-wall and bold, low centerpieces atop a delicate fabric runner.

Personalization was pertinent to the new Mr. and Mrs. Azary. “During dinner, we did food stations with Asian-forward foods to avoid metal chafing dishes and lean toward bamboo, to-go Chinese food boxes. We also forwent the first dance and the father-daughter dance, instead opting to get the group out to the dance floor,” Maggie notes. “We also went with a deconstructed wedding cake, separating the three tiers of the cake into individual cakes rather than stacking them. Not to mention, we curated every song on the wedding playlist, as we both love music so much.”

Maggie and Mario shared an aspect of their wedding they encourage others to try: “Say your vows to each other the night before. We were emotional wrecks, and it was so nice to have that moment in private together before we performed it on the wedding day.”

A flower girl with a delicate mesh gloves and a bow holding a wicker basket filled with daisies, buds, greenery and a half of a lemon for an outdoor garden wedding in California.
A bride displays her bold-and-bright bouquet with yellow, orange and burnt orange flowers accented by white blooms and greenery for a desert garden wedding in Northern California.
Bride and Groom Having a First Look in a Garden Amongst Cacti and Desert Plants
Groom in Classic Black Suit, Bride in One-Shoulder Gown With Colorful Bouquet in Garden
Minimalistic Ceremony Space in Desert Garden With Cacti and Plants
Bride and Groom At Altar With Officiant in Garden, Pond and Greenery
Bride With Bright Orange-and-Yellow Bouquet Hugs Flower Girl in Frilly Dress
Personal Photo Display Table With Disposable Cameras for Guests
Table With Blue Linen, Napkins and Candles Accented By Orange and Yellow Flowers
Long reception tables featuring blue linens and napkins, low centerpieces with orange flowers and candles in an outdoor garden space featuring desert plants and a half-wall of broken tile pieces with tons of plants and trees.
Food Station Menu for Outdoor California Wedding With Yellow Designs
Appetizer Board With Meats, Fruits, Veggies and Dip Accented With Flowers
Bride and Groom From Behind the Head Table, String Lights at Nighttime Reception