Wedding Inspiration: A beer canoe makes an appearance at this rustic Russian River bash


When Patsy and Chris Gradwohl got engaged, fireworks ensued—literally (it was New Year's Eve).

But it was back home in the Bay Area where the vision for their future began to gel, and the couple decided to host their wedding in the redwoods at their "special family place," the Russian River.

Letting the venue speak for itself, they kept it low key with the addition of pastel florals in lavender, white, and cream with a touch of foliage to pair with the canopy of trees that surrounded them. "We are very simple people and didn't want anything too flashy—just kept it light," says Patsy. Billowing curtains framed the ceremony gazebo, held back by a lilac sash, which was echoed throughout the wedding from the bridesmaid dresses to bouquets, the able linens and reception lighting. As the couple walked back down the aisle, loved ones blew bubbles in their honor.

And then party began. In an homage to their campground venue on the river, a canoe was filled with ice and custom-brewed IPAs named "Meet the Gradwohl's." Vintage frames and country florals hung from the trees for pretty photo ops and lanterns dotted the tables. A video booth allowed their friends and family to share stories and advice for posterity.

Venue: Private residence

Caterer: Wine Country Artisans Catering

Photographer: Justin Wilcox Photography

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