A Whimsical Blue, Purple, and Red Wedding in a Garden in California

Lindsay and Thatcher

Jill Thomas

Lindsay Shrader met Thatcher Ferris up a creek (with a paddle) in Idaho. It was on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River, to be precise. Thatcher was working as a rafting guide for a company that takes guests on six-day-long trips down the river, and she and her family were part of his group. After a week of brief interactions, post-excursion e-mails, and a spontaneous visit to see Lindsay in California, they were officially a couple. On September 17, 2011, they wed, in a ceremony complete with colorful and natural details that suited the couple and their love story.

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The Location

Jill Thomas

The couple returned to the bride's hometown for their wedding, choosing a picturesque spot just north of the city. The San Diego Botanic Garden allowed the couple to have their dream wedding -- entirely outdoors. Complete with flowers, greenery, and meandering grounds, it was "a beautiful canvas where we could create a wedding unique to us," Lindsay said.

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The Fashions

Jill Thomas

Lindsay wore a Claire Pettibone dress she found at Bliss Bride and sparkly Steve Madden flats. Her jewelry also glimmered: a gold bracelet her grandfather gave her mother, and her grandmother's sapphire and diamond bracelet (another gift from grandpa, and her "something old" and "something blue"). Her hair braid was casual yet special.

Thatcher wore a Hugo Boss suit and J.Crew shirt and tie.

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The Boutonnieres

Jill Thomas

The guys trimmed their lapels with small bundles with viburnum berries, raspberries, ferns, and millet, tied with ribbon.

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The Bridal Party

Jill Thomas

Bridesmaids chose from three colors of Amsale dresses and accessorized them with necklaces and bracelets from the Lindsay's aunt's company, Kristine Taft Designs.

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The Processional

Jill Thomas

Lindsay entered the ceremony on the arm of her father, Darrell Shrader, as The Beatles' "Here, There and Everywhere" was played by the Zzymzzy Quartet. It was the same song her mother walked down the aisle to at her wedding.

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A Cute Announcement

Jill Thomas

The bride's nephew carried a banner proclaiming his aunt's imminent arrival.

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The Ceremony

Jill Thomas

During the ceremony, their older siblings recited two scriptures, and before joyfully recessing up the aisle, the couple exchanged vows they chose together, wedding bands engraved with "I will love you."

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The Portraits

Jill Thomas

Photographer Jill Thomas snapped pics of the couple all around the property following the ceremony. "A cool feature of the Botanic Garden is that there are so many natural backgrounds to shoot," Lindsay said.

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Oar Decor

Jill Thomas

Wedding coordinator Heather Balliet of Amorology Weddings added festive accents that honored the couple's love of rivers, such as a floral arch topped with a sign by Brightly Designed, and a paddle with the couple's initials.

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The Seating Display

Jill Thomas

An intricate table of moss- and pebble-filled crates and assorted flora was created to mimic the river on which the couple first met. The theme continued, with guests encouraged to "find the trail to their seats" by locating their names on trail marker cards for each table.

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A Small Detail

Jill Thomas

Mini wooden canoes decorated the seating display and alluded to the paddling theme.

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Leaving a Mark

Jill Thomas

The couple had a large illustration of a riverbank printed on their guest book along with the words "let your love flow like a mountain stream." Guests added "river rocks" by stamping their thumbprints into the book and signing their names.

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The Reception

Jill Thomas

The celebration moved to another garden for the seated dinner, where guests dined on salad, halibut topped with sun-dried tomato salsa, fresh vegetable bundles, and herbed orzo salad.

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The Decor

Jill Thomas

Floral centerpieces of cattails, chamomile, umbrella fern, astilbe, dahlias, scabiosa, spider mums, lisianthus, bupleurum, millet, pom pom mums, yarrow, and peekaboo roses in moss-filled crates popped on the teal linen-covered tables. Votive candles and bistro lights added a glow as the sun set.

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The Favors

Jill Thomas

At each place setting, sat a homemade gift for the guests packaged by the bridal party a few days before the wedding: granola in burlap-topped jars with two tags, one with the newlyweds' initials and the other reading "honey bunches of love."

Another DIY touch? Lindsay sewed all the dinner napkins herself from six colorful fabrics.

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The First Dance

Jill Thomas

Lindsay and Thatcher chose "Into the Mystic" by Van Morrison for their first dance.

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Sweet As Pie

Jill Thomas

A table of pies on various cakes stands was set out in a gazebo. The couple cut into a peach raspberry pie by Dessertier.

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Sweet As Pie

Jill Thomas

Guests enjoyed mini pies in three flavors: peach raspberry, strawberry rhubarb, and apple berry.

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Jill Thomas

Photography: Jill Thomas Photography

Location: San Diego Botanic Garden

Wedding Coordination: Amorology Weddings

Flowers: Twigg Botanicals

Catering: Crown Point Catering

Music: Zzymzzy; DJ David Cutler of Hit It Music Productions

Officiant: Senior Pastor Mike McClenahan of Solana Beach Presbyterian Church

Invitations: Alchemy Fine Events and Invitations

Day of paperie: Brightly Designed

Calligraphy: Wendy Ware

Rentals: Classic Party Rentals; La Tavola Linen

Videography: Benny Ek Videography

Hair and makeup: Lovestruck Makeup Artistry

Pies: Michele Coulon of Dessertier

Lighting: Allie's Party Equipment

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