Mandy & Ethan’s Fun-Filled Secret Garden Wedding

Every wedding could use a dash of magic. Happily for Mandy and Ethan, the Secret Gardens in Bodega Bay have plenty to go around! From the outside, you’d never guess that an enchanted forest awaits within, with lush greenery, majestic redwoods, a bubbling brook, twinkling lights, and, of course, fairies galore. It couldn’t have been more perfect for two fun-loving gamers with a passion for all things Disney!

Their day started off separately, yet both made sure to squeeze in quality game time with their best buds before getting ready for their special day. Mandy wowwed in an ivory steampunk fairytale gown with a purple ombre hem that matched her long waterfall braid; her teal petticoat and ribbon added fantastic contrast. She had two pairs of shoes to carry her through the day: beige skull-and-crossbone heels and custom purple-and-teal Converse. Her Prince Charming turned as many heads in his gray suit, which was complemented by a purple Disney Haunted Mansion tie (purchased right after he proposed to Mandy on the ride!) and gray/purple/teal Converse. Their wedding party was equally color-coordinated (as was a pair of pups that came as guests). So fun!

As a practical joke, Mandy sent her best man, bedecked in a dress and veil, in her place for the first look. They all shared a laugh before Mandy finally skipped down the path herself. She and Ethan were practically inseparable after that.

We loved that they walked down the proverbial aisle together, sneaking in several kisses before standing beneath their colorful chuppah in front of their family and friends. Their flame-haired officiant Caitlyn, dressed as a fire priestess, presided over the humorous, heartwarming ceremony and cast balls of fire to make their rings appear.

“One of the biggest moments for me is that Ethan cried during our vows,” says Mandy. “We’ve been together for over four years and I’ve never seen him really cry before so it just totally blew me away.”

The joyous celebration that followed was fueled by love and laughter, along with woodfired pizza, cake pops, blackberry pie pops, and plenty of sparkling adult beverages. The newlyweds’ cats Tenderfoot and Admiral Nimitz joined them at their sweetheart table via hand-drawn portraits. Their guests bonded over games, photobooth shenanigans, and a redwood dancefloor that accommodated even the wildest of dance moves, including the Time Warp. Mandy did a fabulous job compiling the soundtrack to their day!

When the theme song from the Haunted Mansion resounded through the forest, everything came full circle. Here are some of our favorite moments from an unforgettable day.

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Dress: KMK Designs, with custom teal ribbon & petticoat (Etsy)
Bride’s shoes: Necrotic by Bettie Page (heels), custom Converse
Groom’s suit: Men’s Warehouse
Groom’s shoes: Converse, custom
Bride’s ring: Brilliant Earth
Hair & make-up: Lenka Olivera of Haedt’s B/S Stop (Novato, CA)
Caterer: Franchettis’ (Santa Rosa, CA)
Dessert: Supreme Sweets (Petaluma, CA)
Photobooth: Giggle & Riot

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