“When I was little,” Ashleigh recalls, “I found out that my father had wanted to get married in a redwood grove but my parents ended up getting married in a synagogue in San Francisco. Since then, I’d also dreamed of a wedding among the redwoods.”
Luckily for her and Tali, she came across UC Berkeley Botanical Garden‘s Mather Redwood Grove. Upon seeing the wooden amphitheater surrounded by soaring giants born in the 1930s, they knew that they’d found their spot.
“Since childhood when I would go around planting trees, I’ve always had a great appreciation of the important role trees play in our world,” says Tali. “Among our first interactions with each other was bonding over a deep love of nature, and specifically trees. We both absolutely love the majesty of California redwoods.”
We got a glimpse of their nature-loving ways during their Lands End engagement session earlier this year, when they spotted all the whales frolicking in the Golden Gate. You can imagine our delight when we discovered Tali rocking a pair of blue cetacean socks, which complemented her snazzy blue pinstripe suit and purple paisley bow tie perfectly. Meanwhile, Ashleigh evoked a classic Hollywood starlet in her romantic Grecian-style gown, which was purchased strapless but brilliantly transformed with the addition of pleated sleeves. Their joy at seeing each other for the first time that day resulted in, of course, a Finding Dory–inspired cuddle party.
After the signing of their Tree of Life ketubah, beloved family and friends joined them in the cathedral of redwoods for the heartfelt unplugged ceremony.
“One of my favorite moments was seeing the look on Tali’s face when my parents and I arrived under the chuppah,” Ashleigh says. “Tali was just beaming, and looked so handsome and happy standing there. It was also wonderful to look out into the ‘audience’ and see the faces of our very dearest friends.”
The handmade chuppah was decorated by the women on Ashleigh’s mom’s side of the family who couldn’t be at the wedding.
“It was truly special to have our chuppah made from the love and creativity of Ashleigh’s family,” says Tali. “We can’t wait to find a way to display it in our home!”
In addition to the love and support of their family and friends (kudos to officiant Sarah for making their “established” sign), the entire day was imbued with Ashleigh and Tali’s personalities and their love for each other. Ashleigh’s vintage engagement ring and Tali’s ring, for instance, both feature tiny scrolls that resemble a violin’s f-shaped sound holes—perfectly representing Tali’s passion as a violinist. A pineapple was on hand throughout the day to remind them of their favorite TV show Psych.
“Ashleigh was determined to tie in my Mexican heritage, so when she found the Jewish-themed Mexican celebration banners, we both knew we just had to include them,” says Tali.
Their adventures together also informed the table names.
“Each table name represents a trip we’ve taken together that has special meaning for us, or a place that we’ve visited multiple times that’s really important to us,” Tali says. “Ashleigh had printed out beautiful photos and handmade the table signs, but our coordinator unfortunately lost track of the package with the table signs and some other signs. Of course, our sweetheart table had to be the Oakland Museum of California since that’s both where we had our first date and where I proposed to her!”
During dinner, several family members and friends hilariously recounted key moments in the newlyweds’ pre-marital lives. Ashleigh’s brother and sister even let loose their inner thespians to express themselves more fully.
“I’d been feeling a bit overwhelmed, but their speech had me nearly falling out of my chair!” Ashleigh says.
Soon after, the newlyweds were wrapped in ceremonial aprons for the cutting of the lattice-crusted wedding pie, which Ashleigh’s mom had made using blackberries that the couple had picked together last spring and froze. Her mom also surprised Tali with Mexican wedding cookies (Tali’s favorite), which were a welcome counterpart to the chocolate chip cookies she and Ashleigh had baked for the wedding.
The rest of the night was an exuberant blur of body-crushing hugs, waving arms, flying hair, airborne pineapples, and discarded shoes.
Says Tali, “The fact that we spent so much time on the dancefloor despite neither of us being big dancers is a testament to the fact that we were having the time of our lives!”
It was an honor for us to witness and capture all this boundless love for a truly wonderful couple. Please enjoy some of our favorite moments.
Ashleigh’s dress: David’s Bridal (tailored by Carlos at Moises Gomez & Associates in Lafayette)
Ashleigh’s shoes: Shoes on Solano (Berkeley)
Ashleigh’s hair clip: Divine Jewel (Etsy)
Ashleigh’s jewelry: BHLDN & Divine Jewel
Tali’s suit: Kipper Clothiers
Tali’s bowtie: Nordstrom
Tali’s shoes: Frye
Ashleigh’s ring: Lang Antiques (San Francisco)
Tali’s ring: Nathan Jewelers (Etsy)
Custom hanger: Hanging with the Bride (Etsy)
Custom lovebirds forks: Eve of Joy (Etsy)
Ashleigh’s hair: Nicole at Phoenix Salon & Day Spa (Walnut Creek)
Ashleigh’s make-up: Sunny Oh
Caterer: Wilma Lott Catering
DJ: Allison at Heart of Gold
Bouquet/boutonnière: Gorgeous & Green
Favors/escort cards: UC Botanical Garden
Wedding signage: Paper Dainty (Etsy)
Ketubah: Ink with Intent (Etsy)
Mexican/Jewish banners: Afikomen Judaica