One of the most romantic 2018 wedding trends combines rustic charm with fairy tale romance.
According to WeddingWire, woodland weddings are a trend inspired by nature with a whimsical and magical feel reminiscent of “The Secret Garden.”
East County couples looking to tie the knot don’t have to look very far to find the perfect woodland-wedding destination.
Amongst majestic towering trees and lush shrubbery, Brownstone Gardens in Oakley is an enchanting garden venue that delivers all of the magic nature has to offer.
“I was completely shocked that something so beautiful could be as hidden as it is and kept a secret,” said Walnut Creek resident Hayley Johansson, who was married at Brownstone Gardens in March 2017. “The grounds were incredibly magical. As a little girl, I always wanted my wedding day to be like a fairy tale, and that is exactly what this location gave us.”
Since 2006, over 1,000 couples have said “I do” at Brownstone Gardens and have celebrated their reception there as well amongst a sanctuary of towering trees and twinkling lights.
The property features paved pathways throughout the grounds and areas that create stunning backdrops for events.
The rose garden is a patio sanctuary surrounded with multicolored roses, trees and shrubs that wedding parties can use for multiple purposes. Brides and grooms have used the space for everything from a drink bar area to a s’mores bar, photo-booth area and comfortable sitting area for guests to mingle.
The koi garden is another area where guests can gather before the ceremony or during the reception. The pond, waterfall, wooden footbridge and old-fashioned wooden swing create magical photo opportunities.
Guests describe the bridal falls area as paradise. The intimate space features a recessed dance floor and canopy of natural trees and picturesque lighting. The sound of water cascading down the nearby 12-foot waterfall combined with the sparkling lights and surrounding trees creates a dreamy and ethereal setting.
The grand courtyard is where most couples exchange their vows. Brides can walk down a stone aisle surrounded by a lush, green lawn to a classic temple pavilion supported with beautiful sandstone columns. The nearby perimeter wrought-iron fence is covered with vine-like miniature roses and surrounded by crepe-myrtle trees, which have delicate pink and white blossoms during the peak wedding season.
“My favorite area is definitely the grand courtyard,” said Kay-Kay Hines, managing partner of Brownstone Gardens. Hines’ family operates the venue and her father, Bob Wiemholt, designed the magical grounds.
“My dad built the grand pavilion with weddings in mind,” said Hines. “He positioned it for good lighting for photos, and the crepe myrtle trees are just gorgeous when they are in bloom.”
According to Hines, besides Brownstone Gardens’ beautiful grounds, one of their best assets is the staff.
“You don’t want to put together a bunch of rookies to pull off an ‘A’ game,” said Hines. “You need an ‘A’ team. It’s a big day, and you deserve the best. Our staff has been working together for years. We can make our couples’ vision a reality!”
Couples are assigned a coordinator from Brownstone Gardens who will work with them to plan their event.
“One of the great things about Brownstone Gardens is that we do not have a set way to use the venue,” said Barbara DuMont, coordinator. “The couple gets to decide how they want to use it. We help the couples figure that out then, using our seating charts, design the event.”
The venue works with four different caterers and after the couple selects one, their coordinator will follow up and make sure the wedding is on the selected caterer’s schedule and will also take over management.
“There is no limit on the amount of contact that a couple has with us,” said DuMont. “We say that we have new best friends every year!
The attention to detail and availability helps to ensure the bride and groom’s big day goes smoothly.
“The staff at Brownstone Gardens was incredible,” said Johansson. “The team goes above and beyond to make sure that your day is all about you.”
Brownstone Gardens is located at 91 Brownstone Road, in Oakley. For more information, visit www.brownstonegardens.com or call 925-418-4532.