September 27, 2018

Romantic & Elegant Garden Wedding Photos | Hartley Botanica

Ashley + Jason | The Hartley Botanica | Somis, CA

I was completely smitten the very first time that I met Ashley and Jason. They exude such a down-to-earth, enthusiastic, and super fun energy. And there is such a palpable spark between them! Seriously. They’re adorable as heck together.

As we discussed their wedding photos, they emphasized how much they wanted to incorporate the natural beauty of their venue, The Hartley Botanica (in Somis, just outside of Los Angeles). It’s brimming with lush gardens, endless greenery, and statuesque trees. I was definitely onboard; pulling in all of the color and detail from a location is totally my jam!

On their big day, the first thing that I did was walk through the grounds and scope it all out. And it was nothing short of STUNNING! The birds were singing, the bees were buzzing, and the weather was perfect. I would not have been surprised if a cartoon animal had passed by me; it was that pretty.

When it was time for their ceremony, the scene looked like it was straight out of a fairytale. They opted not to do a First Look, so this was also the setting for them to see each other for the first time. As Ashley started walking down the aisle, I was struck by how calm and happy both she and Jason were. They were clearly in the moment, and that moment was spectacular.

They exchanged vows and rings underneath a floral chandelier hung up from the twisting branches. Sunlight filtered through the trees and cast a warm subtle glow on everything. There was a faint smell of roses from all of the flowers lining the aisle. Everything was hitting all of the senses all at once in the most wonderful way.

After the ceremony, guests were treated to an assortment of yummies and libations while the couple and I focused on all of their portraits. One of the most important individuals in their wedding party was their dog, Obie. And let me tell you, he’s quite the gentleman! He posed perfectly for every shot without any complaints — and he wore a bow tie. (Side note: Dogs are the best and are always welcome in my book!)

Once the reception space opened, it was like walking into an enchanted secret garden dinner party. Tables were exquisitely decorated with lace and mixed metals. Ivory and pale pink perfectly complimented the varying shades of green. A crystal chandler was strung up above the dance floor, surrounded by bistro lights.

As for the rest of the details, there was something for everyone: unicorn mini donuts, a partially-naked vegan cake, a white Rolls Royce, an elegant lounge area, little pops of bright color, candles & roses everywhere… The list goes on.

But none of this would mean much if Ashley and Jason weren’t one of the kindest and sweetest couples that I’ve ever met. And their friends and family were equally as awesome! Everyone was there to celebrate this wonderful couple, and that was it. There was no pretense, no frustration, no stress. It really was just all about the love!



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