Ali and Seth LOVE bikes. They love bikes so much they wanted their Holly’s Ocean Meadow Wedding to be filled with them! They love bikes so much they were going to go on a bikepacking trip across Europe as their honeymoon. They love bikes so much that we bonded over bikes for an hour on the phone when I admitted that I have a bike problem (I have 9 bikes) and that I used to work for Pearl Izumi. Once upon a time I was supposed to do a wedding for my friends Jina and Lucas that was going to feature bikes as the main mode of transportation between the ceremony site, the cocktail reception site and the reception site. It sadly was cancelled due to Covid, but I FINALLY had my dreams also come true because the highlight of Ali and Seth’s Holly’s Ocean Meadow wedding and cocktail hour was a bike parade with all their guests as participants. There are WAY too many photos in this post from their Holly’s Ocean Meadow wedding, but I don’t care because I also love bikes.
I had previously photographed another Holly’s Ocean Meadow wedding for Simon and Vanessa and I was overjoyed to return to this magical venue. This venue is for the folks who embrace the fog and chance. It is on a gorgeous bluff and meadow overlooking massive cliffs. You can party most of the evening without an issue – there’s very few other guest homes around and a large beach to have a bonfire on.
I’m not gonna lie – Mendocino is a little hard to get to from Lake Tahoe, but it was worth the drive and my second shooter and friend Nicky and I made an entire weekend of it. There was wine tasting and exploring, lounging and seafood eating.
The Anderson Valley and its accompanying coastline are worth a trip, whether or not you are attending a Holly’s Ocean Meadow wedding. There are incredibly gorgeous ocean views from the Mendocino Overlook, Russian Gulch State Park, and just steps from the charming and historic downtown Mendocino. There’s a wealth of charming and adorable guest houses and bed and breakfasts to choose from, but I love the Seagull Inn Bed and Breakfast. The rooms are clean and comfortable and they bring you warm scones and breakfast in bed each morning. What more could you ask for?? If you’re looking for a large breakfast to get you through your day, the Good Life Cafe and Bakery is worth the line you’re going to have to stand in. A romantic dinner? Make sure you make a reservation at Cafe Beaujolais, a historic French bistro in a converted home in the heart of Mendocino.
WINE TASTING IN THE ANDERSON VALLEY
No visit to Fort Bragg and Mendocino for a Holly’s Ocean Meadow wedding would be complete without a wine tasting day! There’s a wealth of wineries to choose from along the way into the coastline but I have some stand out favorites that I definately recommend over others. First off, Goldeneye Winery is part of the same wine group that owns Duckhorn and Decoy, well known Napa Valley standouts. Their rose was light, delicate and perfectly dry and the overall experience on their gorgeous patio was exceptional. Domaine Anderson offers outstanding chardonnay and pinot noir. It wouldn’t be a wine tasting day though unless you started at Roederer for some bubbles because everyday is better when it starts with bubbles!