I couldn’t be more excited to showcase photos from this Riverfront Regional Park outdoor wedding ceremony!
Cindy & Mike married there in November 2021 with a tiny group of around 20 adults and 3 children. They held their ceremony there and then went on to Paradise Ridge Winery for their reception (about a 25-minute drive away).
Redwoods are very special to this couple. Mike proposed to Cindy under a redwood tree in Golden Gate Park. Though this wasn’t their original wedding plan (in fact when she reached out, Cindy excitedly told me they were having their ceremony at an expansive Airbnb), it couldn’t have turned out more special.
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About Riverfront Regional Park for weddings
Riverfront Regional Park is simply stunning for weddings. The tree cover means the light is never too strong or contrasty. Wedding photos here take on a slightly moodier turn, which I love!
Nestled near the Russian River and a stone’s throw from downtown Windsor and Healdsburg, Riverfront Regional Park boasts picturesque wine-country landscapes that you’d expect from this absolutely gorgeous part of California!
This is a place you can effortlessly catch photos among charming redwood grove picnic spots, and two glistening lakes. If you’ve ever loved fishing, kayaking, or canoeing at Riverfront Regional Park, or have fond memories of outdoorsy activities, this could be perfect for your wedding!
A leisurely 2-mile Lake Trail encircles the more expansive Lake Benoist, offering a brief off-road detour to a quaint riverside pebble beach. The half-mile Redwood Hill Trail meanders through a serene coast redwood forest. There are enchanting backdrops everywhere you look – and plenty of variety too, as you’ll see from this photo set.
Convenient facilities include restrooms with flush toilets and a handy drinking fountain.
The parking area opens up to an inviting redwood grove with individual picnic sites and a large barbecue area, which can be reserved for weddings.
Keep the joy flowing with the on-site volleyball net entwined among trees and a classic horseshoe pit. We’ve done our fair share of activity weddings, and that would really take it to the next level to use the sporting facilities as part of your wedding day!
Our couple’s story and wedding day
They met in 2017 at a Halloween party, which I love! It’s so fun to meet in person these days! Mike was the first person that Cindy encountered at the party. They lived in San Francisco though on opposite sides of the Golden Gate Park. This park became their go-to meeting place. Have you ever heard anything so romantic?
Another romantic touch: one of Mike’s family names is Thistle, and one of Cindy’s family names means ‘flowers’. They made a custom ring incorporating thistles and flowers.
I still recall what Cindy wrote in her outreach email to me. ‘The atmosphere will be relaxed and intimate’. And it absolutely was! Something about the deep peace of the forest meant we felt utterly at one with nature.
Though their area rental was modest in size, and located adjacent to the lake, we weren’t bothered by any passers-by whatsoever. And this wedding took place on a Saturday! This is sometimes a concern for some couples, especially those who are ‘shy in front of people’ like Cindy said she was.
Due to Cindy preferring not to be the center of attention, the couple chose to have no ‘walking down the aisle’ moment, but instead had family join them at the altar. After snacking on a delicious snack arrangement, everyone crossed the little bridge from the parking area to prepare for the ceremony.
After the ceremony, we set about capturing all the desired formal groupings. Then the final timeline item before decamping for the reception was my favorite thing – romantic photos of the couple, just as the light was turning extra beautiful.
An expression of their values
This wedding had some very emotional moments including when the couple first connected. I admired Cindy for boldly showing her emotion, something that must not have been easy (especially when the wedding day is almost always my first time meeting my couples face-to-face, as not many opt for engagement sessions!).
The ceremony was poignant and solemn. You could hear a pin drop. There was a sense of majesty and reverence, surrounded with towering redwoods.
Ultimately this wedding was a true culmination of something I speak about regularly – a wedding that expresses the couple’s values. Cindy and Mike’s day at the incredible Riverfront Regional Park in Healdsburg showcased their love not just for each other, but for their community. Cindy is a great lover of the outdoors, and that shone through.
I also love that she opted for a dress that technically is sold as a bridesmaid’s dress. It was so perfect for her. Why wear white if that’s not really you? The color she chose was not only incredibly flattering on her, it stood out beautifully against the muted greens.
The texture of the dress is one facet that made it absolutely perfect to photograph against the rough textures of the environment (bark chippings, unfinished wood, pine needles etc). Typical long, lacy wedding dresses tend to pick everything up like wearing a Swiffer!
With intimate weddings, it’s fair to say that family steps in to lend a hand. This made for wedding details with even more meaning behind them. Rather than just pretty details, there were succulent favors grown by family, and a memorial table of loved ones.
Photography: Zoe Larkin Photography
Ceremony Location: Riverfront Regional Park
Dress: Jenny Yoo
Catering: Epicurean Catering
Favors: Yami Yami
Photos from Riverfront Regional Park wedding
Check out similar woodland park wedding venues around the Bay Area
About Zoe Larkin Photography
Looking for a Healdsburg wedding photographer? You can learn more about my services at the links below:
Hoping I’ll be back at Riverfront Regional Park soon, shooting your lovely ceremony! To stay connected, be sure to follow along on Instagram and reach out via my contact form when you’re ready to book your date.