Left to a kid's imagination—in its purest, most wondrous eternity, where anything is possible—a wedding is supposed to take place in the forest. That’s where the freshest air floats. That’s where the prettiest scenes of nature can be found. That’s where romance, adventure, and magic belong. The really surprising thing is that some children get their wish, even as adults.
Such was the case with David and Divah, two lovebirds who said their vows in the Northern California woodland wonderland of Camp Navarro. Sure, while it has twinkling lights of summer camp—aglow in every young dream—the historic 200-acre retreat makes for one heck of an adult getaway, given that it’s wine country to boot.
Open to the public for the first time in more than a century, the cabins, glamping tents, campground villages, and epic on-site lodge made for an unforgettable weekend for D+D’s family and friends, considering the wedding also included a parade. So upon seeing what a fantastical time was had in such an exquisite natural hideaway, we chatted up the wedding’s photographer, Tyler Branch.
Words + Photography by Tyler Branch
Tell us about the event. What were some of the highlights?
I loved how set away and intimate the venue was. the couple had friends out the whole weekend and made a pretty cool experience out of it for everybody. bonfire bbq and smores the night beforehand with a lot of people staying on sight. it just had a warmer feel to it than a lot of venues i shoot. felt like a family.
What made the venue a great backdrop and setting for photos?
I operate well in open spaces with nice light. oftentimes that'll be within forest settings. i shot a wedding a year or so back in sweden surrounded by forests and this had a very similar feel. quiet, serene, beautiful. the entire space is really conducive to great imagery.
Favorite existing design elements of the venue?
I think the beauty in this venue is the ceremony location. it's basically a sanctuary of redwood trees nestled within the forest. really nice symmetry and lots of gorgeous light. in addition to that i loved the canoe bar they had (see pictures :)).
Did you meet anyone there that you connected with or made a lasting impression?
I connected with the officiant and some other guests throughout the day and i'm actually shooting the officantes wedding next year in hawaii so that's cool.
Any inside tips?
Be prepared for no cell service :)
*TVR Tip: Get ready to go-off-the-grid and unplug in a beautiful forest setting!
Photographer: Tyler Branch | Venue: Camp Navarro | Planning: Bride & Groom | Florist: Divah + Family | Hair & Makeup: Sydney Evans at M Salon | Catering: Taqueria Ramirez (Taco Truck) | Rentals: Fort Bragg Rentals | Dance Music: JTs Mobile DJ | Bride’s Dress: Ellie’s Bridal
MEET THE CORRESPONDENT