Handmade California Greenhouse Wedding at Shelldance Orchid Garden

June 7, 2018 | juliette

If you’ve followed us for a while, you know that greenhouse weddings are high on our list of favorites, and this California wedding at Shelldance Orchid Garden is no exception! Christine and Jesse brought all their friends and family to their new home in California over the Thanksgiving holiday for a weekend-long celebration that included a potluck feast, bowling, and, of course, their incredible wedding! Although the greenhouse venue was bursting with plants, Floral Times added textural bouquets and garlands to personalize the space and fit the couple’s wildly romantic yet laid-back vibe. Christine channeled her inner boho goddess with a cold-shoulder BHLDN gown and tassel earrings and sprinkled some of that boho flair into the reception decor with a handmade ribbon backdrop and floral hoops. Every detail was exceptionally and thoughtfully crafted by the couple and their loving guests, and Lilly Red Creative captured it all beautifully!

The Couple:

Christine and Jesse

The Wedding:

Shelldance Orchid Garden, Pacifica, California

We asked everyone to gather on Thanksgiving weekend and wanted everyone to know how much it meant to spend a holiday with us. We chose this weekend because, when we moved to New York several years ago, we started a Friendsgiving tradition. We loved the idea of having everyone close to us in town for a Friendsgiving wedding! On Thanksgiving day (the day before the wedding), we gathered everyone for a game of kickball and then a potluck-style Thanksgiving dinner in our backyard. After the wedding, we rented lanes at a bowling alley. The whole weekend was packed with plans and fun memories!

We had stumbled onto Shelldance Orchid Garden one day on a bike ride and thought how nice the place would be for a wedding before we even knew the greenhouse did weddings. After two years and having passed Shelldance so many times, we knew it was the right place. It had everything we wanted! It was small and intimate and it didn’t need a lot of decorations because it was full of plants. The land the venue was on also allowed us to go with the crazy idea to have everyone hike up a hill for a gorgeous view of the ocean for our ceremony.

Jesse and I call each other “Dear” and, over the years, we have collected little deer trinkets. So, we made sure to sprinkle in deer motifs throughout the decor. We had a few antlers and deer brass candlestick holders, and we even placed deer-shaped Christmas ornaments on the donut pyramid. Our friends helped us make the indigo napkins and hand-letter the place cards. I also made the backdrop for the dance floor and the “Mr. and Mrs.” hoops that we hung behind our seats.

So many guests played some role in making our day happen! Our best friend officiated the ceremony, my dad put on my shoes like a princess, and our friend drove me in our Subaru up the top of the hillside where we got married. My girls were our day-of coordinators and made sure all the ducks were in a row. One of my friends even let me borrow her sneakers to dance at the reception because my feet hurt so bad from my heels! It was truly a day that lived beyond any feeling or expectation we had set. 

Our advice is simple: don’t stress so much. Yes, you should make lots of lists and spreadsheets and check them twice. But, at the end of the day, your guests should be there for you, not to see which napkins you chose or what song they’re going to dance to. Also, when your family and friends offer up their help, take them up on it as much as you can!

The Wedding Team:

Photography – Lilly Red Creative
Venue – Shelldance Orchid Garden
Floral Design – Floral Times
Catering – Tacolicious
Dessert – Johnny Doughnuts
Makeup Artist – Dreamcatcher Artistry
Wedding Dress – BHLDN
Rings – Catbird NYC
Rentals – Pieces by Violet


Congratulations to Christine and Jesse, and a huge thanks to Junebug member Lilly Red Creative for sharing this fantastic wedding at Shelldance Orchid Garden with us! Can’t get enough greenhouse weddings? Then you need to see this ’70s inspired greenhouse wedding at the Ed Lycan Conservatory!

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