Modern Garden Wedding at Alcatraz Island

Have you ever thought about hosting a wedding at a former jail? Well, to be honest, neither have we. But one look at these images captured by Gianny Campos at Alcatraz Island off the coast of San Francisco, with the crumbling jail walls behind and cultivated gardens around, makes us realize that the venue could be absolutely incredible. The choice of a more modern dress (a forest green silk gown? Yes, please!) creates an aesthetically pleasing contrast, and the color palette developed from there, starting with an earthy palette inspired by geology – floral designer Studio Mondine was captivated by the tones and textures in the crags of sandstone and quartz jutting up from the sea. They worked with a garden-inspired style, incorporating roses, lilac, iris, and frittilaria in delicious jewel tones.

Read on for more from the photographer, Gianny Campos:
“As a team, we wanted to explore a more relaxed, modern love story–something less predictably ‘wedding’. We did away with the fluffy white dress and chose a slick, forest green silk gown from Kaarem via Voyager Shop SF. Our groom wore a custom Tailors Keep suit in an airy, relaxed cotton weave. Hair + Make-up artist Katie Nash kept the beauty story minimal and fresh, highlighting the bride’s lovely freckles and weaving her hair into a loose braid that looked even better tousled by the coastal winds. Studio Mondine drew inspiration from the earthy palette of the island’s geology – crags of sandstone and quartz jutting up from the sea. Ursa Major provided organic, sculptural rings from her bridal collection. We chose an unusual venue — Alcatraz Island off the San Francisco coast. Our love story unfolded between the crumbling walls and lush gardens of the iconic island. In the late 1800s, Alcatraz Island first served as a major military garrison before its acquisition by the US Department of Justice. Few people are aware that Alcatraz Island, made infamous by Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary by the notorious criminals who inhabited it, was actually a sort of idyll for young families working on the island in the 1930s and 40s. There remains to this day a rich landscape of cultivated gardens, first set up during the time of the army occupation, and subsequently maintained by the security guards of the prison and their families.  We were struck by this poignancy — even with its marred past, beauty endures.”

Photography: Gianny Campos Photography | Flowers/Styling: Studio Mondine | Makeup & Hair: Katie Nash | Location: Alcatraz Island, San Francisco | Groom’s attire: Tailor’s Keep | Bride’s attire: Kaarem via Voyager Shop San Francisco | Jewelry: Ursa Major Jewelry


Once Wed was launched in March 2008 to meet a need in the marketplace for an online listing service for second-hand wedding dresses. Within a short time, the company had developed into an online wedding publication and resource to provide newly-engaged brides with inspiration and tools to plan their dream wedding. 

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