The Sonoma County Gazette: Community News Magazine
Sonoma County Gazette
| more

Photo Gallery

A Secret Garden in Bodega Bay


A Secret Garden in Bodega Bay

A periwinkle wisteria drips its flowers casually across an open gate beckoning guests to enter Bodega Bay’s new Secret Gardens. Transformation from the outside world to this West Sonoma Brigadoon is instantaneous as arrivals walk into a place of peaceful retreat.   

Forget-Me-Nots cluster along trails leading past a carefree stream. Fire pits and a chimenaya beckon. Dancing decks (one covered and illuminated by chandeliers), wait quietly for the evening celebration. Nearby, hand-formed wooden bar tops stand ready to host the guests in the reception area where a large open grill releases promises of roasting delicacies.

From the arrival to her private Victorian dressing room, the bride feels treasured, knowing her paramour is waiting in his own Sweet Suite (aptly named). Soft music and sounds of the stream are blending while fragrances of flowers balance the aromas of mesquite-grilled delights. Nooks of benches and tables in crannies and alcoves stand ready for the celebration.

Lights drop in sparkling strands while guests cross a stream at twilight over a wooden bridge leading to a private setting where promises and remembrances will soon be shared. Pathways to this place of vows create the outline of a heart.

After the ceremony, the bride smiles her way through a flurry of well-wishers where she dances with her beloved on the deck above the stream. Photos are taken before she ascends to a terrace where she tosses her bouquet to expectant single ladies. (Chaos is likely to follow as the gents head for the bar.)

Day unfolds from dusk to twilight to a star-lit darkness. Over ethereal arches and wild foliage, orbs begin to glow low and high in the trees. 

Secret Gardens is open to destination weddings, celebrations of life, baptismals, birthdays, retreats and reunions. Encompassing two acres of magic, this lovely venue is available April through November and can accommodate 125 guests. For more information, call Hannah Brailsford at (406) 581-4814.

 Bodega Bay Secret Gardens, East Shore Road at Bay Flat Road