Finding a Sacred Date and Location
The first decisions we had to make when planning our wedding was date and location. We picked the most popular wedding date in the century it seems, 7/7/07. It was sort of a novelty at first, but as we began to research it we discovered that the number seven is a sacred number among all religions of the world. Being that we are spiritual people but not connected to one major belief system, we thought this was appropriate. In our ceremony we were able to create an eclectic experience with aspects from Buddhism, Judaism, Native American, Hawaiian, Christian and so on.
Then we started looking for the location. We had been to a wedding last October at a place in Mendocino County in Northern California called Shambhala Ranch that was an amazing experience. It fit right into our theme. The name "Shambhala," comes from a legendary Himalayan kingdom in Tibet where there was a harmonious society. Shambhala is a Sanskrit term meaning "place of peace/tranquility/happiness". The caretakers of the Ranch, Stuart and Tara Marcus, have gone to great lengths to honor the land and its original inhabitants the Pomo Indians.
They take particular pride in trying to function in harmony with the natural environment. Many native plants have been used for landscaping and natural materials have been used for buildings. Conservation and maintenance of an ecologically sound environment that is clean and organized are values that have been maintained. They care about preserving the pristine quality of the land and the peace and tranquility of the neighborhood.
The main lodge was constructed with wood milled on the land. The current owner pulled out of the canyon, previously felled trees that had been left behind from a logging operation over 40 years ago and completed the lodge with that wood. The Inn is completely off grid using solar power & energy efficient practices. There are organic orchards and vegetables & herbs grown on site. Facilities include a redwood forest, river beach, pond, canoe, gardens, hiking trails. recycling, composting, conservation, natural cleaning products and green guest guidelines.