Elegant Ranch Wedding in Malibu
June 23, 2014
RomanticRustic WeddingsSummer Weddings
We love a rustic wedding, but we think it's pretty cool this couple choose a ranch venue and decided to steer away from the assumed bent. The result, as you can see in Sargeant Creative's photos, was pretty stunning. With help from Kate Fujimoto, they went for sophisticated and earthy touches like flax linens from La Tavola and blush blooms from Moon Canyon Design strategically scattered throughout.
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From title="Kate Fujimoto Event Design" href="http://www.katefujimoto.com/">Kate Fujimoto Event Design...Working with Misty and Tim and helping them to create a beautiful day, filled with warmth, romance, and playfulness, was a highlight of 2013 for me. We spent about ten months prepping for the wedding, and during this period, Misty and Tim were in their first year of medical residencies. They had incredibly stressful workloads and restrictive schedules, but Misty and Tim were really dedicated to making sure that their wedding was a true reflection of themselves. Despite having literally no time to sleep because of their crazy shifts, they always approached every task with an enthusiasm, energy, and sense of humor that made the business of planning a really fun experience for everyone involved. Misty told me, “We want our guests to feel loved, excited and uplifted on our special day,” and she and Tim poured their hearts into every detail to make this a reality.

Misty and Tim chose Calamigos Ranch in Malibu as their venue as it perfectly captured the earthy, but elegant, vibe that they had envisioned. They fell in love with the ceremony space, which was situated under an enormous oak tree. There were cascading twinkle lights hanging from the tree and the lush landscaping made the space feel intimate, even with 175 guests. The reception spaces, which included a large lawn, an indoor area with bar and dance floor, and a tented, draped patio for dining, allowed for a lot of activities and were ideal for providing different types of entertainment throughout the event.

Misty and I talked at length about a design that would complement all of the spaces. Misty and Tim didn’t want to go in an overly rustic direction, with more typical ranch inspired motifs. Instead, they really wanted to create an elegant backdrop, with whimsical touches and fun elements. We therefore decided on doing a fairly neutral base, natural flax linens for the ceremony and cocktail hour and a slightly stronger tone in silk dupioni for the reception, upon which we layered feminine peach and cream florals and green garlands from the amazingly talented Kristen Caissie of Moon Canyon Design. Kristen and I spent time figuring out what would best highlight the ceremony space, as the oak tree was such an overwhelming presence. We both thought that a summery garland of peach and cream florals and greenery, swagged around the trunk of the tree, would be most beautiful and effective. It was simple idea, but so chic. We complemented the swag with florals in wire vessels that were hung from the branches of the tree. In the dining area, Kristen carried over the garland idea to both the center dining table, as well as to the backdrop that sat behind the sweetheart table. She actually anchored the backdrop to two huge ‘branches’ in order to maintain the earthiness that Misty and Tim liked. We transitioned from wooden vessels in the ceremony and cocktail spaces to silver urns in the dining room to create a certain flow from afternoon to evening. The dining space, wrapped in the glow of candlelight and strands of twinkle lights above, looked magical.

Although aesthetics were undoubtedly important to Misty and Tim, they really wanted their guests to have fun! Being an adventurous, free-spirited couple, they felt strongly about incorporating more whimsical touches to their wedding. The large lawn in the reception space lent itself to creating sweet picnic-type vignettes and lawn games. We bought blankets, custom-made pillows and vintage tray tables which we painted white and paired these with lawn games (including a not-so typical choice of Jenga, which the couple loves to play). Misty and Tim actually made the bean bag toss board with silhouettes, which was such a big hit with both adults and kids. Guests really did use the blankets for lounging during the cocktail hour, which was such a great alternative to the usual rental chairs and tables. We enlisted a three-piece bluegrass band to play during guest arrival and cocktail hour. Triple Chicken Foot did such an excellent job at setting a festive tone and making the party comfortable and inviting. Their music was engaging and, most importantly, fun. Probably the most playful parts of the wedding were the touches that Misty and Tim incorporated from their favorite movie, “Up.” We made “Up” themed bottle cap escort cards, which were filed into streamlined custom wooden planks – so as to mesh with the elegant tablescapes that we had prepared in all of the various areas of the wedding; we put together a cool display of “Up” memorabilia for the guestbook table; and we tossed balloons during the bride and groom send-off with a sign that read “Up, Up, and Away – A Balloon Send Off On Your Wedding Day!”

I think that one of the most special moments of the wedding was a surprise for Misty and Tim, conceived by one of Misty’s best friends and bridesmaids. Instead of a standard speech, Misty’s friend enlisted Kaba Modern, a dance group that Misty had seen on TV (and absolutely loved), to jump in and perform a set for the bride, groom and guests. It was a really special gift – the dancing was incredible and so lively – it was really the perfect way to segue into the dance portion of the evening. The night progressed so quickly, as guests made their way between a photobooth, a tasting of delicious bite sized desserts, and dancing of course. There was never a dull moment from start to finish at Misty’s and Tim’s wedding and, from that perspective, it was an exact reflection of the two.