Rustic Chic Summer Wedding at Dawn Ranch
April 2, 2015
Classic WeddingsAl FrescoRustic Weddings
Dawn Ranch was the perfect backdrop for this creative celebration, complete with both a traditional ceremony with Jewish rituals to start off and a Korean ceremony in the middle of the festivities. There may have been more than one culture involved but every bit of this bash was colorful and chic, led by the talented Dream a Little Dream Events. Jesse Leake snapped away; see every second here!
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From the Bride... We looked far and wide for a venue where we could create a weekend-long outdoor celebration with our family and friends. Dawn Ranch Lodge had everything we wanted - a “summer camp” style ranch in the Redwoods where all of our friends could stay onsite in one of the 52 bungalows, with our families staying across the street at West Sonoma Inn. With family and friends flying in from Korea, Japan, Spain, Ireland, England, Mexico, and Canada, we wanted to make sure everyone knew how much we appreciated their presence by organizing a weekend full of events and providing ample opportunity for guests to experience what the Russian River has to offer, including two beautiful summer nights under the California stars.

Without being overly cheesy or campy, we aimed for something along the lines of “Rustic Chic.” We really wanted to take care of our guests, so we made sure to include welcome tote bags with a weekend program, wine, snacks, hangover medicine, and a mix CD (featuring bands we’ve seen together live) wrapped in our own custom case; passed champagne before the ceremony; vintage couches to lounge on during the reception; and baskets of flip flops for the ladies. A few other special touches included...

We incorporated Jewish traditions into our ceremony, including a modern take on the Seven Blessings, as well as a separate traditional Korean ceremony following cocktail hour. The American and Korean ceremonies were officiated by Debbie’s sister and one of our closest friends, respectively.

In honor of our out-of-town guests, our tables were named after the 18 airports from which they traveled and our escort cards were designed to look like travel tags.

To honor our parents and grandparents, we framed pictures of our parents and grandparents weddings and featured that alongside our custom-etched wooden guest book (which asked our guests to attach Polaroids of their own).

We passed out cards labeled from 1-60 to correspond with our future anniversaries, and distributed them among the 18 tables. We then asked each table to write personal messages on their respective cards, which we’ll open each year on our anniversary.

Nearly all of the custom details were purchased on Etsy, including our wedding menu painted on a vintage window, a custom directional sign (aside from the post, which we stained ourselves to match the signs), custom cornhole boards to represent our home states (New York and Michigan), monogrammed robes and tie clips for the wedding party, and more.

Dawn Ranch has a boathouse leading to the river, a beautiful apple orchard, and an expansive meadow with giant redwoods, all of which can be used during a wedding weekend. The lodge itself is also ideal for an after party and especially for karaoking. We wanted to make use of all the spaces, so we kicked the weekend off with a friday night dinner and bonfire down by the boathouse, followed by karaoke in the lodge. Saturday morning we hosted yoga in the meadow, with kayaks and tubes available on the river throughout the day. The actual ceremony was held at the far end of the meadow, beneath the largest redwood on the property. Following the ceremony we held cocktail hour in the apple orchard, where everyone re-gathered for our traditional Korean ceremony. Finally, we kicked off the reception in another part of the apple orchard with a festive hora, followed by toasts, more dancing, and Russian River wines flowing all night long. We finished the night with an after party in the lodge where we served grilled cheese, sliders and doughnuts late night.

The weekend was truly everything we could have possibly hoped for.