Adding a Tropical Twist to a Rustic, Ranch Wedding
April 6, 2017
RusticOutdoor WeddingsSpring Weddings
Adding a tropical vibe to a rustic ranch wedding, this Hawaiian celebration embraces the beauty of the Island with the feel of a laid back yet crazy elegant affair. Awash in in the palest blue hues and gussied up with greenery and blooms by Grace Flowers, planning by Vintage & Lace and all the pretty photographs your heart desires by The Vondys, carve out some time for the vault. It's a beauty!
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From the Bride, Michaela... Garrett and I met while working at an advertising agency in the Bay Area. After dating for 5 years (one of those years spent traveling around Asia!) and settling down in San Francisco, Garrett proposed one night under the Golden Gate Bridge and soon there after we started thinking about a wedding location. Because Garrett grew up on the Big Island of Hawaii, we decided to get married in Garrett's home town as a way to honor his Hawaiian culture and heritage, something that is very important to both of us.

We both love the beach, but when starting to plan our wedding and looking for venues, we quickly realized that a beach wedding was not for us. The Big Island is so diverse in it's landscape, we wanted to find a venue that showed off how much the island has offer. When we came across Anna Ranch, we knew it was the perfect spot. The ranch feels very Hawaiian but is far enough away from the beach and tourist areas of the island that you almost feel like you have been transported somewhere completely different. We decided to incorporate the natural beauty of the ranch in the overall design for the wedding, keeping things simple yet elegant by bringing in items that gave the ranch an upcountry garden feel. Our color palette included shades of dusty blue, ivory, garden greens, and accents of golds and silvers.

While Garrett's family and some of his friends live in Hawaii, most of our guests were going to be traveling from all over the mainland to attend the wedding. It was really important to us that they enjoyed the most of their time on the Big Island so we planned different activities for our guests to enjoy in the days leading up to the wedding, including drinks in the sand, a hike to the green sand beach, snorkeling, watching the sunset above the clouds on Mauna Kea, a luau, and more. On the day of the wedding, our guests were taken from the beach condos where we were all staying to the ranch in the transportation we had set up before hand. Once our guests arrived at the ranch, they were greeted with the beautiful and relaxing sounds of Hawaiian music being played on the acoustic ukulele by Garrett's cousin, who continued to play as we walked down the aisle. Even though Garrett and I did a first look prior to the ceremony, my favorite part of the entire day was walking down the aisle - seeing Garrett waiting for me with the support of my parents at my sides, surrounded by our family and friends is one of best feelings I have ever experienced and something I will never forget. We kept the ceremony short and sweet but very personal. Our good friend officiated the wedding and our wedding party consisted of our closest friends and siblings. Our sister's read a beautiful Hawaiian poem, my sister reading it in English and Garrett's sister reading it in Hawaiian. We incorporated the Hawaiian wedding tradition of a lei exchange into the ceremony, and I opted for a gorgeous flower garland necklace instead of a traditional lei. We read our own vows and ended the ceremony with a kiss and Stevie Wonder's "Signed, Sealed, and Delivered" as we exited.

Immediately following the ceremony was cocktail hour held in the orange tree grove. The fabulous and grammy nominated Hawaiian swing band, Kahulanui, played while appetizers like ulu (Hawaiian bread fruit) croquettes and kalua pig sliders were served. The open bar consisted a few signature cocktails and plenty of mixers so guests could craft their own drinks, as well as wine from Napa Valley and beer from the local Kona Brewing Company, all detailed on the hand painted bar signs made by my mom. We provided lawn games for the kids in attendance (as well as the adults), including corn hole tables hand made by Garrett's parents.

After cocktail hour, guests were ushered to the grand lawn for the reception. Vintage and Lace did an amazing job transforming the tent into the most beautiful reception site we have ever seen. Every detail from the escort display, to the dessert table, to the stunning flowers and ivy accents was absolutely perfect and truly made our vision come to life. We dined on delicious farm to table dinner and desserts prepared with a Hawaiian twist, raised our glasses after hearing thoughtful and heart wrenching toasts, had our first dance as husband and wife, and danced the night away thanks to the great DJ Rodney who was able to get everyone out of their seats and on the dance floor for the whole night. One of my favorites memories of the night was the father / daughter dance - my dad was so nervous and concerned about not missing a step he couldn't even talk to me while we were dancing because didn't want to lose his concretion. Not just my dad, but everyone at the wedding was so thoughtful in making sure our day was absolutely perfect. And thanks to a true team effort from our amazing team of vendors, family, and friends, we really were able to enjoy the best day of our lives surrounded by so much love. If I can give just one piece of advice to further brides, enjoy every minute including everything leading up to the big day (even the stressful stuff!) - we still can't believe it's over and would give anything to do it all over again.

And an extra special thank you to our amazing photographers, Shannon and Justin of The Vondys., who were literally our lifeline on our wedding day. We entered a contest on SMP 6 months before our wedding for a free photography package and consider ourselves the luckiest people in the world to have won. Besides the beautiful work they produce, The Vondys also have a talent of making everything better by just being there and went well out of their way to help us throughout the day. We cannot thank The Vondys enough for everything they did and the lifetime of memories they created for us.
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