As lovers of the great outdoors, woodland weddings will forever have our hearts. So, we were pretty excited when we saw this stunning celebration, shared with us by Heather of LVL Weddings and Events. Kate + Ryan’s romantic Malibu forest wedding really was the stuff of dreams…ours at least! From the beautifully earthy palette of gray, clover, ivory + fawn to the cozy, rustic design elements (like moss, pinecones + evergreen), we have a feeling those of you planning a fall or winter wedding just might find yourselves inspired by this one!
From Kate, The inspiration for our day came from our favorite trip together, which is when we went to Big Sur, Ca for our two year anniversary. It is by far one of the most beautiful places we have ever been to and is a place we hold close to our hearts. So, we wanted to incorporate that natural beauty into our special day. We searched high and low for a venue within a reasonable distance to our home that somewhat resembled Big Sur and found nothing until a friend of Kate’s told us about Calamigos Ranch. It was the first venue we visited and was also our last. It was love at first site with the huge trees with dangling lights and a big reception hall that had a cozy log cabin feel to it. Given the natural beauty of the venue, we wanted to make sure that the color scheme and décor enhanced the beauty and not detract from it. So, instead of choosing one or two main colors, we stuck with a spectrum of natural forest hues and elements like evergreen sprigs, pinecones, moss, and white flowers.
Thanks so much to Aaron Young for the gorgeous photography + big congrats to Kate + Ryan!
There’s just something special about woodsy, winter bouquets! These beauties were crafted by Honey & Poppies.
Processional: Bridal Party: A Thousand Years – The Piano Guys; Bride: Canon in D – Pachbel
Recessional: Love Story / Viva La Vida – The Piano Guys
First Dance: Compilation of: Free – Zach Brown Band, Some Kind of Wonderful – Michael Buble + Suit and Tie – Justin Timberlake
Perfect escort cards for a rustic wedding!
The table centerpieces were comprised of logs (which were cut by Ryan’s dad) and mini mushrooms dusted with shimmer on a bed of moss. Love, love, love!
Kate: My most memorable moment was our first dance. Having a dance background, long before I even knew Ryan I knew I wanted to do a choreographed dance at my wedding. Lucky for me, Ryan was quite intrigued by the idea and fully supported signing up for private lessons, which ended up being once a week for 4+ months. On the day of the wedding, in the few short minutes we had between taking photos and being introduced onto the dance floor, we nervously practiced our dance, panicking because we had never practiced it with my wedding dress, which was a very constricting floor-length mermaid gown. We walked onto the dance floor with forced smiles trying to mask our anxiety. Our song started, and I finally calmed down about 1/3 of way through it but could tell that Ryan was still freaking, so in an effort to calm his nerves, I started singing along with the song. Pretty soon he was singing right along with me and we were all smiles for the rest of the dance and finished without making a single mistake. After striking the final pose, we stood up with the biggest smiles on our faces out of relief that it was over and pride in how hard we both worked for that moment as a couple. That dance is something that we will cherish forever.
Ryan: The most memorable moment from my wedding day was when I saw Kate for the first time, walking down the aisle. Having not seen here since the day prior, the anticipation of seeing my bride for the first time was tremendous. Standing under the canopy, in front of all of our close friends and family and seeing her being escorted to me by her father was a moment I will never forget.
And their super sweet wedding film by 618 Studios is definite must-see!
Hire a wedding planner or at the very least a coordinator, especially one who has done weddings at your venue. It is worth every penny. I have no idea how anyone who works full time can plan a wedding without one. Also, it is never too soon for anything. I can’t tell you how many times I would tell people how I am stressing over getting something wedding-related done and they would respond with, “Don’t worry, you have so much time.” Do not listen to those people. So many things that you would never expect pop up in the last few months before the wedding that will eat up any free time you have left. So, get as far ahead of schedule as possible so that the weeks before the wedding you can maintain your sanity if you haven’t lost it yet.
photography: Aaron Young Photography // videography: 618 Studios // venue, catering + rentals: Calamigos Ranch Malibu, California // event coordinator: Heather Hoesch from LVL Weddings and Events // florals: Honey & Poppies // wedding dress: Panache Bridal – Pronovias // veil + bridesmaid dresses: Panache Bridal – Amsale bridesmaids dresses // hair + makeup: Kelly Zhang // groom’s suit: Tommy Hilfiger // paper goods: Copper Willow Paper Studio // cake: Vanilla Bake Shop // music + lighting: Elevated Pulse // transportation: Road Runner, American Limos // rehearsal lunch + getting ready venue: Westlake Village Inn