Sunrise Wedding: Nina + Jon

sunrise wedding

Today’s wedding is a first for me – the wedding took place at sunrise! As soon as I heard about this wedding from Braedon of Braedon Photography, I was intrigued. I thought it sounded pretty magical and such an intimate ceremony – well, I assumed it would be a small wedding. Then Braedon told me there were actually 250 guests! What?! I couldn’t wait to see the photos and learn more about their day. Well, the photos don’t disappoint. :) They are so magical and Nina + Jon are seriously the sweetest couple! A bit more about why they choose to get married at sunrise from Nina:

Well for one, we had never met anyone who had done that before, which intrigued us to try it. I loved the symbolism of beginning a new life together with the new light of the beginning of the day and everything that it resembles. There is something magical about the sunrise and getting up while the rest of the world is still asleep, the stillness and peace you find at that time of the day. I also thought it would be such a unique experience for our guests. We wanted it to be a reflection of who Jon and I are as much as possible too.

Some of the things we did were to make a mix tape that we recorded to sound like a morning radio show for our friends to listen to on their way to the wedding, guests arrived while it was still dark so we had twinkle lights help guide the way, we had plenty of Handsome coffee, a mariachi band, pinatas, and a hula dance. And looking back now, I’m really so happy we did it. It was the most beautiful wedding I’ve ever been to. The light was unreal, the sounds of nature were breathtaking, and the sun shining through the trees right when we kissed couldn’t have been pulled off better.

sunrise wedding wooden wedding signs

sunrise wedding

sunrise wedding light bulb backdrop

sunrise wedding light bulb backdrop

I think my favorite memory was when our pastor Joseph Barkley said "If you ever doubt if these people here love you, just look at your watch!" he then had us stop and turn and look at the 250 guests that have traveled from all over the world to be here with us on our big day. Jon had his family and friends from Indonesia, and my family came from England, the Philippines and Hawaii. It was such an incredible moment to be marrying the man of my dreams in front of everyone I love. It will probably be the only time in our lives that all of our worlds came together to celebrate with us, so was extra special to take the time to soak in the moment.

He also had our parents come up and pray over us. It wasn't planned, and it felt very special and natural. I thought I would be so nervous to be wearing 4 inch heals in front of so many people at 6am but somehow it felt very normal. I was filled with peace like I was right were I should be. My friend Alana Mock performed a traditional Hula for everyone as well (she also made my jewelry!). Growing up in Hawaii, I always thought I would get married there. Jon and I also met there and got engaged there. Because we decided to get married in Los Angeles, it meant so much to have a piece of Hawaiian culture in the celebration.

sunrise wedding ceremony

sunrise wedding

sunrise wedding

sunrise wedding

sunrise wedding

sunrise wedding

sunrise wedding

sunrise wedding

sunrise wedding

Here I thought I was the simplest bride in the world wanting a wedding with blankets and bagels and some trees but actually getting a venue to let you set up in the middle of the night is really hard! The venue was perfect for what we wanted. We worked with a park ranger named Catherine who made the whole process so easy and wonderful. Thank you Catherine! Getting married at a National Park is actually really affordable, which was an amazing surprise and blessing. The outdoor amphitheater was gorgeous for the ceremony. You could hear the birds chirping and the peacocks calling as the sun rose over the mountains and through the trees. I loved the everyone sat on the ground and cuddled close. The guests then moved over to the picnic areas for the breakfast, jumpy castle, and pinata time. The park has lots of hiking trails so a lot of guests did that after as well.

sunrise wedding

sunrise wedding

sunrise wedding

sunrise wedding

sunrise wedding handsome coffee

sunrise wedding handsome coffee

Coffee by Handsome Coffee to start the early morning!

sunrise wedding handsome coffee

sunrise wedding

Nina is a pretty talented designer and designed their wedding invites + other fun details!

sunrise wedding coral invitation

sunrise wedding

sunrise wedding

sunrise wedding donut bar

sunrise wedding

sunrise wedding jumper

sunrise wedding mariachi band

sunrise wedding pinata

sunrise wedding

sunrise wedding

sunrise wedding feather caplet

sunrise wedding

Recognize that gorgeous feather capelet? Love this story Nina shared about it! This is actually a great story. I first saw the feather capelet in these engagement photos here on Green Wedding Shoes. I had been searching for something to keep me warm and I knew this was it. I emailed the stylist who told me it was Top Shop, but from a few years ago and it belonged to the bride-to-be Jaqueline. Long story short the bride rented it to me to use for our wedding! She was such a sweetheart and I am still in shock of how lucky I am that it worked out that way! Big thanks to Jaqueline + Green Wedding Shoes!

I seriously have the BEST readers!! So fun to hear how that all worked out!!

sunrise wedding

sunrise wedding

sunrise wedding

sunrise wedding

sunrise wedding

And their gorgeous wedding film by Tom Aiello! The music in the film includes “You’re Great To Me” by Jon Hans (yes, the groom!) written for Nina, “All I Want is You” by U2 and “Chicago” by Sufjan Stevens.

Congrats to Nina + Jon for having the wedding of your dreams and for sharing it with us today!!

photography: Braedon Photography // venue: Peter Strauss Ranch // wedding dress: Shelly dressing up // hair and makeup: Francesca Giaimo // feather capelet: Top Shop // groom suit: Native Son  // day of coordinator: Mary Grace // wedding video: Tom Aiello // floral design: Clementine floral works // invitations + paper goods: Design by the bride Nina Hans + printed by Got Print // coffee: Handsome Coffee // water bottles: Boxed Water // jewelry: Thread & Stone // tables: DistrictMillWorks // music: Among Savages

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  1. Extraordinary! I love this! What a beautiful couple and to have so much energy and thoughtfulness into such an early rise is truly amazing. So beautifully detailed and fun. Gorgeous couple–congrats!

  2. What a great idea for a wedding! I love the whole vibe of everything about this special ceremony….coffee, doughnuts, blankets, so cute and clever. Congrats to the coolest couple ever!!

  3. Wow what a wonderful idea for a wedding! So unique! I love how relaxed the wedding is and the fact that it has a jumping castle makes this such an awesomely fun celebration! The heart coffees are such a perfect touch and perfect way to start the morning!

  4. What a fun couple and a beautiful wedding celebration. That darn video brought me to tears TWICE. Congrats, you two!


  5. Wow, just seen this and it’s absolutely blown me away! So lovely – what a truly beautiful idea. Completely reminds me of magical festivals and birthdays in the garden. Absolutely beautiful. Bought me to tears too!
    Congratulations to the bride and groom xx

  6. Wow!!! This is simply beautiful!!!! Congratulations to you both… Not just for your nuptials but to be surrounded by people who love you both so dearly…. :)

  7. how great is braedon’s photography. love what he captured!

  8. What a special wedding and special couple! The wedding is just one big piece of love, and everything works so well together, amazing :)

  9. Oh my god, I LOVE IT. Totally, utterly love everything about this!

  10. What a sweet and intimate wedding. I love the casual seating, doughnuts, and bounce house. It was captured so beautifully.

  11. This is the most romantic wedding ever!!! so unique!!! I love the whole idea! I love the sunset too, but I never thought about a wedding at that time. gorgeous, that’s all I have to say

  12. Wait… I know those people!!!
    (Well, sortof. They go to my church, and I haven’t actually spoken to them yet, but I’ve always thought they looked cool!)

    What a gorgeous wedding. These pictures made me happy!

  13. So excited to see Jacquie’s feather capelet turn up again, and SO happy that it got to be worn at such a fabulous, unique wedding! Congrats, Nina!

  14. Amazing that they were able to get everyone there that early. Amazing that they had a donut bar! Amazing coffee favors….love so much about this wedding!!!

  15. This wedding film. Oh. My. God. Congrats to everyone in their family.

  16. tell me where to buy all those string lights? need for a wedding in the fall.

  17. This wedding has so many unique aspects about it that I love. Bounce house, sunrise, the chill atmosphere of the ceremony, bagels, and more. Such a great post.

  18. Thanks so much everyone. It truly was a magical day and Braedon and Tom did better than we could have imagined capturing it.

    Ann: We got the string lights on clearance from Target after Christmas. They were 2 dollars a strand! Where do you live? If it’s in California maybe you can borrow ours!

    • I wish! Live in Virginia….but what a sweet offer. Beautiful wedding…every little detail. Wedding is in October so I’ll start checking out Target….thank you so much for responding.

    • Nina— i was wondering if you would be willing to rent out your lights? I live in southern california, LA area, and have been looking for cool lights to use for my wedding in february and yours would fit the bill completely!

    • Hi nina! Congratulations! Who was your videographer? Getting married at Paramount Ranch and love how it was made! Thank you!

  19. What a beautiful idea. I especially love all the signage, I’ve see a few other weddings do the whole natural wood and bold type thing, I think it looks so cool. Did you get them done through the printers or make them yourself?? I’d love to make some for my wedding!!

  20. This is all so wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing. We’re considering doing ours in the morning as well, and some of these ideas were very helpful. Congratulations on your marriage!

  21. Nina!

    Such an amazing wedding, the ceremony at the sunrise is such a beautiful idea. I was wondering: did the celebration go all day long, until late night? Did you guys serve dinner later on, etc etc?

  22. I think a wedding at sunrise would be amazing to photograph. The sun coming up during the ceremony and shining thru the trees. That location looks just gorgeous, and the image are beautiful.

  23. Gorgeous photos! My favorites are the two of them in forest. Beautiful!

  24. What an awesome wedding! Love the creativity and the stationery design!

  25. Love the true originality here. Everything so carefully and individually chosen

  26. I’ve shot a sunrise wedding before, so I woke up at about 3:30am. I was so exhausted by about noon, and it took me literally days to recover from waking up so early! It was beautiful, and I loved the breakfast buffet, but being so physically exhausted afterward I don’t know if I could do it again!

  27. i love love love the idea of a morning wedding and am debating if this might be something for me… i live near your venue and was just wondering if you bought all the breakfast food yourself or if you had someone cater? thank you so much! Such an amazing wedding and such inspiration <3

    • Nicole!
      Our baker friend help baked alot of it and other friends help picked up other things. We made the parfait bar (not seen in these photos) our selves as well. It made it very cost effective and was pretty easy. The hardest part was getting everything so early in the am. Clearly we have great friends.

  28. One of the most beautiful wedding I’ve ever seen! I loved the symbolism! I felt like a guest seeing these beautiful pictures! Best wishes to this nice couple! The video is wonderful and suggest the tears as I watched! I will publish this beautiful wedding on my blog Brazilian marriage, with the credits … I hope you do not mind!


  29. What a truly beautiful and unique celebration!

  30. Wow, absolutely beautiful wedding! I love the idea of a sunrise wedding with coffee and donuts afterwards. It feels so casual and happy, what a wonderful way to start your day!

  31. Best wedding video I have ever seen I’m balling right now and will be on a mission to find their video guy and fly him to Sacramento to do my wedding some day!

  32. wow. this looks like it was THE MOST magical amazing wedding ever. I am so impressed with everything, all the details and creativity. What I am most impressed with is what your pastor pointed out to you.. “If you ever doubt if these people here love you, just look at your watch!” That gave me chills! ps. I love Earth Day weekend as your wedding date. Perfection. Thank you for sharing!

  33. Just looking at these photos and watching the video inspire me to be more creative. I’m already married, but I might have to contact Braedon about a “just because” photo session for my husband and me. Thank you so much for making my day even brighter!

  34. so fab……good for them in doing something different! LOVE it~

  35. Just beautiful!!! Like the bride’s lace dress❤

  36. Nina and Jon-
    I have been thinking about the possibility of having a sunrise wedding but I had never seen or heard of anyone else having one. It was so great to see how you set up yours! I loved the donut and parfait bar also the coffee bar is genius. I was just wondering if you had any type of schedule for how your wedding day was set up (like when people started setting up and when the service started etc.). If you don’t, thank you anyways for sharing your wedding day with us. It was absolutely beautiful.

  37. I have to say I agree with their pastor! They must have a lot of family and friends that love them very much to gather at 6 AM and watch them get married. I have seen a morning wedding only one time before and I have to admit it was not done as tastefully and beautifully as this one. I love the explanations Nina gave when she spoke about the morning time being a start of a new day and their start of a new life together. The idea of having your wedding that early isn’t so bad when you have the right elements. (One of them HAS to be coffee!) The couple looked amazing but the bride definitely shined. The dress looked stunning on her and the lace short-sleeve gown really suited the wedding theme. I love all the photographs that Braedon took. He really managed to capture all the important details of the wedding and there is not one photo where I didn’t want to stop and examine. The story about the feather capelet touched me. The fact that Jaqueline rented it out to Nina really says a lot about her. I have to say all the details as well as the reception and ceremony area were very eye-catching.
    Beautiful couple, beautiful wedding and very beautiful photographs. Kudos to the vendors as well as GreenWeddingShoes for the post!
    Katarina I.
    Weddingful – Plan a Fabulous Wedding

  38. I loved so much about this wedding that we are actually planning ours at Peter Strauss for December! Thanks for sharing your creativity. I wouldn’t have found the venue without this post!
    I have to ask,
    Nina-where did you find those lovely earrings?

    grace and peace


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