If you’ve been following GWS for a while now, this won’t come as a surprise to you, but one of our main goals is to share creative weddings which tell each couple’s story and what makes them, uniquely THEM. And Zai + Phil’s glamping wedding planned by Brown Paper Design at Redgate Ranch in San Gregorio is just that!
Zai tells us: We created a mash-up of all of our favorite experiences, traditions, and values. From the beginning, we knew we wanted to do an outdoorsy camping wedding in a beautiful place. Having all of our guests camp on property with us for the whole weekend meant that we got unhurried quality time with each person. That was by far the best gift! Because my family is Indian, we decided to draw from both Western and Indian wedding traditions when deciding what motifs, rituals, and aesthetics to include. We wove in the themes that felt significant to us, and skipped traditions that didn’t resonate with our values.
Celebrating you + your love, and all the little details of your relationship—that’s what we’re ALL about! Let’s take a peek at all the fun captured by Kindred Weddings:
Aren’t those tents lined with greenery absolutely darling?!
Advice for Throwing a Camping/Glamping Wedding
In the RSVP form, ask your guests if they have any disability or accessibility needs that you should know about. Work with your wedding planner or venue to make accommodations as needed. It’s little bit of extra effort, but it can go a long way toward making sure your loved ones feel safe, comfortable, and informed about expectations. This is especially relevant if you’re doing your wedding outdoors or in a challenging location.
We were able to make a few small changes here and there with regard to seating options, tent locations, food, and transportation that made it possible for several of our loved ones to attend who might not otherwise be able to join or stay very long. We wouldn’t have known about their needs if we hadn’t included that question about accessibility on our RSVP form. They were touched by the gesture, and it meant so much to us to have them present—and comfortable.
The Oasis Airstream sauna was totally a highlight. It was open early in the morning until late at night, and it provided a really lovely, quiet, self-care escape for guests. We never knew who would be in there, and it created the opportunity for more intimate, smaller conversations with our guests. Phil and I closed out or wedding night by going in the sauna at 2am, just the two of us, before heading for bed.
The Camp Dinner
Mud cloth, tons of pillows and cozy lounges made everything all the more cozy.
We offered a handful of fun experiences for guests: a mobile sauna in an Airstream, a yoga class taught by my favorite instructor, an all-day espresso bar, and a Bollywood dance class. Many of our guests remarked afterward that they felt like they had been at a wellness retreat or a festival all weekend, instead of at a wedding!
The Gown + Bridal Party
Isn’t Zai’s Sabyasachi gown a DREAM?
Brown Paper Design took care of all the florals for the weekend, from the abundant greenery to this gorgeous bouquet.
The Outdoor Ceremony
What a VIEW!!
Processional: Family: Don't Let Me Down by the Beatles (played live by acoustic guitarist Kelyn Crapp); Bride: Latch by Disclosure feat. Sam Smith (acoustic)
Recessional: Can’t Take My Eyes Off You by Frankie Valli (played live by acoustic guitarist Kelyn Crapp)
First Dance: Turn Me On by Norah Jones
The most memorable moment was walking down the aisle by myself, and taking in the faces of each of our loved ones. I was totally overcome with emotion. It was truly amazing to see my whole community in one place. I'm not normally a happy-crier, but I simultaneously sobbed and laughed the entire way down the aisle—just so much joy and gratitude welled up in me.
I had asked our guests ahead of time to not take any photos or videos throughout the entire ceremony. I had a feeling I wouldn’t want to see their devices held up in the air as I was walking down the aisle. I didn’t want anyone looking at me through a screen. Sure enough, being able to make eye contact with every single person as I walked by was one of the most powerful things I’ve ever experienced.
We love that they were able to take the weekend to relax, hang out with their guests, and soak up all the love! The wedding day goes by SO quickly, so if you’re able to allow yourself more time to take it all in, we highly suggest doing that.
Reception Dinner (Part Two!)
As the wedding took place over a weekend, naturally meals played a BIG part of the celebration.
So luxe, yet earthy with all the potted plants + greenery along the table.
If you're planning to write your own ceremony or vows, I highly recommend planning a weekend getaway (or at least a day trip) sometime before the wedding that's entirely focused on being together, reflecting on your relationship, and writing a rough draft. It gave us a much-needed break from wedding and moving logistics, and an opportunity to be deliberate and thoughtful about the promises we were making to one another.
It was so special—we holed up in a cabin in the woods with our dog, and did some written reflection exercises about our relationship and our hopes for the next chapter. We shared them with one another, discussed, and then used those reflections as a starting point for our vows. Not only was it really lovely to have some calm quality time together amidst all the wedding planning, but we returned to San Francisco with a full draft of our vows, as well as an outline for our ceremony.
Roughly 70 of our guests performed a choreographed Bollywood dance for us at our reception! It’s tradition on the Indian side of my family that all of the cousins learn and perform a dance at family weddings. We decided that it would be fun to open this opportunity up to all of our guests, in case it sounded like fun to them.
My sister is a chemical engineer, but could easily moonlight as a dance instructor if she wanted to. She choreographed a dance, created a series of YouTube videos explaining each of the moves, and embedded them into our wedding website so that guests could get a head-start on learning the dance before the wedding. (I promised not to watch so that the choreography would be a surprise.)
How much fun was that?! A huge CONGRATULATIONS to the two of you + best wishes!!
photography: Kindred Weddings // venue name: Redgate Ranch, San Gregorio, California, U.S.A // event design: Brown Paper Design // florals: Brown Paper Design // wedding dress: Sabyasachi // bride's shoes: Badgley Mischka // bride's ring: La Bijouterie // hair stylist: Kelly Jo Makeup and Hair // makeup artist: Kelly Jo Makeup and Hair // groom attire: Advani London // groom's shoes: Velvet loafers from Magnanni // groom's ring: Emi Grannis // videography: Shark Pig // paper goods: Zargosy // catering: Componere Fine Catering // linen rentals: La Tavola Fine Linen // specialty rentals: Found Rentals // music: Kelyn Crapp // lighting: The Lux Productions // dj: DJ Asha // henna: Henna Creation // indian swing: R&R Event Rentals // espresso bar: Goodhart Coffee // camp games, event production + rentals: Shelter Co. // valet parking: National Parking & Valet // restrooms : Norcal Portable Services // transportation: Chariot // sauna + outdoor showers : The Oasis Express // styling: Bridelan India // yoga: Neil Wadhawan // catering: Fogcutter // rentals : Theoni // rentals: Bright Event Rentals // rentals: Zephyr Tents