Real Weddings

A Rustic Summer Wedding with a Cultural Theme

Grace's grandparents knew Bradley long before she did—they babysat him as a boy, the bride now says. When Bradley showed up to a few family functions, including a pirate-themed party, "we really re-met as adults," Grace says. "A few weeks later, he was at several other family functions and we really started to notice each other. Then, he finally asked me out!"

Bradley proposed at a more private family function—the couple's third Christmas together. As Grace dug into her stocking, Bradley swapped Charlie Brown Christmas for their favorite Hawaiian tune and stuck his hand between the couch cushions. The bride admits, "I kind of knew what was happening," but says she was "in complete shock and burst into tears when he got down on one knee."

Their August wedding at Twenty Mile House was "natural and green, as well as stylish and modern," the bride describes. "It was also very important for our cultures to be a part of the wedding weekend and for our guests to have a wonderful time."

Six children participated in the couple's wedding afternoon ceremony, serving as flower girls and ring bearers dressed in tutus and Chuck Taylors. "There were so many little ones that it was difficult for there to be any kind of order going down the aisle," Grace recalls. "The ring bearers pretty much ran down and then the flower girls walked and two of them threw petals. At the very end, the last flower girl remembered she was supposed to do something and dumped her entire basket of petals out on the grass."

Just before the bride descended down the grass aisle with her father, two junior groomsmen—Bradley's nephews—carried a sign that read "Here Comes The Bride."

"We put a lot of thought into [the ceremony] and made it ours," Grace says. "We both wanted it to be short, but still very special and spiritual." Bridesmaids walked down the aisle to the song that played when Bradley popped the question, while the bride read a Hawaiian love poem to her new husband. Above them hung 1,000 paper cranes the bride and her family had folded in the weeks before.

Instead of a boutonniere, "Bradley wore a traditional maile lei and kakui nuts to show his Hawaiian culture," the bride explains.

The junior groomsmen also carried a sign that read "There goes the groom" at the end of the ceremony, Grace says.

The bride wore a sweetheart neck Pronovias gown that at first didn't strike her as just quite right. "Originally I didn't think I wanted lace, but I tried it on and fell in love. It felt very me." She also wore drop earrings she picked up in a San Francisco boutique and "my husband's grandmother's pearl ring that was handed down to me," she says.

The bride's something blue? Her shoes. "I found these awesome Dolce Vita navy blue wedges," Grace says. "They were comfortable and cute!"

The couple's white gold wedding bands were purchased from San Francisco jeweler Padis Jewelry, the bride says.

Grace's eight bridesmaids chose their own knee-length navy blue dresses, which they paired with nude heels. Their bouquets matched the bride's—a mixture of succulents and full, white flowers made up the round arrangements.

"Oh man!" Grace says as she thinks back on the couple's reception. "It was so beautiful. We were surrounded by our favorite thing in the world, the sky and the mountains!" The couple made sure the food was amazing, too. The menu included comfort-food staples like chicken and mashed potatoes.

"We wanted there to be a huge dance party, and there was!" the bride says. "But we also wanted the food to be good and for people to have a great time."

Grace's father and Bradley built more than 20 containers from reclaimed wood for the couple's centerpieces, which were made of succulents the couple grew themselves.

"Each table was named after a park where Brad and I had either gone camping or hiking," Grace says. The couple attached a photo of the park to each centerpiece.

Grace and Bradley grew hundreds of succulents to give to their guests as favors. "We really wanted something that people would keep for a long time," the bride explains.

In lieu of a cake, the couple offered a donut bar. "And we got the donut shop to make a giant donut for us," Grace says. "There were all kinds of flavors—chocolate, glazed, sprinkles, sugar, donut holes. Our giant donut was sugar."

While the couple didn't host an official after party, "we did party all night long at the venue," the bride says. "Our caterers hooked it up with late night sandwiches and leftovers from the reception dinner. It was so necessary to soak up all those drinks!"

—Jillian Kramer

Ceremony Venue: Twenty Mile House || Reception Venue: Twenty Mile House || Bride's Wedding Dress: Pronovias || Bride's Wedding Ring: Padis Jewelry || Groom's Tux: Ben Sherman || Groom's Wedding Ring: Padis Jewelry || Florist: Gray's Flower Garden || Caterer: Southern Accent || Stationery: Vincent Sacco || Cake Baker: Papa's Donut House || Videography: Stevens Ink Productions || Photography: Stevens Ink Productions

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