A Ferris Wheel and Merry-Go-Round Added a Dose of Whimsy to This Couple's California Nuptials

Real Weddings

Emily and Albert first met at a mutual friend's birthday party in March of 2010 and, just three years later, they were one step closer to making their relationship official. On December 26, 2013, the pair decided to go ice-skating and Albert pretended to slip and fall on the rink. Little did Emily know, it was a well-orchestrated plan to pop the question. "I tried to help him up, but he surprised me with a ring!" she remembers.

As they started planning their October 11, 2014, wedding, Emily saw a photo online of a venue with a bright Ferris Wheel: Calamigos Ranch in Malibu, California. "It was the first and only venue we ever looked at," the bride says. "We loved the rustic feel and the big tented area for the reception." With the help of the team behind Aquafuzion, the couple dreamed up a natural celebration with a rustic feel and invited 160 guests to watch them say "I do." Keep reading to see how their unique ceremony and reception came together, as captured by onelove photography.

The only DIY project Emily and Albert decided to tackle was their invitation suite. "We thought it would be a little bit more affordable to print and put together our invitations," the bride says. "It took some time but they came out beautifully." The illustrated paper suite included rustic mason jar illustrations and a lace bow holding it all together.

Emily found her satin and lace Monique Lhuillier wedding dress at a sample sale, and while she loved the look of the v-neckline and open back, it was only available in a size 10. "It was like a nightgown on me," she says. "I found a tailor and she spent seven months transforming the delicate lace and beads into my size!"

A floral headpiece and a pale pink bouquet of garden roses, dahlias, ranunculus, and eucalyptus completed her bridal look.

Emily's bridesmaids wore blush chiffon gowns and carried white bouquets of roses, dahlias, and succulents. To ensure her maid of honor stood out, the bride asked this important attendant to wear a jeweled headpiece.

Albert stood out from his groomsmen in a gray three-piece suite by Tom Ford. His attendants looked sharp in classic black options. Each guy wore a different pair of patterned Happy Socks, a gift from the groom.

The whimsical property at Calamigos Ranch is filled with quirky decorative elements, including the colorful Ferris Wheel that first drew Emily in. Naturally, the couple and their bridal party had to have a few photos taken near the big attraction.

A beautiful old tree served as the couple's main decorative element for the ceremony. String lights dripped down from branches while a cluster of dahlias, hydrangeas, spray roses, and seeded eucalyptus adorned the trunk. White tissue paper pompoms were hung from ribbon where the bride and groom would exchange vows.

"We wrote our own vows," Emily says. "Before the wedding, Albert wrote his vows down on the little notepad at the hotel, so he had several small pages he was holding at the altar. He was so nervous that he started reading from the wrong page and didn't realize until he was almost halfway through!"

In the end, the pair got their vows out correctly, and Emily and Albert were officially pronounced husband and wife. They made their exit as newlyweds to Ed Sheeran's "Kiss."

During cocktail hour, guests found their seating assignments on tented escort cards. Comfortable seating and lawn games offered a homey vibe.

Guests moved to a tented reception space for dinner and dancing. On some tables, wooden planters held centerpieces of hydrangeas, garden roses, astilbe, and succulents while others were decorated with natural sanded ghostwood and moss. Clear chargers with gold beading held the couple's dinner menu and favor for guests: A clear box with two delicious macaroons.

Dessert was a sight to be behold. In addition to the couple's two-tier wedding cake (topped with fresh peonies and dahlias), miniature cakes in flavors like raspberry red velvet and chocolate caramel offered a sweet end to the evening.

In order to include all of their friends and family who couldn't make it to their wedding, Emily and Albert said "I do" again in a celebration in Taiwan. After their second nuptials, the two enjoyed a honeymoon in Thailand.

Ceremony & Reception Venue: Calamigos Ranch || Wedding Planner & Florist: Aquafuzion || Bride's Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier || Hair & Makeup: Theresa Huang || Groom's Attire: Tom Ford || Cake: Cake Monkey Bakery || Rentals: TMMPro || Videographer: Ailey Artsy || Photographer: onelove photography

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Can't get enough of this pretty celebration? Then watch another couple exchange vows in an outdoor ceremony and reception in the video below.

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