An Elegant, DIY Wedding at Dillingham Ranch in Waialua, Hawaii

After Charleston, South Carolina, native Olivia Cortese (24 and a CPA) got engaged to Clayton (25 and a Navy officer), the pair decided to wed on Oahu

After Charleston, South Carolina, native Olivia Cortese (24 and a CPA) got engaged to Clayton (25 and a Navy officer), the pair decided to wed on Oahu, Hawaii, near where Clayton is stationed for his job in the Navy. To honor Olivia's hometown—and the place they got engaged—they chose Dillingham Ranch as the venue. “To keep the Charleston theme, I found the perfect location at Dillingham Ranch, located on the north shore of Oahu. The 2,700-acre ranch had a very Southern feel, complete with a long tree-lined drive, a main house and a giant oak tree,” says Olivia, who also incorporated a mix of Southern and Hawaiian design inspirations. “Pineapples fit perfectly into the theme, since they are symbol of hospitality in the South and are grown locally on the island.” After a simple outdoor ceremony framed by rows of palm trees, the couple treated their 65 guests to hula lessons, tropically themed cocktails, slow-roasted pork and fresh mahi-mahi. “Don’t let the small things stress you out, and know when to ask for help,” Olivia says. “Delegate tasks to your family members and friends the week of the wedding.” —Carolyn Meers

During prep for the wedding day, Olivia wore a custom silk robe sewn with "Mrs. Callander"—her married name—on the back in teal thread.
Olivia and Clayton's flower girl embraced the bohemian, tropical theme and wore a colorful pink and ivory flower crown.
Fresh eucalyptus, proteas and lots of ivory blossoms were used in Olivia's bouquet.
Instead of flowers, Olivia chose to line the aisle with fresh, locally grown pineapples. “Pineapples fit perfectly into the theme since they are symbol of hospitality in the South and are grown locally in Hawaii," Olivia says.
Clayton's beige linen suit from Zara was a perfect fit for the tropical location in Oahu, Hawaii.
Olivia's bridesmaids wore coordinating Show Me Your Mumu dresses in a teal green.
"I made weekly trips to thrift shops to look for items I could incorporate into the wedding," Olivia says. "I painted vintage mirrors for the bar and reception menu."
While the bridesmaids wore coordinating Show Me Your Mumu dresses in a teal green, Clayton and his groomsmen sported beige linen suits from Zara.
For centerpieces, Olivia and Clayton lined tables with pineapples, then scattered Hawaiian flowers down the length of each table at Dillingham Ranch in Waialua, Hawaii.
Sand dollars inscribed with gold writing and strung on gold ribbon were used as place cards for the reception at Dillingham Ranch in Waialua, Hawaii. They doubled as personalized wedding favors.
"I am crafter at heart, so I used every opportunity to add my personal DIY touch," Olivia says. "To direct guests one of my first projects was creating an entrance sign made out of driftwood found from local beaches."
Silky teal dressing gowns matched the bridesmaid dresses.
"When everyone was seated for dinner, we made our grand entrance and had our first dance to 'Hey Ho' by the Lumineers," says Olivia, whose dress featured an open beaded back—fitting for the tropical setting.
Embler's Jewelers crafted the couple's rose gold rings. "It was so much fun picking out everything, from the curve of the ring to the placement of every diamond. Since Clayton was deployed for most of the wedding planning, it was one of the only planning things we did together, and it was truly special," Olivia says.