Hawaii and Tuscany Inspired This Microwedding at Villa Riposo in Morgan Hill, California
Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Kirsten and Casey planned to host a destination wedding in Maui to honor Kirsten's Hawaiian heritage. However, once the couple was forced to downsize and keep the wedding close to home, they settled on a Tuscan-inspired venue in the bay areas. As a result, Kirsten and Casey decided to blend the two aesthetics for their microwedding at Villa Riposo in Morgan Hill, California. Hawaiian details paid homage to their original wedding plans, and Kirsten's heritage, while Tuscan details fit seamlessly with the estate's Italian architecture. "Initially we planned a destination wedding in Maui because it’s one of our favorite places and I wanted to celebrate my Hawaiian heritage as a part of one of the biggest days of our lives," recalls Kirsten of their pre-pandemic wedding plans. "We had the wedding planner picked out and all of the Hawaiian traditions such as a conch shell blower, hula dancer and chanter all picked out for the ceremony. Then of course COVID-19 decided to happen during our special year. So through all the tears, we nixed our plans and started over. We pushed our wedding date back a few months which meant we only had 4 months to plan a WHOLE new wedding of our dreams. The two of us were determined to get married. Tomorrow is never promised, so why wait? Plus we’d been engaged for a year in a half and we did not want to wait ANOTHER year in a half to say our vows. It took some searching, but we finally found an Airbnb that was everything we wanted. Small, intimate, and beautiful. Villa Riposo. It had a Tuscan feel, but we knew we wanted to incorporate some of the tropical Hawaiian feel from our original plan. It might sound like an unusual pairing, but it turned out beautifully. We also choose to make our wedding virtual to include all the loved ones we couldn’t have there in person due to the pandemic."
To bring their Hawaii-meets-Tuscany wedding together, Kirsten and Casey relied heavily on DIY projects. "All of the decor was DIY," says Kirsten. "From the signs (thanks to Cricuit) to the crystal-looking centerpieces. Additionally, all of our florals were artificial! And we don’t regret it one bit. The bridal bouquet, as well as bridesmaid bouquets, had to be tropical-themed and the only way we could get what we wanted was to go artificial. We kept the same tropical, boho theme with our arch and signs which looked very similar to my bouquet. One of my favorite floral decor pieces was the artificial wisteria in our 'vineyard tunnel' which hung above our dining area. It set a gorgeous Tuscan tone that was hard to not fall in love with. The only real plant (besides our leis) we had at our wedding was the sequoia we choose to plant during our ceremony. It symbolized strength and longevity for us as we made a commitment to each other."
The couple's leis, the only fresh botanicals incorporated into the wedding day beyond the sequoia, were an important part of honoring Kirsten's Hawaiian heritage. "I wore a traditional Hawaiian haku lei (head lei) and an elegant three-string pikake lei around my neck," explains Kirsten. "All of our leis were shipped out the day before the wedding from Hawaii. They were fresh, gorgeous, and smelled wonderful. Casey wore a large kukui nut lei and tea leaf lei which are traditional for men to wear in Hawaiian weddings. It is also custom to give both sets of parents leis during the ceremony. So instead of having a flower girl or ring bearer, we chose to have a lei boy and girl (my nephew and Casey’s niece) who walked down the aisle and gave our parents leis."
While the wedding's decor was inspired by Hawaii and Italy, the food menu came straight from Mexico. "The only thing Casey insisted on choosing was the food. He REALLY wanted a Mexican food truck," explains Kirsten. "So we stumbled across Latin Asian Fusion Food Trucks. We had a nice little barn they were able to set up in and their food was delicious. They even created a custom menu for us and abided by the social distancing rules. It took a little longer to get food, but it was worth it!"
Looking back on the couple's California microwedding, Kirsten shares that her favorite memories are of "the first look and walking down the aisle with my father. These moments were the most anticipated parts of the day. Getting to see each other for the first time all dressed up right before we say our vows to each other was such a special moment, it brought tears to my eyes. It’s that's can’t believe this is finally happening and I wouldn’t have it any other way' moment that gets you. Walking with my dad down the aisle meant a lot because it was seeing two very important men in my life come together. The first man I ever loved giving me to the last man I’ll ever love. It’s such a special moment, it still brings tears to my eyes thinking about it."