Waimanalo Wedding Venue – Waimanalo Ranch Elopement Inspiration

June 30, 2022


Last Updated on December 15, 2022 by Karma Hill

It was a perfect summer day for this epically stunning styled elopement photoshoot showing off our most recently added Waimanalo Wedding Venue, Waimanalo Ranch.

This stunningly beautiful venue creates an extraordinarily picturesque wedding backdrop with the Ko’olau Mountain range jutting from sea level to 3,150 feet in the background. The tone of this location has a relaxed peaceful small-town ranch feeling, coupled with the dramatic textured green mountains, creating the perfect elopement location. Did we mention there are mini horses on the property with which you can add to your photo session? Waimanalo Ranch is a short 5-minute drive to one of the most scenic beaches on the island making it easy to complete your wedding photography collection with couples’ beach photos.

Whether you are looking for a ceremony with up to 50 guests or a quiet, private space for just the two of you, this Oahu wedding venue is worth taking a closer look at!

Waimanalo Wedding Venue - Waimanalo Ranch

Location & Set Up

The above wide open shot shows large field is suitable for any kind of ceremony setup you can imagine with the mountain range as the backdrop. We love the rustic feel of the ranch and wanted our ceremony set up to feel like it fit with the surroundings. To accomplish this look went with a dark wood arch and benches, loose unstructured floral. We added the fun colorful rugs isle to give the ceremony space a feeling of whimsy and make the space feel more intimate despite the wide-open spaces surrounding it.

We love the way the colorful rugs compliment the rich hues of the floral and create a cozy sense of home while being outdoors! You could also switch out for a flower petal isle to draw your eyes toward the arch. Benches also add to the intimacy as friends and family can sit close together while they watch you exchange vows.

We worked with Aloha Artisans for the furnishings and arch to create this look. We hand chose each piece from their extensive inventory to create the perfect rustic, cozy and relaxed look. The beautiful floral design by Designs By Hemmingway was the perfect final touch to the double arch.

When thinking about what floral we wanted in this space, we took cues from nature! We opted for loose and natural over formal and structured to complement the natural surroundings of this Waimanalo Wedding Venue. With so much green around, the pop of deep color also brought the focus to the arch and our couple.

Our stunning bride Leilani’s look also complimented the loose dreamy feel of our florals and ceremony setup. Her hair and makeup by Delish Makeup was soft, unstructured and romantic. The handmade and locally designed lace dress by Miyuki Liem Bridal was the perfect complement to this styled shoot. We are so lucky to have such talent right here on our small island! Miyuki creates custom one of a kind wedding dresses for each bride. Each piece is entirely unique as they all are completely made to measure to fit perfectly!

We loved that Designs by Hemmingway incorporated bougainvillea into the arrangements, bouquet, and Lei. This is a colorful plant that grows wild all over the islands, so in addition to being beautiful, it is local and eco-friendly!

Even though this was a styled shoot to show off this new venue offering, Leilani and Richard are a real couple! In fact they are newlyweds who just celebrated 6 months of marriage. We love that we could add to their wedding collection of photos, even 6 months after the fact!

One of the reasons we love this venue so much is the breathtaking views of the Ko’olau mountains. These stunning peaks were formed by volcanos 2 million years ago and have become the jagged peaks you see today from so many years of erosion. Not all islands have mountain ranges like these, Maui and the Big Island of Hawaii are much newer islands and have had less time for erosion to create such dramatic scenery.

All of the photography in this post was captured by our sister company, Karma Hill Photography A fun fact to know about our company is that it all started with Karma Hill Photography! Karma Hill, the founder started the photography business in 2007. After a few years of being in the wedding industry, she noticed there was a need in the Hawaii wedding market for small simple-to-plan weddings with high quality. At the time there were only budget beach weddings or expensive larger weddings but not a lot in between. Karma started Simple Maui Wedding first and after seeing an amazing response from couples on Maui, expanded the concept to Oahu. All the photography for our wedding brands is performed by the team at Karma Hill Photography who has highly trained and experienced photographers on Maui, Oahu and Kaua’i! Their cinematic, airy, and romantic photography style makes our weddings look as dreamy as they feel in person!

Imagine walking down this beautiful aisle! We can’t imagine many more beautiful places to say “I do”.

Richard looks dapper with a tie that perfectly matches the bougainvillea entwined in his lei and a shirt the color of the sky. The beauty of a wedding in Hawaii is the ability of the groom to dress up or down his attire to fit his comfort level. Tuxedos are not required!

A closer look at Leilani’s stunning hair and makeup! The soft upswept hair that brushes the knape of her neck is about as romantic as it gets! An updo is always a good idea in Hawaii as our state is blessed with near-constant tradewinds that keep our islands more comfortable and less humid. While this is great for everyday comfort, it’s not always ideal for wedding hair! An updo will keep your hair in place while you exchange your vows.

Besides the stunning mountain views, the mini horses are our other favorite thing about Waimanalo Ranch!! For an additional fee, you can have these cuties make an appearance at your wedding. The ranch will have them photo ready for you and assist in the handling during the photo session. Your guests can also stroll the grounds and visit them at their pasture which is near the ceremony site.

Peaches and Little Bear are the sweetest horses. They were patient and walked around with Leilani and Richard down this beautiful tree-lined road, which is near the ceremony site and available for your post-wedding photos.

The herd of horses is a fun site for your guests and for sure is a hit with everyone who meets them! One thing to consider is that Waimanalo Ranch is a working ranch, so while it is beautiful, keep in mind there are animal sounds and smells including horses, chickens, and dogs. The ceremony area is far enough away to have a minimal impact but it’s always good to keep in mind when you are imagining your wedding day.

Waimanalo Ranch is a short drive from the busy city of Honolulu and resort areas of Waikiki, but it feels worlds away. As soon as you turn onto the road that leads to the ranch, it’s like the world melts away. Birdsongs, large trees, and mountains create a peaceful feeling there that is hard to describe at Waimanalo Ranch. Once you make it to this beautiful Oahu wedding venue, you will know what we are talking about!

We finished the shoot with a super wide shot of the mountains as dusk was starting to set in. For this shoot, we wanted to focus on the ranch, but the beach is a short drive away and you could also use some of your couples photography time to include beach photos as well. Depending on your guest count, this may require additional photography time to be added to the wedding package.

The ranch also has a guest suite with a large open living and kitchen area that is beautiful and can be added on and booked directly with the ranch if you wanted to host a casual get-together before or after your wedding. For more details on this wedding package visit our Oahu wedding venues page. Please reach out to our planning team for more information or to check availability!

Thanks again to all our talented vendors for contributing their time and talents to this shoot!

Oahu Wedding Photography: Karma Hill Photography

Venue: Waimanalo Ranch

Floral Design: DB Hemmingway

Hair and Makeup: Delish

Wedding Dress: Miyuki Liem Bridal

Event Rentals: Aloha Artisans

See another recently styled wedding shoot at Paradise Cove Luau on the blog here.

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Karma Hill is the owner of Karma Hill Photography, Simple Maui Wedding, Simple Oahu Wedding, and Simple Hawaii Wedding, marking a significant presence in the Hawaii wedding community since 2007. With a wealth of experience and a vast collection of informative posts on weddings and photography in Hawaii, Karma Hill offers unparalleled expertise. Explore the world of photography and wedding planning across Hawaii by visiting Karma's websites.

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