Makayla & Nakai - Real Wedding

A Montecito Wedding Story at Rosewood Miramar Beach


September 28, 2023
Words by Marisol Acosta
Photos courtesy of Joel Serrato

When Nakai and Makayla matched online in 2016, they were unaware of the beautiful love story that awaited them. As their connection progressed, Nakai was suddenly called out for deployment due to his military service. Holding out hope that one day they would meet, Nakai answered the call and deployed for a year. Upon his return to Seattle, he had something specific on his mind: asking Makayla out on a date. As Makayla says, “The rest is history!”

One adventure after another led the couple to experience many different places together. At the top of that list was the city of Montecito, California. Just adjacent to Santa Barbara, Montecito prides itself on its stunning beach views, nestled in the hills of the Santa Ynez mountains. The bride tells us, “Montecito is one of the most beautiful places we have ever been… It’s an extremely relaxing, elegant, and blissful place.” It was the perfect place to begin their journey of everlasting love.

One day while scrolling through Instagram, the most gorgeous venue caught Makayla’s eye. Rosewood Miramar Beach, a luxurious seaside resort, would be the place to celebrate their love. The 5-star hotel and resort boast an estate-like vibe with breathtaking views of the ocean. The ocean bungalows and high-end cuisine were also significant draws for the couple’s vision.

Planning a wedding from afar is no easy task, but with the right team, it can be a dream. The bride tells us that choosing their wedding planner, Annette, who lived in the area, made the entire experience smooth and effortless. Having someone in the area with connections to local vendors was not only pivotal but also important for quick and easy communication. The wedding coordinator at the Rosewood, Meg, would check in and keep communication flowing, ensuring Nakai and Makayla knew their big day would be handled with care. The couple visited the venue a couple of times to further connect with the venue and sample the delicious food that would be served on the day. The painstaking attention to detail the dream team and couple cultivated together ultimately paid off with a wedding for the books.

When it came to the vibe of the day, the bride envisioned an elegant, classic affair. A beautiful combination of baby’s breath and white roses accented the arrangements throughout the venue. For the ceremony, the pathway was a mirrored aisle dotted with bouquets of white roses that led to an arch bursting with roses against a perfect blue sky. “Dodie at Eucharis Studio did all of the decor for us,” the bride says. “It felt like a fairytale wedding.”

The bride and groom wanted their friends and loved ones to truly get a feel for who they were as a couple while still maintaining tradition. One of their dearest friends, Pastor Jeff Thorp, was given the honor of being their officiant as the couple lovingly read the vows they had personally written to each other. In the background, a specially curated playlist that reflected the elements of their love played during the ceremony, perfectly complementing the moments of their union. For the reception, the room was adorned with white flowers, white candles, and elegant glass and crystal. The ceilings were adorned with beautiful chandeliers that illuminated the room, and the gorgeous white dance floor further added to the dreamy, fairytale effect.

The bride and groom took a moment to reflect on any advice they could pass on to future couples. “Take a moment just the two of you during the reception/dinner and look around and truly take in what and who is around you,” says the bride. “The day goes by so fast, try to be present.”

Vendors: Photographer: Joel Serrato; Wedding Planner: Annette Hoegner of Classic Touch Events; Venue & Cake: Rosewood Miramar Beach; Florist: Dodie of Eucharis Studio; Stationery: The Knot; Hair & Makeup: Alexis Michael; Gown Designer: Muse by Berta; Groom’s Clothing Designer: Zegna; Bridesmaids Dresses: Reformation; Groomsmen Attire: Men’s Wearhouse; Videography: Shannon Acevedo of Hoo Films; Bridal Jewelry: Ettika
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