A Tropical Wedding in Kona, Hawaii

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Trina and Chris said “I do” on the Big Island of Hawaii, at the Fairmont Orchid in Kona. But this big day was almost derailed by a natural disaster; luckily however the weather (and the surf) was perfect for the outdoor ceremony and reception overlooking the ocean.

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The couple came from Washington to the islands to tie the knot and found the Fairmont to be the perfect spot for their size, budget and style. Wedding planner, Erin Lindeman of Lindeman Weddings & Events filled us in on the planning and day’s details. The Fairmont Orchid is great because it carries the brand and service of a Fairmont property but isn’t very big compared to its sister property over on Maui or other surrounding mega hotels on the big island. It almost feels like a boutique hotel and is a perfect size for a smaller wedding group.”

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“The wedding was held just before Christmas so the hotel and surroundings were all decked out for the holidays.  I am so in love with the red poinsettia plants that overwhelm Hawaii during this season. Their colors of deep red-fuchsia and purple were perfect for this time of year in Hawaii.”

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“The wedding day started off a little rocky — without warning there were record breaking waves that day along the Kohala coast and a large wave had crashed into the resort at 6am that morning, flooding the property. The area that they were going to get married on was flooded as were the restaurants closest to the water.  The hotel staff didn’t miss a beat. They started working on the property immediately.  The incredibly high surf continued all day.  It was so spectacular I even saw a chef grab a surfboard and go tear up a few waves during his lunch break.  Gotta love the cowabunga dude attitude of the locals!”

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“As the day went on we needed to make the call whether or not we should do the wedding outside so close to the ocean or move into a ballroom.  This was a very difficult decision for everyone to make, including the hotel for liability purposes.  I am glad the hotel made the right decision and I am glad the bride and groom weren’t scared off by this either.  Let’s just say no one was swept away and they had the most spectacular backdrop to their wedding I’ve probably ever seen. The waves were so massive and loud, you could barely hear the ukulele player during the ceremony.”

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Rain or shine, this darling couple was going to have an amazing wedding day, and that they did!

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As guests enjoyed an amazing sunset, the reception kicked off next to where the ceremony had taken place.  One long purple-clad table was set to get the party started.

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The pair rented chandeliers to add a little drama to the outdoor setting which popped with color otherwise.

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The vibrant color palette was carried throughout the day and night, right down to the tropical wedding cake!

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This picture perfect wedding certainly doesn’t look like it faced a natural disaster that morning!  Luckily all was well!

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Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer: Fletch Photography

Wedding Vendors: Wedding + Reception Location: Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii, Wedding Planner: Lindeman Weddings & Events, Stationery: Nicole Mae Paper Design, Florist: Ainahua Florals, Linens: BBJ Linen, Chandelier Rental: Hawaii Island Events


Maui, Hawaii Intimate Destination Wedding

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Beth and Matt traveled from Chicago to Maui with fifteen of their closest loved ones for an intimate destination wedding on the island overlooking the gorgeous waters of Hawaii.  The couple spent a few weeks in the beautiful locale for not just their wedding but their honeymoon too!

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We asked the couple how they came to land on such a special place for their big day.  We wanted to honeymoon on Maui, so then we just decided to have a small wedding there. We spent two weeks there in all, and we wouldn’t change a thing. It was absolutely perfect for us.”

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We love the idea of leis for all the guests!  A great way to welcome everyone and include all in the ceremony.

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We asked both Beth and Matt about their most memorable moments throughout the day.  Matt said: “Watching my bride walking down the aisle.”

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Beth said: “When we said our vows to each other, and the lei exchange. I loved having a mix of a Hawaii and Traditional ceremony.” 

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When asked what advice they would give our readers planning a destination wedding they said, “trust the coordinator, let them handle all the details!”

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To put some personal touches in the reception, the couple looked to Etsy.  “We ordered a map of Hawaii with a heart located on Maui, with our names and our wedding date written on it. It was what our guests signed, and is now framed and hanging in our home.” 

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And when the day was all said and done, the newlyweds went to the water!

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Other words of wisdom included “book a photographer you are comfortable with. Don’t just hire one at the destination location, sometimes bringing one with you from home works out better!” 

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Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer: Thomas Slack – Slack Photography

Bride Dress: Nicole Miller sold by Jenny Yoo Collection in Chicago, Groom Suit & Groomsmen Vest and slacks:  JCrew, Maid of Honor dress: Davids Bridal, Wedding & Reception (provided all food, drinks, decorations, wedding coordinator-Laura Creider): Gannon’s Restaurant, Guest Book: Shape of Love, Officiant: Rev.Valentine Tino Rosete Rev. Tino Rosete, Hair & Makeup: MiRa Carman Maui MiRa


Ritz Carlton, Kapalua, Maui Engagement Party

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Emma and Jaan planned a destination wedding in Maui, but things don’t always go according to plan.  Jaan is from Belgium and they had a bit of unexpected visa trouble before the intended “I do’s.”  But the plans had been made, the flights booked and guests excited to attend the big day so instead, the couple turned their would-be wedding into a fabulous destination engagement party!  With just a few good friends and family members in attendance, the pair celebrated their upcoming wedding with a dinner overlooking the ocean at the Kapalua Bay Cliff House.

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We asked Emma about their experience and what it was like having an engagement party instead of the wedding they had expected.  “I thought we were going to feel really disappointed on the day of, but it was so relaxing and the party was so much fun we couldn’t be sad about not getting married that day.”

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Luckily, these love birds didn’t have to wait much long to actually tie the knot.  “We got married a week after my husband’s visa came through. In other words, we had a week to plan a wedding and decided to piggy back on a 3rd cousin’s wedding (she was okay with it!)”

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We often ask couples for advice for you and here’s what this pair had to say.  “Don’t get too wrapped up in planning. We planned for months only to have to cancel our wedding. But in the end, we were able to plan our actual wedding in a week and it turned out just as ideal as we’d imagined.” 

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“In the end I was happy we didn’t get married in Hawaii. There were so many competing weddings happening on the beach we had planned to get married on, I’m glad things turned out the way they did. But of course, everything else about Hawaii was beautiful and amazing.” 

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One of their favorite moments from the festivities?  “Trying to light lanterns on a very windy night and then having the hotel sprinklers go on and getting totally soaked.”  Sometimes the unexpected and unplanned are the best of memories from the big day!

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Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer: Audra Wrisley Photography + Design 

Wedding Vendors: Location: Ritz Carlton, Kapalua Bay, Dinner Venue:  Kapalua Bay Cliff House Wedding Cake: Maui Cake Store, Bride’s Dress: Urban Outfitters


A Vintage, Rustic Wedding with a Tropical Twist in Lahaina, Maui

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We’re clearly loving Hawaii this week with another wonderful wedding from Maui!  Clarice and Omair wed in beautiful Lahaina, on the island of Maui in Hawaii.  The couple traveled from San Francisco to do say I do at the Hyatt Regency Maui.  This destination wedding wasn’t all travelers though – the bride is originally from Maui so friends and loved ones came from both near and far to celebrate together.

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We asked the bride what is was like returning home for her wedding.  “Actually, I initially didn’t want to have the wedding on Maui. We recently moved to San Francisco after many years of living in Southern California, and most of our friends live there, too. So I really wanted to have the wedding there – I was worried no one would want to travel all the way to Maui! And I wasn’t sure I could pull off planning a destination wedding. Having the wedding on Maui was actually my husband’s idea. He had been a few times with me and absolutely loves it, and told me it would be the perfect place. And of course, he was right. I’m so glad we got married on Maui because it’s where I grew up and where all my family is. It just felt very comfortable and familiar to be back. I’ve been living away from Maui for 12 years now, but I still consider it to be my home, and I’m always happiest when I’m there. It was also nice because we got married at the Hyatt because I have memories of going there when I was little, so it just felt right to have the wedding there as well.”

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“I really enjoyed the whole process of getting ready with my mom and sister. It was just hours of relaxing, having our make up and hair done and drinking champagne. It was awesome!”

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One of my favorite moments of the day was when we were exchanging vows. We had decided early on that we were going to write our own…but had both not written them until the very last minute. My husband is totally not the type to spill his guts (especially in public), but his vows were so heart felt and sincere that it totally caught me off guard. I was completely speechless after he read them!”

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We asked the couple if they were glad they had a high tech wedding with Instagram and the answer was a big yes!  “Yes, totally! Instagram has turned everyone into a photographer (myself included!), and so it was nice (and easy) to see everyone’s pictures in one place.”

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“The reception was amazing because we got to have all our friends and family in one place! It’s never happened before, and it was seriously the best time.”

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And this one-of-a-kind cake topper?  “These lego people were supposed to represent us as a couple. We used these little guys for our save-the-dates because we felt weird about our pictures being on people’s refrigerators. I know that sounds weird, but it’s totally true. So we scoured the internet for wedding lego people. We found the bride pretty easily, but had a hard time with the groom. We actually had to order his head and hands separately, but it was worth all the work! We love them! We plan on taking them with us on our honeymoon to Italy in May.” 

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For favors, the couple went with a local theme!  “We gave away Big Island Candies chocolate dipped macadamia nut shortbread cookies. And they really are as good as they sound! Maybe even better! They are my husband’s favorite cookies. My mom, sister and I stamped and embossed cards with a “thank you” stamp, and put the cards and cookies in little cellophane bags.” 

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Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer:  Joanna Tano Photography

Wedding Vendors: Venue: Hyatt Maui, Dress: Amy Kuschel, Flowers: Bella Bloom, Big Island Candies, DJ: DJ Boomshot, Officiant: Pia Aluli, Photo Booth: Strike a Pose, Invitations: Paper Source 


A Sweet Fairmont Kea Lani Maui Destination Wedding

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Jayme and Corey wed at the beautiful Fairmont Kea Lani Maui where they hosted an intimate group of loved ones for their destination wedding.  The bride shared with us their sweet story.  “Corey asked me to marry him while I was enjoying the emerald city views of Seattle, just before the clock hit 12:00 am on New Years Eve of 2011! From there, the planning began. We wanted a small, intimate wedding where everyone could relax and have fun so we figured there’d be no better way to celebrate than on the sunny island of Maui with 45 of our closest family and friends! We chose Maui as this was the destination of Corey and my first vacation together.”

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 “The journey of a lifetime began with a fun-filled flight from YVR to OGG. To start the celebration off we hosted a sunset sail catamaran cruise enjoying the views of Maui’s west coast – we wanted the guests to get to know each other before the big celebration. On the day of the wedding, the bridesmaids wore beautiful yellow dresses from David’s Bridal that were airy and moved with the warm breeze. Corey and the groomsmen were outfitted in grey custom tailored suits from Indochino paired with white shirts and wood cuff links. I absolutely fell in love with a Venice laced dress detailed with beads and crystals, the best feature being the v-neckline and back, which complemented the long train nicely.”

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 “The wedding was held at the Fairmont Kea Lani in Wailea as the hotel enabled us to have both the ceremony and reception on the hotel grounds. I walked down the aisle while the cello artist strummed Clocks by Coldplay, my favourite song! Shepherd hooks with hanging mason jars lined the aisle and these were filled with white hydrangeas and bright yellow billy balls; the ribbons on the jars moved just like my bridesmaids’ dresses – softly as we walked by. The ceremony took place in the afternoon along a terraced edge where we spoke our vows and said our “I do’s” overlooking the ocean.” 

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 “The reception was held in an open air venue within the hotel which provided picturesque views of the sunset during the scrumptious seafood dinner. We cut the two-tiered red velvet and pineapple cake blanketed with butter cream icing just after the speeches. Finally, the night ended with lots of dancing, singing, and good laughs!”

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 “We are definitely still enjoying each other and the memories!”

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Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer: Tomasz Wagner

Wedding Vendors: Venue, Catering, Cake: Fairmont Kea Lani Maui, Wedding Dress: Allure Bridals, Flowers: Bella Bloom Floral Boutique, Invitations + Ceremony Cards: Design By Dainty, Shoes: Lauren Conrad, Bridesmaids Dresses: David’s Bridal – Canary Yellow Long Sheer Chiffon Dress, Make Up & Hair: Juvenal’s Hair Salon at Fairmont Kea Lani Maui, Groom Suit: Custom made at Indochino, Groom Shoes: Ferragamo, Officiant: Reverend Al Terry, Ceremony Music: Silvina Samuel, Reception Music: DJ Scott, Wedding Favors: Coffee from Maui Coffee Company, Guestbook & Frame: Etsy, Ribbon Wands: Etsy, Table Numbers & Seating Cards: Paper Girl Studios