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

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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 

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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

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A Romantic Wedding at the Four Seasons Maui

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Lisa and Bradford wed at the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea, a place that was near and dear to this bride’s heart.  The groom had popped the question in Hawaii (Kauai) and their mutual love of islands meant it was meant to be.  Lisa shared with us their special story.  “Getting married in paradise was our ultimate goal! I knew that Brad and I had to tie the knot in Maui. My family spent many Christmases at the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea. I grew up dreaming of getting married here since I was very little. I wanted to share the magic with Brad. The hotel is a true gem.”

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“The tomboy in me picked Tiffany blue as our wedding color. Brad was very surprised and happy that I did not say pink! The gorgeous shade also reminds us of the moment when Brad proposed to me by the blue ocean holding a little blue box in his hand! The decor was kept simple with white roses and white candles to bring out the subtle Tiffany blue accents. The evening reception was intimate, serene and sophisticated.” 

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While the darling flower girls also wore white, and plumeria head leis to match!

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Even white doves made an appearance at this ceremony!

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After Lisa and Bradford said “I do,” the celebrating began!

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This brave couple even got wet in the ocean in an impromptu trash the (base of the) dress session after the ceremony.

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Biggest advice for future destination couples is to be insanely organized except on the actual day. Wedding day is when you relax and let it roll.”

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We ask couples what their favorite moments from the day was.  For this bride?  The cake reveal!  “Favorite moment of the day was when we saw our wedding cake. It was huge! We couldn’t wait to cut the cake and dig in with our family and friends.” 

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Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer: Joanna Tano Photography

Wedding Location + Cake: Four Seasons Maui, Reception: Spago at Four Seasons Maui, Wedding Dress: Custom designed and tailored, Flowers: Country Bouquets Maui 

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An Intimate Destination Wedding in Maui, Hawaii

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Ross and Krystle hosted their intimate destination wedding at Merriman’s Kapalua on the island of Maui.  With a beautiful backdrop overlooking the ocean for their setting, they didn’t need much in the way of bold color.  Instead this pair opted for a muted palette of whites and pale peaches to compliment their surroundings perfectly.

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Planning from far away meant the couple had to let go and let others help along the way.  Krystle shared with us a bit about their experience.  “Our wedding day was a page out of a fairytale! Being a destination wedding, I felt that there was only so much planning I could do from two thousand miles away. I have a very busy career, so left the majority of the planning to my wonderful mom and our fabulous wedding planner.” 

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Ross and Krystle incorporated several seaside appropriate details like this lovely guest book, complete with shell and seahorse illustrations.

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Local fare was of course on the menu like this fresh ahi app!

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Their first dinner as husband and wife was set in a small private room with walls that opened up to the ocean – beautiful!

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For this bride, she recalls the special moments more than the details of the day.  “Although I’m a very detailed oriented person, I couldn’t tell you without pictures what the chairs looked like, what side the harpist played from, or what the flower pots looked liked- it was all such a blur. I do remember all of the little details post ‘I Do’- the helicopter hovering overhead for the majority of the time we took pictures and our first dance to David Gray’s ‘This Year’s Love’ which we completely forgot after taking multiple dance lessons…just to name a couple. I would give anything to go back and re-live September 10th- it was absolutely perfect!”

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Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer: Mike Sidney Photography

Wedding Vendors: Wedding Location: Merriman’s Kapalua, Wedding Dress: Jin Wang, Shoes: Badgley Mischka, Groom’s Suit: Hugo Boss, Wedding Planner: Lorrie Betsill of Maui’s Angels Weddings, Florist: Dellables Floral Design, Cake Designer: Cake Fanatics Maui, Hair + Makeup: Susan Bortz Designs, Event Rentals: Hawaiian Style Event Rentals

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Oahu, Hawaii Destination Wedding Goodness

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Stella and Jerome had a beautiful destination wedding on the Oahu North Shore at this amazing Balinese style estate – the Mahakea Estate. Their photographers, Evonne and Darren Wong at U Me Us Studios captured the vibrant purple colors of the décor and the spectacular nature of the estate effortlessly!  And this location wasn’t just any venue, but special to the bride and groom.  Stella shared with us how Hawaii became home to their wedding.  “Oahu was the site of our first vacation together as a couple 9 years ago. It was both our first trips to Hawaii and we fell in love with the beauty of the islands when we were there. In selecting Oahu as our wedding location, we hoped share the magic of Hawaii with our friends and family. We wanted to pick a unique locale for our wedding and we searched high and low until we discovered the beautiful Mahakea Estate on North Shore. Oahu is beautiful all-around but North Shore beaches are particularly stunning (and less crowded).  We thought Mahakea would be the perfect blend of elegance and intimacy for our nuptials. We loved the idea of staying at a private estate with its own beach in the backyard. In a ways, it was like hosting a wedding at our own home! ” 

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“We stayed at the estate with some of our family members, which made the experience feel more personal, like we were at a home away from home, instead of a foreign locale. We also decorated the space with some pictures of us with friends and family to make it feel more homey.”

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“Taking pictures with my bridesmaids all dolled up was a treat because we rarely see each other all dressed up anymore. And dancing with everyone was a blast – some of our guests have serious moves on the dance floor!”

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“The wedding was beautiful from beginning to end. The First Look was very emotional for the both of us – and we’re glad we opted for it because otherwise we would have been bawling at the altar. The ceremony went smoothly – it was so wonderful to see all our family and friends together in one place. That rarely happens because we have friends that span the nation and the globe, and for once, we were all together in one place. We had great food, romantic ambiance, good music – what more could one ask for? It was a super special night for the both of us.”

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“A few months before the wedding, we met a local artist named Genevieve Santos. We fell in love with one of her hand-drawn illustrations, Clink, and asked her to personalize it with our names. We brought the drawing with us to Hawaii and it served as our bride & groom portrait.”

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“Our colors were purple (the bride’s favorite color) and green (the groom’s favorite color). To that end, the flowers were a blend of purple orchids and green hydrangeas, we used personalized purple and green napkins, the cake was topped with purple and green orchids, and the lanterns were a blend of purple, green, and white. We used what made sense but didn’t go overboard with our color scheme.”

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“Our goal was to create an event that was fun and had a familial intimate flavor yet still be a structured (and not stuffy) and we think we achieved that with our wedding.”

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 Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer: Evonne & Darren Wong of U Me Us Studios

Wedding Vendors: Wedding Location: Mahakea Estate, Wedding Planner: Maile Hawaii Weddings, Wedding dress designer: Oleg Cassini, Wedding shoes designer: Nina, Jewelry: Derco, Bridesmaid’s dress designer: David’s Bridal, Groom’s + Groomsmen Attire: Men’s Wearhouse Black by Vera Wang Collection, Invitations/Stationery designer: Minted, Hair/Makeup Stylist: Dorys Foltin of Maleana, Florist: Shilhi Seibel of Passion Roots, Wedding Day Caterer: Chef Peter Foster of Memoirs, Baker: Kristin Kato of A Cake Life, Officiant: Rev. Elias Parker, Rentals: Pacific Party Rentals, iPod DJ: Just Press Play Productions, Wedding Favors: Honolulu Cookie Company

 

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A Sweet Destination Wedding in Maui, Hawaii

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Troy and Heather held their destination wedding overlooking the beautiful beach in Maui, Hawaii.  This couple adored the ocean so much, they even opted for a Hawaiian style trash the dress session the day after their big day!

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Paper goods mimicking passports served as ceremony programs to get guests in the spirit of this big adventure!

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The couple opted for a destination I do after realizing their loved ones were both near and far.  “We chose to do a destination wedding after having grown up in Alaska and Washington, living in Arizona and Montana.  All of our friends and family were spread around the country and a destination wedding was just the answer.  Looking back, I wouldn’t have done one thing different.  From our location at the beautiful Honua Kai to our amazing vendors…it was the perfect day.”

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Love the leis around the bride and groom during the ceremony!!

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Then a casual dinner reception commenced with lots of love and brightly colored cocktails too!

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“After five amazing years together, Troy and I had our dream wedding in Maui, Hawaii.  We chose to get married at the Honua Kai Resort and Spa on Kaanapali Beach.  It is an absolutely beautiful venue and we had the time of our lives celebrating our special day with our closest friends and family!!!”  

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Clearly good times were had by all!

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But the fun didn’t end there – take a look at this brave couple dipping in the ocean the day after!

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Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer: Melissa McClure

Wedding Vendors: Ceremony & Reception: Honua Kai Resort & Duke’s Restaurant, Wedding Coordinator: Cherise of The Perfect Wedding Maui, Officiant: Valentino Rosete, Cake: Maui Wedding Cake, Guitarist: Joshua Kaula, Bride’s Hair & Makeup: Pam Jensen, Bride’s Dress: Kirstie Kelly Couture, Groom outfit: Kenneth Cole, Photography Assistant: Jason Vint (aka the best boyfriend ever)

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Destination Wedding in Kona, Hawaii

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Jo-Ann and Jonathan hosted an intimate destination wedding in beautiful Kona, Hawaii.  This pair were no strangers to travel as the bride tell us.  “Jonathan and I met while we were both working for NGOs in Mozambique. After getting engaged while the sun was setting on Watch Hill Beach, Rhode Island, the perfect place for a beach-girl! =), we started talking about our wedding. We both wanted it to be very simple, outdoors, all in the same place, as close to the ocean as possible, in Hawaii (where my parents live) and I remember saying that I wanted to wear my Havaianas!”

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“I have always loved the ocean and wanted the wedding to reflect the colours of the sea, so we went with all blues for the bridal party.  In Hawaii you can get away with bright colours, so I decided on many shades of pink for the decor, and purple for the flowers! I love orchids and Jonathan always sent them to me when we were apart, so we chose orchids as our flower, which was fun to keep the tropical theme going too.”

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“My favourite wedding-memories were the ones I had as a kid. I remember how magical it felt running around at big family weddings, and dancing the night away with my cousins. As a result, I wanted our wedding to be as kid-friendly-and-fun as possible! We had a kid’s table with all sorts of fun things for them to do and a piñata later on. It was so lovely to see them running around with their glow-sticks, sparklers and bubbles, and dancing away together on the dance floor.”

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“As I’d been living in Asia for a while, I wanted to have some Asian touches. We had Korean chopsticks on the table-settings and Korean fans on the chairs at the reception. We had Thai food for the main course and sushi for starters.”

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“Although Hawaii is quite far away from many of our loved ones, we were lucky enough to have family and friends come from as far off as New Zealand, India, South Africa, New York, Connecticut, California and Canada! We were so blessed to be able to celebrate with so many who are so precious to us!”

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“Since we had met while both working in Africa, and we wanted to have some elements in the wedding that would reflect our heart for development work. We had a number of organisations to give to on our registry and instead of a favour, and we gave our guests a little package with a card in it explaining that we’d given a house to a widow in India through www.handsonhouses.com. When it came to my rings, we were thrilled to find Brilliant Earth, as they have a hundred percent guarantee that their diamonds are conflict-free!”

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For more, check out their wedding video by Bradley Productions.

Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer: Bob Brown from Hawaii Photographer

Wedding Vendors: Wedding Videographer: Bradley Productions / Floral Design: Kelsi from Ainahua Florals, Waimea / Rentals: Waimea Party Rentals / Officiant: Lenny Hernandez / Location: Living Stones Church, Allii Drive, Kailua-Kona/ Catering: Orchid Thai, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii + Hyashis, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii / Wedding Dress: Maggie Sottero via Princess Brides, Honolulu / Wedding Veil: Vera Wang via David’s Bridal/ Groom and Groomsmen’s Attire: Cubavera / Brides’ engagement ring and wedding band: Brilliant Earth

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Wedding at the Four Seasons Koele Lodge Lanai, Hawaii

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Kelly and Justin wed at one of my favorite places on earth – the Four Seasons Koele Lodge on Lanai.  The uber luxury yet oh-so cozy resort is nestled high above the ocean in the hills on the tiny Hawaiian island.  One of only two resorts on the island (the other is its sister property, the Four Seasons Manele Bay on the beach), this unique oasis gives you the best of Hawaii and the feeling of something very different (and special) at the same time.  Intimate libraries, wrap around decks, wild turkeys running around, an orchid greenhouse and world glass golf course are just some of what draw guests here.  And that was no different for these newlyweds who brought close friends and family to experience the magic of all of it.

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The couple decided on a perfectly appropriate red motif with lush red roses and orchids throughout the event.

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The ceremony took place in the Koele Lodge Music Room and Asian lanterns were strung from the chandelier to enhance the theme.

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To kick off the festivities, the tradition of a conch horn was blown.

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After the ceremony, guests were ushered into the lodge library for dinner where the deeps reds poured out – perfect for the holiday season wedding this was!

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Love the unique floral and branch clusters by Anny Heid Flowers.

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White accents contrasted the color and brought in a hint of the bride’s white dress.

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Guests dined looking out over the lush grounds and pond while Christmas trees lined the inner walls.

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It wouldn’t be a Christmas wedding without a few bride and groom photos in front of the trees.

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 Congratulations Kelly and Justin!

Destination Wedding Photographer:  Joanna Tano Photography

Wedding Vendors: Location and Catering: Four Seasons Koele Lodge, Florals & Site Decor: Anny Heid Flowers

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Maui, Hawaii Destination Wedding

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Michael & Vone traveled from Portland, OR to Maui, Hawaii with 63 of their closest friends and family for their destination wedding.  This was actually a larger wedding than they had anticipated, but of course they were thrilled when twice as many guests rsvp’d than expected.

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The wedding was full of color and personal style.  Vone shared with us the inspiration for the day.  “If you take a look in my closet, anyone can tell that my favorite color is teal.  All my friends and family knew that color would be the dominant color in my wedding.  The fuchsia/hot pink is also another one of my favorite colors, and added a nice complement to the teal.”

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As for the location, the couple knew exactly what they were looking for.  “We had decided on a private estate from the beginning, since we wanted to have the option of picking and choosing different vendors and have a bit more leeway with planning than we would have had if we had chosen a hotel venue.”  The group settled in on a beautiful private estate, the Honua Kai Lani/Sugarman Estate, place where the bride and groom “fell in love with their view and seclusion on the island.”

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To announce the wedding in true traditional Hawaiian style, a conch shell was blown to kick off the ceremony.

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When we asked the bride about her most memorable moments, she shared an emotion one.  “My husband’s not a very emotional man at all.  So, seeing him tear up a bit as I joined him under the arch and throughout the ceremony as he gazed at me made all the stress of the wedding planning worth it.”

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After the ceremony, the couple took some time out for a few shots around the island.

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Then a sunset reception overlooking the ocean commenced!

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The decor continued to weave in Vone’s favorite colors, but also included several tropical touches too!

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As night fell, dancing, speeches, laughs (and sweets) were enjoyed by all!

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Advice for future destination wedding couples?  Plan to leave the location for your honeymoon!  “Although we loved having our friends and family all there and spending time with them, we didn’t get much time to ourselves at all.  We were in Maui for 10 days, figuring our honeymoon would be spent on the island after the wedding, and we’d get at least a day or two to ourselves.  It never happened, because we were trying to make time to do an activity with each set of friends/family.  Fortunately, we were able to plan a quick “mini-honeymoon” to Vegas two months ago as a belated honeymoon trip, with no schedules or stress.  So, my advice:  take at least a full day to yourselves and celebrate the beginning of your lives together if you plan to stay on the island.  It’s a MUST for newlyweds!”

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 Congratulations Michael and Vone!

Destination Wedding Photographer:  Nate and Jenna Photography

 Wedding Vendors: Wedding Location: Honua Kai Lani/Sugarman Estate, Wedding Planner: White Orchid Weddings

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