Retro Hawaiian Themed Weddings

Aloha! Hawaii is on my brain today… And when I think of this awesome Island, I think of those vintage postcards back from the 1940’s and 50’s with surfers, beaches, and hula girls. For those of you who’ve been to Hawaii and it’s neighboring islands, I’m sure you are well aware of its natural beauty and perfect climate. It’s so beautiful, that thousands of couples go there to get married each year! So, today’s post will be perfect for those of you who are planning a destination wedding in Hawaii, or those who can’t make it out there but still want the theme!

First thing’s first, you need leis. You can’t have a Hawaiian wedding without the most traditional Hawaiian decoration! But please, make sure they are real flowers… the fake ones just don’t look as amazing! Next, if you want to keep in mind the vintage postcard idea, you can incorporate that into your save the dates, the invitations, and any other paper details you’d like. It can both keep the theme cohesive as well as give your guests a heads up on what to expect at your wedding! Also, you could never go wrong with native Hawaiian flowers, and they will add so much color to your ceremony and reception. With that said, brighter colors, such as teal, orange, yellow, and ocean blue would make for a lovely retro Hawaii wedding palette! You should try finding a postcard that really grabs your attention and pull your colors from that (if it’s on the dark side, you can always opt for lighter shades… or not!) Finally, you can use different elements found in Hawaii to use in your decor without going overboard: Speaking of boards, a creative way to incorporate the surf board (a popular Hawaiian symbol and sport) could be as a menu or seating arrangement sign, or you could use tiny ones as place cards. Or if you’d rather use pineapples, then you could always go for  a traditional Hawaiian wedding cake, which of course, has pineapple!

You can do so much with this theme and have so much fun at the same time (not that you wouldn’t have fun otherwise!) so keep these few planning tips in mind. Mahalo!

vintage Hawaii wedding

{Photos- Couple: Fire Bird Photography via Modern Weddings Hawaii, “Please join us in Hawaii”: Etsy, Save the Date postcard: Etsy, Surf board cake: My Sweet and Saucy, Leis: Found Rentals, Chalk board surf board menu: Event Jubilee}


Olowalu Plantation House, Maui, Hawaii

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{Photo: Tad Craig Photo}

If you’re on the hunt for a fabulous place to wed on Maui with the privacy of a private home, the million dollar view of a beautiful resort, and the land to say I do with plenty of your closest friends and family, then look no further than the Olowalu Plantation House in Lahaina.  A beautiful lawn that can serve up a reception for 200 looks out onto the ocean on one side, a historic plantation home on the other and overgrown trees filling in the land and protecting you and your loved ones from the elements (and onlookers).

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{Photo Above + Below Left: Tropical Maui Weddings}

Lawn chairs for lazy moments looking out at sea, a rocky point perfect for photos, and large trees to hang lights from – this place provides you with all the ingredients Mother Nature can give to stage a stunning destination I do.

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While the interior of the home is a safe haven for the bride and her bridesmaids – to get ready in and to touch up throughout the evening.

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And of course, the deck makes for a great lounge throughout the evening.

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{All Above Photos: Jessica Strickland}

For dinner, you can tent or dine underneath the stars and trees, and dance the night away until the 11pm curfew.

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{Photo: Gina Meola}

When you’re on property, one must take advantage of the rocky beach perfect for portraits of the bride and groom!  Whether island casual or formal and traditional, this versatile historic home has a little something for everyone.  For more information on the Olowalu Plantation House on Maui, check out the property here.

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{Photo: Dmitri and Sandra}


Hibiscus Wedding Details

Hosting a wedding in Hawaii?  Then consider incorporating one of its local and loveliest flowers – the hibiscus flower.  While its origins date back to Asian lands, the hibiscus is now known as one Hawaii’s pop culture symbols.  Worn on one side of the hair represents a single girl (so be careful what you choose for your wedding day do), this often brightly colored flower makes for great wedding decor when on island.  From an aisle carefully crafted with the recognizable shape to a hibiscus-adorned cake or even one submerged and candied in a cocktail, incorporating natural decor into your design will give your event that festive feeling!

hibiscus wedding ideas

{Photos: Flower: I’m fave, Ceremony: Disney Weddings, Bouquet: Pacific Weddings, Invitation: Etsy, Favor Boxes: Etsy, Favor: Rebecca Arthurs via EAD, Cake: Mira Que Chulo}


Destination Wedding in Waikiki, Hawaii

destination weddings in waikikiJames and Weiwei wed on Oct. 15th in Waikiki on Oahu, a perfect beach for some spectacular photos of the lovely bride and groom.  The happy couple selected the spot for their destination wedding because it was the halfway point for their guests – coming from California (where they live now) and from Taiwan (where they are from).  Hawaii was just the right meeting place!waikiki wedding locationsIncorporating traditions from Taiwan, they married their heritage with their modern California lifestyle through a few fun, and even funny, customary family activities. Hawaii destination weddingsThe stunning ceremony was held at a beautifully bright and airy church, Ko Olina Chapel Place of Joy on Oahu.  The florals blended seamlessly with their backdrop, adding an elegant layer of texture, as James and Weiwei wed among 40 friends and family.  With lots of light and an abundance of orchids nearby, we just love these idyllic images!  And needless to say, the intimate ceremony was very special to this couple; it was no small feat getting all their guests from several countries to bear witness to their big day!Waikiki church weddingsThe chapel setting was spectacular!  Right on the beach, this magnificent and modern white design may not be a typical Hawaiian ceremony site, but that’s one of the reasons we love it so much.destination wedding Hawaii

Waikiki church weddingsShortly after “I do,” the newlyweds were showered with vibrant rose petals from loved ones before they jetted down to the sand for some extra special photo ops.Hawaii wedding photographersPink details peppered throughout the day, especially those of roses and hydrangeas, made the event feel a bit more formal than the typical beach wedding.weddings in HawaiiAnd James’ crisp white suit looked just right paired with his blushing bride, in a classic bridal look and her white wedding dress, on the beaches of Waikiki.  destination weddings in Hawaii The reception took place at the Halekulani Hotel in Waikiki where the couple adorned the room with pink, peach, and white wedding details.  Most notable was the sweets bar, complete with an array of everyone’s favorite candies coordinated in their color scheme.  Perfect for the kid in everyone!pink and peach weddingsIn contrast to the nostalgic and youthful candy bar, a regal white wedding cake embellished with pretty pink roses stole the dessert spot light and completed the abundance of sweets as the grand finale of the festivities! wedding cakes pink and white

Congratulations James & Weiwei!

Destination Wedding Photographer:  Jeremy Chou Photoworks

Wedding Vendors: Getting Ready Location: Waikiki Sheraton, Ceremony Location: Ko Olina Chapel Place of Joy, Reception Location: Halekulani Hotel Waikiki, Ceremony: Watabe Wedding Corporation, Associate Photographer: Nathan Nowack, Videography: Kai Media Hawaii, Linens & Chair Covers: Les Saisons, Candy Buffet & Flowers: Spinning W.E.B. Florist, Wedding Cake: Halekulani, Hair & Makeup: Shirleen Bridal Makeup Studio, Wedding Dress: David’s Bridal, Bridesmaid Dresses: J. Crew, Wedding Band: Tiffany & Co