A mutual love of exploring the outdoors and having great adventures is what drew Keira & James to Hawaii in late 2012. They spent an incredible two weeks island-hopping from Hawai’i to Kauai, a trip that was capped off with a romantic sunset proposal amongst the tiki torches dotting the shores of Poipu Beach on Kauai. It only made sense to commit theri love to each other in the one place they fell in love with, so they returned to Kona to exchange theri vows, again, at sunset. What mattered most to them was not having a wedding but getting married. Theri ceremony for two, attended only by a few sun-basking honu, was the perfect way to start their marriage.
For those of you brides & grooms-to-be who are feeling the strain of planning a large wedding, the idea of eloping might be starting to look very attractive! There is something magical (and not to mention stress free!) about saying one’s wedding vows with the sound of the waves crashing in the background, the sunset ablaze on the horizon, and your toes in the sand. If you are looking for a romantic beach elopement setting on the Big Island of Hawaii, for just the two of you, then look no more! This is one of my faves, Keira & James were married in a intimate beach ceremony at pretty Kuki’o beach. Kuki’o is located north of the Kailua-Kona airport on the Big Island’s Kohala coast, accessed at the Hualalai Four Seasons Resort.
Dress: White by Vera Wang
Floral Arrangement: Homemade (with hibiscus flowers from our property)
Officiant/Music: Cheryl Pascual (and husband Pas) from Aloha Weddings in Paradise
Hair/Makeup: Mara McMichael of Lilikoi Hair Studio
Groom’s Attire: Dockers
When Melissa and her mom, Katherine, first told me about their DIY vision for their wedding day, I thought maybe they had spent a little too much time on pinterest! They had BIG plans, and they more than delivered. From Melissa’s vintage typewriter to the rustic succulent plant favors, the day was full of all kinds of pretty little things. Melissa, the bride, together with her Mom and Dad, either made or sourced all the the wedding furniture & decorations themselves…..then wondered what to do with all the stuff they had put together…..so Melissa and her mom, Katherine, decided to start an event rental & design business called Weathered, everything is custom made. Their wedding took place at the stunning Anna Ranch Heritage Center in Waimea, on the Big Island. I know that they will always have fond memories of their day! So please enjoy Melissa and Kam’s wedding! Be sure to look for an incredibly special moment during the ceremony – Melissat’s boxer Arabella as the ring bearer!
Cake Artist: Leilani Bakery
DJ: Eclipse Events Entertainment
Hair & makeup: Mara McMichael lilikoi hair studio
Florist: Ainahua Florals, Kelsi Mercado
Wedding Dress: Custom Made, Inspired by Monique Lhuillier
Lighting/Tent: Big Island Tent, Paul Simms
Linens/Chairs: Waimea Party Rentals
John and Liza met in California 5 years ago, Liza had just moved from the east coast and was starting college. She noticed John in one of her classes but never spoke to him, a week later she started a new job at a restaurant and he happened to already work there. After a year of inseparable friendship and getting him to skip his last class of the day to hangout with her, they started dating. Their first date he took her to the symphony. This past August her surprised her with tickets to Hawaii for her birthday, since she had never been to Hawaii; this was going to be an unforgettable trip. They’ve known since their first year of dating that they wanted to get married, yet were never in a rush. Good things come to those who wait, so they say. John and Liza agree that their engagement came at the perfect time in their lives and they couldn’t be happier. John is Liza’s best friend and truly her soul mate. He proposed after dinner by the ocean, it was quiet and intimate just as she had always imagined. They laughed and cried, and of coarse she loved her ring! Liza says she is so thankful for John’s love and friendship. Their wedding date is August 29, 2015 in Rhode Island. They’re counting down to their next adventure!
Rae & Jeremiah tied the knot in an intimate ceremony at Whittington Beach County Park in Ka’ū District on the South side of the Big Island. Lovely Rae wore an amazing dress embroidered with sequins and stood beaming beside Jeremiah as the wedding rings were passed around to all the guests to receive their blessings. There is something very special about being part of such a small, informal wedding, I wanted the photography to reflect the casual feel of the ceremony, we had so much fun exploring the park and taking pictures. Congratulations to the happy couple!
Easily one of my favorite venues to photograph in 2014 on the Big Island was Puakea Ranch, set amidst rolling green pastures and blue ocean views, Puakea pairs the romance and charm of Old Hawaii with luxury and privacy. This past November, I had the pleasure of capturing Sandra & Daniel’s big day! This beautiful couple refused to let a little light rain ruin their joy — when Daniel saw his stunning bride coming towards him, his face just light up! When the sun lowered to peek through the ancient “kissing tree” and a few white horses appeared at sunset, I was basically in photographer heaven.
officiant: Calley O’Neill
private catering: Angela Zink
Hale Ohi’a Kai, is a fabulous oceanfront villa in Kona, Hawaii. Uniquely designed and custom built with Ohi’a wood, the oceanfront location and views are magical, the perfect Hawaiian setting for a beautiful and memorable wedding! I was thrilled when Jon & Hong reached out to me for their wedding photography and told me Hale Ohia Kai was the venue! What a gorgeous setting to say “I do”. I know I don’t have to say this because the images speak for themselves but Hong is exquisite…and I believe even that is an understatement. We know why Jon fell in love with her because that beauty on the outside is well matched by that on the inside, and as a couple they are just flawless. This wedding day was the stuff of perfection – perfect dress, perfect shoes, perfect smiles, perfect setting, I could go on and on….I am so honored to have been a part of it. Here’s to Hong and Jon and to many, many years of love and happiness.
Makeup: Shaloma (Icicles Hair Salon)
Cupcakes: Food for thought
Officiant: Rev. Dard Aller, Beach Weddings Hawaii
DJ: Eclipse Effect Entertainment
‘Trash the dress’, the fearless bride or ‘rock the frock’ is a style of wedding photography that is becoming very popular with wedding photographers and brides all over the world.
A trash the dress photography session is the perfect opportunity to add different styles to your wedding photos as you have more time, and feel much more relaxed than on the day of your wedding. This type of session also allows you to get into situations at some unusual locations that you would not dare try on your big day.
Sheri and Phil chose Kukio for the location of their trash the dress session, it’s a nice shallow bay just north of the Kona Airport. I like it because it’s protected from waves and currents, making it a safe location for submerging in the water with your dress. We then headed to the State Fair at the Old Kona Airport, the site of Sherri and Phil’s first date, and we just had to take a photo in front of the ferris wheel ! The lights of the carnival come alive at night, it’s such a fun backdrop for photography!
Sheri’s dress was not actually “trashed” during our session. A professional cleaning service restored the dress, enabling her to preserve it.
I find that before the wedding some brides think they would never go for a trash the dress shoot, but when the wedding is all over and there is a real feeling of anti-climax because the wedding dress is left hanging in a wardrobe, they start to think, why not? I have brides that bring their dresses along with them to Hawaii on their honeymoon or anniversary (sometimes many years after the wedding) for a trash the dress session.
Travelling the back roads of Hawaii is always a serene experience. The roads in the Kona coffee growing region, in South Kona, are loaded with small country churches so unassuming their exteriors speak to the simplicities of life in the mid 1800’s. St. Benedict Church in Captain Cook is known as “The Painted Church.” A quaint, simple church on the outside, but upon opening the doors, one is transported to another world….the interior walls of the church are beautifully painted with some striking scenes of the Bible. Designed, constructed and painted as a miniature European Gothic Cathedral by Father John, St. Benedict Church is now considered to be rather unique in the annals of American Art. Without any professional training and using house paint on ordinary wood he beautified the church with his paintings. In those days few Hawaiians could read and so he taught with pictures-most successfully.
The painted church is a photographers dream, the way the light hits the walls and envelops the paintings…. so much texture and color. Take a look at Allisha and Edwards wedding and you’ll see why they fell in love with this little church, and why i was thrilled to photograph it!
wedding coordination: Vintage & Lace
beach photography location: Place of Refuge Pu`uhonua O Hōnaunau
reception: Holuakoa Cafe
Jessica and Will, I have no words. To adequately sum up everything you are, the beauty of your day, and the fun of your wedding would be impossible, but what I hope is that these photos document your unadulterated love. I appreciated your friends, family, and loved ones who made us feel like we belonged in the inner circle and it was a day I’ll never forget.
The day started at the Darell Hill Cottage, a romantic vintage cottage surrounded by beautiful gardens at the Holualoa Inn in Holualoa on the Big Island of Hawaii. Jessica and Will chose the perfect option of both getting ready at the same place where the ceremony and reception were held. This way I got to take photos of Jessica and the bridesmaids getting ready, and there was no stress and rush. All, except for lacing up the bride’s corset! After a quick u-tube lesson Jessica was all laced in! My tip for all brides is to definitely have a practice session with one of your bridesmaids beforehand.
The details and the flow of the wedding day wouldn’t have been possible without Anne Mitchell and her effortless coordination and design. She was the hardest working woman at the event and handled everything with such class…loved working with her!
The Reception at Malulani Pavillion was beyond. So much fun!! I couldn’t help but shake it along with all the dancers! Jessica and Will know how to throw one heck of a party!
Wedding Venue: Holualoa Inn, Holualoa Hawaii
Design + Planning: Anne Mitchell, event coordinator at Holualoa inn, firstname.lastname@example.org
Floral, tables & chairs, linens, bamboo arch & cake: Paradise Gourmet Catering
Officiant: Dean Kauka Hawaiian Island Weddings By Kauka
Wedding Photography: Karen Loudon
I met Chao & Yang for the first time on their wedding day, getting ready in their room at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel. Wow. Chao looks like she just stepped out of a vintage issue of Vogue. She’s gorgeous with dark hair & sparkling eyes. And to top it off, she has a classy style that perfectly balances the classic with the bold. Meeting Chao in person was the confirmation that she is perfect for Yang. Chao is creative, calm, strong, smart, and knows resolutely what is most important to her. And there was no better illustration of all these things than on her wedding day.
Chao & Yang, thank you for inviting us to be part of your wedding day. It was truly a beautiful experience.
Wedding officiants: Rev. Daird & Rev. Penei Aller, Beach Weddings Hawaii
Hair and Makeup: Mara McMichael, Lush Hair Salon & Boutique