Choosing the stunning Sheraton Kona for their Big Island destination wedding was an easy decision for Sophia & Chris. Chris’ parents lived on the island for years, at Aston Kona by the Sea, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. When Chris and Sophia began dating, he began taking her to the Big Island to spend time with his family. She too fell in love with the island. So when they began planning their wedding, there was no question it would be here.
The photography coverage started the day before the wedding, with a “White party” rehearsal dinner on the front lawn of Aston Kona by the Sea, I loved getting to know everyone over the course of the celebration. Sophia and Chris are two very fashion forward people, so I just knew the wedding would be as stylish and unique as they are, from Sophia’s modern blue wedding dress to Chris’ matching ascot,vest and dragonfly brooch, the celebration perfectly reflected who they are as people.
This is a wedding from a few months ago that I absolutely adore. Pualei and Kahekili were married at Hulihee Palace, right in the heart of Kailua-Kona. Once a summer vacation home for Hawaiian royalty built in 1838, today Hulihee Palace is a museum operated by the Daughters of Hawaii showcasing Victorian artifacts from the era of King Kalakaua and Queen Kapiolani. The Hulihe‘e Palace beautiful oceanfront location is a unique and prestigious site for weddings. 300 people were in attendance on the grounds, so many family and friends and such a loving family environment. The reception took place at the Kona Imin Center, which was beautifully decorated by many friends and family members. Guest enjoyed traditional island face and mesmerizing performances that continued throughout the night, highlighted by a special hula performed by Pualei for Kahekili, this dance is traditionally a gift from the bride to the groom, a way for her to open up hear heart and soul to her new husband.
The bride and grooms dance morphed into a money dance, which is another fun tradition that occurs at most Hawaiian weddings. The money dance originated in Poland, but everyone knows that in Hawaii, cultures are mixed and traditions are a must, and weddings are no exception. One belief is that the money dance started when arranged marriages ruled. Since the groom didn’t receive any dowry until consummation, the couples performed this money dance to set up their household. In exchange for the dollar (or more!), the guest would get a chance to dip the bride or sway with the groom. Nowadays, the money dance has become a guaranteed way to get face time with your guests!
Admittedly, a wedding photographer should not be promoting eloping … but it is so fun! I know I live in a beautiful, special place and I’m always intrigued when people from out of the area come to the Big Island to elope. Karen and Aaron came all the way from Vancouver, Canada, and eloped at Puako Beach yesterday, and they had a blast. Photographing elopements is a beautiful thing because it is simply about the love between two people. Karen and Aaron are fantastic people and their wedding, standing out on the lava rocks was simply breathtaking. Karen and I had e-mailed back and forth a few times in the past few months, deciding on locations and details, they chose Rev. Patrick Thompson to perform the ceremony, and we decided to time their 15 min ceremony so that the sun would be setting by the end of our one hour photo session….gorgeous!
This Big Island wedding is about as vintage and gorgeous as they come. Hillary and Scott are self-described “old school”, and their eclectic style shows it! Hillary wore a gorgeous vintage style dress she referred to as a woodland fairy dress, the long ribbons gracefully danced in the light wind during the wedding. A unique and inspiring service, complete with powerful chanting was performed with aloha by Rev. Penei Aller of Beach Weddings Hawaii. After the ceremony, Hillary and Scott danced as the sun went down over the water. For more of this perfect day, sit back and revel in a little Big Island beauty.
Being a wedding photographer in Kona has its perks, namely the weather. Let’s just say I’m spoiled with year-round sunnyness…almost every day. In fact, rain is so infrequent on the beaches here that most couples don’t have a plan B for the wedding location, so, when we are hit with the occasional rain we usually have to scramble to make last-minute changes to the wedding. This is exactly what was going on yesterday at 4pm, when it started raining at Old Airport Beach, and with Jordan and Jeremiah’s ceremony scheduled for 5pm. Now, I think there is something really romantic about the rain. I absolutely love that this adorable couple didn’t let rain on the day of their wedding stop them. I think it really just added to the magic of the day……….because they decided to stay and have the ceremony outdoors on the beach, and the rain just stopped, magically, shortly after Jordan arrived. The wedding ceremony was officiated by Rev. Patrick Thompson and the couple wrote their own vows …which were incredibly touching. We headed back to the Royal Kona Resort for cocktails and dinner and I need to take a moment to thank Brian Scully for orchestrating a beautiful reception.
As a testament to my outstanding clients, and my commitment to producing the best-of-the-best wedding photography, I am thrilled to announce that I have been selected as a winner of the 2012 Two Bright Lights Editors’ Choice Awards!
The award is given in recognition of the those whose number of published features in 2011 placed them among the top 5% of all Two Bright Lights members. Winners were published across many of the most respected lifestyle, wedding and other print and digital publications in the United States and worldwide.
I am honored to be part of this group of talented photographers and creative professionals. My features this past year have enabled me to increase exposure for my work, and I am thrilled to have been recognized for my endeavors.
In 2011, I had the privilege of being published in the following publications:
I know what you’re thinking…. How does Karen Loudon consistently get such beautiful brides? I can’t even count how many times I meet with a bride for the first time and have to pick my jaw up off of the floor. Kupala was one of those, AND generous and sweet. She’s the total package for a fun guy like Jeff and they’re perfect together, it just doesn’t get a whole lot cuter than these two. . .their wedding at the Lalamilo Beach Bungalow in Waialea Bay was everything I love about weddings. Laid back, on the beach, intimate with great people and lots of Hawaiian Kava Kava.
Anastasiya and Cory had a beautiful outdoor ceremony on the beach in front of the elegant Mauna Lani Bay Hotel on the Kohala Coast of the Big island of Hawaii. The pureness and authenticity of their day is what stands out in my mind.
Thank you Anastasiya and Cory for your kindness, authenticity and grace. Thank you … for everything!!
Laura and Evan met at a wedding 5 years ago, then crossed paths again 1 ½ years later. They always joke that they know they will last forever because they did things backwards…. they fell in love, broke up, then fell back in love. They had a magical Hawaiian wedding and are now living their happily ever after! Their love story has been a roller coaster but it is their amazing love that has helped them make it through some very tough challenges. They are best friends and their love still amazes them every day! They wouldn’t change their story one bit because they have a level of respect and love for one another that they would never have had otherwise, and two of the cutest children you could ever ask for!
In the most dramatic entrance I’ve seen, Laura surprised Evan by arriving to her wedding in a double hull canoe, launched from the Puako boat ramp by Captain Kiko. It was breathtakingly beautiful!
The reception took place at an amazing Mauna Kea Resort vacation home . Their gorgeous beach themed cake was made by one of my favorite bakeries, Pineapple bakery…I adore Robin’s creations! Robin her staff at Sam’s Place also catered the event .
Laura is aphotographer herself, so knowing how important photography is to her, I felt honored to be chosen as her wedding photographer.
Laura and Evan…you’re the best! Thank you for welcoming me like an old friend and allowing me to capture your love. And your friends. And your family. And everything in between! Your wedding was amazing and I was honored to be a small part of the day you married your best friend. Much Love and Appreciation… Karen
It was love at first sight during a snow ball fight in a snow storm. Stew face washed Alicia with a snow ball and they’ve been hanging out ever since. Stew and Alicia live in Northwest Washington, on their first real date he took her to a spot out on Chuckanut Dr. over looking Puget Sound & beautiful Chuckanut Bay. 2 1/2 years later he took her back to watch the sunrise and asked her to marry him! She said yes! He had the ring custom made by a local jeweler because she’s in love with sapphires.
Alicia and Stewart are two very happy people! I was so thrilled when Alicia contacted me and asked me to photograph their wedding. She wanted to know if I could start from the time they woke up on their special day…. what a novel idea, I loved it!
I knocked on the door to their beautiful suite located in the Palace tower at the Hilton Waikoloa Village at approximately 8am, to find the two of them lounging over a leisurely room service breakfast. They were so relaxed. We went back into the bedroom for a do-over wake-up photo session, I had an idea of them having a pillow fight (with a feather pillow that just happened to spill a few feathers, naturally!). Alicia and Stewart were up for it. I love it when couples just feel like friends you have known forever. That is exactly how I feel with these two. It was so FUN!