When I was pulling together this feature, I was torn on what to focus on. Because the images themselves are so utterly beautiful. The backdrop and the photos from Artiese Studios…breathtaking. The bride and her handsome groom…stunning. The Gossamer gown, the florals from Passion Roots, the everything. But then I read the sage advice that accompanied the piece (featured below) and thought that perhaps the real beauty was tucked into the story. Then I decided to just let you soak up all of the gorgeous and decide for yourself what you love the most. Click here for even more.
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From the Bride…My words of advice…for the wedding day, I’d say to make the celebration as personal as possible. At our wedding, we had our favorite pizza and played all our favorite songs and danced with our favorite people. Don’t worry about everything being “perfect” because if you’re surrounded by all the people and things you love, then it will be perfect. Bonus tip speaking as a photographer, plan your schedule/location around the light (no high noon ceremonies in the desert, please!)
For marriage, it’s cliche but making time for each other is *so* important! Date nights at least once a month, and don’t forget to kiss every single day! You might thing it sounds simple, but things get lost in the chaos! Everything in life can get so busy that you forget to really cherish each other, and it’s so important to take a moment to step out of everything together and just enjoy being in each other’s company once in a while.
Forget your average mainland celebration, because this sun-kissed ceremony in Hawaii is where it’s at. With the unbelievably talented Wendy Laurel behind the lens, it’s the ultimate wedding day that’s sure to have you setting sail. Complete with inviting yellow details and a seaside ceremony, we’ve got every bit of beauty waiting for you to favorite in The Vault!
From the Bride…Josh and his father own Maui Olive Company so most of our décor came from tree clippings at the orchard. We also used olive oil from the harvest and some delicious lilikoi butter his father makes as our reception gifts. Josh and I brined olives a few months before the wedding and jarred them, leaving them on the tables for people to nosh on or take with them. Our sign (arrows pointing to ceremony, reception, babysitting, bar, restrooms etc) was made by Josh’s dad and painted by our brother and his wife.
Pick a reasonable day prior to the wedding and decide look…whatever isn’t finished isn’t finished – and let it go. No one will be the wiser. It isn’t worth stressing or running around finishing last minute errands once your friends and family arrive. We set up a couple group events people could opt to attend (private sunset sail and a luau). Gave us a chance to see people and also a chance for our guests to meet one another before the wedding.
Give yourself at least 10-15 minutes for some alone time before the ceremony begins. And of course…savor every minute of your big day because it is going to fly. Take time to slow down certain moments and soak them in. HAVE FUN!!!!!!!!
When we first learned that Karena Dawn of Tone It Up was engaged we waited with baited breath for for her wedding day. Oh boy oh boy did it live up to our expectations. Captured by Jana Williams Photography, it’s Hawaii like you’ve never seen it before and we’ve got it all in The Vault!
How we met
I met Bobby years ago (he went to college with Brian , Katrina’s husband, in Boston), but we didn’t start dating until he moved into the apartment below me four years ago. We instantly grew closer and he showed me how powerful a deep love is. Life is about love and the relationships and memories we make… this is what gets us through the unknown. It frees us. We were talking about getting engaged for a year, but Bobby really wanted to surprise me. And believe me, I’m a hard one to surprise! Once he realized both of our families would also be at the Tone It Up Retreat last September (2015) , he knew it was the perfect setting at Reef Point, Laguna Beach. It’s one of the most breathtaking places I’ve ever been and to be able to share it with our families and community was perfect and beautiful.
Why we chose Hawaii
The Hawaiian islands have always held a special place in my heart. It was years ago that I would come visit to explore the beauty, learn to surf, and hike through a rain forest for the first time. There were a few occasions when I visited the Big Island (home of Ironman Triathlon!!) to shoot for Zoot Sports and the Triathlete Magazine Swimsuit Issue. Later, Kat and I would shoot our first two Beach Babe Workouts on the islands too! So many memories have been made there! I wanted to share the magic of the Hawaiian Islands with Bobby, so we took our first vacation together on Kauai. It was just a few months in, when I was still just dating ‘the neighbor,’ but it felt really special. It was the place where we first said ‘I love you.’ We were daydreaming at the time and told each other that if it works out and we ever get married, we’d do it here!
We wanted our wedding to highlight the beauty of Kauai and Hanalei Bay. The colors of the wedding complemented the surroundings with blues, greens and earth tones. Decor was clean, simple and modern. We used green succulents and white linens. To add a personal touch I used one of my abstract ocean paintings as the print for the menus and place cards. Overall, the most important aspect was having an unforgettable vacation with our closest family and friends….which we did!
Without a doubt, the highlight of the day was saying our vows (and the 6 rainbows that Hawaii blessed us with!) We chose to write our own vows, which is a big responsibility on your wedding day! Ultimately it was the best decision we could have made, and we were able to express our feelings from the heart, with a few tears. It also meant a lot that my dad played guitar and sang our first dance, and our friend Jordan T performed at the reception for our wild and fun dance party! I could go on… There were so many perfect moments!
Thoughts on planning
Since one of the goals of our destination wedding was to make it a vacation, I wanted to keep the planning as simple as possible. After all – work keeps me super busy, and it was important for me to save the time off for our honeymoon. The St. Regis made planning incredibly enjoyable, simplified and exciting. Bobby and I knew exactly what we wanted and they made it happen! From the decor to the cake, it was perfection for us!