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Karena of ‘Tone It Up’ Reveals Her Hawaii Wedding Photos!

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!

The Vision

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!

Photography: Jana Williams Photography | Event Planner: St. Regis Princeville | Wedding Dress: Galia Lahav | Venue: St. Regis Princeville | Bride: Tone It Up | Engagement Ring + Wedding Band: Trumpet & Horn

Bobby + Karena’s proposal + engagement session below!

Vault CTA

Vault CTA

Tropical + Colorful Wedding in Kauai Botanical Garden

Like a tropical vacation married with meaning, Heather Cook Elliott Photography captured this wildly rural celebration. A botanical garden fête complete with unbelievably turquoise waters, hula dancers and even Hawaiian Shaved Ice, the gallery is refreshing as it is romantic. It’s the ultimate island evening and you can see it all in The Vault!


From Heather Cook Elliott PhotographyKauai is a wild and rural place, constantly changing but in many ways age old and always the same. Lush green peaks tower over unbelievably turquoise water and beaches jagged with black volcanic rock. Horses and goats and trucks are everywhere the tourists aren’t and surfboards are tied to any four wheeled thing that moves. There is very little “architecture” to write about as what is there has an odd wild west-saloon quality to it, but the sleek palms, incredibly varied plants and rock formations give form and structure to all the outdoor places anyone might care to visit. Brooke & Steve have called Kauai home for nearly two years now, two Haoles who have done an amazing and genuine job of immersing themselves in the culture, the place, the food, the sense of being that is Kauai. Their wedding was a destination one for their families and childhood and college friends, but for scores of other guests and for themselves it was really a wedding at home. Catered by their local favorite places with entertainment by an expert and acclaimed hula dance and music group, they invited everyone to explore the botanical gardens and enjoy Hawaiian Shave Ice, to dance and to lounge in the sun, to take photos in a converted VW bus, to pray with them in the oldest Catholic church on the island. In the span of just a few hours I felt that I came to know them both as old friends and I have to share some of who they are here. I loved how everything felt distinctly Hawaiian, but also unarguably Brooke & Steve and I think that’s because whatever Brook & Steve do they do all in. From shipping his truck thousands of miles from Wisconsin to Kauai because that truck is his baby to them getting matching spam musubi tattoos because they love those things, Brooke and Steve are all about love and passion and awesomeness – living it day by day and always together.

Photography: Heather Cook Elliott Photography | Floral Design: JC Flowers | Floral Design: MartinRoberts Design | Wedding Dress: Joelle Perry | Reception Venue: The Kampong | Bride's Shoes: Seychelles | Hair And Makeup: DT Style Team | DJ: Mike Lopez | Hotel: Koa Kea | Aloha Shirts: Kealopiko | Hula Dance Group: Halau Ka Lei Mokihana O Leina’ala | Leis: Lin's Lei's | Photo Booth: Hawaiian Photo Bus | Purses: Mermaid At Heart Hawaii By Kapua Kaneakua | Shave Ice Truck: Wailua Shave Ice | Styling & Coordination: Kawaii Designs Hawaii | Tattoo: Ms. Billie At Blue Tiki Tattoo

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Romantic Island Elopement in Kauai at Kilohana Plantations

When it comes to themes, we’ve seen it all on SMP, but this Bride and Groom’s theme of “enjoying our day and just going with the flow” might just be my favorite. They created a romantic elopement that highlighted their love, and thanks to the talented  Blenda Montoro we get to enjoy the results right here.


From The Bride…A romantic island elopement was the perfect way for us to celebrate our love. We live in Seattle now but met over 13 years ago through a mutual friend in our hometown of Ellensburg, Washington. Sparks flew instantly and as they say, the rest is history. Our first trip together was to the island of Kauai. We fell in love with the stunning beauty of the island and the laid back island life. When Louis proposed at the summit of one of our favorite hikes in our hometown we knew without a doubt Kauai was the perfect fusion of a secluded outdoor island destination for our wedding.

Now, to pick the date…The most important part of our planning was to find an amazing photographer. We were blown away by Blenda Montoro Miller and her artistic eye for capturing love. Before we even contacted her we knew we would just pick our date around her availability. When she said June 28th was available that is when we set our date for our elopement! Our vision for our secret wedding was a romantic island elopement where elegance meets simplicity. I found my dress through the J Crew wedding collection. I had two pairs of shoes, a flowery sandal for walking on the beach and for my something blue, a fun pair of blue heels from Badgley Mishka. I had “borrowed” my moms pearl necklace and Louis gave me pearl earrings as a wedding gift. Kristy at The LAB Salon did a beautiful job with my hair and makeup. She hit it spot on with a beachy romantic hairstyle and a statement peony on the side. The talented designers at Martin Roberts Design created the beautiful soft romantic peony bouquet. Louis dressed the part looking sharp in his blue suit with custom made cuff links reading “lucky me”. Even though our vision for our wedding was simple and laid back, these small details made it really special to us.

Keeping with the theme of just enjoying our day and going with the flow, we weren’t exactly sure where we were going to have the ceremony. At the time of our wedding we met our photographer Blenda and officiant, Kelvin Ho in front of the resort we were staying at. We were thinking of having the ceremony right there on Shipwrecks beach but with the advice of Blenda and Kelvin we decided to take a little walk up to the cliffs above the beach where we found the most dramatic, intimate and perfect spot to say “I DO!” The skies were blue, the wind was cleansing and the love between us was undeniable. Our officiant Kelvin spoke such beautiful, heartfelt words during the ceremony rituals. We could not have asked for a better officiant to share this special moment with as we start our lives together as husband and wife. It took our breath away. After the ceremony Blenda, her husband Raymond, Louis and I went to a second location at The Kilohana Plantation to celebrate with champagne and take some fun photos. We couldn’t have asked for a better day and we have the most amazing photographs that captured these moments to share with family and friends.

Photography: Blenda Montoro Photography | Floral Design: MartinRoberts Design | Ceremony Venue: Shipwrecks Beach Kauai | Reception Venue: Kilohana Plantations | Hair And Make Up: The LAB Salon | Bride Dress: J.Crew | Bride Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Wedding Officiant: Kelvin Ho

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