It’s not every day that one of our very own Little Black Book members ties the knot. So when it happens, we take alll the wedding notes. Today’s fete featuring gorgeous Bride Lena, event planning genius behind Belle Destination Weddings & Events, is no exception. Did you know there were vineyards as beautiful as this in Hawaii? More right this way from Tamiz Photography in The Vault.
From Belle Destination Weddings & Events… As a wedding planner and event designer, planning my own wedding was one of my great joys and also one of my great challenges. As a designer, I knew that my options were limitless and to be honest, this was a bit daunting to me at first. So I went back to the basics of how I build my own ideas and designs, drawing inspiration from the love story that I shared with my now-husband.
It all started in the produce aisle of our little grocery store in Paia, Maui. Maui is a small island and Paia is an even smaller town, so I already knew a little bit about Keith when we ran into each other that day. Keith is the shaper and co-owner of Quatro International, and KT Surfing.
After a relaxed conversation, Keith asked me on a date. Not just any date… a 5 hour marathon drive around the island to spend the day in Hana, Maui! No pressure or anything! Fortunately, on that date we discovered quickly that this was going to last and the connection was strong. We had so much in common. We both had an interesting upbringing living abroad – I was born on the Big Island, Hawaii but spent my formative years in Paris and the South of France. Keith was born in Madagascar, his father being French and mother American. After leaving Madagascar, his family lived in Guadeloupe, and eventually he found his way to Maui, where I had moved after college. As a result of our upbringing, we are both bilingual in French, learning to speak it as a second language growing up in two vastly different cultures. We both shared a love for wine, travel, and great food – especially oysters. Our relationship became second nature and soon it was clear we would spend our lives together.
The proposal brought us back to Hana, where Keith suggested we go to take a break from our insane schedules. On the balcony of our bungalow at Travaasa Hana Resort, looking out over the ocean, Keith surprised me with a tray of shucked oysters and laying elegantly in an empty oyster shell, was a stunning rose gold and champagne diamond ring! He had my heart and the answer was so undeniably, yes!
Since we both have lived on Maui for a long time, we knew that we wanted to have our wedding on the island. As a co-owner of a boutique destination wedding planning company, I knew it would be a breeze to organize our big day. We had all of the best vendors, tips and tricks right at my fingertips. With the help of my dear friend, business partner and co-owner of Belle, Jane Park-Gonzales; Keith and I were able to have a wedding of our dreams.
The Villa at the Calasa Olive Farm was the perfect venue for us. The Villa and surrounding property literally looks like it was plucked from the hills of Tuscany and planted on the mountain slope of Maui. Rolling hills with neat rows of olive trees and a vineyard make up the gorgeous surroundings of this beautiful venue. I gave us a nod to the European-based cultures that we grew up with on the island that we call home.
We wanted a celebration with our closest friends and family in a beautiful and elegant atmosphere that also felt comfortable and festive. Choosing our vendors was definitely a no-brainer since we here on Maui are so fortunate to be able to have some of the best talents in the industry. The vendors we work with are really our extended family and having them be a part of our experience was incredibly special. Mandy Grace designs created THE most stunning compliments to the landscape, bringing in rich berry hues to elevate the aesthetic. We served freshly shucked oysters on the half-shell, passed cigarette-girl style in custom-made trays. We set up a sommelier wine tasting and cheese bar for guests to sample some of our favorite fine wines. Sugar Beach Events curated a Tuscan family-style menu which created a great feeling of warmth as guests shared their stories, laughter, and passed platters of ravioli. Garnish Craft Cocktail Catering served delectable fresh craft cocktails behind a beautiful bar with a 9ft custom made bar menu by the talented Miss B Calligraphy. These are just to name a few, because each and every vendor that contributed to our day was priceless and phenomenal. Everything we incorporated in to the wedding day was a true reflection of who we are as a couple, which made it very personal. It really allowed us an opportunity to share elements of our lives with our guests.
All said and done, it felt so amazing to be on the other side of it all! At the events that I plan, I am typically the one running around, making sure that everything is perfect for our clients. The fact that I was able to relax and enjoy the incredible feeling of being a Bride was incredible. I was able to be fully present and focus on this life changing moment with Keith and the people that we hold most dear to us. It truly was a night I will always look back on with the fondest of memories!
Photography: Tamiz Photography | Cinematography: Sunlit Films | Event Planning + Design: Belle Destination Weddings & Events, Inc. | Floral Design: Mandy Grace Floral & Event Design | Invitations: ERICA KEUTER DESIGNS | Catering: Sugar Beach Events | Hair + Makeup: Maui Makeup Artistry | DJ: DJ Del Sol | Bar Services: Garnish Craft Cocktail Catering | Calligraphy + Paper Goods: Miss B Calligraphy | Dessert: Maui Sweet Cakes | Onsite Planners: Sherri Vann & Katy Roberts | Private Estate: Villa at Calasa Olive Farm | Rentals: Winters Events | Rentals: Hawaiian Style Event Rentals | Rentals: Signature Boutique Event Rentals | Rentals: Set