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Tropical Elegance at Sugarman Estate

From a karaoke meeting, to a flash mob proposal, to their fun tropical fete planned by Belle Destination Weddings And Events, I have a wedding crush on this gorgeous couple. They’ve got the kind of wedding day that’s layered with personality, style and a sweet elegance. Tamiz Photography tucked away so many captivating moments for us, like this one (looove), while Max + Molly Films captured the amazing film.

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Summer
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Estate
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Elegant

From Jane at Belle Destination Weddings and EventsAfter speaking with Darryl & Deirdre for the first time, I got that inspiring feeling of giddiness that we wedding planners just live for. I immediately was taken with their chemistry and their love story, which seemed to exude those wonderful classic romantic characteristics – that same idea that continues to feed the souls of romantics (and wedding planners) time and time again.

Darryl, the classic, dashing charmer, and Deirdre, the quintessential Girl Next Door – the one who is so utterly beautiful, yet is still so incredibly approachable, funny and fun-loving, met in a far away land – Beijing – while Deirdre was working for CNBC as a business and financial news anchor. Darryl, a real estate developer, met Deirdre for the first time through mutual friends and found that they had something in common, they were both from Vancouver. It was at a Karaoke bar with those same mutual friends that the knew it was “meant to be” when they realized that they were both singing along to the same song at the tops of their lungs – “Say It Ain’t So” by Weezer – a song that was a mutual favorite from their childhoods. Thus began their love for each other and a life of sharing a mutual love for music.

It was back in Vancouver where Darryl decided to propose. He wanted to go big for the proposal and so Darryl enlisted the assistance of Kill The Lights Dance Crew to surprise Deirdre with a flash mob proposal in downtown Vancouver. As the couple strolled along on a gorgeous sunny day, they stopped to watch what seemed to be a couple of street performers grow into a large group of dancers. To Deirdre’s shock, Darryl hopped in towards the end of the performance, showing off his dancing skills to the song “Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. At the end, Darryl got down on one knew and presented Deirdre with the ring. Her answer was a very enthusiastic “Yes, obviously!”

Because the two both come from large families. They dreamed of a large destination wedding on the island of Maui, where Darryl’s family spends a fair bit of time at their vacation home. We set out to plan a week full of amazing adventures and events that would resonate with couple and their guests for a lifetime. The concept was to build the design of the event around an “experience” and the couple had a vision of a wedding day filled with romance, love, and lots of laughter. These two bring about a feeling that you are witnessing one of those timeless and legendary love stories. You can see it in the way they look at each other, interact with each other, smile with admiration at the other, and how they always seems to be laughing together. It is intoxicating and beautiful to be around! They wanted their guests to share in their love story by creating not only one gorgeous event, but also a week-long special destination experience. We created a collection of small events leading up to the big day, including snorkel charters and a private welcome luau for everyone. The wedding itself took place at the Sugarman Estate in Makena, Maui and was a formal, yet relaxed event filled with the comfort and intimacy of a very close group of family and friends.

In terms of the design, it was important to create a soft romantic feel while keeping close to the surrounding beauty of the estate. We kept close to natural elements, incorporating lots of natural woods, neutral colors such as white, ivory, and blush, accompanied by soft grey greens such as eucalyptus, dusty miller and richer greenery from magnolia leaves. The idea was to create light and airy concept, which we did by adding sheer fabrics to the raw wood ceremony canopies, flowing fabrics in the tents, and natural fiber linens. Chandeliers hung from the tent canopies, adorned with cascading greens. The event was captured beautifully by none other than Tamiz Photography and Max & Molly Films.

From The Bride…We both have big families and dreamed of a big wedding but knew it would be tough to pull off as a destination wedding. Amazingly, 250 of our closest friends and family made the journey for an entire week.

While we didn’t have a clear vision of our wedding day, we knew exactly what was most important to us: our family and friends. And above all, we wanted to have fun. We both lived abroad for many years, and our wedding was a sort of homecoming, and a showcase of who Darryl and I are as a couple. While planning, we worked together and also left room for surprises. We were a little nervous by the number of children attending (50!), but they were among the most special parts of the wedding.

As for obstacles – there were no shortage! The week prior to our wedding, 2 hurricanes were due to pummel Maui – the first to hit the island chain in over 2 decades. There was also an earthquake. Our guests due to leave the weekend before the wedding had flights cancelled. In the end everything worked out and we had perfect weather for the entire week leading up to our wedding, and the wedding itself.

The actual (wedding) day…was the culmination of so much love and bonding over the week, and our lives together. We plan to do it all over again at our 50th wedding anniversary!

Our incredible planner, Jane, helped us achieve an understated elegance that felt familiar and special at the same time. Little touches, such as mementos in the shadowbox tables and personalized nickname name cards, helped our guests understand us as a couple and our lives abroad. It was Darryl’s idea to rent the vintage ’57 Porsche Speedster which everyone loved.

One of the most special touches was having my little brother Mookie, an amazing musician and performer, lead the band for our favorite songs. Another special moment was when Darryl’s nieces and nephews surprised us with an incredibly fun dance routine that echoed the flash mob of our engagement. Both acts had everyone on their feet.

The MCs and speeches by family were creative, heartfelt and hilarious. I have never laughed so hard as when my three brothers brought us up for a pantomime-style speech complete with music and costume changes. I’ve never had so much fun dancing as when Darryl surprised me by getting up on stage and singing “Runaround Sue” with his groomsmen. And we both have never felt so loved and so proud of the people in our lives as we did that entire week, culminating in the wedding.

Advice for future brides is to work together while planning, but leave a few surprises. As a bride, it’s easy to get caught up in all the little details and have a ton of expectations. If the groom plans a few details (and they can be small!), you’ll have no expectations and be better able to be in the moment. For example, Darryl took care of renting the car. While I knew we were getting one, it wasn’t my focus and I was pleasantly surprised by what a great piece it was for everyone at the wedding to enjoy taking photos with.

Photography: Tamiz Photography | Cinematography: Max + Molly Films | Event Design: Belle Destination Weddings And Events | Event Planning: Belle Destination Weddings And Events | Floral Design: Teresa Sena | Wedding Cake: Maui Sweet Cakes | Invitations: Kathryn MacNaughton | Invitations: Courtney Wotherspoon | Bride's Shoes: lanvin | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Amsale | Catering: Maui Executive Catering Company | Calligraphy: Miss B Calligraphy | Band: Ryan Robinson Bane | Groom's Shoes: Tom Ford | Wedding Venue: Sugarman Estate | After-Party Location: Mulligan's On The Blue | Bride's Dress - Ceremony: Vera Wang | Bride's Dress - Reception: CH Carolina Herrera | Bride's Headpiece: Beaufille by Parris Gordon | Canopies: Panache Decor | Ceremony Entertainment: Vance Koenig | Ceremony Entertainment: Don Lax | Cocktail Catering: Garnish Craft Cocktail Catering | Cocktail Reception Entertainment: Joel Katz | Custom Lounge Furniture: Signature | Grooms' & Groomsmen Attire: Bespoke | Hair & Makeup - Bride: Jessica Waite Makeup Artistry | Hair & Makeup - Bridesmaids: Maui Mira | Lighting, tent lining, lighting, furniture: Pacific Isle Rentals | Linens, chairs, chargers: Winters Events | Proposal Dance Crew: Kill The Lights Dance Crew - KTL Co | Tenting and Staging: Maui Rents | Vintage Car Rental: Maui Roadsters

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Magical Maui Wedding at Honua Kai Lani

Before we even get into just how magical this Maui wedding is, let me tell you a very important detail – it was planned in four months. Yes four. I can’t even get over the fact that all the gorgeous planned to perfection by Kara Byrne below was done so in such a short time. Because these images from Kaua Wedding Photography? They are just as pretty as they get. From the florals by Dellables to the stunning Honua Kai Lani setting – this gallery is perfection. See it all here.

Colors
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Summer
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Estate
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Rustic

From The Bride and Groom…Being a San Francisco couple, with family on both the west and east coast we had lots of potential places to explore for our wedding. After lots of discussion we decided on a destination wedding in Maui, a place that Bria has visited for years and loves because it is so beautiful, peaceful and relaxing.

We knew that we wanted a ceremony outside, where our guests could enjoy the amazing Maui weather and scenery. We also knew that we wanted a relaxing setting for the event, where everyone could feel like they were on vacation. After some searching, we found Honua Kai Lani, the Sugarman Estate, a beautiful and secluded waterfront property in Makena.

When it came time to planning, we only had 4 months to pull everything together so we knew we wanted to work with a wedding planner. After one conversation with Kara Byrne we felt an instant connection and knew she would help us create the wedding day we wanted – one where we could relax, enjoy the island and focus on celebrating with each other and our loved ones. Looking back we can honestly say the entire day, from start to finish was all that we wanted and more.

Our vision for the wedding décor was modern rustic so Kara worked with us to find the vendors that would help us create that look and feel. With strung lights, large wooden tables, Moroccan lanterns and flowers in mason jars, the already beautiful property was transformed into a romantic wedding and reception venue.

Being that we are both foodies who love artisan cocktails, we wanted to have local organic Hawaiian fare with a customized cocktail menu for our guests to enjoy, along with cupcakes instead of cake, for dessert. We were blown away as all aspects of it, the food, beverage and service was exceptional.

We also wanted to work with a wedding photographer who would be as relaxed and at ease as we wanted to be on our wedding day and we were thrilled to work with Kaua. Not only was he so fun and easy to work with, his photos were stunning and captured every moment of the day beautifully.

One of the many highlights of the day for us was a momma and baby humpback whale that put on a little show for our guests, just off the shore of the Sugarman Estate during the cocktail hour. It was a rare and beautiful site and a treat for our guests to see.

All and all, we felt like our wedding day exceeded our hopes and expectations and we are so grateful to everyone that played a role in making it so special and memorable.

Photography: Kaua Wedding Photography | Videography: DMI Video | Floral Design: Dellables | Wedding Gown: Nicole Miller | Cupcakes: Maui Wedding Cakes | Wedding Stationery: Sarah Bria - Friend Of Bride | Wedding Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Catering: Food For The Soul | DJ: Ace Beats | Groom's Attire: Hugo Boss | Officiant: Bride's Father | Transportation: Akina Aloha | Wedding Venue: Honua Kai Lani | Bar Service: Garnish Events | Coordination And Event Design: Kara Byrne | Event Rentals: Island Rents | Hair & Make Up: Mira Carmen | Vintage Decor: Opihi Love Boutique Rentals & Event Design

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
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Coral Beach House Wedding in Maui

When the words ‘coral’, ‘beach’ and ‘Maui’ are all in the title, I instantly know it’s going to be a wedding after my own heart. And when it’s Wendy Laurel behind the lens? It’s all over. Thanks to White Orchid Wedding, it’s a tropical soiree filled to the brim with color (hello, gorg linens from La Tavola!). Find every pretty bit in the gallery.

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Summer
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Beach
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Romantic

From Wendy LaurelThese two met each other in college and have been friends for seven years. But they only started being a couple two years ago. Nothing better than best friends who find their way into love. Both Emelie and Alex come from famiies in Canada with restaurant backgrounds. They chose a destination wedding in Maui but wanted a beautiful dinner party. The table as well as the delicious food was centerpiece of their wedding. And relaxing under the stars, enjoying their meal and cocktails surrounded by their family and best of friends, was the perfect wedding plan for them in Hawaii.

Photography: Wendy Laurel | Event Planning: White Orchid Wedding | Florist: Teresa Sena Designs | Bakery: Cravings | Caterer: Maui Executive Catering Company | Bar Services: Garnish Events | Beach House: White Orchid Wedding Beach House | Entertinment: Manutea Nui E | Linen: La Tavola | Minister: Kelii Brown | Photography Assistance: Images By Jeffrey | Rentals: Pacific Isle Rentals

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Hawaiian Beach Wedding Inspiration at White Orchid House

If you’re planning your honeymoon to anywhere but Maui, drop everything and look at Wendy Laurel’s images. As if the beach wasn’t enough to convince you to change your plans, Mandy Grace Designs has pulled together a floral design that is so beautifully indicative of Hawaii I could cry.


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Seasons
Summer
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Beach
Styles
Romantic

From Wendy Laurel… Pacific Weddings magazine put together an amazing workshop in Makena, Maui for wedding professionals. Part of the workshop involved a styled shoot with some amazing dresses and florals. It was held at a private beachfront plantation cottage and lawn called the White Orchid House which is available for weddings.

Robyn I’aea and Shaunna Nygren of Pacific Weddings dreamed up the shoot and workshop which highlighted the natural beauty of Maui and weddings.

Photography: Wendy Laurel | Floral Design: Mandy Grace Designs | Floral Design: Fong At Floral Inspiration Hawaii | Floral Design: Teresa Sena | Floral Design: Dellables | Wedding Dress: Reem Acra | Wedding Gown: Monique Lhuillier | Hair And Make Up: Chrissy Swink At Make Up Maui And Hair | Headpieces: Untamed Petals | Private Beachfront House: White Orchid Weddings

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Maui Destination Wedding at the Sugarman Estate

It’s no question, a man in uniform leaves us all weak in the knees. But when handsome man does it as a surprise for his Bride as she walks down the aisle (because she really wanted him to), well, that’s when we enter total swoon territory. Best part? It only gets better from there, so take some serious time to get lost in all the lovely from Jana Morgan Photography right here in the full gallery.

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Summer
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BeachEstate

From Jana Morgan PhotographyShelbie and Jake met at the world famous local bar, Duke’s Bar and Grill in Waikiki on a Sunday evening. They have known each other for 2 years before they got engaged in February 2013.

When recalling the story of their proposal, Shelbie happily shares, “Jake picked me up after work under the premise that he wanted to watch a sunset with me before he headed out to sea the next day. We drove to spitting caves on the south-east side of Oahu and hiked half way down the cliffs and stared out at the setting sun. Jake, standing behind me pointed at a kayaker in the ocean, when I turned to him to make a comment about the man (who was going crazy fast, against current) I foundJake on one knee with a smile from ear to ear! Just as he pulled this blue box from his jacket pocket and started to open it a whale breached in the background. He told me how much he loved me, how he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me, and that I was his best friend. Then asked me if I would make him the happiest man on earth and marry him. I couldn’t stop smiling, speechless for a moment, half jumping up and down as he was trying to put the ring on, I finally said yes and fell into his arms as we kissed. Enjoying the moment together, wrapped in his arms we looked out to sea and at the falling sun, when in the corner of my eye, that same kayaker… yelling applauding cheering and throwing his hands up in cheerful screams… it was perfect. The proposal was private, personal, and in nature. A plus, someone else witnessed it so I know it wasn’t a dream!!!”

When it came to selecting Maui for their destination wedding location, Shelbie explains, “Our life is here in Hawaii. We met here, we live here, we vacation in the islands, so we wanted to get married in a beautiful place we call home. We wanted our guest to experience the islands and aloha we live in.  I always wanted to have a very personal wedding… think old world weddings where it was less about how much money was spent and what trinkets were passed out and more about the couple that was getting married and the two families that are coming together. Maui is beautiful, natural and raw! I love the gardens, beautiful ocean and that calm feeling that overcomes me every time i arrive from Oahu.”

Jake is a naval officer on the USS Charlotte stationed out of Pearl Harbor. When I met with both Jake and Shelbie to talk about their wedding day, I fondly recall Shelbie and Jake asking whether or not Jake should wear his Navy full dress white uniform or a regular grey suit. It was a really hard decision because we were unsure of whether or not the whites would match between his white uniform and her wedding dress.

Come the wedding day, Shelbie explained that the decision was made that Jake would wear his grey suit. She was being so nice and polite about it, but you could tell that she was quietly sad that she would not be walking down the aisle to her fiancé in uniform – she, like many young girls, has always dreamed of getting married to the man of her dreams in a dashing uniform.

After I was done taking pictures of Shelbie getting ready, we were setting Jake up for the First Look where we could capture them seeing each other for the first time. When meeting with Jake under a secluded tree at the resort before the wedding ceremony, Jake pulls me to the side and excitedly announces that he is surprising Shelbie at the wedding ceremony by wearing his formal Navy all white uniform. He knew how excited and happy it would make her. For the First Look, he was wearing his grey suit to help conceal his surprise for later. When the two saw each other for the first time, they were surrounded by their parents and bridal party, and there was not a dry eye as we all watched them together before departing for the wedding ceremony location.

When preparing for the wedding ceremony, Shelbie hid in the estate from all of the arriving guests, while Jake welcomed and greeted all of the wedding guests in his grey suit. Just before the wedding ceremony, we actually had to hide Jake and find a spot for him to change. He slipped away in the moments leading the ceremony to quickly change into his Navy all white uniform, then snuck back to the front of the wedding ceremony site without Shelbie seeing. When Shelbie walked out with her father, she saw him anxiously awaiting her with the biggest smile. The surprise was met with delighted tears of joy.

Shelbie and Jake lived together in Hawaii and will be moving to Naples, Italy, after the wedding for Jake’s next station with the US Navy. We all congratulate the beautiful couple on not only a wildly beautiful wedding day, but on their incredible journey together as husband and wife. May there be many more years of love and delightful surprises.

Coordinator: Hawaii Weddings by Tori Rogers, LLC | Flowers: Dellables | Wedding Cake: Maui Wedding Cakes | Catering: Maui Executive Catering Company | Hotel: Wailea Beach Marriott Resort & Spa | Audio and Lighting: Village Audio | Bar and Drinks: Garnish Events | Ceremony Musician: Ricardo Dioso | Furniture Rental: Pacific Isle Rentals | Private Estate Venue: Sugarman Estate | Reception Live Music: Shea Derrick & Full Flavor | Wedding Photography: Jana Morgan Photography