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.
From Jane at Belle Destination Weddings and Events…After 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 & Events, Inc. | Event Planning: Belle Destination Weddings & Events, Inc. | Floral Design: Teresa Sena Designs | Wedding Cake: Maui Sweet Cake | 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 | Vintage Car Rental: Maui Roadsters | Wedding Venue: Honua Kai Lani | After-Party Location: Mulligan's On The Blue | Bride's Dress - Ceremony: Vera Wang, Beverly Hills | 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 Boutique Event Rentals | Groom's Shoes: Tom Ford | Grooms' & Groomsmen Attire: Bespoke | Hair & Makeup - Bride: Jessica Waite Makeup Artistry | Hair & Makeup - Bridesmaids: Mira Carmen | Lighting, tent lining, lighting, furniture: Pacific Island Rentals | Linens, chairs, chargers: Winters Events | Proposal Dance Crew: Kill The Lights Dance Crew - KTL Co | Tenting and Staging: Maui Rents