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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.

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Summer
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Beach
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Elegance

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: Martin Roberts Design Floral And Event Decor | Ceremony Venue: Shipwrecks Beach Kauai | Reception Venue: Kilohana Plantations | Hair And Make Up: Kristy Love (The LAB Salon) | Bride Dress: J. Crew Weddings | Bride Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Wedding Officiant: Kelvin Ho

These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
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You'll love these vendors in Kauai

Blue Kite Cinema
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Moana Events
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Mia Moriguchi LLC
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Ohana Films
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Intimate Kauai Wedding

Every time a Kauai wedding makes it’s way across my desk, my heart skips a beat. Maybe it’s because my fiancé and I are scouting the area for our honeymoon, maybe it’s the breathtaking beaches or maybe it’s because they’re gorgeously orchestrated by a fabulous team of vendors like this one from Moana Events and Sea Light Studios. Either way, getting lost in the gallery is an easy fete.

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Spring
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Elegance

From the beautiful Bride…Given our courtship, which spanned years and continents, our wedding could be anything but typical. From the day we got engaged, we were torn between eloping and having a stereotypically grandiose Indian ceremony, between having something local and accessible rather than something remote and intimate – these are, of course, decisions we never had to make in full, instead indulging ourselves with our favorite parts of each.

We settled on Kauai for our reception because, despite our constantly connected careers and lives, we wanted somewhere completely cut off from technology. Somewhere you don’t really need GPS because there’s only one road, and where you aren’t worried about your bandwidth affecting Netflix streaming quality because you can hardly stay indoors. With endless beaches surrounding lush tropical forests, Kauai seemed like the most remote yet visually rich landscape within several thousand miles of home. It also incorporated my husband’s love of the outdoors as well as the preternatural comfort I take in flora and natural beauty.

In Dallas, we wanted to make sure to incorporate all the things we couldn’t bring with us to Kauai – in addition to bridal mendhi from my sister-in-law Kiran Meghani of KM Henna Artistry, we had the nikkah ceremony in our local mosque (where we coincidentally met for the first time fifteen years earlier), and celebrated both events with some authentic, spicy indian cuisine. We were told to prepare for some interesting and unpredictable weather in Kauai, supposedly the wettest island, but nothing could have prepared us for snow and freezing rain in Dallas – it certainly made us feel loved that our guests braved that weather to celebrate with us.

Once we escaped the Texas frost to sunny Kauai, we were in the able hands of our wedding planner, Morgan Childs, of Moana Events. She really helped us articulate a vision that brought together our eclectic styles and taste into something truly one-of-a-kind. The residence at Na Aina Kai’s botanical gardens proved to be the perfect backdrop for our welcome dinner, providing ample space for Bollywood dancing and East African barbecue.

Despite ample rain the entire week, the clouds parted at 3pm, giving way to the sun just minutes before our afternoon ceremony. The style and decor provided by Martin Roberts, in the elegant tent from Kauai tents, were beyond compare – capturing every aesthetic we had both imagined. The dancing and festivities were broken up by an incredible dinner from Contemporary Flavors as well as breathtaking Tahitian and Fire Knife dance performances from Urahutia Productions.

After the wedding, the things we remember fondest are the things that went against plan – the rain, the mud, the groom losing his ring (don’t ask). We can scarcely remember the sublime, captivating moments and scenes that Fawne and Sebastian of Sea Light Studios captured so perfectly. Every detail from place settings to floral arrangements to beverage stations reflected our vision perfectly, and the time Morgan took to really understand us before executing really made a difference – the entire affair was perfectly reflective of us.

We’re now left with a special attachment to Kauai unlike any other place, as this remote tropical paradise, for one weekend, became ‘ours’ – and thanks to the memories, it will forever remain that way.

Photography: Sea Light Studios | Videography: Zest Kauai Videography | Floral Design: Martin Roberts Design | Ceremony Venue: Private Beach, Kauai | Reception Venue: Na Aina Kai Botanical Gardens | Catering: Contemporary Flavors | DJ: Kustom Sounds Kauai | Entertainment: Urahutia Productions | Coordination & Event Design: Moana Events | Hair & Makeup Artists: Mia Moriguchi | Henna Artistry: KM Henna Artistry | Tent Rental: Kauai Tent

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Kauai Destination Wedding at The Hukilau Lanai

A few years ago I came across one of Andria Lindquist’s beautiful images and I’ve been a fan ever since. Enter: this Hawaiian destination wedding from Andria. My fan status was just elevated to a crazy level because this, my loves? This is seriously what the prettiest dreams are made of.


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Summer
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Beach

From the beautiful bride… When my fiancé and I first started planning we struggled with settling on a venue that was “just right” for us. Many of the venues in our home town of Seattle were beautiful, but they lacked the intimacy we were looking for. We came close to booking two different venues, but couldn’t commit when it came time to sign the paperwork. With a little encouragement from our families, we settled on the one place that had been in front of us the entire time – Kauai.

My fiancé’s family has been travelling to the Garden Isle for years, and we took our first trip there together two years prior. Not only did the location have special meaning to his family, but it was without a doubt the place where we first realized that we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together.

Planning a destination wedding was a huge undertaking, but choosing our team of amazing vendors turned out to be my favorite part of the process. I could talk for ages about how amazing our vendors are and we were so lucky to have each one of them be a part of our day.

The most important part of our wedding was the photography. I researched hundreds of photographers before I found Andria Lindquist. When I saw her work, I was floored. After a few lively email exchanges I knew that I would sacrifice anything else in our budget to have her photograph our day. I’m in awe of the way Andria’s images tell beautiful stories and the way she captures emotion. Thanks to her we will be able to relive the story of our wedding day for years to come.

After choosing our photographer, everything else came together with ease. I love mid-century design and Hawaiian kitsch, so I was thrilled when I discovered that our favorite restaurant, the Hukilau Lanai, hosted weddings. My fiancé and I already knew that the food was amazing, but their grounds and banquet room were a perfect match for my style. Our on-site coordinator, Manda, and her staff exceeded our expectations and our wedding day went off without a hitch because of them.

Shipping décor provided an extra challenge and I knew that what I sent had to make an impact. I opted to ship floating candle holders to turn up the romance in the venue, and paired them with bright centerpieces made from local flowers. I also designed all of our paper goods and used them as an extra way to add character to the ceremony and reception.

I loved our leis, centerpieces, and bouquets. My grandmother was not able to make the trip to the island, so to make sure that she was “with” me I had her favorite flower added to my bouquet. I loved our flowers so much that after the ceremony I placed them throughout our hotel room and kept them until they had completely wilted.

Our rehearsal was definitely an emotional high point. After the rehearsal, our officiant Kelvin Ho performed such a beautiful and intimate ring blessing, that it left our friends and families asking, “did you just get married?” The blessing reminded all of us why we were on the island, and grounded all of us for the big day ahead.

At the last minute we decided to hire a musician. Paul treated our guests to the sounds of traditional Hawaiian slack-key guitar before the ceremony and during cocktail hour, providing the perfect soundtrack for the afternoon.

Our food was off the charts. During our cocktail hour our guests enjoyed ahi poke nachos and ribs, and during the reception they had the choice of filet minion or the catch of the day. As expected our wedding reception was hot, but our DJ, Mike, kept the jams pumping and despite the heat, our guests danced until they were dripping with sweat.

Asking our friends and family to travel such a great distance for our wedding was a difficult choice, but by doing so, we were able to have the wedding we wanted the way we wanted. Not only that, we were able to show our gratitude by treating them to great food and music in a place that is dear to our hearts.

Photographer: Andria Lindquist | Flowers: North Shore Buds and Blooms | Wedding Dress: Ivy and Aster | Ceremony Venue: The Kauai Coast Resort | Reception Venue: The Hukilau Lanai | Engagement Ring: Era Gem | Bridesmaids Dresses: Anthropologie, Banana Republic, Free People, Express | Hair and Makeup: Epic Hair Boutique | DJ: Kustom Sounds Kauai | Officiant: Kelvin Ho | Accomodations: The Outrigger Waipouli | Bride's Accessories: Alexis Bittar | Bridesmaid Robes: SunsetToSunrise | Cake Topper: Anthropologie | Groom and Groomsmen Attire: Banana Republic | Musician: Paul Togioka | Paper products: DIY by the bride (all from Paper Source) | Rehearsal Dress: Free People | Sandals: Corso Como