The simple phrase “destination wedding” conjures up all kinds of crazy gorgeous images, from barefoot brides to glistening ocean waves. And what better place to make all of those dreamy visions come to life than Hawaii, a state that hosts its fair share of stunning soirees? Especially when you’re this darling bride and your siblings have joint backyards overlooking the ocean, just outside of Waikiki. That’s more than the ideal location for a wedding that is not only personal, but chock-full of week-long pretty planned to perfection by Nichole Weddings & Events and captured beautifully by Christie Pham Photography. See it all in the full gallery.
Need more? Check out this amazing film from Kai Media… it’s a must-see.
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From the Bride… With a year and half to plan our wedding, we had plenty of time to figure out what was most important to us – giving our friends and family not only a great party, but a memorable vacation! My siblings live next door to each other just outside of Waikiki, and it has become a tradition to get married in the yard between their houses overlooking the ocean. We knew we couldn’t find a better place to tie the knot. 140 of our friends and family flew from all over the globe to join us for a week of fun in the Honolulu sun. We planned rainforest hikes, beach days, a welcome BBQ with a shave ice truck, a Victorian tea bridal shower, a park day for the guys, a costumed catamaran sail, rehearsal dinner, and, of course, the wedding.
We wanted our wedding to have a lot of Hawaiian culture and most of all, feel very personal, so we added a lot of little touches throughout the day. We wrote our own vows and had our friend perform our marriage ceremony. Our programs were fans that included a poem I wrote for Matt. My talented Maid of Honor made the maps for our invitations and hand-wrote the place cards in calligraphy. Our dear friend married us, writing a touching and hilarious ceremony that also included a conch blower, beautiful Hawaiian blessing by the kapuna I’ve known for most of my life, and readings from Calvin and Hobbes, E.E. Cummings, and Plato’s Symposium.
Matt’s group of guy friends has been tight since elementary school, so he decided to make all 12 of them groomsmen! To carry the vacation feel throughout the wedding, we gave out multi-colored sunglasses and leather luggage tags, had people sign a vintage world map as our guestbook, and put out custom-made mad libs on each table for them to fill out. We secretly learned a formal foxtrot and triple step swing for our first dance, and then, I surprised Matt with a hula my bridesmaid had choreographed. As I work in travel event planning, I knew how important selecting the right vendors would be, so I chose the exceptional wedding planner my niece had introduced me to the year before. Nichole was incredible – helping me choose an amazing assortment of vendors, always there to answer questions or listen to ideas. For the décor, I worked with Nichole and the incredibly talented Flowergirls Hawaii ladies to create a modern-Hawaiian feel with simple flowers to complement the outdoor setting.
One my favorite things about Hawaii is the food, so we made sure to give our guests a chance to sample all our favorites, including sushi and pupus during cocktail hour and malasadas (a form of Portuguese doughnuts) for dessert! For the catering, I was lucky enough to have the help of my family’s long-time friend, Nurhan, to find a great vendor who really listened to our specific menu requests.
Mahalo nui loa to my vendors – Christie, for providing incredible photographs for both our engagement and our wedding. Kai Media, for the absolutely stunning video short that makes everyone cry whenever they watch it. Dorys Foltin of Maleana Cosmetics for making me into a bride. Rumbletones, for keeping the dance floor hopping and learning our favorite songs. My Maid of Honor, for everything. Nichole and Nurhan, the dynamic duo. And of course, our parents.We could not have had a wedding that was more “us” in any way!
Wedding Photography: Christie Pham | Wedding Cinematography: Kai Media | Wedding Venue: Bride’s family home in Diamond Head, Honolulu, Hawaii | Event Planning: Nichole Weddings & Events | Floral Design: Flowergirls Hawaii | Catering: Catering Connection + Kats Sushi | Catering Coordination: Nurhan Enustan | Cocktail Music: Puamana | Band: Rumbletones | Wedding Stationery: Lauren Aczon (Maid of Honor) | Wedding Dress: Modern Trousseu via Anna Be Bridal | Bridesmaid Attire: J.Crew | Groom’s Attire: Banana Republic | Wedding Rings: the groom + Mark Hadley from Hadley’s House of Diamonds | Hair + Makeup: Maleana Cosmetics