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Intimate Oceanfront Wedding

There are places in the world where saying “I do” is always perfect, and Hawaii is one of them.  Now add in the talented team of designers and planners at Mango Muse Events and an adorable duo that is all about throwing an intimate, seaside party and the results are beyond amazing.  It’s classic Hawaiian laid-back charm meets all kinds of pretty.  See it all captured by What A Day Photography right here.

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Fall
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Estate

From Mango Muse Events… Sumina and Perry are a really cute couple from NYC who are totally in love. She’s sweet and soft-spoken and he’s upfront and easy going. And they just adore each other (it’s really cute). They like to travel, are serious foodies and while they are from New York, they love Hawaii.

Having been to a ton of weddings, they really wanted their wedding to be easy going and comfortable and more like a nice get together rather than a formal wedding. They also had family and friends coming from all over the world (Japan, Korea, LA, Chicago, NY, etc..), so having a destination wedding in Hawaii made perfect sense.

Easy going was the theme and they really wanted to create a wedding that felt like a super nice backyard party in Hawaii. So, it needed to feel casual, low key, simple and intimate, but still really special. Having an outdoor wedding was key, so we picked a location that was beautiful and serene and away from the bustle of the city. Lanikuhonua fit the bill for its oceanfront location and gorgeous sunsets.

With the ocean as inspiration, we kept all the design elements soft with a watercolor feeling so that it felt flowy and easy and matched their personalities. We used custom wood dining tables that had a beachy, white washed stain. Instead of fabric runners, we created ribbon runners that ran the length of the dining tables along with a collection of vases in aqua, green and clear glass and flowers in white and yellow.

Being the foodies they are, the menu was extensive with a 4-course meal and a ton of appetizers and desserts. Menus and paper goods were printed on watercolor paper and tied simply with string. Seating cards were soft pink sea urchins sitting in sand to mimic both the ocean inspiration, but also the uniqueness of each of their guests. It also gave the guests a little token to take back home with them and remind them of their experience.

One of the most important things to the couple was to make sure the wedding wasn’t a big show and that particularly applied to the ceremony. The location we chose at the venue was right under a massive and beautiful old tree. We played up the tree while also keeping it very natural and strung lights that fanned out from the center point. The center point was where the couple sat, but also where the ceremony took place. Instead of doing the ceremony first, we dove right into the cocktail hour and dinner. And then after dinner the couple got up, took a few steps back and got married at night right under the tree with the lights and the flowing archway we created using a branch of the tree, tuberose garlands and ribbon. It was simple, sweet and understated, just like them.

After the ceremony came dancing and lounging and just casually hanging out with the couple celebrating their new marriage with the ones they love. I mentioned that the venue has gorgeous sunsets and the sunset that particular day was one in a million and so was their wedding.

Photography: What A Day Photography | Event Design: Mango Muse Events | Wedding Planner: Mango Muse Events | Wedding Dress: Jenny Yoo | Catering: Memoirs | Hair & Makeup: Maleana Cosmetics | DJ: N-D Mixx Productions | Transportation: Travel Plaza Transportation | Photobooth: Shoots Photobooth | Private Estate: Lanikuhonua | Rentals: Accel Party Rentals

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Elegant New Orleans Inspired Hawaiian Wedding

After an amazing courtship, one that included endless miles flown between Hawaii and New Orleans, health scares and time differences, this couple was ready to celebrate with one amazing party. And what better way to pay homage to their story than to incorporate both locales into their design. Flowergirls worked their magic and Rebecca Arthurs captured every fleur de lis; see this amazing combo right here.

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Summer
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Hotel
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Elegant

From Oahu Weddings… With the bride in medical school in New Orleans and the groom working in Hawaii, Mary and J’s wedding held a flair that naturally became centered around a “New Orleans meets Hawaii” theme that paid homage to their love of their respective locales. They selected a beautiful garden setting at the JW Marriott Ihilani Hotel to showcase the beauty of Hawaii, and enhanced it with French-flair décor that represented New Orleans. Stacey Nomura from Bradley and Lily custom-created a motif of a fleur de lis using banana leaves to enhance their invitations and stationary, while the bride’s Lazaro Gown and Jimmy Choo shoes wowed in lace details. Flowergirls, Les Saisons and Oahu Wedding collaborated with the bride and groom to create the most darling details, from the ceremony ribbon backdrop to the most ornate napkin embellishments. Guests were welcomed to the reception through an inviting gate adorned with escort cards to a garden wonderland of farm tables, lush flowers and chandeliers suspended above. Following dinner, guests retreated indoors to a ballroom filled with ruched draping, a dessert bar, a fabulous cake lounge, and an evening filled with the most festive dancing, including traditional family dances that paid homage to the groom’s heritage.

From The Bride… J and I met in college at Tulane University in New Orleans. After college, we went our separate ways, him back to Hawaii to work at Chevron and I pursued my medical career in New Orleans. We were acquaintances on Facebook. One day, he started messaging me after I posted a status about musubi, a staple food of Hawaii. We chatted via social media for several months and he effortlessly convinced me to visit him in Hawaii during my vacation. He was very sweet. He took a week off from work to chauffeur and show my best friend, Kim, and I around the island of Oahu. By the end of the trip, I remember telling Kim that this was a man that I could marry.

Between January and February, J visited me in New Orleans twice; once, he traveled a total of 36 hours to see me for less than 24. We started dating in February. It was not a typical relationship. I was busy with my residency in New Orleans and he was working long hours in Hawaii. We wrote letters to each other often, sometimes a few a day; we figured out a phone and texting schedule despite our time zone differences; and we visited each other every chance we had. What impressed me the most about J is his love for his family and his desire to take care of me. A few months into our relationship, I found out that I had a tumor. Given my family history of cancer, I knew the odds were against me. Despite the fact that we were only dating for three months, he offered to fly in to take care of me after the surgery. The tumor turned out to be benign.

A year and a half and more than a thousand letters later, J visited me in New Orleans in August 2013. He had just taken up photography and told me he needed a model for his pictures at Tulane. He had set up his camera so that he can control the picture-taking from his phone. We went from building to building. We finally settled in front of a building with a swing on the porch. I sat on the swing and he walked behind me and told me to give him my left hand. I was a clutz but after several tries my left hand was finally where he wanted it to be. I sat on the swing facing the camera as he grabbed my hand from behind me and I felt something on his pinky finger. I turned and stared at the ring awkwardly as the camera started snapping photos of the moment. I finally realized what was going on. He then walked around the swing, got on one knee, held my hands and asked, “Mary Yu, will you marry me?” And I exclaimed, “YES!!!”

I was never the girl who had her wedding planned since sixth grade. The following months were overwhelming, trying to balance work along with planning a wedding 5,000 miles away. I knew there was no way I would be able to do this on my own. Stacy, a dear friend of J’s from South Shore Paperie where J had gotten most of the stationery for the letters he sent me, suggested Diana from Oahu Weddings. At that point I only had vague ideas. I knew I wanted stripes, musubi and the décor to match my Lazaro gown. I want the wedding to be elegant and romantic but not with overpowering sweetness that it loses character; I wanted it to have personality.

Most of the inspiration for wedding décor ideas came from Pinterest. Diana helped materialize these ideas and made it our own. As most of our guests were from out of town, so we wanted to make it as personal and fun for our guests as possible. J and I also wanted both of our backgrounds to be reflected in the wedding. Our invitations have the fleur de lis, which is an emblem of New Orleans, and is made up of ti leaves, which is reflective of Hawaii. We brought Mardi Gras umbrellas from New Orleans and decorated them ourselves. After the ceremony, we second-lined (which is a New Orleans wedding tradition) with the rest of the wedding party into the reception. One of J’s family traditions was a march to “La Marcha de Zacatecas.” After dinner, the procession to the dance floor was led by his aunt and uncle, followed by the bride and groom and all the guests.

Photography: Rebecca Arthurs | Wedding Planner: Oahu Wedding | Floral Design: Flowergirls | Cake: Cakeworks | Stationery: Bradley And Lily | Hair & Makeup: Maleana Cosmetics | Lighting: Mood Event | DJ: Tony So | Ceremony & Reception: JW Marriott Ihilani Hotel | Linen, Pipe And Drape, Farm Tables: Les Saisons | Rentals - Chairs: Chair Cover Express | Rentals - Chargers: Event Essentials | Rentals - Plates: Royal Party Rentals | Rentals – Flatware: Set

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Berry Colored Oahu Wedding

If I could predict one trend for the 2015, it’s the shift to richly layered, wildly statement color palettes like this berry-hued affair from The Great Romance Photo. Set against the lush island scenery of Oahu, the day planned by A Good Affair is every wedding lover’s dream brought to life. Get to pinning those Passion Roots florals in the gallery plus don’t miss Chris Tran Media’s film below!

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Summer
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Ranch

From The Bride… Justin and I met in Hawaii in 2006 – he was born and raised there, and I was there for a semester “almost” abroad at the University of Hawaii. After a whirlwind 4 months of dating, we had fallen in love, but it was time for me to head back to San Diego to finish my degree. Over the next 12 months, we dated long distance, making trips to and from Hawaii and San Diego to see each other. In 2007, Justin packed his bags and moved to San Diego to peruse our relationship further. Navigating through our 20’s together (and sometimes apart) tested our relationship in many ways, but we came out on the other side stronger and more in love than ever. In January of 2013, Justin proposed on a snowy slope in Park City, Utah.

With so many ties to the island, when it came time to pick a wedding location, Hawaii was at the top of the list . Justin grew up witnessing frequent public beach wedding ceremonies and knew he didn’t want that for his own wedding. My vision was a rustic, enchanted space with natural beauty, and Kualoa Ranch fit the bill perfectly for both of us.

Planning a Hawaii wedding from Iowa (where Justin attends med school) proved to be a challenge with the timezone difference, so we enlisted the help of Natalie Good from A Good Affair to help bring our vision to life. We wanted an intimate party that didn’t feel “wedding-y” or forced – just a laid back atmosphere, good food, music, drinks with the people we love.

We chose berry tones as our pallet to contrast the natural greenery in Hawaii, and incorporated geodes and crystals into the table decor for a whimsical but elegant look. For the place settings, we hand-died napkins for an ombre/watercolor look (even grandpa helped!), and included a piece of rose quartz — the stone of love — with each place card. We also collected vintage silverware, and goblets that our florist used to create overflowing arrangements for the tables.

Hawaii is a special place for both of us, so including Hawaiian tradition was important. During the ceremony, one of Justin’s cousins led a lei exchange as a reflection of our love and Aloha for each other and our families. During the reception, another family member performed a beautiful Hula dance. We also adopted a Hawaiian saying into our wedding theme, which we included on our invitations and favor bags: No Keia La, No Keia Po, A Mau Loa, which means From this day, From this night, Forevermore.

Our wedding week was incredible – being able to share the place that Justin calls home with our family and friends was unforgettable. We hiked in the mud, played at the beach, and made sure to share our favorite shaved ice and Hawaiian food with everyone. The weather was amazing the entire week, except (of course) the day of the wedding. I’ll never forget standing under an umbrella in the rain, waiting to see my Groom for our “first look.”

Following a slightly misty ceremony, guests were served farm-to-table fare from Camilles on Wheels food truck, and craft cocktails created and prepped by the Groom. After dinner, guests were treated to Tats Shaved Ice and cakes from Diamond Head Grill to incorporate the Groom’s favorite Lemon Crunch Cake.

Photography: The Great Romance Photo | Videography: Chris Tran Media | Event Planning: A Good Affair Wedding & Event Production | Floral Design: Passion Roots | Wedding Dress: Enzoani | Cake: Diamond Head Grill | Wedding Shoes: Coach | Catering: Camille's On Wheels | Calligraphy: Ink And Honey | Wedding Venue: Kualoa Ranch | Linens: Luxe Linen | Rentals: Pacific Party Rentals | Shaved Ice: Tat's Shave Ice

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here
Romantic, Al fresco Hawaii Wedding

The beautiful Bride of this stunning Hawaii soiree said it’s hard to put into words the love and joy they felt on their wedding day, but I swear you can almost feel that joy in all of the gorgeous images from James Moes. Their breathtaking day was nothing short of magical, and you can soak up all the sweetness here.

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Summer
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Elegant

From The Bride…It is hard to put into words the love and joy we felt on our wedding day but every time we look back at our photos from James, we are immediately transported back to the emotions of that day. Hawaii has always held a special place in our hearts. I was lucky enough to be raised on island of Oahu and Doug is an avid surfer and ocean enthusiast. We knew Hawaii would be the perfect setting for our dream wedding – personal, relaxed, and most importantly fun! Our inspiration was an intimate outdoor party with lawn games, good food, dancing, and plenty to drink.

We kept the ceremony short but meaningful to allow more time for cocktail hour and the reception. Our dear friend and Doug’s roommate throughout college wrote a beautiful ceremony and officiated the wedding. Doug and I selected readings on love and marriage for each of his four sisters to read. We wanted to highlight the natural beauty of our venue by keeping the décor simple and organic. We also tried to minimize the stress of planning a wedding by hiring our wonderful planner Lauren to guide up through the process and edit down our details to a few select projects. Instead of rented drinking glasses, we hand etched mason jars with the help of my mom and auntie, which also doubled as escort cards and keepsake favors for our guests to take home. Doug made all the wooden signs from old pallets. He also sourced a wooden bench from a local furniture maker to use for guests to sign-in and then engraved our initials into the bench.

My bridesmaids and I arranged the flower centerpieces, bouquets, and boutonnieres. A group of our family and friends gathered the night before and morning of the wedding to assist with the set-up and break down. The fact that so many of our loved ones played such a huge role in our wedding made the day all the more special for us and we are forever grateful for their support.

Aside from becoming husband and wife, the best part of the day was being able to celebrate love and friendship with all our closest family and friends in one setting. We could not have asked for a more perfect day!

Photography: James Moes | Flowers: L-4-Love | Catering: Chef Elmer Guzman's Island Cuisine | Transportation: Gomes School Bus | Venue: Sunset Ranch | Hair & Make-up: Sarah La Glam | Rentals: Pacific Party Rentals | Wedding Planning & Coordination: L-4-Love

Parisian Glamour on the beaches of Waikiki

What’s more romantic than Paris? A Paris themed wedding in Hawaii? Correct! Prepare yourselves for this one, readers. Jasmine Star Photography was there to capture this gorgeous ceremony in Oahu. While the couple is based there, we think the elegant details (matched to the perfectly pink venue), manages to nod at both influences flawlessly. See what we mean below.



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Seasons
Fall

From the bride…

Theme: Jeremy proposed to me in Paris, where we first fell in love five years before. We briefly toyed with the ideas of having a destination wedding in Paris, but our ultimate goal was to throw an unforgettable party celebrating both our love for each other and for our closest friends and family, too. Since we couldn’t afford to send all 200 guests to France for the weekend, this meant trying to bring a little Parisian romance and glamour to our island home.

Venue: My middle name, Hime, means “princess” in Japanese. So naturally, the Royal Hawaiian (nicknamed the “Pink Palace of the Pacific”) was the only place I could imagine for our celebration. We held the ceremony and cocktail hour on the lawn fronting Waikiki beach and moved indoors into the ballroom for the reception. It was perfection.

Colors: Our wedding colors were blush and gold. I picked blush pink because it is pretty and romantic and gold because it is glamorous and fun. Luckily, we found a stationer (Bella Figura) that was capable of doing shiny gold foil stamping with pink letterpress for our invitations. We picked a design that looked like confetti and champagne bubbles that really set the tone for our celebration.

Flowers: I wanted our flowers to be romantic and whimsical. We chose four types of vintage garden roses, pink hydrangeas, ivory and pink astilbe, ranunculus, and white veronica. Although most ballroom weddings nowadays seem to have big, tall centerpieces, I think they make it a little difficult for guests to converse. Our talented florist, Michelle Maeda of Flowergirls Hawaii, proposed a great solution: half the tables would have round, cakestand centerpieces and half would have mason jars. They turned out so beautiful, and they weren’t so obtrusive that they got in the way of socializing!

DIY: We had lots of DIY elements. My mom handmade our lovely little ring pillow and helped me make our gold and pink escort cards. I handmade all the balloon streamers and the bar signs decorating the cocktail hour space, the table numbers (using gold glitter paper on pink stock in white Ikea frames), the display frame for the photo booth pictures, and the flower crowns for our five adorable nieces/flower girls. Jeremy and I dined on beautiful heirloom china from his Grandma Bessie. After planning and creating for two years, it was magical to see everything come together on our wedding day. Lauren of L4Love was instrumental in making our dreams become reality: Lauren and her team set up and executed everything flawlessly.

Bridesmaids: I had ten gorgeous bridesmaids and picking out their dresses was one of the most fun parts of the planning process. I wanted a mixture of hues and textures, so I worked with my bridesmaids so that everyone would look great together. Whenever I found a dress that I thought would be a good match, I would email all the girls (or pin it on a pinboard) and see if anyone wanted me to order it for them. It really worked out well: they got dresses that they loved and felt comfortable in, and they looked stunning both individually and as a group. Some people were incredulous that I had ten bridesmaids, but I was so happy to be able to spend that quiet time on the morning of the wedding surrounded by my best friends.

Advice for Future Brides:
Relax, breathe, smile, sip on some champagne… enjoy your day! What really helps is to hire good vendors that you like and trust. On that note, pick a photographer who does beautiful work and whose company you enjoy. We picked Jasmine Star both because of her timeless, ethereal photographs and because she is just so easy and fun to be around: I knew we would be able to relax and be ourselves in front of the camera with her behind the lens. Our coordinator, Lauren was also amazing: organized, efficient, and dependable. And hire a videographer! My husband was skeptical, but he really is so grateful that we hired Fisheye. The day you have been planning for months or years really does go by so quickly, and you will want as many memories captured on film as possible.

Favorite Moment: I truly loved each moment of the day, but my favorite part had to be the ceremony. Listening to my sister Kelike sing “At Last” with the string quartet; seeing all our friends’ and family members’ faces radiating with love as my mom, brother, and I walked down the aisle; listening to my favorite person in the world saying the vows we wrote together… all of it just makes my heart fill with joy.

Photography: Jasmine Star | Cinematography: Fisheye Studio | Coordination: L4 Love | Floral Design: Flowergirls | Wedding Dress: Alvina Valenta | Invitations: Bella Figura | Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Hair And Makeup: Flaunt | DJ: Soundscape Hawaii | Wedding Venue: Royal Hawaiian Hotel | Bridal Belt: Augusta Jones | Bridal Hairpiece: BHLDN | Cake Topper: Lollipop Workshop | Confetti: BHLDN | Linens: Les Saisons | Mochi Truffles: Choco Lea | Photo Booth: ShutterBooth | Robes: Plum Pretty Sugar

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Colorful Banana Orchard Wedding Inspiration

Darlings, if anything is going to brighten your Monday, this gem from Jonathan Canlas is it. It’s a magical little escape filled with deliciously colorful details… florals from Green Honolulu in every corner, sweet stationery from Bradley & Lily to top of that insane tablescape and sooo much more. With creative direction from Avery Solmssen and coordinated by Nichole Weddings & Events, it’s bursting with pretty.

From Jonathan CanlasThis photo shoot is a realization of years of day dreaming about an imaginary party at Kahuku Farms. When I first toured the property with my family it reminded me of home. I grew up on farm in California. So the tractors and the dust where second nature to me. The beauty of the fruit and flowers in the natural environment was so inspiring. And as the day went on I found myself drawn to the banana orchards.

Walking down the road through the banana orchard you are enveloped by the fronds of the large banana trees. The tunnel of fronds hug the road leaving a dappled dance of light on the red dirt. From the first moment I walked this road I imagined a party; bright with color, rich with texture, and loud with laughter. The bananas trees create this long hall that feels like a beautiful indoor space almost like living wallpaper. I knew this could be something magical.

The creative confluence of the flowers, the lighting, the materials, the beautiful models brought to life the images in my mind. Every vendor brought their unique gifts to this party in the banana patch and made it come to life. It is a beautiful moment of time that harvested the very best that everyone has to offer.

Photography: Jonathan Canlas | Coordination: Nichole Weddings & Events | Floral Design: Green Honolulu | Stationery: Bradley & Lily | Hair & Makeup: Dorys Foltin / Maleana Cosmetics | Banana Orchard: Kahuku Farms | Creative Director: Avery Solmssen | Dresses: Rebecca Beach | Dresses: Handmade Dresses By Burgundy Cassiday | Rentals & Linens: Accel Rentals

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here