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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.


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

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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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
Vintage Inspired Wedding Photo Shoot in Honolulu

Ever wondered what destination Hawaii looks like with a good dose of glamour – the kind of glamourous details you’d find in a vintage inspired affair reminiscent of Downton Abbey? We’re talking old world charm meets tropical locale crafted by a team of talented vendors including design by Orchestrated Stylized Shoots, planning by Moana Events, beautiful florals by Passion Roots and lots of scrumptious images by Ashley Goodwin. See it all here.



This shoot was inspired by Downton Abbey glam meets lush vintage tropics. It’s a stunning alternative to traditional beach weddings and Hawai’ian orchids.
We incorporated a soft palette of warm whites, creamy yellows, emerald green and dusty pink with touches of glamour, lace and pineapple motifs bringing Old World Hawai’i alive at the ethereal Hawai’i State Art Museum.

Photography: Ashley Goodwin | Floral Design: Passion Roots | Cake: A Cake Life | Stationary: Peter Loves Jane | Makeup: Heather Bell Makeup Artistry | Hair: Star Allison | Grooms Attire: Celebrity Tuxedos | Venue: Hawaii State Art Museum | Wedding Venue: Hawaii State Art Museum | Bridal Gown: Chaviano Couture | Bridal Veil & Bridesmaid Necklace: Danani Handmade | Concept Design: Orchestrated Stylized Shoots | Event Coordination: Moana Events | Location + Publication Partner: Burnett's Boards | Models: Sara + Burke Burnett | Rentals: Accel Party Rentals | Topiaries: Curate

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
Kate Spade Inspired Carnival Engagement + WIUP

I’ve seen my fair share of cute engagements, but this one might very well take the cake. It’s what happens when two Honolulu cuties hit up the local carnival with Kate Spade-inspired looks from head to toe and Ashley Goodwin by their side. The gallery is one crazy adorable capture after another and to top it all off? This week’s lucky winners are waiting down below!

From Ashley Goodwin Photography… A bright, fun + dreamy Kate Spade inspired Engagement Session at the Punahou Carnival in Hawai’i–full of local tradition and nostalgia for the groom-to-be who attended Punahou School. The energetic and colorful location was chosen by the couple as a reflection of their relationship (Hawai’i spirit) as Lauren says Kawika “makes her feel like a kid again”.

Photography: Ashley Goodwin Photography | Dress: Forever 21 | Concept + Styling: Lauren Smith Of L-4-Love | Fairgrounds: Punahou Carnival


An Anne Sportun necklace from The Clay Pot
$100 gift certificate towards Minted for three
Honeymoon Funds from Traveler’s Joy
A free print sample from Whimsical Prints!

This week’s DISCOUNTS…


For our California brides… Discounts from Evangeline Photography.

For our Southeast brides… Enter to win a an engagement session from Kimberly Meserve Photography 

For our Tri-State brides… Discounts from NY Smile Specialists PLUS don’t miss the Brooklyn Wedding Expo this weekend!


Congratulations Vle you’ve won a Doie Lounge robe!

Big congrats Rachel! You’ve won a Catalina + either an OG or OMG bag from Lo & Sons

North Shore, Oahu Love Session

You know what today needs?  A gorgeous “Love Session” on the North Shore of Oahu.  One that is all about the sun, the sand and one adorable (+ very stylish duo).  A sort of breathtaking scenery meets all kinds of love-filled moments shoot captured by the amazing Anna Kim Photography.  Oh yes, that’s what today needs… who’s with me?  Click here for more.

From Anna Kim PhotographyTogether, Ben and Chi exude fun, style and so much love! Their love bird session on the North Shore of Oahu was filled with horses, an enchanted banyan tree forest and the gorgeous beach landscape that embodies the spirit of Hawaii.

Photography: Anna Kim Photography

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
Modern + Vintage Oahu Wedding at Lanikuhonua

This wedding makes me want to escape to Hawaii, like, tomorrow.  Just pack my bags, catch the next flight out and soak in all of the pretty the lovely little island of Oahu has in store.  Next best thing?  Gazing at the beautiful blooms from Flowergirls, stunning details from Michelle Garibay Events and gorgeous images from Christie Pham Photography.  See it all right here in the full gallery.

From the Bride… Derek and I met when we were 18-years-old on the first day of college and instantly bonded over similar senses of humor, a love of electronic music, and an affinity for late-night diner food. We started out as neighbors, but quickly became inseparable. To the surprise of no one, we’ve been close friends ever since (Who says you can’t marry your first love?!). We dated on and off through college and finally, after being on for five years and having lived in four different cities, decided to officially keep building a life together.

My Dad has always spoken nostalgically about his time stationed in Hawaii during his young years in the military (In fact, I think that’s where his love of coconut and playing the ukulele comes from). He’s wanted to revisit the islands and bring my Mom, but of course life — and an all day flight — always managed to get in the way. A few years ago, they were planning to fly to Hawaii for their 20th wedding anniversary, but that was during the economic downturn, so regrettably, they didn’t end up making it… until now. Derek and I were so thrilled to give them (and our other guests) a special excuse to get out to the Islands and also feel so lucky that we got to share in my Mom’s first trip to and Dad’s return to Hawaii. The entire trip — including our wedding day — was so special for my parents. One of our favorite moments was when, as is a custom in Hawaiian culture, Derek placed leis around my parents’ necks (and I did the same for his Mom), at the beginning of our wedding ceremony signifying our families coming together.

Derek and I recently moved to the West Coast, but there are many cities on either coast that we could call home. After moving from place to place and traveling together so much, we’ve learned that the thing that makes your home a home is being surrounded by people you love. For our wedding, we decided on a meaningful destination that would allow the people we love to take a break from their busy lives and share in a vacation and our love of travel with us. We got engaged in Oahu and fell in love with the laid-back and romantic atmosphere so much that we wanted to share it with our family and friends back East. It was important to find a venue that was a reflection of Derek and myself, so we wanted to find a place close to a city (we love cities!), but also, since I grew up on and around the Chesapeake Bay, close to the sea. This made beautiful Lanikuhonua a natural choice! It truly is “where heaven meets earth”!

Our wedding drew from a lot of what Derek and I and our friends and family love and share in in our daily lives. We weren’t afraid to take some chances in mixing together passions from different places, eras, and parts of our life to really make the wedding ours. During our wedding planning, we tried to steer away from tradition for the sake of tradition or anything to which we didn’t feel a personal connection — skipping on seating plans, a long ceremony, a traditional wedding cake, first dances, and other formalities. Instead, we focused on the fun and ease of an intimate celebration just for us and our close friends and family.

Some components of the wedding were very location-based and locally-inspired such as the Hawaiian music and hula performances, fire knife dancing performances, gifts of orchid leis, and food options such as the shave ice, while other components were inspired by different parts of our lives, like our love of design, technology, play, travel, and food. Creative personal touches were added through paper goods that I designed and put together myself or with design flourishes found while browsing in our local city of Seattle or on arts and crafts sites like Etsy.

Since our wedding was in Hawaii, we took full advantage of the fact people were vacationing and ready to have fun before, during, and after the event. Derek and I met our guests as they arrived on the Oahu which allowed us to catch up and go road tripping, snorkeling, beach walking, surfing, bar hopping and sunbathing before the ceremony. My parents also hosted a “Welcome to Hawaii” cocktail hour which allowed our guests to get acquainted if they weren’t already, or catch up before the big day. Perhaps the most memorable activity in which several of our friends partook was skydiving over the North Shore the day after the ceremony.

Many of the guests have never been to Hawaii so we wanted to give them a fun Hawaiian welcome. Each guest received an orchid lei and souvenir images of themselves from the photo booth. Derek and I also didn’t want to burden our guests with fuller suitcases on the way home — so we made a donation to a digital rights group on their behalf.

We wanted our wedding gifts for our parties to be practical but also special reminders of their time in Hawaii that would be used more than once. The bridesmaids received beautiful jewelry from Tiffany’s that matched their tastes and personalities. The groomsmen received Wayfarers because who doesn’t need vintage sunglasses in Hawaii? They also received custom made key chains personalized with their initials inscribed in binary which was an endearing a personal touch on the part of Derek, a self-proclaimed nerd.

The theme was a bit of beach plus Hawaiian culture with a dash of garden party. We were looking to celebrate our past, present and future lives together, so we mixed styles, eras, personal traditions and interests. The music was a wonderful local artist playing traditional Hawaiian music with the accompaniment of Hula dancers that created a romantic atmosphere and brought touches of beautiful Hawaiian culture to the wedding. We also had a fire knife dancer that added a lot of energy and overall awesomeness to the reception.

Visually, we decided on a beach-inspired, but romantic color palette in mint green, sandy gray and peach with lots of geometric and contrasting organic texture. The full, luscious flowers in the bouquets as well as on the tables were chosen to compliment the other design elements and match the shape and texture of my wedding gown. We also chose table settings which would accentuate the whimsy and romance of the day by using chevron runners and several different vessels for lush florals. I also adore the romantic but fierce Ghost Chairs we used that, like our wedding, are a mixture of both new and old style.

Derek and I both love food, so we wanted to get away from the whole idea that wedding food needs to be inaccessible or mass-produced and went with local chefs cooking simply and naturally with great local ingredients, infusing our event with additional Hawaiian flavor. From the pupus to the several course dinner, we wanted to provide people with approachable but upscale choices, sometimes offering bar food options like pork sliders, evoking the sense that you’re at a family gathering or cookout. Derek and I brought specialty bottles of cachaca to Hawaii for our signature beverage, a mint-colored caipirinha, that was presented in mason jars with decorative straws.

We also decided on a dessert table with several cupcake flavors and a delightful shaved ice station which are both options you might see at an outdoor party or Hawaiian event. The beautiful cake was a simple chevron design with a whimsical bloom while the cupcakes were adorned with striped flags.

Finally, I think a big theme of the wedding had to be adventure. All the wonderful people who showed up to the wedding who travelled halfway around the world and made the day so fabulous came because they are not afraid of an adventure!

As a visual and interaction designer, I knew from the get go there were important visual details I wanted to attend to myself for the wedding day, but there were a lot of ideas that I didn’t know how to articulate yet (or weren’t even on my radar).

Michelle and I work wonderfully as a team. She’s good at keeping track of the big picture and small details and presenting/articulating the design space and all of the options to us. It was important for us to find a wedding planner whose taste aligned with ours since planning from afar can be a huge challenge and it’s not hands-on in the same way that other brides experience. We weren’t able to meet with any of our vendors until a week prior to the wedding, so we trusted in Michelle’s expertise when it came to making recommendations. Also, since we don’t have any prior experience with wedding planning, she became our guide in all things related to weddings. Michelle did a beautiful job of being flexible, listening and responding to us and presenting us with the right people who matched the vision we developed together at the beginning. Finally, working with Michelle meant she gave me the freedom to input my own ideas and design the elements that were important to me, which really helped us to teamwork to bring life to the original vision.

From Michelle Garibay Events… Working with Kari and Derek on their destination wedding was such a joy! They are true dream clients. They were both equally involved in the planning process but each had their specific priorities and in the end, everything came together beautifully! Kari and I hit it off from the first phone call and designing a wedding where the bride had such an eye for design and detail, made my job fun and easy. We were both so excited when we met for the first time after our 11 month partnership just one day before the wedding!

Kari had a specific vision for their wedding so I assembled a top notch team of vendors to bring everything to fruition. She loved the romantic, muted tones of peach, seafoam and gray but also wanted a touch of contemporary elegance. The floral designs and chandeliers were more vintage in style and we added some more modern pieces in the ghost chairs and lounge furniture. I paid homage to her graphic design background and incorporated a bolder chevron print into her table runners and cake. Kari’s playful side was reflected in more whimsical elements like the Viewfinder save the date (which was super adorable!) and her paper elements, like the cupcake flags and paper straws for their signature cocktail, the Caipirinha. Kari even designed her own invitation suite and menu cards!

Along with the décor, food and the guest experience was very important to them and Chef Peter blew everyone away with the 5 course plated menu. Everything tasted as amazing as it looked. From the seared scallops to the melt in your mouth pork shoulder, service and presentation were impeccable. Such a superstar team to work with!

This is one of those weddings that us consultants dream about…a fun and stylish wedding vision, a super cool and head over heels in love couple, in synch and on the same wave length throughout the planning process and beautifully orchestrated wedding day from start to finish with rave reviews – and in Hawaii – who could complain about that?

Photography: Christie Pham Photography | Flowers: Flowergirls | Wedding Dress: Vera Wang | Bride's Shoes: Manolo Blahnik | Bridesmaids' Dresses: BHLDN | Catering: Memoirs | Venue: Lanikuhonua | Bride's Clutch: Vintage | Bride's Hair & Makeup: Maleana Cosmetics | Bride's Headpiece: Vera Wang | Bride's Wedding Band: Tiffany & Co. | Bridesmaids' Accessories: Tiffany & Co. | Cake & Cupcakes: Cake Works | Charger Plates & Dessert Pedestals: Event Essentials | Equipment Rentals: Accel Rentals | Event Design & Planning: Michelle Garibay Events | Ghost Chairs, Vintage Chandeliers & Lounge Furniture: Mood Event | Groom & Groomsmen Accessories: Ray-Ban | Groom & Groomsmen Attire: J.Crew | Groom's Wedding Band: Vintage | Linen & Napkins: Les Saisons | Paper Details: DIY, The Bride | Shave Ice: Erin's Shave Ice

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