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Boho Style Hawaiian Engagement Inspiration

Without fail, Wendy Laurel puts a smile on my face every time she sends a bit of pretty our way. And when colorful blooms from Opihi Love are included in the package? My grin grows even wider. Every bit of this boho-style engagement inspiration from the Photo Coterie workshop is the reason why. Feast your eyes on all the goodness here in the full gallery.

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Summer
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Outdoor
Styles
Bohemian

From Wendy LaurelThis Hawaii wedding inspiration focused on the natural environment and amazing light of the location. The couples elegant bohemian style goes perfectly with the rugged cliffs, wild ocean, and golden sunlight from this Honolua Cliff location. Images are from the wedding shoot at the Photo Coterie Workshop Maui, which focused on using the natural environment and showing the real emotion between the couple. The workshop was held at my home in Maui. Melissa Padilla from Opihi Love did a fabulous job styling the real couple in a bohemian but elegant style. Melissa also hand crafted the floral bouquet with local tropical flowers. The amazing headband worn by the bride was borrowed from Hushed Commotion and was perfect for the organic style. The wedding dress (skirt/top) is from local Maui designer, Brooke Larson of Salt of the Rocks. She hand creates one of a kind beach wedding dresses and has a store full of amazing vintage finds as well.

Photography: Wendy Laurel | Floral Design: Opihi Love Boutique Rentals & Event Design | Wedding Dress: Salt On The Rocks | Hair And Make Up Artist: Ry-n Shimabuku | Hair Piece: Hushed Commotion | Jewelry & Necklace: Stephanie Kim Designs | Stylist: Opihi Love Boutique Rentals & Event Design | Workshop: Photo Coterie | Workshop Teachers: Sara + Dylan

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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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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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Lahaina Animal Farm Ranch Wedding

At the center of this Lahaina fete is a love so sweet that it’s almost palpable. A love that radiates from Corinne Krogh‘s imagery of this darling duo and jumps right off the page. It lives in the happy little smiles, the eskimo kisses and of course, the four-legged friends, too. Soak it all up right here.

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Summer
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Farm
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Vintage

From Corinne KroghThis sweet couple fell in love with the Lahaina Animal Farm and Guest Ranch all the way from the other side of the Pacific Ocean. Vintage, romance and elegance were at the top of Emily’s wish list, all of which set the tone for an intimate celebration to her long time love. The ivory, blush pink and navy color palette, with flower choices of peonies, anemones and greenery, along with the rustic farm elements provided by the venue set the perfect stage for her vision.

Photography: Corinne Krogh | Floral And Event Design: Maui’s Angels | Coordination: Maui’s Angels | Wedding Dress: Oleg Cassini For Davids Bridal | Cake: Cake Fanatics | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Alfred Sung | Catering: Soup To Nuts | Hair And Makeup: I Am U’i | Venue: Lahaina Animal Farm And Guest Ranch | Bouquets And Personals: Sunya’s Flowers | Entertainement: KCK Entertainment | Musician: Marvin Tevaga | Officiate: Tino Rosete | Rentals: Hawaiian Style Event Rentals | Vintage Rentals And Decor: The Collection | Wedding Sash: Vera Wang

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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DIY Maui Wedding at Olowalu Plantation House

I hope you are all sitting down, SMPers, because this beauty from Wendy Laurel is about to blow your mind with its beauty. It’s absolutely perfection, and when you find out that the ridiculously stunning florals are all from…wait for it…Whole Foods, you might just fall out of your chair. It was a family affair filled with love, and the gallery proves that is the very best combo.


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Spring
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Outdoor
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Elegant

From Wendy LaurelRyan and Mikel brought their love, their family, and their creativity to Maui for a wonderful destination wedding. The made many of the wedding decoration themselves – from their aloha and love fans, to the table floral arrangements, and table place cards. Their wedding had the stamp of them written all over it. The most touching part was the ceremony. Not only did the couple write their own vows (which always gets me), but the officiant also read notes from close family members and friends about the couple which brought tears to everyone’s eyes and laughter as well. Easily one of the most memorable ceremonies I have ever witnessed.

Photography: Wendy Laurel | Flowers: Whole Foods | Wedding Dress: Badgley Mischka | Catering: Aloha Events Catering | Hair And Make Up: Leslie Hainsworth (plush Beauty) | Dj: Clarity Entertainment | Venue: Olowalu Plantation House | Photographer Assistance: Jeffrey Oltman

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Elegant Haiku Mill Wedding

After fourteen years of dating, these lifelong sweethearts wanted a wedding celebration that was worth waiting for. The decision? A sunny romantic Maui destination wedding surrounded by lush Mandy Grace Design greenery, vintage stonewalls, and elegant chandeliers. There’s no denying that Haiku Mill is something out of a fairytale, and it’s made even more beautiful at the hands of Anna Kim, right here!

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Summer
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Mill

From the beautiful Bride… The story of Mark and I begins with our parents, who have been close friends since before we were even born. In fact, our first encounter was probably while we were in the womb. We grew up together, were close friends, and eventually became high school sweethearts. After dating for fourteen years, we wanted to have a wedding celebration that was worth waiting for. Maui was the perfect setting, as it is not only a beautiful location, but has also been one of our favorite places to vacation together. As we began our search for venues, Haiku Mill immediately caught our attention. The more pictures and videos we saw of the Mill’s lush greenery, vintage stonewalls, and elegant chandeliers, the more we fell in love with the venue. But no matter how much we admired the venue as we planned our wedding from home, nothing could compare to how beautiful Haiku Mill is in person.

In high school and college, I took photography classes where I spent hours in the dark room developing pictures. As a result, I have an obsession with black and white; I love how the contrast makes for a sleek, sophisticated base color palette. We decided to compliment black and white with various shades of purple. Our colors made it easy to play with patterns, textures, and pops of color in an ombre effect. We had fun incorporating patterns of stripes, polka dots, chevron and gingham into multiple details, including our invitations, signage, napkins, menus, favors and even the bubble wands. Each groomsmen had a different black and white patterned tie, and received custom shoes with purple accents and a touch of gingham to wear to the reception. The purple bridesmaids dresses and flowers stood out against the black and white patterns perfectly. We choose to DIY the majority of our projects so we could personalize each detail and make our theme cohesive. From the design and construction of the invitations, programs, signage, place cards, and welcome bags, we made every detail perfect during multiple craft nights. We collected pillowcases, picture frames, and even props to use in our photo booth. We also wanted to make sure that our golden retriever, Lovie, was not forgotten, as he could not make the trip to Maui. We included him in many of our small details; the ring bearer carried Lovie’s stunt double with the rings in his collar. He was also on our cake topper, program, and in our photos.

I loved that Mandy Grace used Mark’s proposal as an inspiration for our florals. She incorporated the tulip theme as a nod to our engagement, as Mark proposed to me in a field of tulips while we were vacationing near Seattle. The bar service from Garnish was exceptional, with impeccable presentation, and signature cocktails that had our guests raving long after the night was over. This was also true for our menu, provided by Maui Executive, whose Shiitake encrusted Wagyu Beef garnered the highest compliments from Mark’s parents. Maui Sweet Cakes provided the most delicious coconut, lilikoi and pineapple coconut cupcakes we have ever had. Our photographers, Jessica and Ajja from Anna Kim Photography so sweet and easy to work with, and had the artistic eye to capture some of our most intricate details. Nate, our videographer from Sunlit Films, was genuinely enthusiastic, and so relaxed and fun. The staff at the Mill was so pleasant and accommodating; Lindsay and her assistants were calm, organized and professional. The owner, Sylvia, was so charming. When we first arrived at the Mill, she pointed out that the bricks that made up the floor of the Mill were from our hometown of Chicago. One of the biggest surprises about the property was the abundance of exotic fruit trees, which guests were free to pick from throughout the wedding week. The music theme of the night was 90s hip-hop and R&B, which was perfectly executed by DJ Randy of Ace Beats.

My favorite moment of the night was Mark surprising me with a performance of “Grow Old With You” from The Wedding Singer. It was the perfect song choice, as it was the one song I would have wanted to hear. He later told me that he actually wanted to sing that song to me since our first dates. I’m so lucky that he is the man I will grow old with. His song was a perfect way to end the best day of our lives. We couldn’t have chosen a better venue than Haiku Mill, a beautiful canvas that we were able to make our own for one amazing day.

Photography: Anna Kim Photography | Videography: Sunlit Films | Coordination: Lindsay Miller | Floral Design: Mandy Grace Design | Wedding Dress: Vera Wang | Cake: Maui Sweet Cake | Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Catering: Maui Executive Catering Company | Hair & Makeup: Liz Javelosa, Maui Makeup Artistry | DJ: Ace Beats | Groom's Attire: Calvin Klein | Wedding Venue: Haiku Mill | Bar Service: Garnish Events | Linens: La Tavola | Rentals: Island Rents | Rentals: Maui Rents | Rentals: Signature Event Rentals | Rentals: Pacific Isle Rentals

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Rainy Maui Summer Wedding

I’m hoping this couple’s positive spirit rubs off, because they sure know how to deal with an unexpected wedding day surprise. As torrential rain crashed their ceremony, umbrellas and smiles opened up, and improvisations were made, including a spontaneous beach photo shoot during a quick rain break. Emily Magers captured every moment, rain and shine, and these pics have me no longer fearing a few clouds.

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Summer
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Hotel
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Elegant

From Emily Magers Photography… Ashley & Michael are two of the most incredible souls I have ever encountered. Everything about their big day was beyond perfect, including the surprise torrential downpour! None the less, Maui was still perfect and everything about these two lovebirds was as well. Ashley got ready at The Andaz hotel on the beach and they got married on the Makenna Property near Big Beach in Maui, HI with the most beautiful outdoor ceremony and reception, all DIY by the bridal party. The area was filled with twinkle lights, mason jars, flowers, wood signs, and more, until the rain started. The ceremony was held at the venue site and even amongst pouring rain and soaking wet outfits, everyone had smiles on their faces and looked flawless! Due to the rain, after the ceremony we picked up and moved to a family friend’s house near by for the reception which was not the original plan, but still turned out perfect. On the drive to the house, Michael, Ashley, and I stopped the car and ran to the beach to catch the most incredible sunset!! There truly is a calm after the storm. It was the perfect touch for romantics after a rainy ceremony. I cannot get over how perfect everything about this destination wedding was or how passionately in love these two stunners are.

Photography: Emily Magers Photography | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Urban Outfitters | Location: The Andaz Maui