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Trust Us, You’ll Be Head-Over-Heels in Love with This Bride’s Something Old

Lots of Brides wear their grandmother’s wedding dress or a piece of their jewelry when they say “I do,” but this gorgeous Bride (with beauty from Mia Moriguchi) chose something else as her Something Old: her grandmother’s wedding shoes. But that wasn’t the only special detail. In their loving ceremony, this gorgeous Bride and Groom exchanged his grandparents’ rings that they had worn for 46 years of marriage. See every magical moment from Jason + Anna Photography and Heart Visuals in The Vault!

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Colors
Seasons
Fall
Settings
Outdoor
Styles
Al Fresco

From The Bride…My husband and I got married on Kauai, HI on October 2nd. Kauai holds the most special place in my heart. My grandfather grew up there, my great grandfather was the civil engineer for the island, and we have a house that’s been in our family for 4 generations…so to me, Kauai is my home. It was the perfect setting for 110 of our closest family and friends to join us, on island time.

October 2nd began with a guys surf session on Hanalei Bay, the setting for our week of fun. The girls got ready at Lani Kai, an island-chic ranch style home located right on the bay. Mia Moriguchi and her team glammed my girls up as we got ready for my favorite day. The setting was perfection – we were relaxed and thoroughly enjoying ourselves! Couldn’t believe I was surrounded by my 10 favorite ladies (and my dad) in the entire world. Anna Ball captured these photos perfectly. You’ll see shots of a newspaper that my now sister-in-law created; it’s an Austrian tradition (since my husband is Austrian, we had to incorporate his heritage, too!). Isabelle summoned friends from all walks of our life to write articles…she called it “The Nuptials.” Our moms wrapped bells around the paper the evening of October 1st and then hand-delivered it to every house in Hanalei…so in the morning, guests woke up to the daily edition of The Nuptials.

When we were dressed to the nine – I in my Hailey Paige Carrie Gown and my grandmother’s wedding shoes and my hula girls (as I lovingly referred to them) in floor length Adrianna Papell sequin dresses – it was time to venture to the ceremony and reception site at Na Aina Kai Botanical Garden. 240 acres of pure island bliss located right outside Hanalei Bay. It was ours for the day.

My husband and I held our first look in the Tea Tree forest, the same setting where the ceremony would take place. It was just the two of us, and it was so special. The image that sticks out in my mind so vividly is seeing Patrick standing turned away from me, amongst all the trees, as I walked towards him. Tall, handsome, sporting his John Varvatos suit (that he had not shown me until the big day, as well!). We were then joined by our wedding party for pre-ceremony pictures.

The ceremony was magic. Friends described it as being “set in an enchanted forest” and a “dream land.” The setting was spectacular, but it was the ceremony itself that makes my heart sing. Our great friend, Logan Welley, served as our officiant. This was his first wedding and boy did he knock it out of the park. The bridal party walked down the aisle to Bob Marley Is This Love, my dad and I walked down to Iz Something Over The Rainbow, and our procession was set to Tropical Lady (island song). We had close friends read stories from when Patrick and I first fell in love 10 years ago in high school, we exchanged our own wedding vows, and when the time came for Logan to ask our guests if anyone objects to our wedding… he turned that tradition on its head and instead asked our guests to raise their hands, throw the “shaka” and scream “SURFSUPTHURMERS” (our wedding hashtag) if they were “all in” and supportive of us tying the knot. On top of that, he surprised Patrick and I by learning how to blow a conk! I had told him at one point that he should learn to do that… because it’s a tradition at Hawaiian weddings…and he jokingly shrugged it off, but low and behold, he learned! We closed the ceremony by exchanging Patrick’s grandparents rings that they had worn for 46 years of marriage and shared a kiss that made us husband and wife! It was truly a dream.

The reception was held in a grassy lawn right next to the beach. The waves that day were incredible as a massive storm was rolling in. Our island-style taco bar, Bruce’s (my dad) Tiki Bar, and the dance floor were set in and amongst and massive clear top tent with white orchids hanging over the dance floor. These orchids matched the ones that served as the backdrop for our ceremony site and my bouquet, and the table décor consisted of King and Queen Protea to align with the single King Protea each hula girl carried. The tables were named after beaches on Kauai and instead of signing a guest book, Patrick hand built a wooden surfboard for our friends and family to share messages with us on. While guests sipped on a Blushing Bride (tequila and grapefruit), a We Mai Tai’d The Knot or one of the Grooms Groundswell Brews, Patrick and I snuck away with Jason and Anna Ball (photographers) and Matti Haapoja of Heart Visuals (videographer) to catch the last bit of sun. You’ll see quite a few of these pictures that were captured during this time – all locations were within Na Aina Kai Botanical Garden.

When we returned to the tent, dinner commenced and my twin sister made her Maid of Honor speech and Patrick’s brother spoke as well. We then danced the night away. Patrick and I shared our first dance to Ed Sheeran Thinking Out Loud, my dad and I danced to Frank Sinatra The Way You Look Tonight, and Patrick and his mother danced to Amos Lee Sweet Pea. Our guests enjoyed our dessert table, we did the Hava Na Gila (since Logan – our officiant – is Jewish) and topped off the night with a sparkler line which was so fun to experience with Patrick and our pup, Charlie (who played the ever-so-important role of walking the groom down the aisle).

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Photography: Jason and Anna Photography | Cinematography: Heart Visuals | Event Design: For Love + Aloha | Event Planning: Legacy Events Kauai | Floral Design: Mr. Flowers | Wedding Dress:JLM Couture, Inc | Bride’s Shoes: Vintage – Grandmothers | Wedding Bands: Groom’s Grandparents’ Wedding Bands | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Adrianna Papell | Catering: Destination Events Kauai | Hair + Makeup: Mia Moriguchi LLC | DJ: Kustom Sounds Kauai | Groom’s Attire: John Varvatos | Officiant:Logan Welley | Venue: Na Aina Kai Botanical Gardens | Bride’s Necklace: Grandmother’s Wedding Band| Ceremony + Reception Music: John Rivera

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This Hawaiian Wedding is What Destination Wedding Dreams Are Made Of

Close your eyes and picture a wedding in Maui. White sand beaches, tall palm trees, fresh flower leis, tropical colors and hula dancing all should come to mind. Now open your eyes and look at this absolutely gorgeous day from LVL Weddings & Events. Head to The Vault for photos from Wendy Laurel, assisted by Jeffrey Oltman, for photos that will give you a taste of island life!

Colors
Seasons
Spring
Styles
Classic

From Wendy LaurelLaura met Star at college at the University of Alabama where he was a quarterback on the football team.  It was sneakers that brought them together — they both noticed and admired each other’s sneakers one day on campus.

Laura’s family has deep Hawaii connections so it was only natural for Laura to dream up a Hawaii wedding.  The wedding design was filled with little sentimental and Hawaiian touches.  Laura had both her Grandmother’s gorgeous blue ring as her “something blue” and her original wedding band on during her ceremony.  The family’s bible was used as well. Palms and Hawaiian flowers and vivid colors were the mainstay of the weddings styling.  The flowers and amazing table designs all reflected this theme.  The highlight of the reception was the hula dancers.  Not only did the hula dancers perform for the guests, they had all the guests, including the bride, up learning the hula and laughing and dancing.

From LVL Weddings & EventsLaura and Star were not ones to be center of attention so they choose a private estate with an amazing ocean front view.  Laura grew up coming to Maui as a child and had many fond memories to include visiting Keawalaʻi Congregational Church on their trips.  It was an easy decision to say their I Do’s on the island of Maui where so many memories were made and now the two of them could begin making memories together on the beautiful island.

Laura loved color and flowers so we came up with the idea to create 4 canopy structures and dangle color leis from the center pole along with a beautiful landscape floral runner across the wooden tables.  We had custom calligraphy menus made with each guests names printed on them to offer a personal touch.

We also had a floral crown and ankle floral bracelets for the beautiful bride!

In addition as the guests arrived to the cocktail hour they were greeted with leis and were able to enjoy a authentic hula show while enjoying cocktails.

They finished up the night dancing under the stars!!

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Photography: Wendy Laurel | Event Planning: LVL Weddings & Events | Floral Design: Wildheart | Cake: Maui Sweet Cakes | Ceremony Venue: Keawala'i Church | Reception Venue: Sugarman Estate | Catering: Cafe Olei Maui | Hair + Makeup: Meili Autumn Beauty | Calligraphy: Miss B Calligraphy | DJ: Maui DJ Services | Photography - Assistance: Jeffrey Oltman | Polynesian Dancers: Manutea Nui E | Rentals: Maui Rents

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This Beautiful Bride Wore Her Something Borrowed

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. For most Brides, the something borrowed is a piece of jewelry from a family member. But for this gorgeous Bride, her something borrowed was her dress. And the Nha Khanh dress was the right balance of traditional bride and beachy bohemian for her romantic Hawaiian wedding that came together thanks toSunyas FlowersMerrimans and the stunning Ironwoods Beach In Kapalua. See the whole day, captured by Wendy Laurel, in The Vault!

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
BeachOutdoor

From The Bride…I am not an easy person to surprise. While on a trip to Kona on the Big Island in 2014, Anthony not only managed to pull off a surprise proposal, but he also arranged for nine of my family members to be looking on and sharing in the moment.

When it came to the type of wedding we wanted and where we would get married, returning to Hawaii was always at the top of the list. The breezy, effortlessly cool vibe of the Aloha State was the essence of what we wanted our second—most important—wedding to be. We both had done the big, overblown wedding. One week apart from each other in 2009, we married other people (then, 43 days apart from each other, we both had our first child!). There were plenty of crystals, jumping photos, and lots of guests we didn’t recognize. While beautiful, we knew that our forever wedding needed to be something very different.

It was immediately decided that we would marry on the beach, but family and friends’ budget issues, time off issues, and issues with flying made our dream of a Hawaiian wedding look less and less likely. After many, many conversations we decided to elope. It was all becoming too complicated, and we didn’t want to settle for a cookie-cutter wedding in our home state of Florida just because it was more convenient for everyone else. Since we had both been married before, deciding to not have our families at the wedding was a tiny bit easier. Our two 5 year olds were another story. Michael and Lola were so excited about becoming brother and sister, and we really wanted them to feel a part of the blending of our family. We waffled for months on whether or not the kids should come with us to Hawaii. I poured over unique vow renewals and family elopements on Style Me Pretty, envisioning myself, Anthony, Mikey, and Lola in the images. The kids all looked so well-behaved and photogenic. Maybe we could do this, too? In the end, our guts told us to leave everyone behind and make the moment about us. We had both been through so much, and it was a time to focus on each other, our happiness, and the commitment we were making.

Once we chose the island of Maui, everything just fell into place—which is how we knew it was right. I first saw Wendy Laurel’s work on SMP and immediately decided she had to shoot our ceremony. When I passed along her website and blog to Anthony, he was instantly entranced as well. Hawaii is paradise, but weddings there can get cheesy quickly. Online, I saw wedding after wedding chock full of grass skirts, flowered shirts, hibiscus and tiki torches. While I have to admit that we did participate heavily in the “Maui’d” pun, we wanted to keep things elegant and polished with that signature Hawaii cool factor. We looped this common thread throughout all the details of our intimate ceremony. All of the florals came from a local shop on Maui that Wendy had worked with before and recommended. I chose a mixture of bright, tropical flowers, roses in muted tones, succulents, and what I can only describe as nice-looking weeds. The goal was something organic and wildflower-esque, but still refined. From 4,600 miles away, all I could do was send pictures and hope for the best. When we drove to pick up the bouquet, Haku (Hawaiian flower crown), and Maile (a green, garland-type lei worn by the groom) the day of the wedding (talk about faith!), I loved that the “shop” that I had pictured during my email correspondence with Sunya in the months leading up to the wedding was actually the balmy, open-air converted garage of a home on a side street in the small town of Lahaina. Effortlessly cool.

For my dress I knew I wanted to rent and had heard great things about Rent the Runway. The Nha Khanh number I landed on was equal parts traditional bride and beachy bohemian. The SMP beach wedding inspiration that resonated with me the most was the weddings where the bride and groom didn’t dress down because they were on the beach. (No khaki shorts and white eyelet sundresses here!). The Pacific Ocean off the coasts of the Hawaiian Islands is mighty and regal, so we decided to dress up for it. Anthony wore a crisp white shirt, a skinny black tie and storm cloud-colored pale gray pants. We offset our fanciness with simple Havaianas rubber flip flops in classic black and white. The finishing touches were my Haku and his Maile. When my Mom saw the first picture of Anthony and I at the ceremony she texted back, “Beautiful! You look like a Hawaii girl!” Nailed it.

Getting ready for the ceremony was a blur as it often is for the bride. Anthony and I decided to separate after our morning wedding errands and to not see each other until we met on the beach when it was time to get married. This turned out to be a great choice. It felt more special to have the hours before the wedding apart, building up to the big moment. Anthony had a massage at the spa while I got my hair and makeup done in the hotel’s salon. All the ladies in the salon swooned when he had a card and a gift dropped off during my appointment. Keeper! Afterward, I had a little time in the room alone to quietly reflect and get dressed. I did have to stop ask a woman in the hotel lobby to zip up the back of my dress the rest of the way (#elopementproblems).

When I arrived at hidden and quiet Ironwoods Beach where our wedding ceremony would take place, I felt like a Kardashian. Anthony had arranged for a driver at the Ritz-Carlton where we were staying to take me to the beach in a black Cadillac Escalade with dark tinted windows. Since we didn’t want to see each other prior, I was held in the car while the driver, our officiant, Pia, and Wendy placed everyone in their proper positions. Pia and Wendy went out of sight where Anthony was waiting and her assistant stood where I could see him and told me he would give me a thumbs up when it was time for me to start walking toward the ceremony spot. As I waited for his signal, I felt so calm. I kicked off my flip flops, dug my toes into the cool, soft sand and just stared out into the ocean listening to the sound of the crashing waves. When he gave me the sign, I slowly walked toward Anthony, whose back was to me. He finally turned around and we locked eyes, and he whispered, “You’re beautiful,” which is the first thing he said to me when we met. It was truly a magical moment.

Pia, our officiant, did a wonderful job with the ceremony. There was a part where he asked us to hold hands and look out into the sea, which felt so serene and really drew attention to the breathtaking scenery around us. He brought a little bit of Hawaii to the wedding and that made it so special. It was exactly what we wanted. Afterward, we learned that Pia and his wife were married on that very beach 11 years prior. Anthony and I felt we were in great company! After Pia performed the ceremony, Wendy took lots of pictures. Then, we were alone on the beach as husband and wife. Anthony pulled up DNCE’s “Cake By the Ocean,” a wedding-planning fave, on his phone and we blared it and just danced crazily on the beach together. We made a video for the kids before heading to Merriman’s for our wedding dinner.

While our technical first dance was “Cake By the Ocean,” my absolute favorite memory from the day was when Anthony asked the guy playing guitar and singing in the lobby of the Ritz-Carlton if he knew “Can’t Help Falling In Love” by Elvis. Elvis is major in Hawaii, so of course he knew the tune and he stopped everything and played it right away, allowing us to have our own private first dance as husband and wife right then and there. Other hotel guests were congratulating us, watching, and clapping. It was such a spontaneous moment that could not have been better if we had planned it for weeks. A perfect ending to the best day ever.

My advice for other brides-to-be is to be yourself and keep the focus on the union. Whether it’s your first or second wedding, no matter your budget or your situation, stick to your tastes and preferences and make the day entirely your own. Also, when it’s all said and done, your cranky great aunt isn’t in this relationship—you and your partner are. Choose a location and a style that makes you happy and celebrates your commitment. Most importantly, focus on that commitment. A wedding is just one day while the marriage is all the rest of the days.

Throughout the planning process and after the ceremony, all I talked about is SMP. “It’s the biggest wedding blog that exists,” I kept telling my now-husband. Being the sweetheart that he is, Anthony reached out to SMP the day after we got married without me knowing inquiring about being published because he knew it was so important to me. (Let me put it this way: I worked at a local news station for several years, and a favorite pastime is writing and re-writing the headline for my fantasy front-page SMP feature). Besides the obvious bragging rights, I think our wedding being featured on SMP would be amazing because it’s not your traditional love story. Ours is a modern-day, Brady Bunch-style, fairy tale. This is our second marriage, and our first marriages were 7 days apart. Our kids are 43 days apart in age. Anthony has family in and used to spend summers in the tiny town where I am from in Pennsylvania. We met on Match and overcame a lot to bring our two families together. I feel that our love story is special and unique and would give readers of SMP a fresh, different take on happily ever after.

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Photography: Wendy Laurel | Floral Design: Sunyas Flowers | Wedding Dress: Rent The Runway | Bride's Shoes: Havainas | Catering: Merriman's | Hair + Makeup: Test Vendor | Officiant: Pia Aluli | Ceremony Music: Hawaii Hula Company | Venue: Ironwoods Beach In Kapalua | Bridal Boutique: Rent The Runway | Photography Assistance: Jeffrey Oltman

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