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Bohemian Wedding Inspiration in Hawaii

This boho-inspired shoot on the shores of Oahu is giving me a case of serious wanderlust. With a mix of incredible details — from the pretty watercolor invitations from Katie Fischer to sweeping landscapes, let this shoot from our fave, Matthew Ree,  transport you to black sand shores where endless adventures await. Hint: grab yourself a piña colada before hitting the gallery, and we promise you’ll feel that much closer to paradise!

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Beach
Styles
Bohemian

From the photographer, Matthew Ree… This shoot was a perfect collaboration of the amazing team and great concept of Hawaiian Boho. Sara Burnett gathered all the talented crews when she and Matthew Ree, photographer, brewed the amazing concept of mixing with Hawaiian and Bohemian look. Dress designer, Joelle Perry, custom designed the dress for specifically for this shoot and it matched perfectly with the amazing backdrop of Makapuu Beach and Waimanalo Bay. (The dress will be available for the public to purchase!)

Photography: Matthew Ree | Styling: Debbie Hemingway | Dress: Joelle Perry | Invitations: Katie Fischer | Makeup: Heather Saffery | Floral: Debbie Hemingway | Planning: Sara Burnett | Props for vintage surfboards: Dave Miyamoto

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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Colorful Hotel Wailea Wedding

I’ve said it before in one form or another, and I’ll say it again: Wendy Laurel makes me all sorts of happy with the bursting-with-color tropical soirees she sends our way. Dashes of lush green and pops of hot coral set the stage at the hands of Mandy Grace Design and Belle Destination Weddings & Events for this beauty. I promise, you’ll walk away feeling full of cheer after peeking at this one.

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Hotel
Styles
Romantic

From Wendy LaurelDaria and Chris are head over heels in love, with each other and with travel. They are both from Canada but love to travel the world together. In their first 18 months together, they traveled to more than 4 different countries.

So it was an easy decision for them to have a destination wedding. They got to narrow down their guest list to who was up for a trip to Hawaii—and there were plenty of close friends and family who were. Plus they could have their Hawaiian honeymoon traveling among the different islands and having a range of experiences.

From the beautiful Bride… Chris and I met in July 2012 when we were matched on a dating site within minutes of Chris signing up. I knew right away there was something special about him when I read his profile and he seemed so sweet, kind and genuine. We had a great first date at a local food-tasting festival and from that day on we were inseparable. After an amazing year dating and traveling the world together, Chris proposed to me under the stars, just after our first anniversary. I couldn’t believe it and shouted YES with so much happiness!

As travel-addicts and romantics, we knew right away we wanted a destination wedding and Maui just seemed to be the most beautiful and romantic place in the world to get married. The warm weather, tropical colors, stunning foliage and ocean views were exactly what we were dreaming of. When our wedding planner Lena showed us photos of the Hotel Wailea as a venue option, we were so excited and instantly knew it was the one. Nestled up on the hills in Wailea overlooking the ocean, the boutique hotel has stunning grounds, impeccable service, and absolutely unbelievably delicious food. Our ceremony was held on the Sunset Lawn, and our favorite moment of the day was when we got to read our personal vows to each other – they were so heartfelt and with our family and friends around us, there was not a dry eye in the crowd. The cocktail reception we planned for our guests was a hit, and the entire dinner reception blew everyone away. The food portions were huge and our guests are still reminiscing about the Teriyaki Beef Short Ribs! We will be forever thankful to everyone who played a part in making our day so special – it was truly a dream come true from start to finish, and a day we will cherish forever!

Photography: Wendy Laurel Photography | Videography: 10th Letter Media | Event Planning: Belle Destination Weddings & Events | Floral Design: Mandy Grace Design | Wedding Dress: Allure Bridals | Cake: Maui Sweet Cakes | Stationery: Ginger Creative | Reception Venue: Hotel Wailea | Shoes: Michael Kors | Bracelet: Kate Ketzal | Bridesmaids' Dresses: J.Crew | Make Up: Maui Make Up Artistry | DJ: Maui Wedding Dj | Favors: Honolulu Cookie Company | Officiant: Pia Aluli | Bridesmaid Robes: Plum Pretty Sugar | Cake Topper: BHLDN | Music: Marvin Tevega | Photography Assistance: Ashley Kelemen | Rentals: Pacific Island Rentals | Signage: Miss B Calligraphy

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Romantic Hawaiian Engagement Session

This shoot by ARIA Studios is basically a free tour of the beautiful island of Oahu, with these lovebirds adding an extra dosh of magic to every shot. From the rustic mountains to the carefree fields, all the way to the romance of the beach, we get a sneak peek at some of Hawaii’s hidden gems and a look at the love between this couple. I feel like the lucky one in this arrangement; join the party right here.

From ARIA StudiosFor Holly and Kalani’s engagement session we made a day trip of it, driving around the island of Oahu and stopping wherever our hearts desired. From cliffs to mountains, to fields and beaches, we were able to get a wonderful sample of some of the breathtaking features and varieties of scenery that Oahu has to offer. It was an amazing opportunity to take some time to explore some of the little places that are out of the way and often overlooked.

Photography: ARIA Studios

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.

Colors
Seasons
Fall
Settings
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

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
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.

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
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.

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Hotel
Styles
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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