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Karena of ‘Tone It Up’ Reveals Her Hawaii Wedding Photos!

When we first learned that Karena Dawn of Tone It Up was engaged we waited with baited breath for for her wedding day. Oh boy oh boy did it live up to our expectations. Captured by Jana Williams Photography, it’s Hawaii like you’ve never seen it before and we’ve got it all in The Vault!

How we met

I met Bobby years ago (he went to college with Brian , Katrina’s husband, in Boston), but we didn’t start dating until he moved into the apartment below me four years ago. We instantly grew closer and he showed me how powerful a deep love is. Life is about love and the relationships and memories we make… this is what gets us through the unknown. It frees us. We were talking about getting engaged for a year, but Bobby really wanted to surprise me. And believe me, I’m a hard one to surprise! Once he realized both of our families would also be at the Tone It Up Retreat last September (2015) , he knew it was the perfect setting at Reef Point, Laguna Beach. It’s one of the most breathtaking places I’ve ever been and to be able to share it with our families and community was perfect and beautiful.

Why we chose Hawaii

The Hawaiian islands have always held a special place in my heart. It was years ago that I would come visit to explore the beauty, learn to surf, and hike through a rain forest for the first time. There were a few occasions when I visited the Big Island (home of Ironman Triathlon!!) to shoot for Zoot Sports and the Triathlete Magazine Swimsuit Issue. Later, Kat and I would shoot our first two Beach Babe Workouts on the islands too! So many memories have been made there! I wanted to share the magic of the Hawaiian Islands with Bobby, so we took our first vacation together on Kauai. It was just a few months in, when I was still just dating ‘the neighbor,’ but it felt really special. It was the place where we first said ‘I love you.’ We were daydreaming at the time and told each other that if it works out and we ever get married, we’d do it here!

The Vision

We wanted our wedding to highlight the beauty of Kauai and Hanalei Bay. The colors of the wedding complemented the surroundings with blues, greens and earth tones. Decor was clean, simple and modern. We used green succulents and white linens. To add a personal touch I used one of my abstract ocean paintings as the print for the menus and place cards. Overall, the most important aspect was having an unforgettable vacation with our closest family and friends….which we did!


Without a doubt, the highlight of the day was saying our vows (and the 6 rainbows that Hawaii blessed us with!) We chose to write our own vows, which is a big responsibility on your wedding day! Ultimately it was the best decision we could have made, and we were able to express our feelings from the heart, with a few tears. It also meant a lot that my dad played guitar and sang our first dance, and our friend Jordan T performed at the reception for our wild and fun dance party! I could go on… There were so many perfect moments!

Thoughts on planning

Since one of the goals of our destination wedding was to make it a vacation, I wanted to keep the planning as simple as possible. After all – work keeps me super busy, and it was important for me to save the time off for our honeymoon. The St. Regis made planning incredibly enjoyable, simplified and exciting. Bobby and I knew exactly what we wanted and they made it happen! From the decor to the cake, it was perfection for us!

Photography: Jana Williams Photography | Event Planner: St. Regis Princeville | Wedding Dress: Galia Lahav | Venue: St. Regis Princeville | Bride: Tone It Up | Engagement Ring + Wedding Band: Trumpet & Horn

Bobby + Karena’s proposal + engagement session below!

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With Three Gowns This Gorgeous, Good Luck Picking a Favorite

It’s our lucky day; there’s not one, not two, but three gorgeous gowns included in this shoot by Christine Clark. And I’m at a loss trying to pick a favorite; it’s near impossible. Grace Loves Lace and Rue De Seine outdid themselves with these creations and Designs by Hemingway’s florals were the perfect finishing touch on the whole stunning scene. See all the beauty in our Vault right this way!

From Christine ClarkFor this inspiration shoot in Hawaii we wanted to capture a softer, more muted tropical vibe. Island style meets old world sophistication. Set at dawn, with sunrise spilling into our misty bay, we arranged an elegant tablescape overlooking the water. Designs by Hemingway created wildly romantic florals as the perfect complement to lace and silk gowns by Grace Loves Lace and Rue De Seine. Corsivo Calligraphy designed a stationery set capturing wonderfully the old world elegance envisioned. The dreamiest vintage ring from Trumpet and Horn provided the perfect detail and graceful sparkle to our vision.

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Photography: Christine Clark | Floral Design: Designs by Hemingway | Wedding Dress: Grace Loves Lace | Wedding Dress: Rue De Seine | Cake: Cake Works | Stationery: Corsivo Calligraphy | Ring: Trumpet & Horn | Makeup: Lena Hanson | Hair: Marissa Pastrana | Bridal Boutique: Magnolia White Honolulu | Model: Amber Miles | Model Agency: BJ Jiyarom | Tablescape: Designs by Hemingway

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A Big Island Hawaii Wedding All About Color

For Katherine and Tim, choosing to wed on the big island of Hawaii was a no-brainer. The natural beauty just speaks for itself and would serve as the ultimate backdrop for their five-day celebration, leading up to “I do.” Moana Events was behind all the beauty and you can see each moment through the lens of The Happy Bloom.


From The Happy BloomKatherine and Tim decided to wed on the beautiful big island of Hawaii. They wanted to shower their guests with sunshine, fruity cocktails and one heck of an island getaway! Katherine is Filipino so adding that special element to their traditional Hawaiian ceremony was extremely important. Ceremonial items in Filipino weddings include the arrhae (a gift of money), the candles, the veils, the cord, and wedding rings. The ring bearer acts as the holder of the rings while the coin bearer acts as the keeper of the arrhae until it is offered and given by the groom to his bride. Among the wedding sponsors, three pairs – each pair consisting of a male and a female – are chosen to light the wedding candles, handle the veils, and place the cord. Sponsors are important people to the bride and groom such as relative, close friend or godparent.

Moana Events created an incredible arch for their ceremony. Flowers, flowers, flowers! That was definitely the motto for creating this stunning piece. Our favorite moment of the day was when Katherine surprised Tim with a traditional wedding hula dance. The moment was so intimate and sweet. Tim was so surprised and loved every moment.

From Moana EventsKatherine and Tim hold the Hawaiian islands close to their hearts and could think of no better place than to invite their guests for a week of festivities than on the Big Island of Hawaii. When Katherine approached us to do her five-day affair the wedding day was to be the highlight of the week. We designed a romantic, coastal inspired event with pastel florals, French blue linens, vintage milk glass vases, capiz shell details, and white washed farm tables. Breezy dining canopies were the perfect outdoor seating for the guests and they danced the night away to a live band on the custom wood and white patterned dance floor.

From the Bride… We met online…E-harmony. At the time online dating at our age was very awkward. I was convinced by my peers to get out there and make myself available. Tim at the same time was doing the same. I took this challenge as a social experiment, while Tim’s outlook was to meet people. Come close to a year of online dating, we were both at the end of the experience. After a long day, I checked my inbox, pop up 5 matches. None of them were interesting enough for me to poke or wink at. So I decided to scan outside my pool of matches. The first one was Tim. His profile resonated with me when he wrote “ my children are my inspiration.” So I sent him a wink.  

When I saw Tim for the first time our eyes locked and the room closed in on just the two of us as if we were the only ones in the restaurant. We were giddy like high school kids for weeks, months and even still. I soon met his children after a year. From then our relationship was out in the open. It bloomed and bloomed and bloomed. I must admit, not having kids of my own, sharing my life with Tim and the kids has been amazing. I can honestly say, they were the best gifts Tim has ever shared with me.

Our vision for our wedding day circled around these words “family, friends, love and experience.” We took some time to look at venues in California, but nothing seemed to resonate our vision. We loved Hawaii, and were drawn to its beauty and serenity. We picked the Mauna Kea because of our love for their beach. Every time we went there, we always said we should invite so and so and so and so to share the magic of the place. The love and commitment Tim and I have for each other wasn’t for just us. We wanted to share our love in hopes that those that came to our wedding experienced love of all levels and inspired to carry that with them to share with others. 


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Photography: The Happy Bloom | Cinematography: Techy3 Studio Production | Event Planning + Design: Moana Events | Floral Design: Steven Boyle Design | Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier | Catering: Mauna Kea Beach Resort | Makeup: Muse Agenci | Hair: Luxe. | Band: Elan Artists | Venue: Mauna Kea Beach Resort | Ceremony + Cocktail Hour Music: Bula Akamu Trio | Film Processing: Goodman Film Lab | Linen Rentals: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | Ring Box: The Mrs Box | Sound: Hawaii Sound & Vision | Tent Rentals: Big Island Tents

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