Maui Destination Wedding at the Sugarman Estate
January 23, 2014
Classic WeddingsBeach WeddingsEstate Weddings
It's no question, a man in uniform leaves us all weak in the knees. But when handsome man does it as a surprise for his Bride as she walks down the aisle (because she really wanted him to), well, that's when we enter total swoon territory. Best part? It only gets better from there, so take some serious time to get lost in all the lovely from Jana Morgan Photography right here in the full gallery.
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From Jana Morgan Photography...Shelbie and Jake met at the world famous local bar, Duke's Bar and Grill in Waikiki on a Sunday evening. They have known each other for 2 years before they got engaged in February 2013.

When recalling the story of their proposal, Shelbie happily shares, "Jake picked me up after work under the premise that he wanted to watch a sunset with me before he headed out to sea the next day. We drove to spitting caves on the south-east side of Oahu and hiked half way down the cliffs and stared out at the setting sun. Jake, standing behind me pointed at a kayaker in the ocean, when I turned to him to make a comment about the man (who was going crazy fast, against current) I foundJake on one knee with a smile from ear to ear! Just as he pulled this blue box from his jacket pocket and started to open it a whale breached in the background. He told me how much he loved me, how he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me, and that I was his best friend. Then asked me if I would make him the happiest man on earth and marry him. I couldn't stop smiling, speechless for a moment, half jumping up and down as he was trying to put the ring on, I finally said yes and fell into his arms as we kissed. Enjoying the moment together, wrapped in his arms we looked out to sea and at the falling sun, when in the corner of my eye, that same kayaker... yelling applauding cheering and throwing his hands up in cheerful screams... it was perfect. The proposal was private, personal, and in nature. A plus, someone else witnessed it so I know it wasn’t a dream!!!"

When it came to selecting Maui for their destination wedding location, Shelbie explains, "Our life is here in Hawaii. We met here, we live here, we vacation in the islands, so we wanted to get married in a beautiful place we call home. We wanted our guest to experience the islands and aloha we live in.  I always wanted to have a very personal wedding... think old world weddings where it was less about how much money was spent and what trinkets were passed out and more about the couple that was getting married and the two families that are coming together. Maui is beautiful, natural and raw! I love the gardens, beautiful ocean and that calm feeling that overcomes me every time i arrive from Oahu."

Jake is a naval officer on the USS Charlotte stationed out of Pearl Harbor. When I met with both Jake and Shelbie to talk about their wedding day, I fondly recall Shelbie and Jake asking whether or not Jake should wear his Navy full dress white uniform or a regular grey suit. It was a really hard decision because we were unsure of whether or not the whites would match between his white uniform and her wedding dress.

Come the wedding day, Shelbie explained that the decision was made that Jake would wear his grey suit. She was being so nice and polite about it, but you could tell that she was quietly sad that she would not be walking down the aisle to her fiancé in uniform – she, like many young girls, has always dreamed of getting married to the man of her dreams in a dashing uniform.

After I was done taking pictures of Shelbie getting ready, we were setting Jake up for the First Look where we could capture them seeing each other for the first time. When meeting with Jake under a secluded tree at the resort before the wedding ceremony, Jake pulls me to the side and excitedly announces that he is surprising Shelbie at the wedding ceremony by wearing his formal Navy all white uniform. He knew how excited and happy it would make her. For the First Look, he was wearing his grey suit to help conceal his surprise for later. When the two saw each other for the first time, they were surrounded by their parents and bridal party, and there was not a dry eye as we all watched them together before departing for the wedding ceremony location.

When preparing for the wedding ceremony, Shelbie hid in the estate from all of the arriving guests, while Jake welcomed and greeted all of the wedding guests in his grey suit. Just before the wedding ceremony, we actually had to hide Jake and find a spot for him to change. He slipped away in the moments leading the ceremony to quickly change into his Navy all white uniform, then snuck back to the front of the wedding ceremony site without Shelbie seeing. When Shelbie walked out with her father, she saw him anxiously awaiting her with the biggest smile. The surprise was met with delighted tears of joy.

Shelbie and Jake lived together in Hawaii and will be moving to Naples, Italy, after the wedding for Jake’s next station with the US Navy. We all congratulate the beautiful couple on not only a wildly beautiful wedding day, but on their incredible journey together as husband and wife. May there be many more years of love and delightful surprises.