These Two Got It Right: Only Choose Traditions Meaningful to You!
September 19, 2017
Al FrescoBeach ResortFall Weddings
When half your guests are on one side of the world, and the other half are on the other, what do you do? Meet in the middle! This couple did that literally when choosing to celebrate their nuptials in Hawaii, but also figuratively when creating their ceremony. Instead of adhering to wedding traditions, they each picked one to represent their heritage (a Japanese sake ceremony for the Bride and breaking the glass for the Groom). Absolutely Loved was there to capture the meaningful day – complete with must-see florals by Passion Roots and planned by Engaging Moments – and it's all waiting for you right here.
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From the Bride... I had just transferred to the New York office for work and didn't know too many people. I met Daren at a few work events and thought he was cute, but nothing came of it besides work-type conversation. That all changed when a mutual coworker, career mentor, and now our best friend hosted a weekend gathering that we were both invited to. That's where we were able to talk outside of the work setting and really hit it off. The sparks started to fly immediately, and the rest is history. I should also mention that the coworker that hosted that gathering agreed to officiate our wedding, introducing us and then making it forever five years later!

Daren and I live in New York City, but since all my family and some of my friends live in Japan, we thought Hawaii was the perfect happy middle (and who doesn't want to get married in Hawaii?). I also spent several summers in Hawaii as a young girl as my grandparents owned a second home in Honolulu, and I have very fond memories of this time. When we decided to get married in Hawaii, I remember as a little girl coming to the Kahala hotel and being in awe of its beauty. I checked out their website and talked to the very helpful wedding team, and I knew this was the perfect place for us!

Our goal for the wedding was to have a fun time with our close friends and family. We did not care to tick all the boxes of a traditional wedding and only incorporated traditions we enjoyed. We wanted to incorporate our different backgrounds, so we worked in both a Japanese sake ceremony and the Jewish tradition of breaking the glass. We also wanted to embrace the destination, so we had gorgeous white leis and personalized sunglasses for each guest. We had minimal decor with pale pink flowers to not take away from the ocean back drop and conveniently a double rainbow showed up during cocktail hour to decorate the skies!

I wanted something simple and less formal for my bridal look to match the scenery. I seriously think I saw thousands of dresses online (the selection is endless!) When I realized the ones I liked had a common theme – I really liked dresses with laces and ruching. I was able to find the perfect dress with ruching in the front and lace in the back which was simple but also unique. I thank Kleinfelds for helping me find the Romona Keveza dress that I always dreamed of!

For Daren, we wanted something a little more fun and less formal. His work suits are more traditional greys and dark blues, so he used the opportunity to wear a suit with a little more character and pop. The light blue felt right in terms of matching the venue and ocean backdrop while the pink tie was the added pizazz he thought was the perfect finishing touch. I certainly didn't complain because it matched the flowers! He got the suit and shirt custom made from Sebastien Grey in NYC, and they did an amazing job!

My husband – who cannot speak a word of Japanese – decided that he wanted to deliver a speech to my Japanese. I remember that I nervously watched him stumble through his speech in a language he was not familiar with in an attempt to connect with my parents. which made me very emotional. I know that my parents felt it too, as my mom's eyes flooded with tears. This moment meant so much to me on so many levels, and the emotion I felt is something I will never forget.

My advice for Brides-to-be: Don't sweat the small stuff and enjoy the moment!