Honolulu, Hawaii wedding: Olivia + Michael
Travel is pretty much always on our minds, but after scrolling through the design Belle Destination Weddings & Events dreamt up for Olivia + Michael’s destination wedding in Honolulu, we’re even more ready for a good, long vacay. (Anyone with us?) These two don’t live in Hawaii anymore, but it’s where they met and lived for years, so they wanted to share the aloha spirit and a sense of authenticity with 75 fam + friends. With Emily Blake behind the lens, of course.
Olivia says, I wanted to incorporate authentic aspects of Hawaii without the overdone clichés often associated with Hawaii and tourism. In order to accomplish this, we sourced everything we could locally. Most of our vendors are local, the flower choices were based on tropical plants available locally, and most of our accessories were made from local flora. A tip I would give to anyone, especially people planning a destination wedding, is to hire a local wedding planner because they have a huge network of vendors to work with. If there are any issues that come up with one vendor, they are your best bet to find another good alternative and more quickly than you could probably find on your own.
All pineapple everything!
Besides being a gorgeous venue by the beach with stunning sunset views, Lanikuhonua had that very authentic sense of place that I was looking for. There’s a lot of cultural history associated with the property, which was really inspirational. The main reason I chose Lanikuhonua, though, was Auntie Nettie, who is the Kahu (Hawaiian minister) of Ko Olina and also manages the property. After meeting her at our initial site visit, I felt an instant connection with her. I felt comfortable talking to her about my late father, who had passed just a few weeks prior, and she helped me feel a sense of peace about everything. I knew then that I wanted her to marry us.
Their floral designer Passion Roots (who incorporated all those sweet lil’ pineapples throughout) also created Olivia’s lei and Jasmine back lei as well as her romantic flower crown.
A fave memory from the bride: I asked my mother, sisters, cousin, and niece (most of whom never hula danced before) to learn two hula routines and perform them with me at the reception to honor my father and as a surprise for Michael. The songs we performed to are “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and “Mele Ohana” (family song/chant). We worked and practiced for so many hours during the months leading up to the wedding, and I remember distinctly looking back at everyone at one moment during the first hula and being overcome with a sense of pride, gratitude, and love. I can’t explain the gratitude and love I felt for each and every one of these loving women at that moment.
Cheers to the happy couple!
Photographer: Emily Blake / Cinematographer: Cotton Love Studios / Venue: Lanikuhonua Cultural Institute in Oahu, Hawaii / Coordination & Design: Jane of Belle Destination Weddings & Events / Floral Design: Passion Roots / Hair & Makeup: Jasmine Mullins / Calligraphy: Hawaii Calligraphy / Stationery: Spark Letterpress / Cake: A Cake Life / Bar Services: Stir / Shaved Ice: Uncle Clay’s House of Pure Aloha / Caterer: Memoirs Catering / Lighting & Rentals: Accel Party Rentals, Event Essentials and Event Accents / Custom Linens: The Wedding Linen Company / Sound: Twilight Audio / DJ: DJ Sir Edgar / Officiant: Auntie Nettie / Bride’s Ceremony Dress: Grace Loves Lace / Reception Dress: Stone Cold Fox / Shoes: Gianvito Rossi / Flower Crown, Haku Lei, & Jasmine Back Lei: Passion Roots / Bridesmaid Dresses: Various / Groom’s Suit: Calvin Klein / Shoes: Florsheim