Erin and Shawn’s Hawaii wedding was such a wonderful experience for everyone: for Erin and Shawn and their 2 year old daughter Ireland, for their family and guests who were able to take a vacation to the islands, and for myself.
Erin and I met in person just once, and planned for a few months via phone and email. Erin was a true destination bride: she put me in the driver’s seat and just kicked back to enjoy the ride. She gave directions every now and then, but pretty much let me do my thing. She was so wonderful to work with and a sweeter person I have never met.
After narrowing down the Hawaiian Islands to the Big Island, we narrowed the venues down to the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort and Spa for the gorgeous grounds and the views. In my opinion, the big plus in booking the Sheraton Keauhou was Natalie Houston, the on-site coordinator there. She was so fantastic, professional, and kind to work with and her suggestions about the venue were always SPOT ON.
Erin conveyed when we first started working together that her favorite color is black and she wanted to incorporate that into the wedding somehow. We decided to use a sunset as our inspiration and have the colors of sunset on black linens. Erin loves the tropical Hawaiian flowers so the talented Annie Sundseth of Bliss In Bloomused the Birds of Paradise, Orchids, Lilies, Bamboo, and Rocks. Erin's invitations were custome made by one of her bridesmaids Jamiel Hand, who is about to launch her own company creating custom invitations and stationary.
The 40 guests were moved by the touching ceremony officiated by Dean Kauka. Dean incorporated Hawaiian blessings and a lei exchange. One of the things he said during the ceremony is something that I’ve always believed: he said the love is a choice that we make every day and we should always remember that even on the days that we are not feeling “in love”. As a person who has been married for over 7 years, I can attest to the truth in that statement. Once they were pronounced husband and wife, our musician Jessica Salerno, switched from the violion to the steel drums to escort guests to cocktail hour.
The sky was a bit gloomy during the ceremony, and earlier in the day Erin had already (under advisory from Natalie) made the weather call to implement “Plan B” and switch the reception to a covered area in case of rain. It’s so tough making that decision because you can make it and it doesn’t end up raining, or you may not end up making it and it rains on you. I was a bit disappointed, to tell the truth, but I knew it was the right and safe choice. Wouldn’t you know it, the sky opened up at 7:00 PM during dinner and POURED for an hour! Had we been out in the garden the guests would have just sat down for dinner and it would have taken over an hour to get re-set in a covered area. I have never been so happy to see rain in my life! All in all, the day was spectacular and everyone was thrilled with the outcome.
Photography by the wonderful Brooke Fitts of Brookelyn Photography. What a pleasure to work with!
A special thanks to Erin, Shawn, their family and friends for allowing me to be a part of such a special day. Mahalo!