Big Island. small wedding.

“We’re going there” he said nonchalantly as our Apple tv scrolled through a picturesque beach front cottage on the Big Island of Hawaii. I nodded my head in approval, not yet processing what he was actually saying. “Wait…what? Not Washington DC?” As though he had planned my delayed reaction himself, he smirked and added, “Yes, but there’s one thing you have to do while we’re there…marry me.”

Let’s back up a little. Vacation is a dirty word in our family mostly because our work doesn’t allow us to get away from home for long periods of time. Daycations, staycations and long weekends are more like it. That’s the beauty of owning a business! We were planning a week, a WHOLE week, to Washington DC. Eric had never been and I went once back in high school. I really wanted to go somewhere tropical and relaxing (don’t all moms wish for that?) but his reasoning for transforming ourselves into tourists and walking around our nations’ capital until our feet ached was pretty solid.

Ok, fast forward now back to the moment where I realized I was going somewhere tropical getting married in just barely over a month! You’re wondering what my response was. Well he didn’t exactly ask me so yes or no were not appropriate answers. It was more like, “Seriously?!” That sounds bad. We had talked about marriage a lot, had been together over 7 years, and had a 3 (now 4) year old daughter together. He went on to explain that he had been trying to plan details for an intimate wedding on his own with no intention of telling me until we arrived at the airport. This was bordering on both romantic AND crazy! I quickly jumped in to plan and find a dress for a beach-front wedding for 2. I think he felt a sense of relief at that moment of handing the details over to me, while still gaining mucho brownie points for attempting something so undeniably romantic and unique. And thus began many hours of browsing Pinterest for vintage beach wedding ideas.


Here’s the scoop on our wedding…

Dress and Bird Cage Veil – My dress was a Macy’s one-day sale find, marked one of a kind and in my size! I sort of wanted to stand backwards for all the pictures because the back of my dress was exactly what I wanted. I do confess that I packed my 2 runner-up wedding dresses from Macy’s and just in case I changed my mind. Here’s the best part…I made my own DIY bird-cage veil! If you’re wondering about Eric’s suit, he shopped his own closet. We bought him an awesome gray vest from Nordstrom’s and paired it with a nice white tie he already owned. We absolutely loved the juxtaposition of classic wedding attire on a beach.

Bouquet – Safeway in Kona, Hawaii. Yes, believe it! Armed with a vision and several bouquet ideas from Pinterest, I chatted with Paige in the floral department once over the phone and again in person the day we arrived. Despite it being a holiday week, shipments of all flowers delayed by a day, and being limited to whichever flowers happened to arrive the day before our wedding, Paige kept me at ease that it would turn out perfectly. Not only did she give me her cell phone number, but she also texted with me the night before our wedding as she arranged my bouquet. She didn’t stop until she got the bouquet just as I had imagined it. She assisted the bakery department with coordinating the flowers on top of our cake and also helped pick out a few bunches of wild flowers for my DIY lace vases. Shout out to Paige!

I am the type of person who likes to have everything planned in advance and Eric is the exact opposite of that. Needless to say, we are a perfect union. Originally, we were working with a different minister who had offered to help with details like the flowers and cake and she had put us in touch with a florist in Kona. We discovered that this minister marked the florist’s prices up which she claimed was how she made money. We work in the service industry too and choose to do business honest and fair. We charge for our service and any assistance with other related details are a complementary service we offer. Our disagreement about how business should be done landed us elsewhere and I had to put my faith and trust in the fact that we would probably use Safeway for flowers and cake and would figure it all out once we got to Kona. I could not have been happier with the result!

Cake – Safeway again. We found it difficult to work out these details with Safeway over the phone, but I felt at ease once I spoke with the bakery manager in person on the day we arrived in Kona. We ordered the cake on a Monday afternoon and picked it up on Thursday morning. Our 6 inch round red velvet cake with white buttercream frosting was a bit larger than we had wanted but it was our smallest option and luckily still fit (barely) on my DIY cake stand! My DIY “I Do” bunting cake topper fit perfectly! We paid around $60 total for the flowers and cake.

Photo Prop – Because every bride needs bunting, right? Rather than overpay on Etsy, I decided to make my own DIY “Mr. & Mrs.” burlap bunting and DIY “I Do” bunting cake topper.

Minister – We found Kevin Eng online and were very happy with his services. His prices were reasonable, he was upfront and honest, and performed a very nice wedding ceremony. Our Hawaiian wedding was unique in that it had a few mainland traditions rather than the traditional Hawaiian lei ceremony as well as having no guests.

Photographer – We did a lot of online research for photographers and just couldn’t find the right fit for us. So we decided to make it a “selfie” wedding and set our camera up on tripod with a wireless remote! We drove to Holualoa, a local artist’s town, to take pictures of ourselves the day before our wedding. Check out my DIY “I Do” letter photo props! Believe it or not, I packed all of my DIY wedding goodies into my carry-on. After a disagreement, my smart soon-to-be husband silently made a

call the night before our wedding to photographer, Ted Kapa. Our minister recommended him and his prices were very reasonable. He captured a couple of pictures that we are thrilled with, and would not have had time to take as “selfies”. With his help we were able to pose for a handful of pictures before our ceremony and then a few more afterward as the sun was setting.

Hair and Makeup – Rachel with Big Island Hair came highly recommended by our minister. She rocked! Rachel turned my hair into a beautiful vintage side swept ponytail and applied my makeup with such a pretty natural coverage. I wish I had written down all the makeup she used because I’d love to recreate it! A big thank you to Rachel for keeping my afternoon stress-free as I got ready for our sunset ceremony.

Ceremony Location –  We married about twenty steps in front of the lanai of our private beach front cottage at Lava Lava Beach Club. The best part about this is that we (and even our children)

can return there and will always be able to look out and see the sand we were married on. We’re already planning a trip for our 1 year wedding anniversary!

First Dance and Dinner – Lava Lava Beach Club starts live acoustic music at 5 pm nightly just steps away from their cottages. Following the most amazing sunset complete with a “green flash”, we danced in the very spot we said our vows less than an hour earlier. Then we crossed the sand and had a drink at the bar before heading to dinner at the beautiful Hilton Waikoloa Village KPC ocean front restaurant. We had eaten there before and knew that it would be extra special.

If you’re heading to Kona, Hawaii to get married or just to vacation, we’d love to hear from you. The Big Island has quickly become our favorite island and we are always looking for recommendations on things to do there. Also, let us know if you have any questions for the two of us.

Happy almost 6 month anniversary, sweetie!  -lifeasallison

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  21 comments for “Big Island. small wedding.

  1. Kerry
    March 11, 2014 at 11:45 am

    This is beautiful Allison! All the do-it-yourselves are amazing. Very creative! I found your blog via Instagram (love your #stitchfix posts) and look forward to following along.

      March 12, 2014 at 12:36 am

      Thank you so much Kerry.These personal touches definitely added a little something special to an already extraordinary and memorable day. We really appreciate your kind words. The chambray dress I’m wearing as I had my makeup and hair done was Stitchfix! It was perfect for not messing anything up as I changed into my wedding dress, and actually won me a #stitchfixfriday back in September :) What’s your instagram? We’d love to follow along as well!

      • Kerry
        March 17, 2014 at 2:54 pm

        Oh yeah! I remember you winning that one! I haven’t got the courage yet to post any outfits on Instagram but I should! I’m getting my 10th Stitch Fix box on Wednesday. My IG acct is @kerrybisig. I should’ve used something more clever :)

          March 17, 2014 at 4:11 pm

          Following you on Instagram now, Kerry! Wednesday will be the best mail day ever for you then. I’m jealous :) Definitely post a picture Friday of your fix favorites. To win a $50 credit makes it so worth it! I’m working on a little something for the blog from my latest fix! It’s all so wonderful as always. p.s. I believe you can change your IG name if you wanted too. Check your profile.

  2. March 14, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    Your style is unique in comparison to other folks I have read stuff
    from. Many thanks for posting when you’ve got
    the opportunity, Guess I’ll just bookmark this blog.

      March 17, 2014 at 2:08 pm

      Thank you so much Sophia. I’ll be featuring the individual DIY projects from my big wedding day very soon too! Stay tuned!

  3. March 21, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    Do you have any video of that? I’d care to find out more details.

      March 24, 2014 at 10:50 pm

      We’ll be posting some video soon. Maybe it’s what you’re looking for!

  4. March 22, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    Hi there, I do think your website could possibly be having
    browser compatibility problems. When I take a look at your website in Safari, it looks fine but when opening
    in IE, it’s got some overlapping issues. I merely wanted to give you a quick
    heads up! Aside from that, wonderful website!

      March 24, 2014 at 10:42 pm

      Thanks for the heads up! We are aware of some of these issues and are looking into it. It worked on our IE but if not on yours, now we will check that our further. Always appreciate this type of feedback!

  5. March 23, 2014 at 7:49 pm

    When someone writes an article he/she maintains the
    image of a user in his/her brain that how a user can understand it.

    So that’s why this post is outstdanding. Thanks!

      March 24, 2014 at 10:48 pm

      Your kind words mean a lot. Thank you. It is our goal to write with our reader’s needs and interests in mind. So glad you like what you’ve read!

  6. March 25, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    Alli it’s me! Your IG pal and now your newest blog follower. I’m totally in love with this site, I’m so happy to see you achieving your dream(s)! You should be proud, it’s just perfect. OK now can we talk about this wedding? Every detail so lovely, but nothing over-the-top or fussy about it. Brilliant! Love your DIY everything, but you are a girl after my own heart with your banners and cake toppers :) You know who to talk to if you ever want to talk paper. Go girl (and boy, too!) Off to keep digging through this blog…

      March 28, 2014 at 12:07 am

      Thanks so much IG pal 😉 We are excited too and I’m so happy you love our blog. By the way, we’re always looking for feedback as we are learning as we go. I’m still so thrilled with how romantic and picture perfect our wedding was. I love how you described it because it’s exactly what I was going for. Basically our witness was a cute turtle hanging out on the sand all day (there were so many turtles, it was amazing). I plan to post about how I made my banner, cake topper, wedding veil, etc. I had a lot of fun figuring it all out the month prior, and I will definitely pick your brain when I have paper projects in mind! xoxo

  7. April 3, 2014 at 7:34 am

    Very energetic article, I enjoyed that a lot. Will there be a part 2?

      April 3, 2014 at 9:34 am

      Thank you for the positive feedback! We will be posting a full review of Lava Lava Beach Club in the next day or so.

      April 4, 2014 at 11:34 pm

      Judith, I know that @lifeaseric responded to you as well, but I was curious if there was something specific you were looking for more information about. I will be posting more detailed information on the DIY projects I made like my wedding veil and banners in the coming weeks. Let me know!

  8. Tricia Iten-Maly
    June 5, 2014 at 9:36 am

    Hi! Your wedding (and you) looked gorgeous! I am very interested about the Lava Lava Beach Club. My husband and I have been wanting to go to Hawaii but haven’t done much research at all. This place looks exactly like the vibe we’re looking for. Would you recommend it? Would you recommend Kona/Big Island or one of the other islands?
    Thanks and always look forward to your IG posts!!

      December 13, 2014 at 11:04 pm

      Hi Tricia! I apologize for the delay in responding to your questions. Thank you so much. We highly recommend the Lava Lava Beach Club. We love it so much that it’s temping not to share it because we want to keep it all to ourselves. We went back to the Big Island (our most favorite of all the Hawaiian islands now) to celebrate our 1 year anniversary, and actually ended up switching half way through our vacation to Lava Lava because we missed it so much. It’s the perfect getaway, and despite not having any pool, the ocean is steps from your lanai. It’s absolutely breathtaking there. Email us at if you have more questions. We’d love to talk about Hawaii with you!

    • Mackenzie
      January 12, 2015 at 7:33 pm

      That is such a cute wedding! I actually had my birthday dinner at the lava lava beach club and it was beautiful! I love all of your cute DIY ideas for photos and the cake. I hope that when I grow up and get married I will have the same wonderful mindset as you!

  9. Mackenzie
    January 12, 2015 at 7:32 pm

    That is such a cute wedding! I actually had my birthday dinner at the lava lava beach club and it was beautiful! I love all of your cute DIY ideas for photos and the cake. I hope that when I grow up and get married I will have the same wonderful mindset as you!

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