“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 somewh ere 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 Modcloth.com 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.
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. http://www.weddingsonbigislandbykevin.com
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. http://bigislandhair.com
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)
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