Featured Wedding: Sheryl and Kyle – April 14, 2012

Written by your faithful planner, Carly Wilson

Long veil blowing

Photos by L’Amour Photography

The city of San Francisco holds special meaning for Sheryl and Kyle, as it is one of the first places they ever traveled to as a couple. Years after their first visit together, they returned to celebrate the holidays. They set out for a scenic drive over the Golden Gate Bridge, but the rainy and foggy sky obscured any view. Though Sheryl suggested they turn back, Kyle instead pulled over at one of the scenic lookout spots. When Sheryl asked why they were stopping, he responded by pulling out a ring and asking her to marry him.  “The exact word out of my mouth was ‘Okay!’” Sheryl remembers. “I was completely in shock and very happy!”

Once back home on Oahu, the couple began planning their wedding. The prestigious Royal Hawaiian Hotel has a long history of luxury. Hawaii’s first monarch, King Kamehameha, often relaxed there with his royal court. In current times, the pale pink building, designed in Spanish-Moorish style, is an integral and instantly recognizable landmark of the Waikiki Beach silhouette. The “elegant, old-world beauty” of the hotel drew their attention, Sheryl recalls, and also “its pink color!”
ladies RH

couple pose RH

To acknowledge the hue of the resort, the couple incorporated various shades of pink throughout their day.  And with a little help from Manolo Blahnik, they started using the color from the ground up – literally!
Manolo Blahnik

shoes on feet

Artist Alison Hayashi of Kiss and Makeup was in charge of styling the ladies. She curled Sheryl’s dark hair and then swept the locks into a low, elegant chignon. Creamy phalaenopsis added a fresh, youthful spin.

For a sentimental touch, the bride accessorized with “something borrowed” in the form of a rare pearl necklace belonging to her mother.
pearl necklace

pearls and phaels

As she prepared to dress, Sheryl read the heartfelt sentiments that her soon-to-be husband had prepared for her. No doubt it will be the start of many love letters to come.Reading card

Pronovias, a Barcelona-based brand coveted for its exquisite designs and fabrics, was Sheryl’s choice in bridal gown designer. The top of the style was beautiful simplicity with a slim-cut silhouette and a romantic sweetheart neckline. This led the way to the long train, which flared out in a display of hand-sewn and delicately crafted lace. Her veil, the crowning touch, elicited pure drama as it cascaded down in gauzy, lacey folds.
Looking out window

long veil

coming down stairs

At the Royal Hawaiian Coconut Grove, guests awaited the bride’s entrance as they enjoyed the harmonious playing of the Flute a la Harpe duo.
Flute a la Harpe

The couple included a thoughtful touch to keep the attendees cool in the sunny afternoon, complete with a whimsical label by Something Blue stationery.
Though every detail of the ceremony décor had been carefully planned, the littlest members of the entourage still managed to steal the show:
Flower girls

Ring bearers

The bride glowed with happiness as she stood at the altar with Kyle. Hearing her describe their relationship, we understand why: “Kyle loves me for me,” she explains. And on top of that, “he is the perfect gentleman.” In the picture below, you can almost hear her joyful laughter:Laughing ceremony

The couple’s wedding cake was specially designed by cakelava, a locally-owned cake company that has gained an international following thanks to coverage by the Food Network and TLC. A fondant construction of intricate of lace, inspired by the bride’s gown, trailed down the side of the three-tiered creation. In fact, the cake design had been kept secret from the groom so as not to give away the look and pattern of the lace! A boldly fuchsia flower, handcrafted, made a saucy addition to the dessert. And importantly for the guests, the taste lived up to its mouthwatering name: Rainbowlicious.
cake lava 2

Cake Lava

REA Events and Designs provided specialty linen for the event. Ivory satin chair covers gave the ballroom a classic bridal feel, while the berry undertones in the satin napkins added a colorful spin.

Table cards designed by Something Blue incorporated a peachy-rose flourish that made it fun for guests to check their seat assignments.

Designer Jae Yoo of Honolulu-based My Florist created the centerpieces of vividly-hued roses accented by white blooms and greens. A porcelain bowl showcased the arrangement and didn’t compete with its beautiful colors.
Monarch Room shot


The program, emceed by famed comedian Greg Hammer, combined both sentiment and humor. Then came the time for the big reveal. Kyle had secretly worked with Mona and me and the videographers to arrange a special surprise for his new bride: a Same-Day Edit filmed by Kai Media’s acclaimed cinematography team. The final piece showed a video montage of the most precious getting ready and ceremony moments, set to an emotional ballad. I have to admit that watching Kyle’s touching introduction brought tears to my eyes!

The sweet mood continued as guests took home their favors: Gift cards to Shimazu Store, the couple’s favorite place for shave ice. As an added treat, Kelvin Shimazu himself prepared his popular shave ice on-site for the couple and their guests.Shave ice card

And the bride’s favorite memory of the evening? Being introduced as “Mr. and Mrs.” for the first time. But although they have grown-up titles now, that doesn’t change their playful spirit. “Sheryl accepts me for the kid that I am at heart,” Kyle says. And throughout all life has to offer, “she is a strong shoulder I know I can lean on.”

Congratulations, Sheryl and Kyle!

Dramatic kiss


Featured wedding: Shirley + Gerold November 5, 2011

Written by your faithful planner, Carly Wilson

 Photos by Kai-Photo
Shirley and Gerold’s sweet nature and obvious love for each other touched everyone who had the honor of being part of their wedding. Their consideration and caring for those around them, including our coordination team, colored every aspect of the planning and their day.
Though they first noticed each other in nursing school, a busy workload of classes and night shifts kept the couple too busy for romance. It wasn’t until after they had graduated that Gerold finally asked Shirley out for the first time. And exactly four romantic years later, Gerold planned every detail of how he would ask her to be his wife. He treated her to a romantic oceanside dinner and afterward escorted her on a stroll around the grounds, but the picturesque gazebo where he had thought to ask the question was crowded. Improvising, he led her to the beach, where Shirley turned her face to gaze up at the moon. When she turned back around, Gerold was down on one knee, offering to share his life with hers.
This couple always treats each other with kindness and respect. Even after a hard day at work, “Gerold is very loving and always attentive to me,” the bride shares. Whether it be for a special occasion or just to express his feelings, “he always surprises me with flowers and gifts.” Gerold adds that no matter how great or small the task, “Shirley believes in me and always wants me to succeed.”

On the morning of the wedding, the bride was calm, composed, and completely ready to pledge her life to her groom. But first came the fun part – a morning of pampering! The Flaunt Makeovers team arrived at Shirley’s suite at the Halekulani Resort to give the red carpet treatment to Shirley and her ladies. The team styled the bride’s hair in loose, free-flowing curls, adding a fresh orchid for a finishing touch. For makeup colors, softly smudged eyeshadow paired perfectly with a glossy, rose-hued lip balm. 
Even though the couple had agreed not to exchange gifts, Gerold still wanted to plan a special treat for his bride. “The night before the wedding, I snuck out and bought her the Louis Vuitton bag that she wanted,” he confesses.  Shirley didn’t seem to mind that he broke their rule.
As the hour of the ceremony approached, Shirley’s bridesmaids helped her dress. One look at the intricate lacing  on the gown made it clear why designer Sophia Tolli is admired for her signature corset backing. A subtle train, perfectly draped, added the perfect amount of glamour. The front of the gown was just as alluring, featuring flattering ruching and shimmering starbursts of crystals on the waist and neckline.
Designer Sue of SuV Floral Expressions created a feminine and playful bouquet  featuring Shirley’s favorite flower: Phalaenopsis orchids, nicknamed butterfly orchids for the delicately unfurling shape of the petals.
As a Sacred Hearts grad, Shirley had always thought she would be married here. When she took Gerold to visit the campus chapel, he felt amazed by the stained glass windows and the intimate feeling. “We immediately said yes to the chapel,” he recalls. The charming grounds of the campus inspired the couple to practice for their first dance that was to take place later in the evening:
Personal moments made for a touching ceremony.  The couple had asked their family and close friends to read meaningful passages, while their parents also participated in key rituals during the mass. Custom-designed stationery accessories, made by Stacey of Emi Ink, also brought an extra-special feeling. Reserved signs let honored guests know that certain pews had been designated for them, while jaunty cones were filled with rose petals.

Back at the Halekulani, the site of the couple’s dinner and reception, matching escort cards continued the theme.

“Shirley wanted something elegant and classy with a whimsical touch,” the groom explains, and Sue-V florist didn’t disappoint. Two different heights of vases containing similar designs mixed up the look while still keeping the effect visually consistent.  The arrangements featured an unexpected play of opposites, blending classic roses with the playful butterfly orchids. White hydrangeas added a neutral base that enhanced the saturated colors of the blooms.

Naomi Lee of Les Saisons specialty linens used a romantic rose fold on each of the guests’ napkins, while the matching chair covers and sashes felt silky and comfortable. The couple ordered cupcakes in their preferred flavor of red velvet from Hokulani Bakeshop, which is famed for this particular recipe. Although the favors were meant as a parting gift to take home, more than one attendee admitted to sampling a bite or two before they left!


An ivory draping with sparkling paillettes brought shine to the head table. Uplights and a silk charmeuse backdrop from Les Saisons’ sister design company, Vignette, contributed a luxe appeal. Hanging overhead, a custom-designed piece comprised of delicate glass spheres caught the shimmering candlelight beautifully to create a magical effect.

An all-white tiled dance floor, specially ordered, provided a great setting as the couple took a spin in each other’s arms. The custom gobo, which projected their names in a flowing script of light, also added to the setting.

Gregg  Hammer, a famous radio personality and professional emcee, kept the evening lively. “He made everyone let loose and laugh,” Gerold recalls. Jon Basebase, a Hawaii-based singer, songwriter and guitarist who has earned numerous accolades, also entertained during dinner.

The couple agrees that the highlight of their celebration was the chance to “share our day with close friends and family.” They have only praise for the team of professionals who worked on their day. Thanks to their help, “we were able to plan our dream wedding,” Gerold says.

As a member of the Weddings by Grace and Mona team, it was my privilege to be a part of their celebration, and see their love story come elegantly to life.
Congratulations, Shirley and Gerold!

Featured Wedding: Maisy + Aaron, October 20, 2011

Written by your faithful planner, Carly Wilson.
Photos by Visionari
Though most patrons were at the local casino in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada in the hope of striking it rich at the betting table, Lady Luck had a different kind of payout in store for Maisy and Aaron. The casino provided the setting for the couple’s first meeting, and they since became close friends. For the next ten years, they took their time in getting to know one another – and when the moment felt right, they took a gamble and declared their romantic feelings for each other.
One year later, on a moonlit beach in Cuba, Aaron rang in the New Year by asking Maisy to be his wife. Since the couple’s family and friends live in many different locations, they decided to plan a destination wedding in Hawaii. This way the attendees would be able to “enjoy a break from their daily activities,” Maisy explains. As a bonus, the location of the Halekulani resort, in the heart of Waikiki, “was central to many Honolulu attractions for our guests.”
On the morning of the wedding, the bride donned a gown by Enzoani. Though this designer draws influence from the latest trends and artistry of the European fashion scene, Maisy proved the dress worked equally well in Hawaii. Featuring a close fit with a slight trumpet flare, the silhouette defined and highlighted the bride’s slim figure, while the embroidery on the overlay added an extra dimension of texture.
The groom, not to be outdone, sported a tuxedo from Black Tie Affair, a formalwear company committed to helping each customer find the perfect fit. The slate hue of Aaron’s vest and tie, as well as the subtle pin-dot pattern, brought a current feel to the classic style. A boutonniere fashioned from an uluhe fern, which grow plentifully on the Big Island, was both distinctive and handsome.
After their photo shoot on the resort grounds, Maisy then changed into a cheong-sam. This traditional silk Chinese gown features a high collar, a form-fitting cut, and elaborate embroidery. She chose a pairing of red and gold, colors culturally associated with happiness and good fortune.  In a touching and time-honored tradition, the couple served tea to their relatives, celebrating the union of their two families.
As the hour of the ceremony approached, guests gathered on the sun-dappled terrace. The spectacular view of Diamond Head mountain, as well as the gentle turquoise waves of the Pacific ocean, played a starring role. “The Halekulani offers one of the best beachfront views for the ceremony and reception,” Maisy says. As part of their ceremony, the couple presented a surprise gift to the mothers: fragrant Christina leis, which are made of intricately woven dendrobium orchids. A sand exchange, during which grains of sand from two separate vases are irrevocably combined into one container, was also a meaningful highlight.
After cocktails al fresco, guests stepped into the interior space of the terrace. Naomi Lee of Saisons provided satin linens in purple, the color of royalty. The magenta orchid at each setting was a fresh welcome for the guests, while the platinum napkins were a sleek complement. Stacey of Emi Ink Stationery designed the menu cards and favor tags, which were printed on a cream-colored ivory cardstock with a subtle sheen.
The head table boasted impressive upgrades of silver napkin rings and mirrored chargers.
Fong Tagawa, the lead florist of Floral Inspirations, created centerpieces befitting the upscale look. Strands of crystals dangled down from arrangements of exotic blooms, sparkling in the candlelight to provide a romantic and dramatic effect. The soft echo of the flickering flames cast a reflection in additional glass vases and crystal votives.
Whisper-soft chiffon was draped behind the head table, while strategically placed purple lights added a sultry glow. The overall effect created the perfect ambiance for a private embrace.
During the program, many family members teared up while watching the video highlight filmed by the talented cinematographers of Kai Media. The melodic piano notes of “All My Life” made the perfect accompaniment to the video presentation, which included scenes of the couple’s vows as well as footage of a dazzling oceanside sunset.
At the end of the reception, the crowd was still in an upbeat mood. After slipping into trendy outfits, they headed out on their privately chartered transportation to “Pearl,” an after-hours club known for its chic atmosphere and energetic dance music.
As the couple reflected upon their event, they agreed there could have been no better way to commemorate their marriage. “The highlight of our celebration was the sharing of our special day with 60 of our closest friends and family from around the whole world,” Maisy remembers.
The mood of commitment was apparently catching, as one of the couple’s friends took the opportunity to propose to his girlfriend. “Hawaii is indeed a great place to celebrate love,” the bride says. We wholeheartedly agree!
Congratulations, Maisy and Aaron!

Featured Wedding: Joy + Jerry, May 28, 2011

Written by your faithful planner, Carly Wilson.
Photos by Eugene Kam
We want to wish this wonderful couple congratulations on their first year as husband and wife!
When Jerry escorted Joy to prom in their senior year of high school, neither one of them knew where it would lead. But fate had a perfect ending planned for these sweethearts. “Our love just blossomed along the way,” Joy recalls. After a seven-year courtship, Jerry proposed on May 7, 2010.  The bride explains, “He calls it his ‘Lucky 7!’” 

As Joy stepped into her dress on the morning of their wedding, everyone agreed that Jerry was indeed a lucky man. The ruching on the silk taffeta gown perfectly accentuated her curves, while a twinkling crystal brooch at the waist captured the light beautifully. Her locks were swept into an elegant updo, while the slim diamond circlet evoked royalty. A cathedral-length veil of delicate lace created a romantic vision.
The bridesmaids donned a cool shade of mint green, perfect to evoke the fresh feeling of spring and of new beginnings. Each ‘maid had chosen her own dress cut and style to express her personality. As a finishing touch, strappy silver heels furnished the sparkle.
For the bride’s footwear, ivory Louis Vuittons accented with golden locks ensured she stepped out in high style.
Meanwhile, Wendy Balidoy of Spinning WEB Florist began decorating the church to reflect the event’s modern look. Arrangements of white stargazer lilies, hydrangeas, roses, and variegated ivy vines graced the edge of each pew. 


Joy’s bouquet also featured the enchanting calla lily, a symbol of magnificent beauty. A silver ribbon delicately woven through the arrangement added sparkle and style.

Something Blue stationery custom-designed the accessories. The programs allowed guests to follow along during the ceremony, while an image of blooming calla lilies and a coordinating ribbon in sheer mint green helped make the pamphlets an essential part of the décor.
The couple chose the Sheraton Waikiki as the venue to provide a razzle-dazzle effect. The ballroom’s elaborate chandelier commanded attention: “When they told us it could change into green, we knew it was the right ballroom for us!” Joy remembers.
Les Saisons specialty linens provided satin chair sashes and table runners in a striking shade of pewter. The charcoal hue lent a feeling of cool minimalism, but also had just enough softness to temper the final effect.

The high ceilings called for extra drama on the centerpieces. Wendy utilized her artistic talents by creating upward sweeping arrangements using many of the same blooms as in the ceremony. The addition of silver tree branches, as well as the slender lines of the tall vases, lent a dramatic and sleek feel.

The cuisine of Kai Market, the Sheraton’s in-house restaurant, inspired the buffet dinner. Blending traditional Hawaiian tastes with new favorites reflecting the islands’ many cultures, the meal featured items such as Ni’ihau seafood chowder, Szechuan Japanese eggplant, and Thai-style rice noodles with fresh herbs. The hotel’s emphasis on quality entrees was “a number one factor that attracted us to the Sheraton,” Joy recalls. “Up to this day, all our guests still talk about how awesome the food was.”

Menu cards, also designed by Something Blue, listed the tantalizing selections.

To end the meal on a sweet note, CakeWorks created a confection that was as artful as it was delicious. Smooth white buttercream served as the ideal base to show off the pearl dot and silver filigree scrollwork, while the topsy-turvy shape lent a playful look with attitude. A fondant ribbon of icing swooped around the layers, while oversized flowers also played a starring role.
Guests enjoyed the two tasty flavors: Haupia, a sweet coconut cream that is a favorite on the islands, and the tropical classic strawberry guava.


The couple had a surprise in store as the evening progressed.  Vignette, a sought-after design company, unveiled a trendy lounge area, virtually transporting guests to an exclusive nightclub. Charmeuse and sheer chiffon draping provided a textured backdrop, while the mint-hued lighting contributed to the uptown vibe. The modular lounge furniture was swanky and, as the couple demonstrates, comfortable too:
A martini bar added to the VIP lounge atmosphere. A customized ice sculpture, complete with their stamped monogram, provided an impressive focal point. 


For entertainment, the couple booked Kahakea band. The group’s live, contemporary performances often feature at hot spots around Oahu. Famed comedians and emcees Da Braddahs also kept the mood lively with their quick wit and entertaining prowess.
Even though the festivities had to end eventually, this was a night no one could forget. Thanks to the talent and artistry of Kai Media Videography, the couple owns a treasured memento they can always enjoy. “Even now, we all still watch our wedding video clip from Kai Media,” Joy says.  Whether viewing the footage, browsing through photos, or simply recalling a favorite memory, we have a feeling that all their guests will always look back on the event as a worthy celebration of this new love.

Congratulations, Joy and Jerry!


Featured wedding: Loni and Ryan, October 8, 2011

Written by your faithful planner, Carly Wilson
Photos by Kai-PhotoWhen Loni jokingly asked a friend’s husband if he had any attractive single coworkers, the last thing she expected was to meet the man who would become her husband – but that’s exactly what happened! And nearly five years later, on Christmas morning, Ryan gave Loni a present she would never forget…not mistletoe, but a sparkling diamond and the offer of a lifetime together.


After contemplating a small celebration on the island of Moloka`i, where Loni was born and raised, the couple decided instead to hold their event on their home island of Oahu so all their local friends and family could attend. On the wedding day, in her suite at the Hawaii Prince hotel, Loni prepared to walk down the aisle. For accessories, she donned an earring and necklace set made of valuable Ni`ihau shells. These coveted natural wonders are gathered from the Hawaiian island also named Ni`ihau. This land is surrounded by an allure of mystery, as its shores are closed to outsiders – hence the nickname of “The Forbidden Island.” The intricate and costly shells on its beaches are believed to be spiritual due to the lengthy process it takes to find just the right ones. “I felt it was special jewelry to treasure,” Loni explains.



Prominent designer Maggie Sottero, widely known in the fashion industry for her luxurious and innovative looks, created the bride’s stunning gown. The dress featured clean lines and expert draping, while the corset-style back added the subtlest hint of flirtation to the classic shape.


The groom was the picture of island sophistication in a light-colored suit, and Loni presented him with a fresh maile lei to complete his look. A longstanding fixture at weddings, the maile lei was once used by ancient kahuna, or Hawaiian priests, to tie the hands of the bride and groom together as a symbol of their bond. Fortunately, the photo shoot before the ceremony at Tenrikyo Church didn’t involve that part of the tradition – just a lot of romance.

Loni’s bridesmaids wore strapless attire from Fighting Eel, a fashionable Hawaiian clothing line enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. The juicy cherry shade of the dresses brought a light-hearted mood, while the daisy bouquets from Elegant and Tropical Flowers felt equally fresh. Though everyone was a bit nervous for the big day, this playful pose was all about fun…

 Back at the Hawaii Prince, working crews busily transformed the ballroom. The head table arrangement could have come straight from the windowsill of a sunlit house with a white picket fence. From the very beginning, “I knew that I wanted a red and yellow wedding with gerber daisies,” Loni explains. Thanks to the cheerful theme and attention to detail, the décor resembled an alfresco garden party that was both carefree and coordinated.



As per local Japanese tradition, Loni had worked together with family to carefully fold no less than 1001 cranes out of origami paper, each one an intricate symbol of the patience and cooperation that would be present in their marriage. Classic Cranes, a respected design company, then mounted the origami on plush black velvet, using each tiny bird in the formation of the Japanese kanji character “love.”



The reputation of the Hawaii Prince’s food was a leading factor in Loni and Ryan’s selection of the venue, so it’s no surprise they wanted their guests to appreciate the fare as well. The menu cards, composed on cream cardstock with a subtle sheen and accented with a pale gold ribbon, let guests know of the delicious foods to enjoy.


After the meal, Loni slipped into a halter gown by Calista of Cotton Cargo. The flowing material allowed freedom of movement for one of the evening’s highlights: The surprise hula she learned for her new groom. Since she wanted to be sure to express the perfect message, Loni had thought long and hard about the song to which she wanted to dance. In the end, her kumu, or teacher, had a dream about a woman dancing for her husband during their wedding. “The song she heard in the dream was about my favorite flower, the puakenikeni,” Loni relates. “When my kumu shared this with me I felt that the right song had been chosen for me by the right person.” It was only fitting that Loni also donned graduated strands of leis made with this same flower for the performance. Like the bloom itself, her movements were exquisite and graceful. When the music ended, she lovingly presented her leis to Ryan. Many guests teared up when they saw the look of awe in his face.

 This unforgettable moment was not the only surprise. All of a sudden, A Touch of Gold, an island-famous band known for both their covers and R&B originals, entered the ballroom and treated the guests to several impromptu songs.



Kapena, a sought-after Hawaiian group which has released no less than 20 best-selling albums, also bestowed their music upon the evening, singing the harmonic, feel-good melodies that have earned them a permanent place in our land’s musical culture.



As the hour grew later, AudioZone DJ kept the party beat pulsing with a mix of dance favorites.


Tired yet happy, the couple reminisced on their events at the evening’s conclusion. “We have had lots of comments from guests saying that we had a ‘first-class’ wedding,” the bride reflects. That’s exactly the word we too would use to describe these newlyweds’ love.

Congratulations, Loni and Ryan!

Featured Wedding: Ashlyn + Aaron on September 17th, 2011

Written by your faithful planner, Carly Wilson

Photos by Kai-Photo

To start their new life together, Ashlyn and Aaron knew they wanted to make a splash with their event. And from the sparkling bling on the cake to the custom after-party lounge area, everything about this celebration was designed to impress!

Ashlyn’s unique bouquet was created by Spinning WEB Florist. In the days of ancient Hawaiian royalty, feathers were used to indicate high status and nobility, so it’s no surprise that they were also included in the arrangement for this spirited bride. Combined with crystals and white orchids, the plumes created a dramatic and luxurious effect.

The bridesmaids were also dressed to be noticed. The shimmering azure hue of their gowns was reminiscent of the ocean on a sunny Hawaiian afternoon. The lustrous fabric and long length created a formal and glamorous look. To keep the mood light, brightly-hued orchids in their tresses and bouquets supplied a fun surprise of color. Properly attired, the ladies set out for a fun-filled photo shoot on the grounds of the Hilton Hawaiian Village.

Inside the Ocean Crystal Chapel, where the ceremony was held, classy signs welcomed the VIPs to their seats.


The chapel’s interior has a mood of airy lightness.

Donned in softly shimmering fabric which was exquisitely draped and folded across her frame, Ashlyn exemplified the very picture of beauty. Her father, sporting both a classic maile and punchy orchid lei, proudly escorted her to her new groom.

After the ceremony, Hawaii’s newest husband and wife stole away for a dramatic sunset rendezvous.

Meanwhile, guests took their seats in the Hilton’s Coral Ballroom. White satin chair covers from REA Events added an elegant and modern touch. The centerpieces, designed by Aaron’s sister, consisted of slender branches strung with sparkling crystals whose faceted sides brilliantly captured the candlelight.

Although the dinner buffet was sumptuous, everyone’s favorite part was the dessert. A glass stand from Les Saisons set off the cake to its full advantage. Decked out with sparkling ribbon, a pearldot design, vibrant cascading orchids, and a custom monogrammed topper, the confection made a stylish statement. Equally pleasing was the lemon and lilikoi filling, a zingy combination of tart and sweet flavors that kept guests coming back for more.

While they indulged, the couple’s friends and family also enjoyed an exciting program filled with surprises that included trivia games, “Name that Tune,” and prize giveaways. The Hilton’s tempting display of sweets was also a highlight.

After dinner, a hidden panel opened to surprise guests with a chic lounge area, designed by Naomi Lee of Vignette. Sofas and modular benches upholstered in all white, along with white cube tables, provided an unmistakably modern effect. The white dance floor from Catering Connection also held contemporary appeal. The charmeuse backdrop and candlelight made the area inviting, while accent pillows and uplighting in alluring shades of deep blue and violet added special custom touches.

Already blown away by the transformation of the space, the guests were then treated to the newlywed’s first dance. The golden monogram, provided by Showtime DJs, also enhanced the mood. Ashlyn surprised her guests and new husband by performing a Samoan dance called a “taualuga”. The sacred movements, which require elegance and subtle grace, have long been used in Polynesian culture as a grand finale to celebrate the completion of a milestone event, such as a wedding. With all eyes focused on her, Ashlyn remained poised through each intricate step, demonstrating her dedication to the art. The many hours she had spent secretly practicing clearly paid off, her success evidenced by both her proud smile and the admiration in Aaron’s eyes at the conclusion of her performance.

To finish the night on a high note, Teley Brandon of Showtime DJs began the open dancing with energetic rock tunes. The glowstick favors he provided to each guest added colorful bursts of lighting to the dance floor, increasing the celebratory mood!

From the bling on the bridal gown, the bouquets, and décor, this was an event filled with sparkle and light. But what shone brightest of all was the bride’s radiant smile, which reflected all the joy of the day.

Congratulations, Ashlyn and Aaron!
yours, Carly Wilson

Featured Wedding: Jodi + Travis on August 13, 2011

Written by your faithful planner, Carly Wilson

Photos by One Wedding Photography

“Everything grows with love.” This heartwarming statement, printed on the wedding favors, was a fitting theme for Jodi and Travis Sayegusa’s celebration. Their event, held at the elegant Halekulani, combined the groom’s love of gardening with the bride’s preference for an outdoor feel that was sophisticated and cheerful at the same time.

An athletic surfer, Jodi chose a gown that was feminine without being too frilly. Made of shimmering dupioni silk, with a lace-up corset in the back and subtle ruching in the front, her dress integrated both glamour and simplicity. Flowing beautifully in all the right places, with a perfect touch of sparkle in the bustle, it made her look every inch the bride while still staying true to her personality. Her bouquet was a textural delight of creamy hues, and the bleached linen wrapped around the stems gave the look the organic effect she sought. To finish the ensemble, a cascading veil and a pure white cymbidium orchid were the perfect accents for her dark tresses.

The bridesmaids carried a cheerful collection of yellow blooms, including sun-colored round billy balls that made everyone smile. The exuberant bouquets made a gorgeous contrast against the jeweled cerulean tone of their strapless gowns. A playful butter-hued hair flower completed the look. As you can see, this palette seemed to bring out the ladies’ saucy side…

As for the men, their suits had been expertly tailored by the team at Black Tie Affair. While the traditional black may be have been too solemn for the nature-loving couple, the charcoal hue they selected was a fresh take that was just as impeccable. As you can see, donning formalwear didn’t keep the boys from having a good time…

As guests arrived at the Halekulani’s sunny Garden Courtyard, they were greeted by Joanna Morrison’s melodious cello playing, with a custom twist – Joanna had learned Jodi and Travis’ favorite Beatles songs especially for the event. Family and friends hummed along to the familiar tunes while soaking in the Courtyard’s charming atmosphere. Two altar arrangements at the front of the aisle formed the focal point. Their volume attracted all the right attention, while the natural greens and sunny hues prevented them from being overly showy. Suspended with satin ribbon, cones filled with a coordinating variety marked the aisle’s edge.

A sweet moment came at the beginning of the ceremony as Jodi and her father reached the front of the aisle. “I know you’ll take good care of her,” Jodi’s father said to Travis. Joyful emotions also ran high as the just-married couple walked back down the aisle to the tune of “All You Need is Love.” They were also treated to an impromptu shower of rose petals and bubbles!

The fete continued in the Halekulani Ballroom, decorated to fit the event’s fun-loving garden décor. White chair covers from REA Events held classic appeal, while their kiwi sashes lent a playful air. As for the centerpieces, mirrored bases reflected the joyous arrangements in the couple’s colors. Table numbers, created by the talented team at Something Blue stationery, were a clever way to welcome guests to their seats.

The program was filled with entertainment and good times. A friend of the couple led the group in a rousing photo scavenger hunt that had everyone racing to beat the clock. The Same-Day Edit video show from 10th Letter Media videography was also a hit. When the video showed an especially alluring glance from Jodi aimed directly at the camera, someone in the ballroom literally gasped at how beautiful she was! The formal program having ended, Jodi and Travis, along with their parents, kicked off the dancing for the remainder of the evening.

Guests were sent home with a token that would endure even after the last song had been played – succulents planted in adorable mini terracotta pots. The best part was the personal touch, as they were lovingly grown and planted by one of our former brides, owner of Natural Elements Landscaping, and painted by Jodi’s mother. The message on the back of the cards, “Everything Grows With Love,” reminded guests that nurturing and care always create new happiness.

Congratulations, Jodi and Travis!

Invitation Suites: Nancy and Lance’s "Twinkle" Ensemble

One of the personal touches I love for weddings is coordinating stationery items. The ensemble, in its entirety, creates a cohesive look and serves as a unifying element of the wedding, from the very first impression that guests receive, starting with the save-the-date or invitation, to the very last one, which would be the thank you card following the wedding. Stationers who specialize in customized orders can create unique and wonderful pieces for such occasions. To illustrate, here are pieces from Nancy and Lance’s August 13, 2010 wedding stationery suite designed by Emi Ink.

Nancy and Lance’s invitations, adorned by hand with tiny, tangerine colored Swarovski crystals, featured the autumn hues that Nancy loves.

Petal cones with the matching “Twinkle” flower design on the outside of each cone, contained fresh rose petals in ivory for guests to toss as Nancy and Lance exited the church.

Bronze toned frames featured table numbers with the list of guests seated at each table. Emi Ink printed the “Twinkle” design across the top, and added crystals to the centers of each printed flower as well.

(Not shown: custom-designed guest book pages, escort card pockets with programs, and coordinating thank you cards.)

Photos by Eclat Photo

WGM Style Tip #1: napkin rings; little details with huge impact

Want to really spruce up your wedding in a way that most do not even consider? Try adding napkin rings to really embellish the look of your table top. They demonstrate the extra thought put in to the overall look of your wedding, and often times, add a little punch of color. Here are some examples from real weddings and events we planned, to give you an idea of the possibilities.

In the photo above, a rich bronze-toned cuff was created in the same hue as the card stock matting used in the invitations and contrasted brilliantly against the soft gold napkin.

In the next two photos, elegant, gold beaded napkin rings adorned deep violet napkins creating a regal look.

Here, a contemporary black napkin ring adds a special touch to this ultra modern, red and black wedding.

This jeweled napkin ring, gorgeous enough to be worn as jewelry, functions as a pretty enhancement on this purple and lavender table top.

Black napkin rings keep these lamour napkins in neat rolls, completing the “urban chic” look for this rehearsal dinner.

Napkin rings may be purchased or rented, or to coordinate with the entire invitation suite, can be made of a heavy paper stock. These gold filigreed napkin rings were crafted from the exact same fabric-like paper used to embellish not only the invitations, but which also served as inspiration for the wedding cake.

Photo credits (top to bottom):
photo #1: Perfekt Photo
photos #2 and 3: Sieber Studio
photos #4 and 5: Chrissy Lambert Photography
photos #6 and 7: Kris Labang Photography
photo #8: Dylan Dawson Photography

What I Have Learned about Myself after 10 Years in Business; reflections inspired by an interview with President Obama

In an interview with President Obama this evening on “60 Minutes,” the interviewer asked, “What have you learned about yourself in these last two years [of your presidency]?” I then paused to reflect and ask myself the same question, what have I learned about myself in these last ten years of being in business? I have learned…
that I am truly passionate about weddings, and that while some people spend a lifetime bouncing from one position to the next in search of their “dream job,” I am fortunate to have already found (or created) mine;

that unlike other business people whose decisions are driven by numbers and growth, I am instead motivated by how to better service and satisfy our clients;

that through the most daunting of challenges and hardships, I will always be able to put one foot in front of the other, and to grow from tough experiences;

that in spite of white hairs and a few more wrinkles – we’ll call them “smile lines” – than I would care to admit having, I tend to forget my age and feel immortalized in my twenties (which is probably how I find it easy to relate to brides and grooms, whose average age ranges from mid-twenties to thirties);

that I am only where I am today because of the support of our staff, fellow vendors, friends, and my mom, coupled with the faith and trust placed in us by our brides and grooms. Indeed, these last ten years have been a journey I have not made alone, and I am forever indebted to so many.

While my answers add up to quite a list, one of the things I wish to highlight is that I have learned…that the gratification I find from having a business comes not only from establishing a company based on hard work, but also from sharing my knowledge with my team, interns, and students, and seeing them grow as individuals. This post is dedicated to the many people whom I have had the pleasure of working with at Weddings by Grace and Mona and who have touched my life in so many ways. Here are a few photos of the often times behind-the-scenes team members who have helped to ensure the success of countless weddings.

Photo credits (in order of photo appearance):
1st photo: Images by Kellie Ann
4th, 5th, 6th photos: Hokuli’i Images
7th, 8th photos: Kris Labang Photography
10th photo: Bianca Photography
11th, 12th photos: Perfekt Photo
14th, 15th, 16th, 17th photos: Love Story Weddings