Choosing the Fairmont Orchid in Waikoloa for their Wedding
When we first spoke with Lani and Myles, we knew they wanted a laid back ceremony that represented who they were as a couple and focused on the importance of ‘ohana.’ Hawaii holds a special place in Lani’s heart because her dad was actually from Hawaii. Whenever she is near the ocean, she feels his presence and she wanted more than anything for him to be there on her wedding day. Architects by trade, Lani and Myles loved what the Coconut Grove at the Fairmont Orchid offered them in regard to style, design layout, and vibe. As artists, Lani and Myles gave us so much artistic freedom when capturing their wedding. They understood how the genuine and authentic story of their day would be captured naturally when we were able to create from a space of freedom and creativity. We did know, however, that Lani and Myles wanted unique and candid moments captured of their families there celebrating with them more than anything. Their family was highlighted and intentionally included in every part of their day.
Lani + Myles’ Wedding Day on the Big Island
We arrived at the Fairmont Orchid and went straight to the rooms where Lani and Myles were getting ready. We first went to Myles’ room where his family was gathered around munching on local snacks, sipping on cold drinks, and talking story as we captured all the special moments and detail shots. I loved how many family mementos were included within the detail shots. For instance, Myles’ mom gave her husband a beautiful watch on the day of their wedding. We got to capture the moment when Myles’ dad handed down this family heirloom to Myles. It was so incredibly special to watch. After this, we moved around the room taking photos of his family enjoying themselves and soaking up the time they had together before the ceremony.
Not long after we spent some time on Myles’ side, we moved to Lani’s room just across the hall. I loved how easy this made it for Ryan and me to move from room to room. We captured Myles’ three sisters bringing over Lani’s beautiful haku (flower crown) that she would wear for the ceremony. Lani’s mom, dad, grandmother, and a few family friends were there to eat some snacks and enjoy some downtime in the air conditioning before the ceremony. Lani had beautiful family mementos that were apart of her entire day including her sixpence on her bouquet and her grandmother’s handkerchief that she would use during her wedding ceremony.
When Lani put on her dress, her mom, grandmother, and a good family friend all were truly blown away. Myles’ sister, Marcella, came over to check on Lani and her family and almost started crying when she first saw Lani. It was so beautiful to witness and capture. Before long, both sides of the families were heading down to Coconut Grove to get ready for the ceremony. I absolutely loved the way Myles walked hand in hand with his parents as they all walked from the hotel to Coconut Grove. It immediately made me think of my family and how much I missed them. More importantly, though, it reminded me that Ryan and I are able to capture photos that this family will have forever. We are creating art that will stay in this family and will be treasured for years to come.
Lani walked down the aisle with her mom and her dad as Bula Akamu played gentle, soothing Hawaiian music. Michaella Larson, the officiant, blew the conch shell to introduce Lani coming down the aisle. It was a simple yet beautiful Hawaiian ceremony including a moment for all those who couldn’t be there for the ceremony, a lei exchange for each of the parents, as well as other traditional Hawaiian elements that Michaella included.
After the ceremony, Ryan and I were able to take Lani and Myles on a portrait session for the sunset. We walked along the ocean, on top of the lava rock, and in the water for some photos that captured the essence of how they felt just after getting married. We headed back as the sun was setting and all of their guests were finishing up the cocktail hour and moving to the reception area. The reception had a chic lounge area for after dinner where there was a record player and plenty of room for their guests to get comfy.
As Lani and Myles were introduced as a newly married couple, their family sat around a long, singular table and cheered them on. After they completed their first dances, Lani and Myles gave a beautiful speech to thank each one of their family members for coming to their wedding. Lani’s mom, Myles’ parents, and Myles’ sisters all gave speeches that were truly so thought out and beautifully written. It was so special being able to capture not only the speeches but Lani and Myles’ reactions and emotions after hearing each of their family members’ speeches. It was definitely a night to remember, and we feel so honored to have captured their wedding day.
Venue: Fairmont Orchid
Florals: Grace Flowers Hawaii
Music: Bula Akamu
Officiant: Michaella Larson
Dress: Alexandra Grecco