Romance was the furthest thing from Kelly Furano’s mind the morning she and Keith Eshelman moved into the new home they had purchased together. “I was a total mess that day,” she says. “I was yelling at the cable guy, lifting boxes, and coordinating everything with our realtor.” Fuming that Keith had managed to disappear and leave her doing all the work, Kelly arrived at the house with the first load of boxes – and received the shock of her life. “Keith had covered every surface in the living room with burning tea lights,” she recalls, “and was standing in a suit in the center of a pile of rose petals in the shape of a heart.” Keith dropped to one knee and proposed, presenting Kelly with a box that held diamonds from his grandmother’s engagement set. “He told me that he wanted me to build the ring of my dreams,” Kelly says, “and then we popped the champagne in our new home!”

Since the avid surfers wanted to marry beachside and loved the Hawaiian Islands, they had no trouble at all deciding upon a destination wedding. “Keith and I have traveled all over the planet, but the tranquility and sense of calmness that we feel in Hawaii is something we both wanted on our wedding day,” Kelly explains. The couple opted to spend an entire week at the gorgeous Mauna Lani resort, relaxing and enjoying the island with loved ones before the big event. “The days leading up to the wedding were some of my favorite memories,” Kelly recalls. “It was so magical connecting with my guests on an intimate level before such a huge event, and it relaxed me beyond words to have a week with friends in paradise to decompress.”

The couple’s ceremony was a vivid reflection of their personal style blended with a unique twist on tradition. First, Kelly threw custom to the wind and asked all of the guests to wear shades of white, ivory, and champagne to the wedding. “I liked the idea of my closest friends and family wearing white with me,” she asserts. “In a sense, they would be walking down the aisle with me.” Next, the couple had their wedding planner Nikki Hodges design a “chapel” on the sand, an 80-foot structure made of bamboo and draped with silk and linen fabric. Hundreds of white orchids that are native to the island embellished the site, while the bride carried a bouquet of her favorite gardenias. The ceremony itself was customized to reflect the couple’s love for nature while including some traditional Catholic rituals and original wedding vows. Since Kelly’s family is involved in the music industry, the musical element of the wedding was vital to her. “I did not want to walk down the aisle to ‘Here Comes the Bride,’” she says. Instead, a harpist, two guitarists, a flautist, a base player, and a group of seven violinists composed a classical version of Coldplay’s “Yellow” for Kelly’s procession. As the couple kissed for the first time as man and wife, the mini orchestra launched into “Bittersweet Symphony” by The Verve. “Everyone applauded, and Keith and I were overcome with the most amazing feeling of love,” Kelly recalls. “It was so incredible.”

The reception décor on the patio of the resort’s Canoe- House restaurant was earthy and clean, reflecting an elegant seaside atmosphere without resorting to the typical shells or starfish. Arrangements of white roses, plumeria blossoms, orchids, and gardenias made exquisite centerpieces, and vintage Balinese lanterns added an exotic touch. Chopsticks were Keith and Kelly’s utensils of choice for the four-course sit-down dinner, and everyone enjoyed the beautiful fondant wedding cake. Throughout the evening, guests were asked to contribute to a painting that would be created by Lisa Deniz, one of the couple’s two officiants. “We had everyone add a brush stroke to the canvas, and over all the strokes Lisa painted our scripted vows,” says Keith. “It is now hanging in our home, and reminds us that everyone who contributed believed in our future together.”

Looking back, Kelly advises brides to be wary about lastminute spending. “You start to feel like you need certain things in order to make the event perfect,” she says. “Our wedding budget increased by 14% in the last month alone!” But when it comes to having any regrets, the couple asserts that they wouldn’t change a thing. “Not in a million years,” Kelly says firmly. “It was my fairy tale.”