Drawn to the beauty of the natural landscape and magnificent climate, Hawaii is one of Melissa Delatorre & Nuno Castainca’s favorite destinations to vacation. However, the day Nuno planned to propose on Sunset Beach in Oahu, the weather refused to cooperate. The couple drove from beach to beach trying to outrun the storm clouds and rain. Finally, they were able to settle in at a nice spot, where Nuno proceeded to show Melissa a video his nephews had made for his mother as a gift for Mother’s Day. The bride-to-be was confused because they were singing “Marry Me” by Bruno Mars. “The next thing I knew, [he] was down on one knee with a ring box, proposing,” Melissa recalls. “I was in utter disbelief, but when I was finally able to pick my jaw off the sand, I of course said yes!”
Fortunately, Melissa’s future sister-in-law and “Woman of Honor” is an event planner who has a lot of experience orchestrating nuptials. The couple’s love of autumn – “with the crisp freshness of the air, the holidays right around the corner, and the wonderful comfort foods of the season,” muses the bride – inspired the selection of their wedding date. However, for their floral décor they diverted from traditional fall hues in favor of a more ethereal palette of ivory, blush, and pale green. They also expressed their passion for travel in various details, starting with an invitation suite that resembled airline tickets.
The traditional Catholic mass took place in the awe-inspiring church Nuno grew up attending with his family. As it turns out, the priest who presided over the ceremony had been the groom’s Boy Scout leader and one of his sister’s best friends. This connection allowed him to make the service personalized and entertaining. Likewise, parts of the ceremony were conducted in Portuguese to accommodate Nuno’s family members who had flown in from Portugal.
Though some transportation trouble related to a snowstorm delayed Melissa’s arrival by 40 minutes, she was unfazed. The beaming bride entered the sanctuary in a stunning strapless gown with a lace bodice, sparkling belt, and a flurry of tulle ruffles. A pair of sapphire peep-toe pumps served as her “something blue.” Melissa accessorized with dazzling chandelier earrings and bangle bracelets. She clutched a bouquet of roses in cream, ivory, and champagne hues featuring blush peonies. The snowflake design adorning Melissa’s nails seemed fitting to the weather of the day.
After the “I dos” everyone reconvened at an opulent estate for the reception. Loved ones savored multiple gourmet passed hors d’oeuvres and bites from captained stations during the cocktail hour. “[The staff] far exceeded our expectations,” notes Melissa of the service.
In keeping with the travel theme, escort cards were presented in luggage tags with compass charms upon a grand piano. Accordingly, tables were named after countries and cities the couple had visited throughout their courtship. These signs in black and gold, like others displayed for the celebration, were the handiwork of the bride and her planner. Centerpieces consisting of white, green, and purple hydrangeas, blush roses, and amaranthus were showcased against tablecloths featuring a gilded pattern. Menus in the form of passports, bearing the initial of the couple's surname in bullion, were placed atop elegant china chargers.
Reflecting on her memorable day, Melissa shares these words of advice for grooms- and brides-to-be: “Expect things to go wrong, but don’t let that impede on the excitement of what the festivities are really all about – two perfectly paired people embarking on a lifelong partnership with each other."