Tropical Seaside Wedding in Lanai, Hawaii

Amy and Greg

Photographed by: David Michael PhotographyLocation: Wailuku, Hawaii, United States

“We’re island hopping!” Those were the words that guests of the wedding of Amy Child and Greg Marella found on the second set of invitations sent out just a few months before the couple’s September wedding.

Amy and Greg had planned their wedding to be in Kona, Hawaii, where the couple spent their first trip together, and even booked the hotel two years in advance. However, when guests began to reserve rooms at the hotel, they were told it was under renovation and construction and that the trip should be rescheduled. After spending two hours on the phone with the hotel’s management, Amy and Greg realized they would need a new wedding site, with new invitations, new flights, and new planning—all just three months before the wedding date. After twelve hours of rigorous research, Amy found an available and appropriate site, the Manele Bay Hotel, on the island of Lanai, Hawaii.

A remote island, with few flights in per day and major stores disallowed, Lanai presented some challenges, including having to have nearly all of the wedding supplies specially shipped in. But, as Amy is the owner of The Hidden Garden Floral Designs, she enlisted the aid of her staff of wedding consultants who ensured that the island hop was a major success. The team effort paid off and all the logistical difficulties seemed to vanish when bride and groom and guests were able to behold what all agreed was one of the most incredible and breathtaking sunsets, the one taken in from atop the cliff on which stands the Manele Bay Hotel.

For the wedding, Amy and Greg fashioned a stylish mesh of natural Hawaiian elements with traditional accents. For the ceremony, the couple had a beautiful Chuppa (though the bride and groom aren’t Jewish they both deeply appreciate the Chuppa structure’s symbolism), which incorporated bamboo shafts indigenous to Lanai. Hawaiian orchids abounded, and music, provided in part by a local flutist and violinist, included a traditional Hawaiian chant. Additionally, friends of Amy’s family who live in Maui trekked high into the fields of Maui and handpicked special tea leaves and had special leis created for the couple’s parents, an act historically reserved for royalty, to wear during the ceremony. Guests received rattan straw gift bags, perfect for the beach, filled with pineapple cilantro Illume candles, straw photo albums, floral bath petals, mint soap leaves, throwaway cameras and snacks; and upon arriving at the ceremony they were also met with gorgeous orchid leis.

Amy wanted yellow, a color rarely seen at weddings, to be the prominent theme, lending the ceremony and reception a unique air. Complimenting the yellow were rich shades of celadon and brown. Guest tables were covered with bamboo canopies and custom chiffon draping with floral tie-backs. Hanging above the centerpieces, from atop the canopies, were candles and hand-strung white dendrobium orchids. Adding a personalized touch, each table linen was hand sewn by Amy’s mom, Judy. Their underlays were in sheer mustard-toned linen, each adorned with an embroidered chiffon overlay. The ends of the overlays were handtrimmed with beading.

Guests could easily discern the bride’s obvious love for roses. Each centerpiece used golden celebration garden roses, cymbidium orchids, hydrangeas, tea leaves, safari roses, and Madeleine roses. The centerpieces were placed on mahogany pedestals with tortoise glass hurricane candles. The eye was caught by delicate blend of celadon greens and yellow tones.

The menu also was infused with Hawaiian elements. Guests enjoyed a Manele Bay trilogy of fresh Hawaiian catch, petite filet, and chicken breast medallions, coupled with island tomato salad with mozzarella. The wedding cake was multi-tiered and square in design, with yellow roses accenting and separating each tier.

The festivities continued late into the night and guests all agreed that “island hopping” of this sort would prove to be a lifelong memory and a wonderful beginning to Amy and Greg’s journey together.

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