Sonia and Colin had an intimate oceanside destination wedding in a private garden of coconut palms on Oahu. I love that they chose to revisit and celebrate at the Four Seasons at Ko Olina–the very place where Colin proposed just the year before!
The entire affair was very family-centric and represented the official blending of their two families. What a beautiful moment it must have been to participate in the sand ceremony with their children to symbolize their union as a family. And what a great choice for these two, since one of the many perks of a destination wedding is that it typically spans at least a few days or even a week… so there’s never a lack of quality time spent with those you love!
As you can expect from a beachside Hawaiian wedding, everyone looked relaxed and happy to be together. The focus was on good food, good music and good times. And as you can see from the amazing photos captured by the folks at Absolutely Loved Photography, they accomplished just that. Sonia and Colin look literally picture perfect, and the vibrant pink peony floral details in her bouquet, centerpieces, and archway just popped against the deep blue ocean.
Q&A with the Bride and Groom
How did you meet?
We moved in the same circles throughout high school, and had known of each other but never officially met. We’ve both been married before and had kids of our own. But later, our paths crossed through work and there was an instant connection.
What is your proposal story?
Hawaii and Ko Olina, in particular, was a special destination where we had vacationed as a family. In 2016, we planned a special family vacation to Four Seasons Ko Olina. There was no talk of engagement. Colin had gone to great lengths to buy a ring and set up a special, intimate family dinner at Pohaku Point where he got down on one knee in front of Sonia and her two children and proposed. It was a total surprise and completely unexpected!
Tell us a little a bit about your destination wedding vision
We wanted our destination wedding to be simple. A relaxed affair where our closest family could spend quality time in the lead up to the wedding. No stress and no fuss. Sonia’s favorite flower is the “Peony” and the wedding color scheme was themed around moody pinks as a contrast to the azure water of Ko Olina. We picked Pohaku point as the location as it is where Colin proposed. FSO KoOlina had a beautiful water barge which we utilized also.
Tell us about your attire choices.
Keeping in the theme of the wedding the attire was simple, comfortable and easy. Sonia wore a Made with Love bridal dress she had chosen only a few months ahead of time. Our 3 children wore outfits from witchery.
What was most important to the two of you while planning?
Music and food were the most important. We had heard the ladies from “simple souls” many times around Oahu and loved their laid back soulful vibe. We knew we had to have them for the wedding and this is one of the first things we organized after the location. We’re massive foodies, so food was also really important and we decided to spend much of our budget on food. We skipped many of the traditional wedding must-haves like cars and bride maids because we wanted to keep things simple and involve our children in the ceremony also.
What were your favorite parts of the day?
One of the most memorable parts of the ceremony was when the reverend did the sand ceremony. Each of our children along with ourselves poured a color of sand into a glass to symbolize our union as a family. We loved the music and just chilling to the old school songs of the “Simple Souls”.
Tell us about your wedding flowers.
All the flowers were organized from Melbourne via email. Michelle from Flowergirls is just the easiest person to deal with. Really knowledgable and accomodating and down to earth. She was always really prompt with her replies to my questions and made everything really easy. I love peonies and was clear from the outset about the colors I wanted. Michelle delivered 100% with limited guidance and not one single phone call!
Tell us about your wedding cake.
Simple. Made by FS Ko Olina Chef. It was DELICIOUS!
What did you do for favors?
We had “sugar lips” from sugarfina – which fit in beautifully with our blooms and the fact that the kids loved them.
Do you have any advice for couples planning their destination weddings now?
Absolutely! My advice is that a wedding is a celebration of the marriage you hope to have, so it needs to represent you as people and be something you can look back on and wish you could do all over again! We felt the best way to do this was to be relaxed and flexible and choose things that resonated immediately with us. We didn’t second guess our choices – we started with a destination and went from there!
What was the best part of having a destination wedding?
The best part of having a destination wedding was the fact that we were all so relaxed in the lead up to the actual wedding but also in the days that followed. In a “normal” wedding, you get married and everyone goes home, but we were able to savour quality time as a family.
What was the biggest challenge of planning your destination wedding?
The biggest challenge was visualising everything from my couch at home lol! We had been to Pohaku point at Four Seasons Ko Olina, but it was in the very early stages of the development and a lot had changed in the 12 months. It was great to have a wonderful liaison at the hotel who helped to translate our vision into reality.
Photography: Absolutely Loved Photography | Ceremony & Reception Venue: Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina |Floral: Flower Girls Hawaii | Decorative Lighting: Mood Event | Officiant: Rev. Kimo Taylor | Ceremony Musicians: Simple Souls | Hair & Makeup: Whik’d Hawaii | Wedding Dress: Made With Love | Flower Girl Dress: Witchery