I love a good love story. And everything about the way Loan & Travis met and fell in love, will make you believe in the magic of serendipity. Scroll down to read the full story in their own words. But first, check out these beautiful photos from their destination wedding in Kapolei, Hawaii! From the beautiful floral arrangements, to the spectacular sunset views, there is some much inspiration to draw from these photos shot by Absolutely Loved Photography. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
The Details of this Destination Wedding in the Couple’s Own Words
How did you meet?
We met during undergrad at the University of Portland. A housing mix up forced me (Travis) to scramble to find off-campus housing two months before the beginning of my sophomore year. After responding to a posting for the cheapest available room close to campus, I found myself living with four girls who were also from Hawaii. Loan was a senior and happened to be close friends with one of my new housemates.
Our paths occasionally crossed but it was far from love at first sight. The first time we really talked, Loan and two of her housemates sought shelter at my house after an electrical fire damaged their house. We shared a short conversation as I reset the wi-fi router for them before heading out to class. After that, we didn’t have too many meaningful interactions until after Loan graduated.
In the weeks after graduation, there were daily barbecues and farewell parties as people left campus. There was a lot of walking between houses and parks. I started trying to teach Loan how to ride a longboard during these trips. We started to make a connection as our conversations became deeper the more time we spent together. Eventually, Loan abandoned trying to longboard on her own but was more than content with me taking her by the hand and pulling her around our North Portland neighborhood as we talked. After a fair amount of persuading, I finally convinced her to give me a chance and go on a date.
What is your proposal story?
After dating for a little over 6 years, I took Loan back to the Peninsula Park Rose Garden where we went on our first date. We recreated our picnic on the grass among the rose bushes. Toward the end of our meal, I pulled out the ring and proposed. Loan had been suspecting that it was coming so she wasn’t completely surprised but she was still very happy that it happened where we had our first date. It was symbolic of everything coming full circle.
Tell us a little a bit about your wedding vision
We wanted the location overlooking the ocean, but not directly on the beach. We wanted it to be classic, open air, and romantic. Our main colors were white and green with pink and rose gold accent. We wanted our colors to be more natural so as to accentuate the beauty of the venue rather than distract from it. The Ocean Lawn at the Four Seasons Resort Oahu was just what we were looking for. It had a great view overlooking the water and faced west giving us an incomparable backdrop as the sunset.
Tell us about your attire choices.
The groom/groomsmen wore a Calvin Klein black shawl lapel tuxedo with skinny black tie. No vests to help the guys stay cool. I (the bride) wore a form-fitting lacy dress with straps, so I didn’t have to worry about pulling up my dress the whole time. I also had a rose gold belt, that helped break up all the lace. Long veil added a more romantic and elegant element. The bridesmaids wore identical long seafoam tulle skirts, but they were able to pick their own cream color top. I did not want them to be identical.
What was most important to the two of you while planning?
The most important thing to us was that everyone really enjoyed their time. It was not just a day to celebrate us, but a thank you to everyone who was there and that contributed to our lives growing up. We wouldn’t be where and who we are without them. We splurged on our flowers, open bar and the after party. But we did not get a videographer, partly to reduce cost. We were happy with just a raw footage video of our ceremony shot by Loan’s cousin.
What were your favorite parts of the day?
Bride: My favorite part of the day was walking down the aisle to my future husband. I thought I would be nervous, but I was so ready and excited to see him. And I could not hold back my tears the moment I started walking down the aisle. I was just so overwhelmed with happiness that everything we had been through had led us to this point. Another favorite memory was dancing at the end of the night with all of our friends and family.
Groom: The whole day was a bit of a blur. One thing that does stand out in my mind is waiting for Loan to come down before the ceremony for our first look. My hands were very sweaty, partly because of how hot it was but also because I was nervous for everything to go well. When I turned around to see her in her wedding dress, my heart was racing. Seeing her in her beautiful dress made the wait worthwhile. Seeing her in her dress was my “Oh wow, this is really happening” moment that made me a little nervous but mostly excited.
Tell us about your wedding flowers.
We were going for a soft, romantic wispy look. We mainly used white flowers with a hint of pink and dark green foliage. Flower preferences: standard and garden roses, peonies, orchids, hydrangea, and ranunculus. Ceremony arch: Lush white flowers with dark green foliage running the entire length of the arch. We reused our arch to run it along our head table. Centerpieces: lantern with two different floral designs. One with floral and foliage arrangement around the base of the lantern. The other with floral and foliage design attached to the top of the lantern that cascaded down and at the base of the lantern.
What did you do for favors?
For our favors, we had paper umbrellas and hand fans for our guests to stay cool. It was very sunny and hot until the sun started to go down. We figured we would get something that people would actually be able to use. The umbrellas were a big hit with everyone, especially during the ceremony and cocktail hour. We also had a photo booth that had a personalized design on the photo strip. Guests got to take home a copy of their pictures and we also were given a copy of all of the pictures that were taken.
Please describe any DIY, handmade, or personal details.
Our lanterns for our centerpieces were spray painted rose gold. Our table numbers were made by Travis’ mother. They had pictures of each of us at the age that corresponded with the table number (age 1 at table 1, age 7 at table 7, etc.).
Did you include any family heirlooms or special traditions?
I wore a bracelet of small gold medallions that was given to me from Travis’ grandma who passed away a few months before our wedding. We had a table with pictures of our grandparents, who all were with us in spirit, with a candle by each picture.
Do you have any advice for couples planning their destination weddings now?
Make a list of the things that are important to your wedding and the things that you can live without. Most likely, you are going to have to compromise on something at some point so prioritizing parts of your wedding can make that easier. During the planning process, you will probably become overwhelmed at some point or multiple times. At that point, take a step back and remember that everything will be OK and the important thing to remember is that you are marrying your best friend.
What was the biggest challenge when planning your destination wedding?
The biggest challenge of having a destination is that it makes planning the wedding more difficult. It takes a lot more time and research to find vendors and a venue that you really love. You may not be able to meet face to face with them as much as you may want to. You have to really be able to trust the vendors that you choose to be able to fulfill your vision. Fortunately for us, all of the vendors we went with were amazing at what they do and gave us a beautiful day.
What was the best part of having a destination wedding?
The best part of having a destination wedding for us was that it gave Loan’s family a chance to take a family vacation with her entire extended family, something they haven’t had the chance to do in a very long time. Also, having a destination wedding makes it easier to have a smaller more intimate celebration. Although our wedding was actually a little bigger than we originally wanted, we still managed to keep it intimate.
Photography: Absolutely Loved Photography | Ceremony & Reception Venue: Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina | Floral: Yvonne Design | Officiant: Reverend Kimo Taylor | Hair & Makeup: Blush Makeup & Hair | Rentals: Pacific Party Rentals | Wedding Dress & Veil: aandbe bridal shop: Portland | Groom’s Attire: Men’s warehouse | Bride’s Shoes: Nordstrom | Bridesmaid Dresses: Anthropologie