Make-up perfectly applied, veil tightly nestled in the soft waves of her hair, she gathered round with her family, munching on the corner of a home-made snack. "See, it's chill in here, the Bride's having a sandwich" she teased. I had the luxury of photographing Leslie & Ben's engagement photos the day before their celebration so hanging around their welcoming family felt like I was a long time friend. High in the air from the Marriott Beach Club, Leslie leisurely readied, telling stories of the week on island with the fam and she and her mother's shared love affair with cat videos. As she slipped on her beautiful, one shouldered Melissa Sweet gown, she peeked into the mirror in awe, taken aback by her stunning appearance. "I look like an...adult!"
Moments before his Bride's entry, Ben anxiously paced the palm tree lined lawn (something seemingly unusual for this typically lax & calm gentlemen), excited to finally call his sister's long time friend his wife. And in front of eleven of their immediate family members on a sun kissed lawn in O'ahu, he did. From Ben's father being the officiant to Leslie's father living his dream of witnessing his daughter marry in Hawai'i while wearing red converse, their ceremony was incredibly personal and intimate. The couple exchanged hand written vows that had their family both laughing and crying at the same time, and with a cheer of "WE DO" from every witness in sight, they were proudly pronounced husband and wife.
The rest of their evening was spent lit with tiki torches at a romantic candlelit dinner outside the beautiful Azul restaurant at the JW Marriott Ihilani. Signature Hawai'ian cocktails in hand, every guest proposed heartfelt toasts to the newlyweds, sealing their beautiful, romantic, and carefree event into the ages.
Leslie & Ben, it was an honor to be apart of your wedding day. Seeing how much the two of you care for each other and your family is an inspiration, a true reminder of the real experience of a wedding day. You both stayed true to your laid-back selves and kept the event exceptionally stress free and wonderful, full of love, life, and childlike spirit. Your exchanged sly smiles and "Beeennnnnnnnnn"s when he pokes fun is a joy to witness. Leslie, you looked absolutely bea-u-ti-ful and Ben, so proud and happy! Leslie, even though in that moment you may have felt like an adult, always remember to keep your gentle heart and continue to not stress like most adults. I am happy to have spent a few short hours with you and your family. In true reflection of your relationship, your destination wedding was nothing short of a dream.
Marissa helped out on this wedding, and I am always grateful when she is willing to share her crazy talent and shoot alongside me. She is my BFF, master photo list scratcher anddddd she got the fab shot of the ceremony site below. WHAT MORE COULD I ASK FOR?!?
THIS made me laugh SO HARD because when Marissa and I were yelling out "WAIT! Don't move! Here comes a BIRD!" Ben must have thought we were telling him to be a bird. Or, that's another one of his gang signs. Either way, he worked it.
Tapered candles in a mason jar of water?!?!? Perfect, understated elegance. How come I've never thought of that?
Leslie had these adorable cake toppers hand painted to look like them, right down to the detail on her dress and his sand colored suit. AND THE GLASSES! Now, he just needs to be about another 3 inches taller...