Tropical paradises aren’t uncommon venues for destination weddings. But this couple were both strategic and romantic when they chose their Kauai and Na ‘Aina Kai Botanical Gardens wedding.
Kauai, Hawaii was located right in between their former home of California and their future home of Australia. Between the location and the laid-back vibe of the island, it was the perfect setting for close friends and family to gather.
Rather than going along with well-versed traditions, this couple wanted to focus their attention on creating a relaxing and beautiful experience for their guests. They wanted it to be filled with great food and plenty of dancing.
Moana Events brought their vision of a fun, relaxing wedding celebration. And of course, I was there to help capture every moment!
Nestled in the tropical island paradise of Kauai sits the Na ‘Aina Kai Botanical Gardens. It’s a garden of hardwoods and sculptural art created by two people who loved the land of Hawaii.
And it clearly served as the perfect wedding venue for this couple. They appreciated the botanical diversity and the variety of scenery and backdrops that added a multi-sensory experience to their spectacular day.
And of course, I loved all of those same things because it created such epic photos from their destination wedding in Hawaii!
All throughout the day, floral designs by Mei Day accented the wedding planning and design from Moana Events. The couple opted to embrace all that Kauai had to offer for their Na ‘Aina Kai Botanical Gardens wedding. They chose a variety of local flora, including proteas and palms, which created a beautiful grace and elegance to the laid-back, tropical aesthetic of the rest of the wedding.
As I photograph the bridal details, I always look for ways I can incorporate the design and aesthetic of the wedding into the photos I create. For this one, that meant including some single blooms of the gorgeous flowers the couple chose!
Whenever I’m honored with the opportunity to photograph another couple’s wedding, one of the things I look forward to the most is capturing the fashion.
And this bride did not disappoint!
She chose a stunning Rue de Seine design with a plunging neckline and a full-embroidered skirt with a generous train. It was the perfect mix of tradition and boho-chic. She paired it with beautiful silver earrings from a Melbourne designer – a nod to her future home with her new husband! And she rounded out the entire look with suede block-heeled sandals in ochre yellow by See Chloe.
To go along with the laid-back, beachy vibe of their Hawaii destination wedding celebration, she kept her hair and makeup intentionally natural and unfussy, thanks to Mia Moriguchi.
While some might think of a Hawaii destination wedding on a cliffside overlooking the breathtaking Pacific Ocean, this couple opted to have theirs among the natural flora of the island.
And it was just as Hawaiian as one with the ocean in the background. The hardwood plantation was spectacular, especially with the rattan seating and the gorgeous palm leaf ceremony arch.
Since their wedding ceremony took place among the tropical island forest, we spent their couple’s portraits time along the coastline for the epic, quintessential Hawaii destination wedding photos.
Between finding a location right on the cliffside with the magnificent ocean in the background to walking right along the sugary-sand beaches with the waves crashing against the shore, their portraits were sensational!
Moana Events fulfilled the couple’s vision of a relaxed and fun reception choosing to incorporate the groom’s love of surfing with the bride’s adoration of all things vintage.
In keeping with the informal flair, rather than a traditional sit down dinner, a variety of lounge areas were created with flowers, tropically themed tablecloths, rattan seating provided by Kawaii Designs Hawaii and relaxing sofas.
Guests were able to nibble on some of the couple’s favorites like charcuterie, spit-roasted pork, poké bowls, and Sriracha-fried chicken bites, all provided by Contemporary Flavors Catering.
I loved the vintage bamboo bar area that was surrounded by surfboards and copper finished pineapple decor. It was a nod to the local area and to the groom who loves surfing! Those kinds of personalized details are perfect for a wedding photography gallery as it really shows how the couple created their wedding with them as the centerpiece.
And along with The Fresh Shave, which served up some delicious and authentic Hawaiian shaved ice, the couple also opted to incorporate vintage flair for the bride through a VW van turned into a vintage photo booth!
After everyone had a bite to eat and maybe a drink to loosen up, the dancing began! Our bride snuck away just for a moment to slip into something more comfortable to dance the night away in.
And as always, I lived for it. Those outfit changes are another way for the bride to show off her personality – which was perfectly in keeping with the vibe and aesthetic of this Kauai destination wedding.
Her reception dress was a beautiful lace two piece, which she paired with a striking flower crown filled with the local flora!
A message that can be taken from their incredible Na ‘Aina Kai Botanical Gardens wedding? Stay true to yourself and let go of unnecessary traditions in favor of fun, friends, and celebration!
Are you ready to start chatting about how we can capture your dream wedding day? Get in touch so we can talk more!
Photography: Lilly Red
Wedding Planner: Moana Events
Venue: Na ‘Aina Kai Botanical Gardens
Floral Designer: Mei Day
Setting and Rentals: Kawaii Designs Hawaii
Music: Kustom Sounds Kauai
Catering: Contemporary Flavors Catering
Hawaiian Shaved Ice: The Fresh Shave
Bridal Gown: Rue de Seine
Bridal Heels: See Chloe
Hair and Makeup: Mia Moriguchi