Last week on Instagram we declared Haiku Mill one of our favourite wedding venues on the planet. A European-inspired setting in Hawaii, it just so freaking enchanting, charming, beautiful and romantic (check out this elopement we featured there earlier this year).
And, as if by magic (but mostly by coincidence) we've got an enchanting, charming, beautiful and romantic wedding from that very venue, to share with you guys today.
With the most painstaking planning, Lan left no detail untouched, transforming an already-special venue into a fairytale backdrop filled with luxe textures, pretty florals, and an abundance of candles, string lights and sparklers.
From collecting vintage stamps to sourcing a shaved ice-vendor, Lan & David's day was personalised from start to finish.
Scroll down to see their traditional tea ceremony, their idyllic vows, their abundance of (delicious looking!) cocktails and their breathtaking reception under the stars.
Wedding Day Snapshot
The Love Story
David proposed at the top of Haleakala in May 2015 after watching the sunrise.
We woke up at 1am to start the drive up the volcano, and after spending an hour shivering in our coats, watching the most gorgeous sunrise while I took photos non-stop.
The sunrise was over, and I started to pack up my tripod and was about to head back to the car when David pulled out a ring box and asked me to marry him.
I was completely shocked!
The DIY Details
David is a pilot (so are his parents, and uncles) – I purchased many vintage San Francisco, vintage Hawaii, vintage roses, and vintage California stamps.
I handmade all of the tea ceremony invitations myself, using supplies purchased at craft stores.
The invitations were on gold paper, the front of it had an embossed gold “double happiness” letter. I tied the A2 paper trifold using gold ribbons, and sealed with a red “double happiness” wax seal! I even hand lettered the invitations using calligraphy – our guests couldn't believe I made them.
I also designed the “reserved” signs for the ceremony, and designed and crafted the shaved ice menu.
I hand lettered all of the dessert labels using calligraphy and created the gold ink for lettering myself. I had taken several modern calligraphy classes and this gave me a chance to practice and show off my skills.
I also designed our entire wedding website from scratch. It's been many years since I designed a website, and while it was a ton of work, I was able to create a modern, chic, and customized wedding website which included a form that guests used to RSVP which automatically populated a spreadsheet.
This made counting the meal selections and transportation logistics infinitely easier.
White dress: I purchased my gown at a small boutique called Lovely in San Francisco. The designer is Lea Ann Belter from Toronto (I'm Canadian so that was a bonus!).
I decided to order the dress in blush, and it's made of silk organza material with one layer of the dress full of sequins! I loved the lace detail on sweetheart neckline sewn with white and clear beads, the sparkly layer of the skirt, and most of all how light it was!
Red dress: This was custom-made in Shenzhen, China. I designed it with the vision of a long mermaid skirt train. The sparkly red lace was from Japan and I wanted the classic Chinese “QiPao” dress look, with the collar.
I purchased the gold Jimmy Choos in Hong Kong. They were classic, gold and sparkly, and most importantly I could dance in them! My reception shoes were Badgley Mischka, the went perfectly with my reception dress.
For the Chinese ceremony I wore Chanel pearl drop earrings, and my gold ring was a gift from my grandmother. My ceremony earrings were by Haute Bride.
The bridesmaid dresses were Donna Morgan “Rhea” dress in nude. The color was flattering on all skin tones! The groomsmen tuxes were Michael Kors, rented from Tuxedos & More.
Hawaii has always been special to me. I was really excited to take David there on our vacation in 2015.
I love the ocean, the warm water, the delicious local food (my fav are shaved ice and poke!), eating pineapples daily, the gorgeous volcanoes and beaches and waterfalls.
Originally we thought we wanted to have a destination wedding in France, since I love all things French.
Then, our focus shifted to getting married in Maui, which originally started out as a beach wedding vision, until I saw the Haiku Mill on a wedding blog and couldn't believe it was in Hawaii!
It was the last venue on our list of venue visits and it was even more breathtaking in person.
I envisioned all of our ceremony flowers to be white, which complimented Haiku Mill‘s lush greenery. Floating candles adorned the sides of the staircases and also were intermixed with the flower center pieces, which sat on top of silk blush table runners from Adorn.
I hired Marvin Tevaga to play the ceremony and cocktail hour music. Our guests loved his voice and mad ukulele skills!
I put in hundreds, if not thousands of hours into planning the wedding!
We hired Ululani's Shaved Ice to serve at cocktail hour. I procured hundreds of vintage stamps for our wedding invitations.
I also hand picked every single flower that went into the bouquets and centerpieces, all colors of the raw edge silk ribbon from Adorn Company.
Modern gold-rimmed place settings from Set finished off beautiful ivory farm tables perfectly.
As for flowers, I adore peonies and wanted soft pink and white ones to be in the bouquets and center pieces.
We had guests hold sparklers surrounding us for the first dance. It was perfect as the sun had just set, and the light from the sparklers bounced off the crystals and chandeliers that hung from the ceiling. The Mill looked absolutely magical.
Advice for Other Couples
My advice to newly engaged couples is to set a budget, and allow for wiggle room. The wedding should be a reflection of your personalities, as a couple.
Prioritize the things that are most important to you: is it the food, the music, the drinks? Most importantly, always make the guest experience the top priority.
You want your guests to walk away from your wedding and say “Wow, I had a great time!”.
Oh, it's such a magical setting, if I could get married (again!) anywhere in the world, I think it would be there! And gorgeous bride Lan did such a beautiful job making it her and David's own too.
Thanks so much to Anna Kim Photography, and of course David & Lan for sharing their destination wedding with us.
Get more ideas for your own Destination Wedding.