Cultural Weddings/Destination Weddings

Colorful Barefoot Hawaiian Beach Elopement

Intimate & Scenic Traditional Hawaiian Lei Exchange Elopement – Chelsea Stratso 1

Some things in life are just better barefoot. Sipping margaritas, noshing fish tacos, oh and eloping in Hawaii of course!

Morgan and Josephine did just that, frolicking for a few photos barefoot in Kahana Bay, but not before exchanging leis & “I do’s” beachside a la Hawaiian tradition. One could see the obvious appeal of running away to the Hawaiian Islands to marry your love but Morgan shared more specifically what made them opt for eloping:

“We quickly realised that we weren’t planning the wedding we wanted and we just couldn’t justify spending money on a big wedding.”

They then changed gears and planned a colorful (a bright blue suit and blush gown, so fun!) intimate wedding that was “just for them”. If you’re having the wedding planning blues, Chelsea Stratso‘s photos just may inspire you to do the same!

Intimate & Scenic Traditional Hawaiian Lei Exchange Elopement – Chelsea Stratso 31
Intimate & Scenic Traditional Hawaiian Lei Exchange Elopement – Chelsea Stratso 27

Our Love Story

Morgan was finishing his university degree. I was the checkout supervisor at the same pharmacy – so, we worked together. I must admit, it was not “love at first sight”. To be completely honest, Morgan drove me up the wall. He would constantly make mistakes on the register, which I would have to come and fix. He would say that he did this on purpose so he could spend more time with me but I’m still a little skeptical.

I think that we really started to like each other after our work’s Christmas party. I saw Morgan in a different light, he was no longer that annoying checkout guy. From there we started to hang out outside of work and within a couple of weeks we were dating – we haven’t looked back since.

In 2016 we took three months off to travel around the world. On 18 March 2016, we were hiking the mountains between Lauterbrunnen and Murren in Switzerland. It was a beautiful sunny day with clear blue skies but still cold enough to have the snow settled on the ground. We stopped on at a park bench that looked out onto the mountains to have some morning tea. When we got up to continue our hike, Morgan got on one knee (in the snow) and said very quickly: “Josephine, I love you and I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me?” Completely shocked I just stood there thinking he was joking. Morgan prompted me by saying, “It’s your turn to talk” of course, I said “yes” as I pulled him up from the snow to give him a big hug and kiss.

Intimate & Scenic Traditional Hawaiian Lei Exchange Elopement – Chelsea Stratso 18
Intimate & Scenic Traditional Hawaiian Lei Exchange Elopement – Chelsea Stratso 33
Intimate & Scenic Traditional Hawaiian Lei Exchange Elopement – Chelsea Stratso 7

The Dress & Attire

I had tried on wedding dresses but I never had that moment where I just knew it was the dress. One day during my lunch break, a friend and I went to the shops and thought we would look at dresses for fun. We went into Review and my friend picked out a full-length blush dress that was on sale. I was skeptical as I had actually been thinking of a tea length dress but I thought I may as well try it on and it was perfect. I knew straight away, it was the dress for me. It made me feel beautiful, elegant and the fact that it was blush just made the dress.

As someone who wears a suit to work every day, Morgan wanted something that wasn’t just an everyday work suit but still wanted to look classy. After visiting a few shops in the city, he came across a light blue three-piece suit with a pink tie to match my dress. The suit perfectly characterised Morgan’s personality through its fun and bright colour, while stilling maintaining a sense of class.

Intimate & Scenic Traditional Hawaiian Lei Exchange Elopement – Chelsea Stratso 25
Intimate & Scenic Traditional Hawaiian Lei Exchange Elopement – Chelsea Stratso 28

The Florals

My wedding bouquet was a beautiful, bright bouquet that had red ginger, song of India with a mix of cymbidium and white & purple orchids.

We also had two white leis and a gorgeous bunch orange, pink, white and purple flower petals that we threw into the air during a photography session.

Intimate & Scenic Traditional Hawaiian Lei Exchange Elopement – Chelsea Stratso 0

Favorite Moments

Our entire day was filled with favourite moments. The beautiful scenery, the fun and laughter we had during our photography session, a pastor who giggled along with us, the beautiful music playing as we said our vows.

But a moment I will always remember is the moment I walked down the beach and Morgan turned to see me for the first time as his bride and future wife. It was just us. There was no one else. I wasn’t anxious about all the eyes that would have been on me, I was happy because the only eyes on me were the only eyes I wanted, Morgan’s.

Intimate & Scenic Traditional Hawaiian Lei Exchange Elopement – Chelsea Stratso 12
Intimate & Scenic Traditional Hawaiian Lei Exchange Elopement – Chelsea Stratso 16
Intimate & Scenic Traditional Hawaiian Lei Exchange Elopement – Chelsea Stratso 19

Planning The Elopement

After Morgan proposed and the wedding plans began, we quickly realised that we weren’t planning the wedding we wanted and we just couldn’t justify spending money on a big wedding, especially when we’re trying to save for our first home. When we thought about the wedding we wanted, the key elements were something simple and stress-free, something intimate where it is just us committing ourselves to a life together.

Although family and friends weren’t there to celebrate with us we hoped that they would be happy for us and ready to celebrate when we got home. So, with a passion for travel, we thought that eloping would allow us to have a beautiful wedding on a small budget and also provide us an option for an intimate wedding where it was just us.

Intimate & Scenic Traditional Hawaiian Lei Exchange Elopement – Chelsea Stratso 6

The Destination & Style

I have always loved mountains and Morgan has always loved the beach so it was a bit of a task to find the perfect location that encompassed both our tastes. With the help of a friend that lived in Hawaii, we found Kahana Bay. To us, Kahana Bay represented everything we wanted on our wedding day. We wanted a place that was quiet and tranquil, a place that seamlessly brought together our two personalities – the mountains and the beach.

When it came to colour, you can guess by our outfit colours (pink and blue) we went with bright, non-traditional colours. We hadn’t really planned a colour theme but we were really happy with the colours we had. We wanted our wedding day to be a fun and romantic memory and the beautiful bright colours of my bouquet accompanied by our outfit colours and the beautiful scenery really highlighted how fun our day was.

Intimate & Scenic Traditional Hawaiian Lei Exchange Elopement – Chelsea Stratso 23
Intimate & Scenic Traditional Hawaiian Lei Exchange Elopement – Chelsea Stratso 24

Advice to Other Couples

There are things you need to consider if you’re planning on eloping and not telling anyone like we did. I’m not going to lie there will be hurt feelings. There will be people who are upset that they weren’t able to celebrate this day with you. However, with that being said I must say that I think in any situation there will be someone who is upset, no matter what wedding you are planning.

My advice for couples planning to elope is to seriously consider who this decision may hurt but at the same time remember it is your wedding. In the end we felt like we were planning a wedding for everyone else and that feeling sealed the deal on us eloping. For us, eloping allowed us focus on our commitment to each other.

Intimate & Scenic Traditional Hawaiian Lei Exchange Elopement – Chelsea Stratso 32
Intimate & Scenic Traditional Hawaiian Lei Exchange Elopement – Chelsea Stratso 3
Intimate & Scenic Traditional Hawaiian Lei Exchange Elopement – Chelsea Stratso 21
Intimate & Scenic Traditional Hawaiian Lei Exchange Elopement – Chelsea Stratso 30
Share this
Looking For More Wedding Ideas?
Sign up today for free and get the best of Bridal Musings in your inbox every Friday!
All done!
We respect your privacy. Your information is safe and will never be shared.
Don't miss out. Subscribe today.
×
×
We respect your privacy. Your information is safe and will never be shared.
Don't miss out. Subscribe today.
×
×