Chic Weddings/Destination Weddings

Elegant Moss Green Hawaiian Destination Wedding

Elegant Sage Green Hawaii Destination Wedding – Etcetera Photo 61

Moss – it’s a shade of green too often overlooked – but perfect for the tropical & oh-so-green setting that is the Hawaiian Islands.

Bride Grace, from LA, and groom Edwin from Honolulu were of the luckiest 2020 couples managing to say “I do” before the global shutdown. And we are so elated for them & joyous to see this vision of color & beauty from earlier this year.

Of the many given details that we love about any Hawaii destination wedding are the bride’s color choice: a gorgeous & muted moss green. Worn by her stylish and very on-trend bride tribe, the silk bridesmaid dresses shimmer in the hue of the moment.

Photographed by Etcetera Photo & planned, styled & floral designed by Love Letter Weddings this Oahu wedding makes us hopeful of future destination weddings to come.

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Our Love Story

Grace was college friends with Edwin’s cousin. We both went to college in Western Massachusetts and NYC. Grace and her friend decided to spend the summer together in NYC after their sophomore year, where her cousin, Edwin, also lived. It was Edwin’s graduation week at NYU and Grace’s friend had asked her cousin, Edwin, if she could also join. Edwin did get an extra graduation ticket for Grace to attend before even meeting Grace.

However, plans had changed last minute, where Grace did not end up going or spending the summer in NYC, but still spent a few days in NYC. Grace joined a mother’s day dinner with her friend, Edwin, and his mother. After a of couple days, Grace left NYC and flew back home to LA.

A month later, Grace received a Facebook notification: a “poke” from an “Edwin Cho.” Edwin was visiting LA for a couple of weeks in the summer, mainly for a concert that she was also attending. They ended up bumping into each other at the concert and hit it off the rest of the night. The rest was history and they started long-distance after Edwin left LA. When summer ended, Grace fled back to NYC a few days before school started for the fall semester. She ended up staying with Edwin in NYC, and he asked her out that weekend at Brooklyn Bridge Park.

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The Proposal

Nine years and many long-distance calls & visits later, Edwin proposed to Grace at the Brooklyn Bridge Park at the same spot that Edwin had asked Grace to be his girlfriend when they were just nearly 20 years old.

The trip from LA to NYC was meant for just a weekend trip with some friends, but it turned out to be a surprise proposal weekend. Grace’s best friend and her husband, the wedding photographer himself even flew out to surprise Grace and even popped out of the tree to snap photos, during the proposal. Everyone was in the grand scheme, and planned the entire weekend – Grace walked into a surprise brunch party shortly after the proposal.

The weekend after, Edwin and all their friends back home, also planned a surprise Hawaii-themed engagement party in LA, which foreshadowed their upcoming wedding in Hawaii. Grace was always known to be a “detective” and difficult to surprise, but in the end, Edwin and Grace’s friends outdid it and truly surprised Grace with the proposal and parties.

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The Destination

Our wedding was the best day of our lives, hands down. We have zero regrets on the timing, the location, the vendors, the outfits and guests that we all planned on. Edwin and I met in NYC, we both live in LA now, where I am from and Edwin is from Honolulu.

Although I had dreamed of a grand city wedding in LA growing up, it felt right to have a wedding in Hawaii after being with Edwin for some time. We vacation there often, visit family and friends, and we just knew it was the perfect spot for all of my family and friends to also visit and vacation for our wedding weekend and enjoy the stress-free aloha vibes. Having somewhat of a destination wedding for me, as a bride, and my side of family and friends, definitely helped calm my nerves as well.

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The Dress & Attire

With our outfits, we decided to go with simplicity as well. “LESS IS MORE” is the answer. The groom wore a modern navy blue shawl suit while the bride wore an Australian-based dress with a detailed, dainty top and a simple crepe skirt.

The bride’s favorite color is green and I knew that with all the nature that the venue had to offer, a moss green color for the bridesmaids’ dresses would be the perfect fit while holding a muted blush and white bouquet and a pop of orange orchids.

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The Photography & Videography

I chose both my photographer and videographer based on their talent, and their work – and the bonus was that they were so friendly and easy to work with! I also chose my photographer because not only did I feel that he knew us as a couple, especially after shooting our surprise proposal and engagement, but I felt that his aesthetics matched our tone. We knew that our photographer would capture not only the fun, “intimate” moments but also capture an ethereal, lush type of natural vibe.

Our photographer also mailed a beautifully-packaged, personalized box with our prints and USB drive to top it off. He was also the quickest in delivering our photos – in two speedy weeks! It was awesome, being able to look back at the beautiful photos of our big day while being quarantined at home as newlyweds.

We also went with our videographer because not only are they well-known in the industry on the island but they also matched our vibe in capturing the romantic, intimate, raw moments the best way possible.

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The Planning & Florals

Once I decided on my venue and wedding planner vendor, the rest of the vendors fell into place. After being a guest at a previous wedding at my venue, as well as many other local Hawaii weddings and hearing great things about my wedding planner, it was a pretty easy decision about what vendors to choose. Oahu is a small island and everyone works together as a community. The relationships that the vendors had with each other were always business-friendly and supportive of each other, and I experienced the same with my vendors.

Everything went smooth, and having a planner based in Hawaii, while planning from LA helped immensely. Her insight and her strong business sense as well as vendor relations definitely paved the planning process as well. My planner and her team also ended up being my florists as they also are experts in that field. I knew I wanted a tropical and spring vibe with a pop of romance, like the burgundy orchids, but I also wanted a modern, soft and muted touch.

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The Ceremony & Traditions

As for the ceremony, we had one of our close friends officiate the ceremony so that we could have an endearing message from someone who knew us as a couple over the years.

We also made sure to honor our parents, a Korean tradition, and bowed to them, while giving them leis and ti leaves, a Hawaiian tradition, to wear for the rest of the night.

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Favorite Moments

Our favorite moments included the ceremony, when the groom surprisingly had waterworks during his vows, and attempted to play it cool.

It also included the grand entrance to the reception. The bride and groom prepared a fun, short choreographed dance, and the wedding party and guests cheered on like no tomorrow, which set the tone for the rest of the reception. The grand entrances of the wedding party were also a favorite moment as each pair prepared their own song and entrance to make it fun.

Our favorite moment was also the best man and maid of honor toasts. They were all touching and the best man even memorized his speech to top it off. It was also a hilarious moment when the bride finally let really loose during the reception and stole the mic from her groom to wrap it up, by announcing that she just wanted everyone to have a f***ing great time.

And of course, our favorite moment was when everyone danced together on the dance floor, including our baby nephews, parents, relatives, letting loose on the dance floor, which was a rare but fun sighting.

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The Food

As for catering, we also went with a vendor who was an expert in island fusion types of food, with great steak and grilled fish, as well as raw ahi poke and kahlua pork & rice – the staple of authentic Hawaiian food.

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The Reception

As for the music, we went with a DJ who we ended up befriending after all the weddings we’ve been guests of in Hawaii and we knew he would make sure our guests would have a blast, which included cold sparks to pop off at the right time for our first dance as well.

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Advice to Other Couples

I highly recommend brides and grooms to ask themselves what they want the most out of their planning process and wedding day. Once the venue and planner and coordinator is set, the rest should be streamlined. INVEST INVEST INVEST in a great planner. They will either make or break your wedding. Find someone you can connect with and feel most comfortable with.

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The Honeymoon

We were so lucky with the timing of our wedding. We had it in early March right before the Covid-19 pandemic was official and the travel bans started taking place, so we thankfully were able to have our wedding with no delays or cancellation.

We had planned to take a honeymoon later in the year, anyway, that we luckily didn’t have anything booked right away. The reason we hadn’t booked a honeymoon immediately after the wedding, was because the planning process for the wedding was a lot in itself, that we wanted to give ourselves room to breathe to plan a proper honeymoon trip with much thought – and to also have something to look forward to in the coming few months. We had planned to go to Italy and Greece this summer, but we will have to postpone till next year. We haven’t taken our honeymoon yet because of the pandemic lockdown, but once we are able to travel soon again, we are so looking forward to it!

Although we haven’t taken a trip yet, I would definitely recommend it to other couples. The honeymoon would be the first alone trip together as a married couple and should be well-deserved for you and your new husband or wife after having gone through the planning process and big day together. Can’t wait to be able to travel with my new husband hopefully soon!

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