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Wednesday, November 20, 2019
Photos courtesy of Anna Kim Photography
When asked why newlyweds James and Christina decided to have a destination wedding on the beaches of Hawaii, the answer was simple: “We love to travel, and we love Maui!”
Because the bride had always dreamed of getting married in Maui, vacationed there since her childhood and even lived there after college, the island seemed like the perfect destination for the couple to embark on their new journey together as husband and wife.
“James and I had taken many trips to Maui, and it became a special place for us. We love the ocean and the beach and were excited to have our family and friends celebrate in a place we love,” the bride says.
To carry this sentimentality throughout the wedding, Christina and James also paid a special homage to their dog and to their grandparents who were not able to attend the wedding in person.
“We had a display with pictures of all of our grandparents as well as our parents on their wedding days. I bought pineapples and propped the printed pictures on them,” the bride says. “One of our favorite details was our signature cocktail, which was named Kona Kooler, after our sweet dog Kona who couldn't make it to the wedding. We made stir sticks with her picture to garnish cocktails.”
Fortunately for Christina, executing the details of her destination wedding was easier than she thought it would be, thanks to the help of her planner, Kristen from Sugar Beach Events. She also took a trip to Maui six months prior to the big day for a tasting and a meeting with the florist.
Christina also recommends splurging on photography and videography over anything else. “It has been amazing reliving all of the details over and over with gorgeous photos and a video,” the bride says.
Although the price tag for a destination wedding can seem expensive at first, the couple estimates that they would have spent the same amount had they opted for a local wedding instead. Cost aside, their wedding experience would have lacked the same Hawaiian essence had they tied the knot anywhere but Maui.
“We wouldn't have had the fun, tropical vibe that we loved,” the bride says. “It was so fun to have people there for multiple days. We had a few pre-wedding events, so we were able to spend more time with our guests. People were on vacation mode, so I would like to think they enjoyed the wedding more than had it been at home.”
James and Christina’s Hawaiian nuptials perfectly captured the love they share for Maui with a destination wedding that was as beautiful as the love they share for each other.
Vendors: Photographer: Anna Kim Photography; Wedding Planner: Kristen Sterback with Sugar Beach Events; Ceremony/Reception Site: Sugar Beach Events; Florist: Bella Bloom; Stationery: Paper Bloom Studio; Hair & Makeup: MeiLi Autumn Beauty; Gown Designer: Anna Campbell; Bridesmaids Pre-Wedding Pajamas: Piyama; DJ: Maui DJ Services; Calligraphy: Miss B. Calligraphy; Entertainment: Manutea Nui E; Table Rentals: Set Maui
Tuesday, November 19, 2019
Photos courtesy of Amy & Stuart Photography
How to Make Sure They're in on the Fun
As a devoted dog mom and owner of Frenchie Bulldog, a pet supply company, having my French Bulldog Leo be part of my wedding day was a must. After all, before I met my husband it was just Leo and I. This past summer, I married the love of my life Justin at the Rancho Valencia Resort in Rancho Santa Fe, California. Although the day was focused on Justin and I getting married, it was also about Leo, Justin and I officially becoming a family of three. From the ceremony to the cocktail menu, Leo played a huge role in our big day. I am so thrilled to share some ways you can incorporate your favorite four-legged friends when you say ‘I Do.’
Have your dog get ready with you!
Although my wedding preparation took a bit longer, I made sure to set aside time to make sure my best man was dressed to impress. Leo’s presence definitely calmed my nerves and made me feel at home. It was so special getting to dress him in a collar and leash set that I designed specifically for the wedding. The set featured white vegan leather and gold hardware to match the wedding party (we’ll be launching this on the Frenchie site later this year!) Additionally, the collar was adorned with a bow-tie and Justin and I’s initials.
Share the ceremony aisle with your dog.
Leo and I love to go on walks together so it was a no brainer to include him in the biggest walk of my life. With the help of three groomsmen, Leo led the way down the aisle in a floral throne fit for a prince. The trip down the aisle, with all of the attention on him, proved to be tiring and he took a nap during the ceremony. However, he was ready to go when it came time for Justin and I to say ‘I Do.’ After our first kiss as husband and wife, the three of us walked down the aisle together as a family.
It’s all in the details.
Leo, also, served as a source of inspiration when creating our signature cocktail menu. In addition to the “Bella Bridge” and “Give it to me Just Right”, the Spicy Leo drink was a favorite among guests. The Spicy Leo consisted of Mandarin tequila with cranberry, orange and lime juices spiced with a Serrano chili slice. We also had an illustration of Leo done by my friend Valeria of Fine Frenchie, dressed in a tux with a drink in hand, on the corner of the drink menu. The menu was definitely one of my favorite details.
We included in Leo in our first dance as he is an essential part of our family unit. Having him on the floor with us was a special moment I will never forget.
Let them eat cake, too!
An easy and sweet way to make your wedding dog-friendly is to serve a doggie cake. We enlisted Petisserie, a Las Vegas-based pet bakery, to create a replica of our three-tier cake by Susie Cakes so Leo could participate in the cake cutting. With Leo in my arms, Justin served Leo a piece of the cake, too.
Like many, my wedding day was the most special day of my life, and having Leo there was truly the icing on the cake. I hope you find these ideas helpful as you plan your big day with your favorite animals in mind. Lastly, I am so excited to announce that Leo’s wedding day collar and leash will be available for purchase on FrenchieBulldog.com later this fall, so your dog can blend in with the rest of your wedding party.
Vendors (relevant to article): Photographer: Amy and Stuart; Wedding collar, bow tie and leash: Frenchie Bulldog; Leo’s Cake: Petisserie; Human Cake: Susie Cakes; Custom illustration: Fine Frenchie; Venue: Rancho Valencia
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