Island Glam Styled Shoot


May 3, 2021
Words by Lauren Ertl
Photos courtesy of Theel Wedding Productions

When Los Angeles-based wedding and event planner Dee Lee hopped on a plane bound for Hawaii amid the pandemic, she was on a mission. Her goal? Convince her clients that an intimate destination wedding could be the perfect solution to their spoiled plans for a large local wedding. If COVID19 was going to take away so many of her clients’ dreams, she was going to offer the next best thing!

“I flew out to Oahu on what I call ‘Operation Save Weddings,'” Lee says. “We were functioning during a time when only elopements were allowed, keeping things very basic and simple.” 

But, “basic and simple” isn’t Lee’s style, nor was it what she wanted to present to her clients. That’s where the idea for a styled elopement shoot combining the glam of Los Angeles with the tropical romance of Oahu came about.

“I wanted to speak classic and elegant,” Lee tells us. “Hawaiian weddings are typically very bright and full tropical florals. My color palette was very soft neutral tones, whimsical styled flowers, and pops of gold for the glam finish.”

As anyone in the wedding business knows, it takes a village to create a wedding look worthy of going viral on Pinterest. Lee immediately reached out to her hair and makeup team in Waikiki, and they helped recruit a real couple who had recently got engaged to be models for the shoot.

After calling on Ari Theel of Theel Wedding Productions to photograph, local florist Debbie Hemingway to design florals, and the Westin Moana Surfrider as the venue–all systems were ago.

“My favorite part of the shoot was the fellowship amongst the vendors and seeing a newly engaged couple get a feel of what their wedding day would be like,” Lee says. “The aloha spirit of the island vendors was so beautiful to witness and be a part of it.”

Vendors: Photographer: Theel Wedding Productions; Event Planner: Dee Lee Designs; Floral Designer: Designs by Hemingway; Dress Store: Eleanors Bridal; Venue: The Westin Moana Surfrider; Beauty: Face Art Beauty

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