Time to Decide

Stunning Vows in Honolulu


February 12, 2016
Words by Sydney Bowen
Photos courtesy of What a Day! Photography

When it came time to plan their special day, Eric and Sujin knew their friends and family from all over the country would have to travel regardless. With this in mind, the couple decided to host a destination wedding. “We thought it would be special to choose a location that people would like to visit and a place that we loved,” says Sujin.

Hawaii was the perfect place for these San Francisco residents and their loved ones to celebrate their union. While Eric’s family frequented Hawaii often, Sujin’s family had never been. Everyone was totally supportive of the decision.

“About a year into our relationship, Eric surprised me by planning the most unbelievable trip to Hawaii for my very first time,” says Sujin. “During the visit, he took me to the beautiful Moana Surfrider hotel where I instantly fell in love with its romantic and charming aura.”

The sentimental value of the Moana Surfrider proved to be the perfect place for Eric and Sujin to exchange their vows.

After a venue was chosen, Eric and Sujin allotted themselves plenty of time to plan their wedding. “It was important to us that it was an enjoyable experience, so we gave ourselves 18 months to plan,” says Sujin.

During the time leading up to the wedding, Eric and Sujin made a trip to Hawaii to meet with vendors and go over planning details in person. Other communication was easy thanks to email, video chats and phone calls.

The photographers Corinne and Amber from What a Day! Photography helped the couple select other vendors that they were familiar with, including a videographer, florist and Day of Coordinator.

Once the planning was complete, Eric and Sujin’s Day of Coordinator took over the contracts, developed timelines and helped keep the day stress free. “Our wedding day was seamless because of her and her amazing team at Aloha Bridal Connections.”

When it came time to finalize details for their ceremony, it was important that both of Eric and Sujin’s cultures were honored. “Our ceremony was officiated by Rev. James Chun,” says Sujin. “When we first met him a year before, we shared with him that we wanted to honor both of our cultures, Korean and Filipino, and honor both sets of parents, including Eric’s late father, with leis.”

Cousins of the bride and groom also performed coin, veil and core ceremonies.

When it finally came time to become husband and wife, their day was exactly what they wanted. They had a sweet, intimate and absolutely perfect day. If they had chose to not do a destination wedding, Sujin and Eric would have had a day they didn’t necessarily want.

“Our wedding probably would’ve been huge and that’s something we didn’t want,” says Sujin. “We wanted our families to become one on our wedding day, and for our friends to feel like they were part of our family.”

For those who are in the stages of planning their destination wedding, Sujin advises to arrive early to prep for the final stages. “In the days leading up to our wedding, our friends and family began arriving from all over the country and we were fortunate to be able to spend time with our closest loved ones.”

Vendors: Photographer: What a Day! Photography, Day of Coordinator: Aloha Bridal Connections, Ceremony/Reception Site: Moana Surfrider Resort and SpaDiamond Lawn and Terrace, Florist: Passion Roots, Stationery: Minted, SCHYNE, Cake: Moana Surfrider, Hair & Makeup: Faith & Beauty, Gown Designer: Bronwyn by Maggie Sottero, Groom’s Clothing Designer: Custom/Handpicked Items, Bridesmaids Clothing Designer: Alfred Sung, Groomsmen’s Clothing Designer: Custom/Handpicked Items by Groom, Videographer: Makai Creative, DJ/Emcee: DJ Tony So, Officiant: Rev. James Chun.

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