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A Wedding Dream Come True On the Island of Lana'i

Words by Jennifer Stein
Beautiful girl meets adorable boy in a coffee shop, they fall in love, get married and live happily ever after.
 
Sound like something Hollywood dreamed up? Sure does, but this is a very true story for Amanda and Jason Koiter.
 
Amanda and her friend began to frequent a local Starbucks because of the attractive baristas or “hotties,” as Amanda calls them. “Turns out Jason was one of those baristas! The funny thing is, I don't even drink coffee. But I kept going back and Jason kept serving up coffee-free beverages until we struck up a friendship and eventually a relationship...and well you can see where that led!”
 
Amanda and Jason absolutely love the Hawaiian Islands, having traveled to the tropical destination seven times in a five year period. During one of their trips to Maui, they took a boat to the island of Lana’i and “fell in love with the charm, character and simplicity of the tiny island,” recalls Amanda. Several months later, Amanda had a premonition. “I had a dream that Jason and I got married at the lodge on the island. I told him about the dream and it sparked something within him. Not too long after that, Jason asked me to marry him and we literally made my dream come true!”
 
Friends and family were delighted with the decision and planning started immediately. With the help of Four Seasons Resort wedding planner, Akiko Suzuki, Amanda and Jason had clear direction from the start on who to hire to create their dream event.
 
The couple put much thought into every detail of the big day, including the colors, fabrics, stationary (designed and hand-made by them) and flowers. The one thing, the couple had zero control over turned out to be perfect; the weather. “Just as my father and I began to make our way down the aisle, the sun broke through the clouds. It was incredible, and I knew that moment our ceremony was blessed by something truly divine!” recalls Amanda.
 
Married inside the property’s Japanese Pagoda, they were “surrounded by the most incredible display of tropical flowers,” says the bride. Anny Heid was their floral designer and according to Amanda, “truly out did herself.” There were ornate bird cages dangling from the awnings of the pagoda, filled with exotic orchids and adorned with hanging crystals. Oversized planters were filled with orchids and all kinds of local and exotic flowers while the aisle was covered in delicate white rose petals.
 
During the ceremony, Amanda and Jason had planned a dove release. Their photographers, Christiaan Phleger and Lexi Mackenzie were there to capture the big moment. “Photographing a dove release is very difficult. You never really know what the birds are going to do and it is over very quickly. Since Lexi and I were shooting black and white on film cameras, we wouldn’t know until the film was developed,” says Christiaan. As it turned out, Lexi was able to capture a perfect shot of the couple and the doves being released into the air.
 
The reception was held outdoors with lobster and steak on the menu. “The designer did a fantastic job decorating everything in rich vibrant reds and floral bouquets. They hung red Chinese lanterns in the trees surrounding the fountain and built several custom red gazebos with red satin furniture. It was beautiful,” says Amanda.
 
During the reception, the couple snuck off to take some additional images with their photographers. Christiaan proposed they “chase the light” and get some additional images at sunset. This was one of the highlights for both the couple and the photographers. “I was so excited to ‘almost’ be alone with him; it felt like time just stopped for us. It was really nice to leave behind the hubbub of the reception for a few minutes and be together and pose and goof off for the cameras,” admits Amanda.
 
It took a village, but the happy couple had their dream wedding come true…literally!
 
Photographer: Christiaan Phleger & Lexi Makenzie
Videographer: Angel de Armas, www.angeldearmas.com
Wedding Planner: Akiko Suzuki from The Four Seasons Lana’i
Ceremony/Reception Site: The Four Seasons - The Lodge at Koele
Floral Design: Anny Heid, www.annyheidflowers.com
Gown Designer: Baracci (Beverly Hills)
Grooms Clothing Designer: Lahaina Town Tuxedo
 
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