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Kaeli'i Title_key Simon

Styled Shoot
gallery Jun 20 2018
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A Hawaiian Dream

We at Exclusive Island Weddings have always been supportive of the LGBT community.

Earlier this year we were fortunate enough to attend a workshop that gave us an up close and personal experience of a gay couple trying to plan their wedding. It really inspired us to want to feature more of the LGBT community in the media as well as in the wedding industry.

At the workshop the key note speaker led us through an icebreaker exercise that basically made everyone in the room tear up as we had never really thought of the struggles of the community in that manner. After gaining the knowledge that he shared with us, we left really wanting to do a shoot that celebrated the love of a real LGBT Couple. We then reached out to our amazing team, most of which are part of the LGBT community and the wheels started turning from there.

The one issue that we ran into that really shocked us even more was that we had a hard time finding venues that would allow us to do our shoot. It even further opened our eyes to the needs and struggles that LGBT couples faced when wanting to have their wedding on Maui and our goal was to find a venue that really supported the community the way that we did.

When we found the Steeple House in Kapalua, we were elated. Not only was the venue gorgeous but we were able to get 6 different wedding day aspects shot inside of the house itself. We ended the day with some beautiful shots and feel that we achieved our goal in really capturing the special love between our models Keali’i and Simon.

Keali’i and Simon met when they worked on a cruise line together. They hit it off carried on a long-distance relationship for quite some time. Simon eventually moved here to Maui and their celebrated their nuptials on May 14, 2015 at the King Kamehameha Golf Club. Something that we didn’t know until we met with them to plan this styled shoot, was that a storm hit on their special day. So not only were they helping us with our shoot, but we were also able to give them some amazing photos that they weren’t able to get back in 2015. This is really what our job as planner is about and made the shoot that much more meaningful for all that participated.

We couldn’t have done it without the amazing team that we worked with. We all volunteered our time, services and resources just because we all are passionate in our support of all love. Kojo Couture headed up the attire for the shoot and Ry-n Shimabuku did hair/makeup. Marie Jalayahay of Marylane Studios was our photographer with Marlo Antes handling videography. Noah Harder created our beautiful floral pieces and Mikala Designs made all of our calligraphy pieces for us. Hawaiian Style Event Rentals provided the gorgeous furniture pieces. Exclusive Island Weddings did all the styling and design of the shoot. We had so much fun doing this shoot and everything turned out amazing!!  We will continue to support this community and look forward to doing more styled shoots to feature all of the amazing people in the LGBT community.

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etiquette / article Jun 20 2018

The Wedding Party

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A question came in last week about what to call a wedding party. It can get a little tricky if you're sticking to traditional wedding roles. These grooms-to-be aren't keen on calling their wedding party a "bridal party" because that doesn't make sense for them. So, what are these grooms to do?

Our suggestion is simple; make it your own! Your wedding day should feel unique, special, and completely your own. Calling them "Courtney's Crew" or "Ben's Brood" makes it fun and personal. If you are going for a more formal feel, calling the party "Honorary Attendants" or even just "The Wedding Party," keeps things neutral, but structured. You could also play with something like "Love Party Patrol" or "Love Party Posse." 

Ultimately, these are the people who want you to be happy and surrounded by love. They probably don't really care what you call them, as long as you are content with your wedding.

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Sneak Peek
gallery Jun 19 2018
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Jenny Title_key Robin

Real Wedding
gallery Jun 18 2018
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Houston Vows

Tell us your love story!

We met on Tinder on New Year’s Day. Robin was driving home from Dallas after going to see Michigan State lose at the Cotton Bowl. I was at a New Year’s brunch. We texted and texted all week long and talked on the phone late into the night.

One week after we matched online, Robin took me on the kind of date I had only ever dreamed of. It was seriously magical. I spent nearly the whole day with my hair and make-up artist. She sent a car and had a whirlwind evening planned in Dallas, where I lived at the time, dinner at Perry’s Steakhouse, a drag show, and two-stepping at a gay country western bar!

Our second date was actually country western wedding – we’re not cowgirls, I swear! - complete with line dancing. Our third date was a week-long Olivia cruise and then five days in Isla Mujeres. We figured if we still liked each after that much time together in that close of proximity, we just might be on to something. And we were.

Resisting the incredibly, incredibly strong urge to UHaul, I took my time moving to Robin’s house at the Lake, waiting even longer to surreptitiously redecorate. Six months after meeting – despite swearing that four seasons had to pass before marriage could even be discussed – Robin proposed to me as the sun set behind the glorious porch of the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. I seriously could not have been more surprised.

What about the proposal?

Robin took me on a surprise birthday trip to Mackinac Island in Michigan. She is from Michigan and she spent one summer interning on the magical island. It is home to the Grand Hotel where the film “Somewhere in Time” was shot. She took me to dinner there on the night of my birthday. I was wearing a Samuel Dong dress she had gotten for me the night before in Traverse City, which is the cutest little town. She suggested we take a stroll on their amazing porch, the longest in the US, I believe. There were photographers for hire and Robin motioned to one. It didn’t seem strange to me until she said to him, “Take hers first,” as she motioned to me where to stand. I took my place, smiled at her, and she started walking towards me and then got down on one knee. I know I stopped breathing. I couldn’t believe it. Could she be breaking her very own four seasons rule? Indeed. I couldn’t say yes fast enough!

When did you know that you were meant to be with each other?

It seems cliché, but from the moment I walked into the restaurant and saw her in person for the first time. The restaurant has a piano bar and she wouldn’t let the driver let me out of the car until the piano player was back from break. I was worried something was wrong. I walked in in an LBD and pearls and there she was in a blazer and pants just as nervous as could be. When we looked into each other’s eyes for the first time, I just knew.

What sealed the deal for me was when I realized that she “got” me. Robin is a very take charge kind of woman, which means she is usually the one to take charge. But when the task at hand is something at which I am better, she is more than happy to let me take the reins. I could not feel any more loved, trusted, or supported. That is when you know, she’s the one!  

Going into the wedding planning, what did you definitely know?

I think all we really knew was that we wanted to be surrounded by family and friends. And once Robin met my dad, we both knew for sure that we wanted him to do the ceremony. After seeing The Astorian, we knew a black tie wedding there would have to be it. The rest just fell into place!

What surprised you during planning? What was easy, what was difficult?

We were surprised by just how many minute details there were to attend to and which things really were important to me and which ones were really important to Robin. Having Chad at Revisionist Events there to help made all the difference. Things got stressful occasionally. It’s a lot to do and a lot of money. But when things got crazy, Robin and I would sit alone together and regroup, reminding ourselves what was really important – joining our lives together in love.

Is there anything you wish you knew while you were planning your wedding that you know now?

That so many people would unfortunately not be able to attend. There are people we didn’t think we could invite because of how many people that would mean having, and, in the end, we could have invited at least some of them.

Any advice for couples planning weddings now? Anything you would have done differently or anything you’d like to add?

The one thing everyone said is, “Be in the moment. It goes SO fast.” Even though I heard that a million times and I believed the people who said it, it still went WAY too fast. So, take your time. Smell the roses. Be where you are – in the middle of what will be one of the most magical days of your life…

And don’t skimp on the photographer. Seriously. Don’t.

What was your favorite part of your wedding day?

Jenny: Hearing Robin recite her vows. I knew and know how much she loves me. But it was life-changing to hear her speak to her love for me right there in front of so many people that we love. I also LOVED when my very best friend from High School, Michael Goles, gave his toast. He is an amazing man and I feel so grateful to have had him in my life for so long and to continue to have him in my life. His toast was unforgettable. And having Daddy perform the ceremony that I wrote for us was also truly a phenomenal experience.

Robin: Dancing with Jenny when the DJ asked our friends and family to join us after our first dance. Looking at her and then seeing all the love and support around us.

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Weekend Snapshot
gallery Jun 15 2018
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