Love everything about Kauai! The lush greenery and warm water, its pure paradise! Had the chance to photographer Elena & Alex’s wedding there. The wedding took place on the west side, at (Kukuiolono Golf Course in Kalaheo. It was pretty much a DIY wedding for them, as they found their own vendors, and picked flowers locally the morning of the wedding. We took some photos afterwards at Koke State Park, it was foggy, however we managed to get some cool photos!
From the Bride…
Tell about your wedding location- how/why did you decide to have a destination wedding?
We have always loved to travel together. It brings us closer together to go through all of the ups and downs that come with setting off on an adventure. We’re more at home when we are off in the world exploring. We decided that our wedding day should be no different. We chose Kauai for a few reasons. It was a good starting point for our 3 week trip through the South Pacific. Kauai is our favorite of the Hawaiian islands because of its lush untamed greenery and rugged coastlines. We love the beauty of Kauai and could not have imagined a more idealistic backdrop for our special day.
What did you love about your venue and what made you choose it?
We wanted our ceremony and reception to be intimate so we chose a small gazebo within a golf course in Kalaheo overlooking the west side of Kauai. It was a unique location, to say the least. We mainly chose it because it was quite inexpensive and had a fantastic view relative to other places we looked at. It was a spot that we heard about from a local when Alex proposed on Kauai a year earlier. There were a few catches that came along with the exceptional price: you had to be out by 6 pm, there was no electricity, and there was a 50 person cap on guests. In the end, these things made it all the memorable and unique!
What memory from your wedding do you remember the most strongly? Or what was your favorite moment?
Elena: My favorite part of the ceremony was reciting our vows. We wrote our own vows which made them so much more personal and sentimental. I remember Alex reciting a quote in Hawaiian and just feeling so much love.
Alex: The lei exchange was definitely my favorite part of the ceremony. Most weddings have a ring exchange but I think the lei is even more meaningful. It signifies that now you’re a team and that two families are coming together.
What part of the day had the most effect on you? What was your most memorable part of your wedding day?
We really enjoyed getting to play lawn games with all of our friends and family. It was a unique experience and something that everyone could get involved in. It brought different groups of people together and gave everyone the opportunity to see our competitive side.
Funniest moment on your wedding day?
I think the funniest moments happened after the wedding ceremony and reception when we went to take photos at Koke State Park and Waimea Canyon with Martina and Rich. The whole shoot was full of genuine laughter as we ran through the streets, hiked in flip flops, and drove around through the fog!
What advice would you give to future couples who are getting married?
We would say, don’t be afraid to do things that are untraditional. We had an absolute blast playing lawn games and eating Hawaiian mixed plate. We didn’t feel like we had to do certain things just because they’re normally done at weddings. This made our day so enjoyable and unique! It was honestly the perfect day!
Recommendations for things to do on Kauai?
We love Kauai! We would recommend hiking in Koke State Park, along the cliffs of Shipwrecks Beach (there are always sea turtles hanging out off the cliffs), and down to Wailua Falls. We would also recommend Lydia’s Field of Dreams has a tortoises sanctuary that you can walk through. Within walking distance, there is a cave and a pretty secluded beach. When the north side of the island is open, we like hiking and swimming near Tunnels beach. We love Loco Coco Shave Ice, Keoki’s Paradise, and Mark’s Place (our wedding caterer!). We really enjoyed our sunset tour through Allerton Garden’s and we would also recommend buying tickets to “Tube the Ditch”!