Meet Tobin and Paolo…. they met while out dancing at Scarlet Honolulu, and have been inseparable in the 3 months since. They agreed to model for our styled shoot despite still being in the ‘new’ phase of the relationship, though the combination of normal awkwardness of being in front of a camera together + a bunch of strangers watching you + and a relatively fresh relationship didn’t seem to cross their subconscious whatsoever. They were completely and utterly enraptured in one another in the entire 4 hours that we styled, posed, and shot them – a feeling so organic that it almost feels weird to refer to this day as a “styled” shoot.
When we heard from Tobin that Paolo has some experience modeling, we asked Paolo about it. He replied ever so humbly “Hmmm, not really. Just fashion week.” And just like that, the effortless energy was set before our eyes. As the day went on and golden hour drew closer, the photos only went from beautiful to tantalizing. We can’t wait for you to witness.
THE VENUE – WAIALUA VALLEY FARMS
Nestled between Mt. Ka`ala and the world-famous Hale`iwa town this new property couldn’t be more refreshing. Family owned and operated, it offers unbelievable valley views, a perfectly designed modern barn, and even comes with a wedding suite with a full bathroom. It’s impossible to get a bad photo here – there is a 180 degree set of lush landscapes to set the mood for your group of 30 or less. And when golden hour hits??? Your aunty’s iPhone might as well be a Nikon. Don’t believe us?? Check out their IG for never getting over this venue!
THE FLOWERS – SUMMER REIGN AND PACIFIC PETALS
One of the main inspirations for this shoot was to remain eco-friendly, sustainable, and to use vendors and resources local to the area. When north shore girl, Tamrin, of Summer Reign came on board, she was so excited to be able to collaborate with a local luxury flower farm – Pacific Petals – which is also based right there in Waialua (talk about farm-to-table!). Specializing in dahlias, Pacific Petals blooms were the perfect pop of bold color that Tamrin was looking for in order to complete her ombre-style pieces. You’ll see in the full gallery that ends this blog, that we were able to repurpose the altar pieces to the bar cart and reception table. A full circle moment for sustainability!
THE TABLESCAPE – ALOHA ARTISANS
OK, if you’ve been around O`ahu’s event scene for a while, you know that Aloha Artisans is absolutely killing the game in event rentals. When we heard that they were adding dishware, linens, and glassware to their collection, it was game over! They provided the rugs, tables, bar cart, umbrella, dishes, flatware, napkins, and poufs/pillows for this shoot and it all went beautifully with the backdrop. We love low seating for a more cocktail-style event. It keeps it feeling less fussy, and allows guests to move freely (and dance!!) Each of these low tables can fit 8 guests, so you could easily do a couple of these with some standard tables for those that may want a traditional chair. Now look at their rattan bar cart looking like it was meant to be a permanent fixture at Waialua Valley Farms!
THE DRINKS – STAR BAR HAWAII
Craft cocktails? Check. Self-serve bar? Check. Our sister company, Star Bar Hawaii, did not disappoint with their yummy libations. From their Grapefruit-Ginger Spritzer, to their signature Guava-Honey Margarita, we just had to get a taste, and how absolutely refreshing it was! One of the reasons we love our sister, Star, so dearly is her ability to adapt to an event of any size and style. A self-serve bar is the perfect addition to an intimate setup such as a Waialua Valley Farms – and all of the self-serve bar packages include an attendant to keep things fresh and fabulous.
THE BITES – NOURISH BY NATURE
Julie, the chef and owner of Nourish by Nature, absolutely floored us with her vibrant approach to family-style dining! She is based on Maui, but hops over to O`ahu as well to caterer private dinners, retreats, and small events. She spoiled our group with her sweet potato pistachio lettuce wraps, complete with micro greens + creamy coconut lemon zest drizzle, cucumber bites with Harissa spiced beet hummus, as well as a carrot hummus flatbread with garlic coconut cream drizzle. Julie focuses on locally sourced produce, seafoods, and meats and is very well-versed in both vegetarian and vegan cuisine. Her IG shows off her healthy approach to cooking both nourishing and gorgeous meals.
THE CAKE – MANA CAKES
When we tell you this was the best cake we’ve ever tasted…. You guys!!! …and we eat a LOT of wedding cake! Jamie of Mana Cakes is a up-and-coming baker whose unique designs and amazing flavors are currently a client favorite of ours, which is why you’ll see her tagged in most of our IG posts. She prepared a mini 2-tier cake, perfect for microweddings, with one tier as coconut and the other guava. We couldn’t decide which one we wanted, so, naturally, we ate both flavors. So freaking good!!
THE CEREMONY – ALANA BETH OFFICIATING
OK, so we have a secret. Alana Beth Officiating was actually the mastermind behind this shoot. She called us and asked if we wanted to hop in and help finish up design, planning, and general coordinating, and we couldn’t be more happy that she did! Not only was it lovely to be brought on when the ball had already been rolling, but it was so easy to work with her – something about it just felt warm, and inclusive – which is what we imagine it is also like for her clients. Something unique that Alana offers to her couples is a pre-ceremony ‘grounding’ where she reminds them to simply pause, breathe, and take in this very moment. As wedding planners, we are taking a note from her book and incorporating grounding before our event day starts from now on!!
THE PHOTO TEAM – CHELSEA STRATSO
Chelsea and her team of shooters captured the day even better than we dreamed it. We finally experienced what it feels like to be a bride or groom, eagerly awaiting the finished gallery from this special day (we promise we were patient, but why did only a couple weeks feel like forever??!). The final product was more than worth the wait. We’ve been working with Chelsea Stratso for almost a decade and with good reason. Her editing expertise and calm, cool, and collected demeanor make for a dream-worthy combo. Her second shooters Mar, Alycia, and Jaycob also fit the bill – and they made the day feel very light hearted with each of their personalities. Because isn’t it nice to feel comfortable with the people you’ll spend 6 + hours with, on one of the most important and emotional days of your life??
THE PLANNERS – TROPICAL MOON EVENTS
Hi, it’s us!! If you haven’t heard by now, we are a full-service Wedding Planning and Coordination company, with over a decade of experience servicing O
ahu and the outer islands of Hawai`i. This styled shoot allowed us the opportunity to get together with some of Oahu's top wedding vendors, both new and old, all while doing what we truly love - designing the backdrop for a magical event. Something really special about this shoot was that it was put together by women-owned businesses, and there were lots of little keiki running around (not to mention a couple of hapai mamas as well!) It feels great to be able to include our ohana and be praised in a working environment.
Looking for an intimate set up just like this? Contact us for a complimentary consultation that includes budget estimations and venue recommendations to start. We can’t wait to hear from you!!
VENDOR IG TAGS:
photos: @chelseastratso @mar.mizunaka
florals: @summerreignfloral & @pacific.petals.llc