We have a bit of a twist for you today here at Wholly Matrimony. Today we are featuring the awesome wedding reception, yea that’s right, I said reception, of Aubrey and Kaiao that was held at the Salt Creek Grille in Dana Point, California. Aubrey and Kaiao were married in their home state of Hawai’i but wanted to have a reception for family members in California that were unable to make the wedding. Their fantastic photography was by D. Park Photography.
How did the two of you meet?
We actually do not remember! It probably happened at our friend’s house while we were in college. A bunch of guys lived in a house at the top of the hill and I lived at the bottom. I was always baking and needed people to share it with, so I would bring cookies, etc up to the guys house for them to try. Kaiao was always hanging out up there and was the quiet, shy one. Finally one night I was talking about how I had gotten into cooking interesting dinners but had no one to share them with, and Kaiao volunteered to help me out! So I invited him over one night and we really hit it off. We ended up going surfing and studying together a few times before he finally asked me out on a real date. Our first date was really simple – stargazing at the beach. He brought his guitar and played me some songs and we talked for hours. It was super dreamy and our faces hurt from smiling so much!
Tell us about the proposal!
After I graduated from the University of Hawai’i, I went to culinary school in New York for two years. The long distance wasn’t easy, but God gave us the strength and patience we needed to make it through! About halfway through, I had a break and came to Hawai’i for a week to visit my love for our two-year dating anniversary. On my second day there, Kaiao said, “I want to make this the best day for you!” and I just thought it was because he had missed me so much. We went and saw the sunrise, went surfing, had a picnic lunch at the beach, I went paddling with some friends, he cooked me dinner, and then we had plans to go to the beach where we had our first date. This all seemed very normal to me and I had no idea of his plans to propose! It was a beautiful night – perfect weather, low tide, clear skies and a full moon. He brought his guitar and started playing it after we had settled in on the beach. He’d written me a song and said that there would be some audience participation at the end…After the beautiful song, he made me stand up and he told me all the things he loved about me, then got down on one knee, pulled out the ring and asked me to be his wife. I said “Yes!!” about twenty times while crying, hugging, and kissing him! It was too late to call anyone to tell them the news, so I had a hard time sleeping that night – I was so excited!
What made you choose to have a destination reception?
We got married in Hawai’i because that is where we both live now and it is beautiful here! But a lot of my family and friends from California couldn’t make the trip. So we decided to have an “at-home reception” a few weeks after the wedding. It was such a blast and I am glad we did that! Everyone was ready to celebrate. Plus what bride wouldn’t want to wear her dress twice? I had always wanted pictures of me in my wedding dress at my childhood home, so we decided to do a photoshoot before the reception. It was a lot of fun for both of us and our photographers did a fabulous job!
What was the most memorable moment about your reception?
I will always remember the love I felt from our guests when we walked in to our reception area. We felt totally “at home”. It was truly a celebration made possible by the ones we love! I will also never forget the incredibly fun dancing!!! Our party was supposed to be over at 4pm, but we didn’t leave until 6pm! My feet were definitely sore the next day, but it was worth it!
What was your favorite detail from your reception?
My shoes! Teal is my favorite color and I searched high and low for the perfect shoes. I stumbled across these accidentally at H&M in New York. I got so many compliments on them and they were really comfortable. I decided to dress them up with the cute shoe clips! Also instead of a guest book, we had a custom designed mailbox and used Orange County postcards for guests to write their well-wishes on. We loved reading them later and they are a fun keepsake.
What was the best part of having a destination reception?
Our at-home reception was definitely kept low-key and casual, and I really liked that. We didn’t have any formal wedding events to stick to. It made it very relaxed and allowed us plenty of time to visit with all of our guests (about 100) and have fun. We pretty much just had lunch, a few speeches, chatting and lots of dancing!
Did you honeymoon at your reception destination location, or go somewhere special after wards?
We did an eight day road trip up the coast of California, starting in Orange County. We wanted to do something that was a little different since we can lay out on the beach any day of the week at home in Hawai’i. We stayed at a different bed and breakfast every night, in places like Carmel-By-the-Sea, Half Moon Bay, Healdsburg, and Shasta. We also spent a few nights in Yosemite National Park, one of our favorite places! It was a fun trip and was very budget friendly. We must be meant for each other if we can spend eight days driving around in a car and still love each other madly!
Reception Venue: Salt Creek Grille
Photography: D. Park Photography
Florist: Lynn Moe (family friend)
Bride’s Dress: Allure Exclusives
Groom’s Attire: The Men’s Wearhouse
Stationery: Anna Griffin – The Wedding Studio (DIY from Michael’s)
DJ / Band: Mitch Devine (family friend)
Makeup Artist: Jamie Michelle
Hairstylist: Tiffany Loggins
Jewelry – Necklace and bracelet were the bride’s mom’s. Earrings came from Nordstrom.
Any other vendors? Etsy goodies? Shoe clips and hair clip came from Etsy seller Mikiye Creations.
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