Karma & Steve get Married! (Again) A special behind the scenes look at our 15 Year Vow Renewal!

A beautiful ceremony overlooking the pacific ocean surrounded by our closest friends and family, heartfelt vows, raw emotion and love. All this followed by amazing food and drinks as the sun set into the ocean and a  romantic private dinner for two prepared just for us under the stars. A dreamy day filled with love and fun and pampering.

This is the kind of day I wish for ALL our clients and I finally got to experience one for myself!

Hi! It's Karma, the founder of Karma Hill Photography and Simple Maui Wedding here to tell you all about my experience from a candid and behind the scenes point of view when my husband Steve and I decided to have a "second wedding" to renew our vows after 15 years of marriage.  It was eye opening and fun to be on the other side of the aisle as the client rather than the photographer or planner.

Our wedding 15 years ago was your typical "just out of college" wedding, big party with all our friends and every distant family member in a 100 mile radius. A giant dress, bigger train, sparkly crown, huge cake, ballroom, you know: "The Show".  Although it was amazing, it was stressful and exhausting as well. Up until that point in my life I had never been so tired as I was the day after my wedding. As we were leaving the next day for our honeymoon my husband and I looked at each other, both so utterly exhausted and decided, we should have eloped!

Fast forward 15 years, we had moved to Maui and started a photography and wedding planning business, our company has coordinated literally hundreds and hundreds of weddings. We specialize in small intimate gatherings, just like the one we had wished we had.  After seeing so many beautiful events, it was only natural that I wanted my own! Our 15 year anniversary was the perfect excuse to have that elopement we wished we had.

We work in all kinds of beautiful places in Maui, but it didn't take much debate on where we wanted to have our event. The Four Seasons Resorts have held a special place in our hearts as a couple. We have had some of the best experiences together at The Four Season's Lana'i when we first moved to Maui, We celebrated our 13 year wedding anniversary at the Four Seasons Hualalai and we had an amazing family staycation at the Four Seasons Maui. It was also perfect that our company Simple Maui Wedding just started offering weddings at the Four Seasons Maui, so we got a chance to work with the amazing staff there in an up close and personal way!  All of our venues are special but the Four Seasons is extra special because of the people there. The experience of the client is SO important and they always go above and beyond to make you feel special.

What I expected:
Having been in the wedding industry for the past 10 years, I expected that the planning process would be super easy and that I would have no nerves about it at all.  I was working with people who I know and trust so it was going to be a breeze! I did not think I would get emotional or nervous about the ceremony, I mean I have seen so many of them! I didn't even cry at my wedding 15 years ago!

The planning was made easy by the staff at the Four Seasons for our reception and ultimate dinner and our team was totally on it. HOWEVER I found myself second guessing my choices and nervous that something would go sideways! It made me realize the level of trust our clients have to put into us, people they have never met. They have to go on our reputation and our word that we will do our very best to ensure they have an amazing day.  I am so grateful that our clients trust us and I can now understand in such a better way when they contact us just to "check in" even when everything is totally on track!

My husband and I wrote our own vows and we were both crying by the end of them, as were most of our guests! The small and intimate feeling of it added to the emotion, all our guests were engaged and we could truly feel the love coming our way.  We had many of our guests come up to us afterwards to tell us they were crying along with us and they could feel the love of the moment as well. I was really surprised at what a difference that connection between us and our loved ones was versus 100 people staring you down in a church.  That combined with the amazing music and views just took it to another level.

So let's take a walk through the experience in photos, with some behind the scenes and images from our amazing photography team!  I wanted to relax and totally enjoy myself so I left all my pro gear at home and brought only my trusty iPhone to document my side of things.

We have arrived! We got the the resort in the morning to relax by the pool before we needed to start getting ready for the evening.

Relaxing by the pool! Such a great way to start the day!

We got ready in the Ilima Suite, it was so fabulous to have all that space!

The Suite was a great place for the kids to hang out too, after wearing themselves out playing on the big lanai.

The only request I had for my bouquet was it had to have dahlias! I am so happy they were in season! This is our rustic Hawaiian bouquet, everything is locally sourced!

Yes! I made him cry! Neither of us cried at our wedding, we were too stressed out!

Love these people! It was such fun!

The Four Seasons surprised us with the LOVE sign, what a thoughtful and AWESOME gesture! We LOVED it :) 

The table decor was perfect for the reception venue as we were right above the beach!

I really feel live music is MUST for a ceremony and reception, it adds a beautiful soundtrack to your day and elevates the mood.

The food was DELICIOUS!

The kids LOVED the hamburgers, they were chasing the servers to get more!

How is this for a setting! It was so awesome to visit and watch the sun set with our crew.

It was so handy to have the beach literally steps away so we could duck out for a few moments to capture some family and couples photos.

This is getting printed big and hanging on my wall! Hamburgers and ALL. 

The sun is setting, does this day have to end!!??
 After our cocktail and pupu reception, Steve and I decided to have a romantic "Ultimate Dinner" it was ultimate in every way!  We met with the chef the day prior to go over our preferences and they surprised us with the most amazing menu. Everything was unique and not offered in any of the resorts restaurants. Which is kind of a bummer because the lobster risotto was the best we had EVER had! Every course was paired with a different wind that was a perfect pair for the food we were eating. We had the most amazing waiter all to ourselves, we felt like royalty. It was truly a once in a lifetime dinner and I would highly recommend it, especially for eloping couples. It's the most amazing way to end your day! It lasted until we could see the constellations in the sky and were lit only by torches and candles.

Our Ultimate Dinner Menu, it was made just for us based on our preferences! 
The ceremony and reception was only the start of our amazing experience, it continued on the next few days as we spent time with our family at the resort. We were so well taken care of in every way. I am so grateful to have had this time. It gave me a renewed sense of purpose in my work, I want all our clients to feel as special as we did and get to have their own amazing Maui experiences!

The next day the kids went to Kids For All Seasons kids club and we enjoyed the serenity pool. We may or may not have visited the swim up bar. 
We did eventually pick the kids up and got pizza to go from Ferraro's and watched the amazing sunset from our Lanai.

Our last day, we had an amazing family day at the pool. We were ALL so sad to leave, the whole thing just felt like one big long amazing dream. 
Thank you so much to EVERYONE who made our entire experience so memorable. I hope that we can create an experience like this for many many clients in the years to come!

Ceremony Coordination: Simple Maui Wedding 
Reception and Ultimate Dinner Coordination: Four Seasons Resort Maui
Photographer: Cheynice of Karma Hill Photography
Hair and Makeup: Salon 253 Bride
Floral Design: Dellables
Officiant: Rev. Joe Miles
Musician: Jacob of Manutea Nui E
Dress: BHLDN
Suit: Macy's

No comments