How did you meet the love of your life?
We met through a mutual friend, who needed a “wingman” while he was trying to get to know one of my other friends. We went out, danced all night, and had great conversation. I was fresh out of a breakup so I was trying to be coy but he was persistent and knew how to use his southern charm!
When did you know they had stolen your heart?
I can’t really pin point one moment, it was more gradual over time. I just felt so comfortable around him from the moment we met, it has always felt like I’d known him forever. I played hard to get for a long time, and he was unwavering in his efforts. I realized I had bigger feelings for him than I thought when I went on a trip to Bali with friends, before we were “official” and I missed him the whole time and we talked every day during the trip.
Tell us the story of the proposal.
His proposal was incredible, and I was completely surprised! I’m originally from Kauai, and we had been there visiting for a little over a week. On the last day of our trip, we woke up at sunrise to hike part of the Na Pali coast trail, a 4 mile hike that takes you to a 100 foot waterfall. The hike was SO intense. Halfway there it started pouring rain, tons of people were turning back and there was a good chance of a flash flood. After about 4 hours we finally made it to the waterfall, both freezing and covered in mud. I noticed he was acting a little funny, and seemed nervous. I didn’t think much of it and hopped in the water and swam away to get behind the massive waterfall. He apparently put the ring on his pinkie, swam in after me (he says I kicked his hand at one point and he almost lost it!) He climbed up after me onto the rocks and presented the ring, asking me to be his wife. I was so shocked and so happy, other hikers saw what happened and were cheering us on. It was a moment I will never forget!
How long was your engagement? What went into the decision about date and location?
We originally planned to get married one month shy of a year after the proposal. My sister also got engaged around the same time, and we wanted to space our weddings a couple months apart in different locations. When the pandemic hit, everything changed and there was a lot in the air for a long time. We ended up having to delay by one month due to quarantine laws in the state of Hawaii, and it worked out that the best weekend to do it also happened to be my 30th birthday!
How would you describe your personal style? What were the most important factors for you as you considered how you wanted your bridal look to manifest?
I would say my personal style is pretty simple, subtly sexy, and beachy. I always opt for clothes that are form fitting. Since we were having a backyard wedding, I didn’t want a dress that was too fancy. I wanted something fitted, with beautiful lace, and just comfortably sexy. The Bree dress delivered that in every aspect.
How did you find Wear Your Love?
From a sponsored Instagram ad! I clicked on the ad, and loved everything about the company.
When did you know you had found your perfect dress?
I had been to a bridal store to try dresses on with my mom and friends, which was a super fun experience, but all the dresses just felt like too much fabric and too fussy for our backyard wedding in Kauai. I initially was nervous about ordering a wedding dress online, but I kept going back to the Bree dress and just trusted that it would be perfect.
What went through your mind when the Wear Your Love box arrived at your doorstep, and you pulled out your dress for the first time?
I was home alone when it arrived, the plan was to go over to a bridesmaids house when it arrived to try it on there, but she was working and I just could not wait! I FaceTimed another bridesmaid and tried it on in front of her. It was perfect! The stretchiness of the fabric, the quality of the lace. It had a nice weight to it to where it felt high quality but also lightweight enough to move freely.
What is the name of the dress, and did you request any custom aspects?
I got the Bree dress, and didn’t request any custom aspects. Originally I planned on adding a slit to the leg area, so I asked to include some extra of the trim. Upon trying it on I didn’t feel it still needed a slit, but my bridesmaid had the idea to use some of the extra trim to make a little back detail on the dress, which I think turned out beautiful.
What was your wedding theme or style?
I wanted the main colors to reflect that of a sunrise shell, which is a special shell found in Hawaii with beautiful pinks, yellows, and gold. My husband and I are both very laid back people, so we wanted that to reflect in the style of our wedding.
How involved was your love in the planning? Did your families help with planning? Did you hire a co-ordinator, planner, or event stylist?
A lot of the girly aspects of it were a bit over his head, but he was very helpful in managing the guest list and invitations. Our families were also very involved and we did all the planning without hiring any outside help. We are both not very plan-oriented people, so everyone including ourselves were very surprised it turned out so beautifully!
Let's show your wedding venue some love! What is the name of the wedding venue you chose and why did you choose it for your special day?
The property we got married on is my childhood home, the first house I ever lived in as a baby. It’s a family farm on 4 acres in Kauai and the most special place to me. To me, there was never any question if we would get married anywhere else. During the pandemic, a lot of friends and family tried pressuring us to get married in California (where we live) instead, but we stuck to our guns. I’m so glad we didn’t give up, because the location is a huge part of what made the day so magical.
What was on your wedding soundtrack playlist, aisle, reception, and first dance?
We debated a lot if we would hire a DJ, and both felt for how low key our wedding was going to be that it wouldn’t be necessary. For the ceremony, we had a local reggae artist play ukulele and that was a great touch. For the first dance, we played “Dancing in the Moonlight” since we both always loved that song. We had hired for a sound system to be set up in the tent, and for the rest of the night, different people took turns playing music! It was fun that way because we had variety in the music and it made it more interactive and like a regular, fun party. The dance floor was happening all night long and it was a blast.
What was your favorite moment of the day?
I think walking down the aisle was the best moment. We hadn’t seen each other all day, and I was hiding behind a tree before coming into view and walking down the aisle. Seeing him in his outfit, and the look on his face as he watched me walking towards him was a truly surreal moment.
Who was involved in your special day? We'd love to shout out to all your favorite vendors! Add all social media information, so each person gets the credit they deserve.
It took a village! A lot of family friends came together and everyone had something to contribute. Aside from that we hired these helpers- Lee’s tent rentals Kaua’i Eric Torgerson for lights and sound system @kealohaflowers Garden island party essentials for linens @adove.roden decorated the arch way that my husband and his friend built out of driftwood.
Photography was by Thru Deez Lens.
Do you have any advice or words of wisdom for anyone planning a wedding?
Don’t get too flustered when things don’t go as plan, there’s always another option or different way of doing things (I try to follow the same philosophy in life) Also, stop trying to make everyone happy! It’s impossible to do so, and while it’s never fun to disappoint loved ones, the day is about you and your partner.
Now that you can look back with 20/20 hindsight, was there anything you'd do differently?
I might have hired a videographer, because it really did go by fast and it would be nice to watch years down the road. Also, most people who traveled over booked their flights with plenty of time before the wedding, and left a day or two after. If we were going to do it over again, I’d tell them to do the opposite. Everyone wanted to come early to help, but it kind of just made things more stressful that way and we would have preferred to have that time to spend with them after all the work of the wedding was out of the way.
What's your favorite thing about being married so far?
Calling each other husband and wife, and starting to make real life plans together is really exciting!
Emily is wearing The Bree with ivory lining and a 16 inch court train.