Oh Hawaii, how you stole my entire heart. This was my first time to your majestic islands and I can assure you that this will not be my last. When Karen and Alex told me they were getting married at Disney Aulani Resort & Spa, I knew I had to photograph their Hawaii wedding. Being a huge Disney fan, this resort has been on my bucket-list for a long time. I am now so thrilled to say that I have experienced it and now I am craving to go back.
I first met Karen through an online Disney wedding planning group called, Official Disbrides Group, where she saw a post I made about how badly I wanted to photograph a wedding at this Hawaii resort. She reached out to me and said I was welcome to photograph their wedding. I was on cloud 9! A few months and we scheduled their engagement session in California at Disneyland and Newport Beach. We had the most fun wandering through the park taking photos along the way. Spending time with them made me even more excited to travel to Hawaii with them.
Fast forward six months and it was departure time. I made the 12 hour journey from Toronto to Honolulu, where I got my car rental and began my drive to the west coast of Oahu. Suddenly, there it was, Disney Aulani. I had a total fan girl moment as I have been dreaming of this moment for so long. It absolutely lived up to everything I had hoped. Hawaii is lush, tropical and basically heaven on earth. I knew in that moment that their wedding day would be magical.
After a few days into our trip, it was wedding day. I am lucky to have a friend that lives on the island come and second shoot this wedding with me. So the biggest thanks and shoutout to Vanessa Hicks. While I started my day with Karen and her girls in the most amazing ocean-view suite, Vanessa made her way to Alex and the guys. When I arrived, Karen was wearing a super cute custom robe and her Minnie Mouse slippers, she was adorable. This particular morning was rainy, just like it had been the few days before. But I had complete faith that the rain would stop in time for their first look. And boy did we get lucky! Literally minutes before we were to do the first look the skies cleared and we were able to continue with our plans for an outdoor first look.
We spent a good part of the afternoon wandering the ground of Aulani with Karen, Alex and their wedding party before heading over to Lanikuhonua Lagoon, which is one of Disney Fairytale Weddings & Honeymoon’s offsite locations, for their ceremony and reception. This location was everything I would imagine a Hawaii wedding to look like. Tropical palms, ocean views, lots of green space and a sunset that rocked my world.
Before the ceremony Karen chose to do a first look with her dad. This is a moment I will never forget. She has a gift for him which was a handkerchief with a sweet poem on it. It also had Tigger stitched on it because when Karen was a little girl he surprised her by painting a big Tigger on her bedroom wall when she was away on vacation. It was a very emotional moment.
As previously mentioned, we were blessed with a beautiful day considering the amount of rain we had that morning. The skies opened and we had the most amazing sunset. We went out onto the lava rocks on the beach and in that moment all my wedding day goals were met. It was in that moment that I knew I have to move and relocate to Hawaii, like for real!
With a few couple guest appearances by Mickey, Minnie and Daisy, it added in that extra Disney magic to their wedding day. We enjoyed shaved ice, cocktails, dancing under the stars and so many laughs throughout the day. Karen and Alex, I can never thank you enough for making my Hawaii Disney wedding dreams come true. I am so happy that we met and will be lifelong friends. I wish you all the best and am still completely jealous that you had an amazing honeymoon in Tahiti in an overwater bungalow.
Vendors who made the day happen:
Second Photographer: Vanessa Hicks Photography
Wedding Planning: Disney Weddings (Day of Coordinator: Rei)
Videography: Imagine Wurks
Hair/Makeup: Alexandra Hawaii Stylists
Bridal Gown: Martina Liana Bridal
Venue: Disney Aulani Resort & Spa
Florals: Yvonne Design