Sunday, February 16, 2014

Wedding Colors, Hawaii Style

Hawaii weddings can follow many pathways, and along the way, couples will encounter the latest trends. Some of these such as flowers strewn along the outdoor "path to the altar" lend themselves perfectly to a certain style of outdoor wedding.  Like other styles, colors tend to trend, regardless of context. When choosing themes and colors for your wedding, it is helpful to look at photos from your venue, to get to know what colors are already prominent there. That scheme will form the basis for your palette. If you are using a tent with top and sides that are non-see through, the whole scheme is up to you. Otherwise, how much blue sky and ocean, or  deep forest and green or gray tropical mountainscape fill your view?  Does a color emerge as dominant? Will the outdoors fade to black because your wedding is at sunset and when the party starts, it will be dark night outside?

If the flowers at your wedding are important to your sense of color scheme, browse what is in season on the date you have selected, in the region of your wedding. Local flowers will be the freshest, often transported a short distance with great care to avoid bruising and bending of petals.

Here you see a cymbidium orchid, as it grows on the plant. The plant itself is large and unsuitable for table decor. The stems and sprays and the individual blooms are sculptural and lend themselves to idyllic styles in wedding table arrangements. These particular orchids are seasonal, your flower bonus for choosing a winter date in Hawaii for your celebration.  Some growers can produce blooms year round, but the color selection will not be as extensive for out of season flowers. In choosing colors for a Hawaiian destination wedding, taking cues from this particular flower will give you ivory, golden yellow and old rose.  The way this can play out is to combine this orchid with other kinds of orchids, anthuriums, and tuberose in the same colors.

The Hawaii Island style weddings often incorporate whatever flowers are in season. These blooms are sometimes gigantic, like the heliconia may be, and are best used in ultra large arrangements for places other than the dining tables. Huge dramatic flower arrangements can also be informal, tied to the tent poles at the entrance, for example. Often palm fronds are combined with heliconia and ginger in local wedding celebrations held at beach pavilions. No alcohol permitted, however, at beach pavilions, or at the beach. To have a beachfront wedding in Hawaii with alcohol and a reception, you rent a beachfront house or estate. We have located a selection of these particularly suited to weddings.

So for colors to express your style… or to inform your choice of brides maids dresses… take a look at Hawaiian flowers. Think about the colors that will surround you here. If you are choosing a rainforest wedding, you are in the midst of emerald green. There will be red accents of the forest birds and anthuriums in the landscape. From the riot of colors available, you may be drawn to the reds and oranges, or to lighter shades like the chartreuse of the newly opening fern fronds. For a beach wedding, look at the color of Hawaiian waters. Brilliant aqua. The sands tend to be golden along the Kohala coast rather than white. Black edges most Big Island shorelines.

When sending your invitations, remember that how your guests dress will play into the overall visual of your extravaganza. We have seen Hawaiian wedding guests take the casual nature of the island to the extreme, showing up dressed more as if they were going to build a rock wall than participate in a fancy party. We have also seen men struggle for comfort in suit jackets and ties with the weather in the mid 80s.  We suggest this:  "Cocktail attire, aloha style".  Generally this will be interpreted as aloha shirts and linen or cotton slacks for the men, and Hawaii style dresses for the women, upscale rather than ABC store casual. Be careful of the use of the word "casual" to describe Hawaii style - casual in Hawaii, especially on the Big Island, translates to halter tops, tee-shirts, slippahs, and shorts.  You may think your mainland friends would not come to your classy oceanfront wedding looking they were on their way to the beach to strip down and boogie board, but the surprise is many visitors are quick to adopt the local style.

When your big event is all over, what you will have is the memory and the photos. When we help plan weddings, we think about how it is all going to look when you look back. We want your thoughts to be that it was all more beautiful than you ever dreamed, the moment you see it, and every time you look back through your memory and at your photographs.

We wish you much aloha in planning your event. If you are considering a Hawaii Island wedding, please visit our website and see if we might be a good fit for your style and dreams.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Oceanfront Wedding, Kona Style

Kailua-Kona is a Big Island village generally thought of as the liveliest locale on the island, with its boutique restaurants and shops, sunset cruises and parasailing, Hulihe'e Palace and rich Hawaiian heritgage, wild dolphin journeys and whale watches. The weather is likely to be close to perfect. Since 1981, Kona has hosted the Ironman triathlon, an event that originated on Oahu and then moved over to the less congested Big Island.  Ironman gear can found year-round in Kailua-Kona. One of the beautiful aspects of Kona town is the walk along the seawall, the village across the street, the streets humming with life but not stuffed with traffic. Faces of the people you see are happy to be here. Happy to be alive, in this place of uncompromising beauty and Hawaiian style.

This oceanside town has three major hotels. One is at each end of Alii Drive where the shops and restaurants are, and the Sheraton is a bit farther south, at Keauhou. Visitors to Kona may stay at one of these resorts, a condo, or rent one of the many private homes either along the waterfront, in town, or above the village in the coffee country. Some choose the resorts along the Kohala Coast to the north for their ample beachfront. The history of old Hawaii is evident in Kona, and efforts over the decades of development that came along with an expanding mainland economy to preserve the essence of Kona have paid off. The businesses along Alii Drive tend to cherish the island history and culture, and extend a warm aloha to visitors and locals alike.

A newcomer to Kona town is Daylight Mind Restaurant and Coffee Company, in the heart of Kona, along the Alii Drive promenade. The photo above is from the first wedding they have hosted. The restaurant is downstairs. Up a wide koa staircase is their event area, dedicated to private parties.

The event area wraps around the bay side and ocean face of the building, that juts out almost right over the water. There is strip of lawn between the rear of the building and the waves below. It is not uncommon to see whales breaching and tail slapping in the winter, and pods of spinner dolphins cavorting in the endless blue. Palms reach out into the view like graceful dancers. Sunsets fill the sky nearly every evening, washing it in golds, oranges, reds and pinks.  Sitting at a table along the glass wall, your view is directly to the waves breaking onto the flat smooth pahoehoe edging the ocean here. Patches of coral sand are interspersed along the black edge of the island. The water is pure turquoise under the clear sky.

Despite the lure of the sunset, the very best time for a party is the afternoon. You are welcome to linger as the sky fills with colors, however we encouraage you and your guests to enjoy the sheer beauty of the location in its glory when the sun is still high in the sky.

Here, you see part of the view of Kona Village ringing the Bay. From a side table, you are treated to the sweep of the waterfront with its orange roofline.

The owners of Daylight Mind have great enthusiasm about sharing the beauty of their location with wedding parties. The chefs are eager to show off their versatility and imagination, to create one of a kind celebratory feasts. We will be back next week to show off some of their efforts.

To learn more, visit us with your wedding inquiry:

We wish you much aloha.