Jennifer and Joe: Hawaiian Wedding
We are so excited to finally share Jenn and Joe’s full wedding day with everyone. Jenn waited until she was back on the mainland for a visit with her family to see her images. It was hard for us to wait but it was totally worth it! Jenn got to experience her premiere like we do for every other couple and we were super excited about that since couples get to see their images on projection for the first time rather than on a tiny computer screen. 🙂
Like with their engagement session I feel like Jenn tells the story behind their wedding better than I can:
“Getting married at Pu’u Ka Hea warms my (Jenn’s) heart as this campsite also served as a site where Joe & Jenn worked with the BCM team on various service projects. Joe also worked with a local nonprofit – Ka Pa’alana that among other things has an amazing portable preschool that’s set up at homeless beach sites along the leeward coast with an emphasis on Native Hawaiian values. Waianae (where Pu’u Ka Hea is located) is not a popular area for weddings ~ most people usually ask why Waianae?? It’s played a special role in our relationship and developing who we are as a couple, so I’m very excited to be getting married in Waianae!
We also think it’s important for our out-of-town guests to step outside of Waikiki and into the ‘real’ Hawaii. So many people have a one dimensional, paradise view of Hawaii and fail to see the many sides of history that have molded this land and people into the place it is today. Hawaii’s history contains just as much heartache and tragedy as it does beauty and splendor. There is a lot of healing and restoration that needs to happen in these lands, and we hope to play a role in that process. But that role starts with learning ~ learning about the culture, learning about the people, and learning about the good, bad, and ugly that’s shaped Hawaii into what it is today. Much like a marriage! The marriage journey we are about to embark upon includes learning about each other’s cultures, learning about how our families have shaped us, and learning about each other’s good, bad & ugly sides. We hope with much learning of course our marriage will bring out the beautiful side and not the ugly!”
For all the know Jenn and Joe you know their hearts for others. I have never seen two people who genuinely care so much about others. You can see that in their friendships and also in their areas of work. Jenn, a lawyer, has an incredible job that is working towards social justice restoration in Hawaii. These two don’t just have love for one another, they have a great love for humanity. Seeing their selfless love for those around them inspires me to be the best person I can be. To love one’s spouse is easy, to love those who are least of these is hard. Jenn and Joe are perfect example of truly loving all those who are placed in your life.
Though Waianae is not known for being the ideal location for weddings we found it to absolutely perfect! The views from this side of the island were breath taking. I remember being in tears as Jenn and Joe saw each other for the first time on the cliffs, everything about the moment was perfect. We could not have picked a better place on the island of Oahu for a wedding if we had tried. The place was beyond words and it was dear to the couple, yes that makes it simply perfect.
This is by far one of our largest wedding post. Please enjoy:
Getting ready at the Prince Hotel. The view from the hotel room (above) was breathless.
The beauty of Waianae:
Jenn’s dad, Mark, stood out on the cliffs with her as she waited for Joe. Jenn and her father have a very special relationship and I love watching them together. Since she lives on Oahu now she doesn’t get to see her parents much but the connection between them is stronger than ever. I love the little look back from Jenn as she waits for her groom:
My view of the couple while they saw each other for the first time:
And Philip’s view. I think he wins this one 🙂
The only down fall of Hawaii is the sudden raining. Thankfully Jenn and Joe both were very flexible and endured a little rain 🙂
I love the look of the storm coming over the mountains. Jenn and Joe didn’t seem to notice at all.
I have to give a huge thanks to the bridal party. After a the brief rain we got back to portraits and I really wanted to use this location. To get there it required a little adventuring into the wild and dodging some mud. Not a single person complained but instead laughed and enjoyed the day. This is why picking your bridal party carefully is so helpful. Not only do you get to enjoy the day with your favorite people, you make a creative and some times crazy photographer (us 🙂 ) very happy.
One thing that I really loved about this wedding was the inclusion of the Hawaiian culture into the day. My favorite aspect of this was the laid back nature of the day. Jenn and Joe intentionally included a break period in their day where they could be with their friends and family and breath, just to take the whole day in. This is something that I would love to see incorporated more into mainland weddings. Wedding days can be crazy and fast. You spend months planning your special day and then breeze through it in a matter of a few hours not getting to soak what the day is really about, a marriage of two people and the joining of families. Hawaiian culture definitely got this one right. During the rest time we snagged this time of Mark (Father of the Bride) and his grandson. A moment that melts my heart every time I see it:
The beauty of having a Hawaiian wedding is that you have to do very little in the means of flowers. Rare and beautiful flowers were all over the ceremony location!
This is a moment we were so glad caught. Until the day of the wedding Jenn had never been able to meet Joe’s parents. Here they are meeting for the very first time:
One of my favorites from the day:
Jenn surprised Jenn and had a second wedding dress for the ceremony. I love this idea especially if you are seeing each other before the ceremony. And really who doesn’t love the idea of two dresses 🙂
Since the second dress was a surprise and Joe could see Jenn from the front of he plantation, Jenn needed a shield of bridesmaids:
I love how Philip got images of both the mothers waiting for the ceremony:
One of the coolest things about Hawaiian weddings is the tradition that the guest stand and surround the couple as they say their vows. I love the symbolism of this tradition.
I love that Jenn and Joe didn’t worry about tons of details for their wedding. They made it exactly unique to them and not a canned wedding. The plantation where the ceremony and reception took place was beautiful! The front of the plantation had two perfect rows of palm trees that made a natural aisle for Jenn to walk down.
A tented reception on a 100 year old plantation at sunset, yes I do think that Jenn brought her southern roots to Hawaii:
Jenn included another Hawaiian tradition, performing a hula for her new husband. It was such a great tradition to incorporate and it was really neat to see her friends join her so that she would not be alone:
During the reception I was looking around and Mr. Mark caught my eye. The movie Father of the Bride popped into my head instantly, the father sitting all alone at a table while every one else enjoyed the party. Normally I wait for a subject to turn their attention away from the camera when doing documentary work but for this image I love that he is looking me dead on. His smile completes the image, he might be warn out from the day but he is one hundred percent on board with his daughter’s marriage:
Jen and Joe,
Thank you so much for including us in your day! To be there as you joined your lives together was priceless for us both. Jenn you have been such a great friend to me all these years and I wouldn’t haven’t dreamed of missing your wonderful day. We not only got to be there as you joined your life to Joe’s, you gave us the highest honor by choosing us to document your wedding day. We will forever cherish the fact that you brought us to your beautiful island and trusted us with your day. Being hired to be your wedding photographer was the highest honor you could have ever given us, thank you! Thank you for letting us in on your love story!
Savannah and Philip