As ALL of you know from our Instagram and Facebook explosion over the last 2 weeks, that we were all just recently in a private villa called “Bali Hale” in Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii to celebrate Rex and Rod’s amazing destination wedding!
This is going to be a long post, because it was multiple days of fun, epic photos shoots, lavish dinners with a private chef, and of course exploring the Roads to Hana and chasing waterfalls! I was connected to Rex and Rod through the fabulous wedding planner, Jes Gordon, and she should be a matchmaker by profession, because I couldn’t have picked a better couple to hang out with for a week, stay in a villa with and photograph. Very quickly we all became one happy family and I even had my hair done by Tony one of the Groomsmen, you know so I can look fabulous while shooting photos:)
These two have such an amazing story, so much so that within 3 days from the wedding a magazine has already picked them up to be published and their story had everyone teary-eyed in their editorial meeting:) I have been to many weddings, but not many make me cry and this one did. I think their choice in ceremony song, (“No Day But Today” sung by Idina Menzel from the original cast of RENT before she became super famous from Frozen) is what did it for me. RENT was the first broadway performance I ever saw and Rex and Rod’s favorite, and the meaning of the words and the nostalgia that song brings up for me just was so perfect that there wasn’t a dry eye in the house! So when you are reading this and scrolling through the images, please click on their song below and listen to it and I dare you NOT to cry!
The ceremony was performed by their best friend Tom, who had specifically gotten ordained (online) because he wanted to perform the ceremony for them. He registered with the State of Hawaii in order for the marriage to be legally recognized, which he was also able to do online. They did some quick research on traditional Hawaiian weddings and wrote much of what they found into their service. Some traditional Hawaiian elements included an explanation of the meaning of Aloha, an exchange of flowers symbolically placed behind the left ear (over the heart) of the beloved to indicate the person was now “spoken for” and the donning of both floral and Kului nut leis.
After the ceremony, I grabbed the whole wedding party and took them to a secret waterfall that I had scouted the day before and made them dangerously brave the rapids to get in place for the photo shoot. I was actually standing in the river myself shooting the photos and we lucked out that we are even able to do this, because the next day it rained and the waterfall became way too powerful and dangerous to stand in! I loved how much Rex and Rod trusted me in taking their photos, because I had them scaling mountains, climbing over cliff edges, jumping into the ocean, and hiking waterfalls for our photos and they had the bloody, bruised legs to show for it on our final day after our #trashthedressshorts shoot! War wounds are a sign of a GREAT photo shoot in my opinion:)
Although their wedding was super simple and there were only 8 people in attendance (including myself!) their attention to the small details made it so perfect. Some of my favorites are their embroidered shirts and shorts from Cindy at Savile Lane. They hand selected the fabrics from England and custom tailored the shorts and shirts with their wedding monogram that they designed. They also had their friends Scott and Beth design their wedding bands for them. There are 3 diamonds in Rex’s ring that came from a ring that Rod originally had designed for their 20th anniversary. The center stone came from his grandmother’s wedding ring and is flanked by the first 2 diamond stud earrings he gave Rod, which were eaten by their puppy Makeda and had to be “recovered”…one at the vet ER, and the other from, uh, the front yard. The overall shape of the wedding rings mirrors the Marquise shape of their 25th anniversary rings, which they wear on opposite hands. They also had their RnR initials engraved, along with their respective fingerprints – each has the other’s fingerprint on his ring. Also, they had a shrine to their two dogs Makeba and Mojo (their children) at the ceremony which they lost in the past year.
After our photo shoots, they brought in professional guitar players and Hula dancers to do a private performance for all of us at sunset and even teach us how to Hula. Then the fire dancer performed at twilight and dinner was served on the patio by our private chef! It was the perfect end to a perfect day and just proof that all you need for a perfect wedding is a ton of LOVE, good food, good friends, a good sense of adventure, and of course a GREAT photographer:) I love you guys and I can’t wait to see your gorgeous wedding week in print!