Give me a destination wedding in Hawaii any day of the week, and I’m one happy girl. Katie and Julian had family coming in from all around the world, so they wanted to make sure everyone could get to spend some relaxing time getting to know each other and share in their celebration. Thanks to Bikini Birdie, Vintage & Lace, and Grace Flowers for their beautiful work here!

destination Hawaii wedding at Puakea Ranch - photo by Bikini Birdie

From the bride, Katie: We envisioned something simple and small – neither of us really wanted to feel like the center of a huge amount of attention! We also wanted it to feel more like a family vacation in Hawaii than a wedding, so that our respective families – who came from Seattle, California, Wisconsin and New Zealand – could get to know each other over the course of a few days. Puakea Ranch was the perfect venue for this, because we could all stay at the Ranch together, rather than heading off to separate hotels every night.The venue, on the Big Island of Hawaii, was a beautiful, secluded, historic, luxurious ranch, so the look of the wedding came naturally from that – it was rustic, elegant, and laid-back. I loved blush and gold for colors, so Rachael started there to create the amazing tablescape, with touches of blue and a eucalyptus centerpiece.

garden wedding invitations - photo by Bikini Birdie

Ruffled - photo by Bikini Birdie

peach rose bouquet - photo by Bikini Birdie
Flower recipe: For flowers, we focused on blushes, whites, and creams with accents of coral, including garden roses, peonies, and eucalyptus accents. I wore a bridal lei of white pikake and all the guests had white orchid leis.

groom shoes - photo by Bikini Birdie

bride getting ready - photo by Bikini Birdie

Ruffled - photo by Bikini Birdie

bride getting ready - photo by Bikini Birdie

Ruffled - photo by Bikini Birdie

Our cute nametags were made by theapothecarybee on Etsy, and we designed our rings ourselves at Green Lake Jewelry Works in Seattle. At the last minute, we put together a cute setup for the guests to throw rice from at the end of the ceremony (picture attached.) But other than that, I didn’t do a lot of DIY – planning the wedding was hard enough :) We did have a good friend as an officiant, my cousin as our bartender, and my sister’s boyfriend DJed and handled the music during the ceremony, so all of that kept it feeling very personal and ‘like us.’

ceremony setup - photo by Bikini Birdie

ceremony flowers - photo by Bikini Birdie

ceremony processional - photo by Bikini Birdie

wedding ceremony - photo by Bikini Birdie

wedding ceremony - photo by Bikini Birdie

ceremony recessional - photo by Bikini Birdie

Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? Nothing groundbreaking – just communicate and be yourselves – do what you think is right for the two of you as a couple. Neither of us are big planners, so if that’s you, I would recommend having a wedding planner. Rachael at Vintage & Lace did an amazing job pulling all the design details together while incorporating my likes and dislikes, which was something I had no clue how to do on my own. I would also say, even though it feels like you have to make every little thing perfect, don’t worry about the small details too much! That’s not the most important thing in the end.

Ruffled - photo by Bikini Birdie

pastel reception with eucalyptus runner - photo by Bikini Birdie

Ruffled - photo by Bikini Birdie

pastel and gold reception - photo by Bikini Birdie

wedding cake with flowers - photo by Bikini Birdie

Ruffled - photo by Bikini Birdie

View all images from this wedding in the gallery

Wedding Music:
Processional: “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” Elvis Presley
Pick songs that remind you of dates, special moments and most importantly for the party, songs that make you want to dance and have a laugh. Other songs, “I Love You Yes I Do” by James Brown and The Famous Flames, Sam Cooke’s “Just for You.” Most of the playlist was 50s rock and roll, 60s soul and late 70s to early 80s indie hits. Warning: people will want to dance to matter how small the wedding, so even if you aren’t planning for dancing, be ready with the hits both classic and modern. We made that mistake and had to scramble and make an emergency dance playlist. It ended up great because the Brooklyn Hustle from Saturday Night Fever became a huge hit – it helped that my dad was an expert at the choreography!

Wedding Vendors


Bikini Birdie

Event Planning

Vintage & Lace


Grace Flowers


Puakea Ranch

Bridal Store

Blue Sky Bridal

Wedding Shoes

B Brian Atwood


Green Lake Jewelry Works

Hair and Makeup

Mara McMichael/Lillikoi Hair Studio

Groom's Suit

Suit Supply


Color Catering

Wedding Cake

Pineapple Bakery


Hawaii Island Events

Wedding Invitations

Paperless Post