When planning where to have your wedding day, sometimes taking a look back at some of the special memories the two of you have made can help. This is what lead Michael and Michelle to decide that Hawaii was the perfect place to say "I do", and honestly if you had a fantastic proposal story like theirs you'd tie-the-knot there too.
Oh, that's right, you need to keep scrolling to hear how Michael popped the question! And there are plenty more photos of their beautiful wedding day in the full gallery thanks to Anna Kim Photography.
A Proposal Story
We first met when our mutual friend Alex visited New York in 2008. He brought Michelle and her friends over to watch football at Michael's apartment. We remained friends over the years and it wasn't until 2011 when we caught each other's eye and connected over karaoke and flag football. (During one game, Michael ran headfirst into Michelle, literally knocking her off her feet.)
The proposal, as told by Michael: It was the morning of December 22, 2017, and we got up early to get ready for our big (and only) hike. We arrived in Kauaʻi the night before and succumbed to travel fatigue, so we had a few things to do before we set off. The only thing on my mind that morning was - "The ring is in the room safe. How do I get it into my bag without her noticing?" Much to my dismay, there was never a chance to sneak the box into my Camelbak, so we left the room without it. My mind was scrambling.
We stopped by the concierge to book our activities, and to make a reservation for Christmas dinner. “Oh, I forgot a coupon in the room." Perfect. This was my chance. "I'LL GO GET IT!" I exclaimed as I ran back to the room. I swung open the safe, pulled out the box, and tucked it into the deepest corner of the small backpack. I grabbed all of the papers I could find and hurried back to the lobby. Crisis averted!
We embarked on our hike along the Kalalau Trail, which for a few stretches was pretty much just mud (Kauai is famous for its red clay), and cliffs. It had crossed my mind that if I fell off the trail at any point, I would toss my bag to Michelle and shout "Look in the baaaaaaag." After some breathtaking views of the Napali Coast, we successfully reached Hanakapi`ai Beach. "Hmm, do I do it here?" One of the things Michelle and I talked about, half-jokingly, is that if I ever proposed to her in the middle of a crowd, she would disown me. :(
A Proposal Story cont...
We made our way back to the trailhead with me, covered in mud, and Michelle, hungry and having to pee. After rinsing off the mud and dirt, we headed over to Sushi Girl for a quick bite. Along the way, we spotted a quiet, empty beach along the road and agreed to bring our sushi back and eat on the beach. At that hour, most of the beach was in the shade, except for one beam of sunlight that illuminated a sliver of beach. Perfect. That was the spot. After what felt like hours (30 minutes), we finally got our food. "We should just go back to the hotel." No! I insisted that we enjoy the sunset as we ate, and maybe walk along the beach afterward. Michelle capitulates - "but I still need to pee."
We got back to the beach, picked a spot, and chowed down. The only problem was I wasn't hungry. Not even slightly. Butterflies were a-fluttering as I wolfed down tuna rolls and hand rolls - "Yum, this is so good, I'm so hungry" As we finished our last bites, I suggested that we walk along the beach a little, to which Michelle lamented, ever so practically: "We walked along the beach to get here, we can walk along the beach to get back!"
After a small amount of convincing, we made our way to "the spot" and I started my speech. As I got down on one knee, I heard Michelle exclaim - "WAIT! I'M HOLDING TRASH!" - the aftermath of our post-hike meal. This was, surprisingly, the perfect opportunity to take it off her hands and replace it with a ring on her finger.
Michael: "Will you marry me?"
Michelle: "Of course!"
The Reason For A Hawaii Wedding
We chose Hawaii for our destination wedding. It has a special place in our hearts for a few reasons.
When we moved from New York to San Francisco, Maui was the first destination we vacationed at.
We've also each taken a solo trip to Oahu in between jobs. We got engaged on Kauai. Our guests would be traveling from all over the world. Nobody complains about going to Hawaii :) We discovered Haiku Mill in a YouTube search for "Maui wedding venues", and we were enamored from the start. We hardly considered any other venues because we kept comparing them to Haiku Mill, and there's nothing else like it.