DIY projects are a great way to add character to your wedding, but they can be risky, especially if they're going to be super visible. This bride is a calligrapher, and with several wedding delays (thanks to COVID) she had a lot of time to think about ways to customize her big day. From inscribing a love poem on their aisle runner and creating all of the signage to a beautiful ukulele guest book, she really went above and beyond with the DIY touches, and each one turned out incredible! So, take a page from this bride's book and choose a DIY project that highlights your unique skillset.
For their Hawaiian destination wedding, Nia and Dairius trusted Esselle Weddings And Events to bring their vision to life. They knew exactly what they wanted from the tradition-filled ceremony to the couple's portraits. We love the way Kay Salera Photography used the beautiful floral arrangements by Creative Concepts By Jeff Alencastre to create a truly unique composition. And, they couldn't have picked a better venue than Sunset Ranch Hawaii for this gorgeous outdoor celebration. Keep scrolling to read more about this magical fun-filled day.
Dairius, locally born and raised in Hawaii, met Nia, born and raised in Indonesia, during their time in college at Purdue University. They first met through an introduction by a mutual friend at a college cultural resource center. After Dairius graduated first in 2016, they didn’t keep in touch with each other until Dairius posted an attempt at a really famous Indonesian dish on Instagram that caught Nia’s attention. Since the attempt at the dish didn’t look right, Nia just had to comment on the post (while sliding into his DMs unintentionally to send him the right recipe). After that incident, they started to reconnect, and they made their relationship official in 2018. During that time, Dairius was moving from place to place because he had to go through a lot of training in the Navy to become a submarine officer. Dairius and Nia had to do their relationship long-distance for the first year and a half until Nia graduated in 2019 and moved to Hawaii to be with him. After four failed proposal attempts due to the pandemic and other various reasons, Dairius finally was able to propose to Nia in August of 2020. Though their relationship was very challenging since being in a submarine means they cannot communicate for months on end while he was out at sea, they managed to push through as their love was stronger.
After the navy moved them across the country to Washington DC, they had to fly back to Hawaii, and they were finally able to celebrate their love in front of their friends and family. Nia had a very specific vision for the wedding. The theme she wanted to achieve was “a spring, romantic wedding with a touch of Aloha”. It was important for Nia and Dairius to have a wedding that was modern, elegant, but still timeless and romantic. This was achieved through a beautiful venue (Sunset Ranch Hawaii), a gorgeous modern romantic dress from Jenny Yoo, a soft and pastel color palette using spring flowers and light decor, and an awesome color palette for the bridal party (dusty blue and gray). Nia was very lucky to have found Stephanie Le from Esselle Weddings And Events, who had such great ideas and high attention to detail like herself. After sending a PowerPoint presentation with her exact vision, Stephanie was able to curate the most amazing dream team for Nia and Dairius’s wedding.
As Nia is also a calligrapher, it was super important for her to create beautiful pieces for her wedding that would complement the venue, the decor, and the overall vibe of the wedding. So Nia created her calligraphy pieces inspired by the “Spring, Romantic, Aloha” theme by incorporating butterflies as place cards, handwriting a love poem on a 15-foot aisle runner, making a personalized ukulele as a guest book, and using soft pink, dusty blue, and gold as the overall color palette. Nonetheless, Nia and Dairius also had some specific visions for their wedding portrait photos. One of their favorite photos is how they were able to repurpose the wedding flowers into their portrait session by laying on the ground while our photographer took a photo of us from above. They also wanted to capture their bridal party in the coolest way possible through a fun photo session by the venue’s famous eucalyptus tree.
Another highlight of the wedding day was their Hawaiian Officiant, Rev Elias Parker, who curated the most beautiful Hawaiian ceremony for them. We were worried that Dairius’s adoptive mom, who's currently 80 years old, might not make it to the wedding due to her declining health. But we were so lucky that we were able to honor her through a Lei ceremony. Another highlight of their ceremony was how two of their groomsmen were acting as the “flower man” and “beer man”. Nonetheless, the ceremony also included a ritual of sharing the breath of life (Ha) by touching the forehead and noses together (Honi), which represents the sharing of our spirits.
After the ceremony ended, Dairius quickly switched from his Navy whites into his tuxedo. The guests were greeted by an array of Indonesian and Hawaiian fusion dishes, which everyone raved about. Dairius and Nia also wanted to incorporate their cat into the wedding somehow, so they got this cute cake topper made that says “You, Me, and the Cat” which sat beautifully on the cake made by Cake Works Hawaii and decorated by Creative Concepts By Jeff Alencastre.
1. A PowerPoint presentation is much better and much more organized than a Pinterest board! Send this to all of your wedding vendors to clearly communicate your vision to them!
2. You should also slowly gather specific photo inspiration examples for your photographer so that they can make the time to take those specific shots for you on the wedding day.
3. Most importantly, trust the experts, and don't micromanage your wedding vendors! It was so amazing to see all of our wedding vendors do their magic so seamlessly on our wedding day and we didn't have to worry about a thing.