Last fall, I got to photograph the most incredibly fun destination wedding in Oahu, Hawaii, for a wonderful couple. Zarina and Chris originally planned on hosting a big, traditional wedding at The Abernethy Center in Oregon City. However, shortly after photographing their engagement session at Smith Rock (which was amazing and can be seen here) I received an email from them stating that they had decided to reevaluate their wedding plans and instead do a much smaller Oahu destination wedding.
Zarina and Chris are a laidback, adventurous, active couple, and doing a more intimate celebration in a tropical locale, such as Oahu, just seemed more in line with what they wanted out of their wedding day. I had to agree that it seemed to fit their personalities more. But for a moment I was a little concerned that they might decide to go with a different photographer for their wedding given their change of plans. They, however, decided to have me along after all, and I couldn’t have been more excited. I’ve always wanted to photograph a destination wedding on Oahu, Hawaii, and I was so incredibly grateful that Zarina and Chris invited me to join them, along with 30 or so of their closest friends and family.
They rented a big estate right on the coast that featured the most quintessential, mountainous, Hawaiian backdrop. It was truly breathtaking. Unfortunately, last year my knee wasn’t doing so well, otherwise I would have loved to hike up it. But instead I explored Oahu’s North Shore for a few days before Zarina and Chris’ crew arrived. They had a spare room at their rental, so I got to join in relaxing with everyone for a couple days before the wedding, lounging at the pool, making trips to Kahana Beach, eating a ridiculous amount of coconut shrimp, and drinking White Claw, which was in abundance. It was really nice being able to spend quality time with everyone beforehand and start to understand the inner dynamics of the group. It also had the added benefit of helping make the photographic process feel more natural the day of the wedding.
I was especially impressed the way the whole wedding came together. Having not hosted a wedding myself, I can only imagine the complexities of planning a destination wedding on Oahu. Most everything was DIY and thrown together upon arrival in a couple days. One of their friends had event planning experience so that was a big help. Zarina’s mom made all of the deserts, and her brothers played the processional music. Another friend officiated the ceremony. Someone else made all the flower arrangements, and did a wonderful job. And several others contributed to decorating the wedding arch. I’m sure there are other contributions I’m forgetting. But suffice it to say, it was a group effort, and it came together beautifully! 🙂 — KC