I am still pinching myself over this wedding! Raylene + Jiayu found me after we had already decided to go to Hawaii, so the fact that the timing of this all worked out so perfectly is nothing short of miraculous. It rained in spurts throughout the entire day, as Hawaii tends to do, but it never was enough to ruin the plans. These two decided to marry in the Laie temple, so I first saw them as they walked out of the temple to greet their cheering family and friends. They were just glowing with joy, and it shows in all the photos. We wrapped up family and bridal party portraits, and then I was able to take just the happy couple to various locations around Laie. What more could a wedding photographer ask for? Tons of portrait time in epic locations…it really doesn’t get any better than that!
After taking every photographer’s dream portraits with these two, we drove to their ring ceremony and reception location: the impeccable Kualoa Ranch. If you are unfamiliar with Kualoa, just think Jurassic Park….Lost….50 First Dates. All of these movies had scenes filmed at this 4000 acre, working cattle ranch. It is simply breathtaking. From the location of their wedding altar you could look straight out into the ocean and see Chinaman’s Hat island, and then directly behind you are climbing green mountains covered in mysterious, soft fog. I never could decide which way I preferred to face, as both views were equally incredible!
Because Raylene + Jiayu’s ceremony had taken place inside the Laie LDS Temple, they decided to do a more public ring ceremony to share with guests that were unable to enter into the temple. At this point they were already married, so they decided to “walk down the aisle” together, as husband and wife. They shared with their family and friends why they chose to marry in their religion’s holy temple, and then exchanged lei’s as is traditionally done in Hawaiian culture.
Afterwards, the reception began with everyone sharing a meal together. The reception was so special because Raylene’s younger sister played a special song on the violin for them, and then Raylene surprised her new groom by singing a song for him. It was such a tender expression of love and vulnerability, and one of my favorite moments of the evening.