A Get Away Destination Hawaii Wedding - Melissa & Cameron
Meet newlyweds Melissa and Cameron.
Melissa and Cameron met when they were just in the 3rd grade and became fast friends. Time and school quickly parted them, but by age 16 they were in each other's lives again and they quickly fell in love (though, as Melissa reports, Cameron wouldn't kiss her until 9 months after they were dating). Both Melissa and Cameron live life with adventure in their heart. Cameron is in the Navy and Melissa is currently pursuing her passions in aviation, fitness and make up design. With their adventurous spirits there was no question that their wedding would be full of love, adventure, and that little feeling you get right before you leap.
Planning the Wedding On a Tight Budget
After they got engaged, stress set in. Melissa had always dreamed of her wedding, but what wasn't a part of that dream was the anxiety that set in. "We had only three months to put it together. We had a pretty small budget. $3000. Also, my father-in-law promised us a honeymoon somewhere. After about a month of stressing over how to pay for things like: locations, photography, flowers, invitations, announcements, cake, food, entertainment, etc. I text my soon-to-be saying why don’t we get married in Hawaii and spend the rest of our honeymoon there. And so we did!"
That $3,000 covered their airfare, minister, marriage certificate fees, her wedding dress, photographer, cake, and flowers.
How Did They Do It?
They got married on a beach in Oahu and used the wedding planning service, Hawaiian Barefoot Weddings , which according to Melissa, was one of the best decisions they made. Hawaiian Barefoot Weddings took care of the beach permit, photographs, cake, marriage certificate, and supplied the family with fresh flower leis. Then, they were blessed with a family that was supportive and parents who covered their rental car, hotel, and reception dinner.
Everything was close knit.
Melissa and Cameron truly wanted to focus their wedding on them. They wanted to only have immediate family present, an outdoor and Christian based ceremony.
Melissa got ready with her mom and two of her little sisters in her hotel room. She was only a little bit (20 minutes) late.
Her father, David, walked her down the sandy shore aisle.
He most definitely got teary eyed, and Melissa could not contain her excitement upon seeing her groom.
Who could not have a greater look of joy on his face.
- Saying "I Do!" surrounded by family and the sounds of waves meeting the shore.
Vibrant flower petals encircled the bride and groom.
And as part of the Hawaiian beach ceremony, they handed out leis!
Cameron's brothers were his groomsmen (dressed in Hawaiian shirts) and Melissa's sisters were her bridesmaids (dressed in mint). Melissa's father walked her down the aisle, sharing in that sweet moment of passing his daughter over to her new husband. The mothers were tearing up and everyone was smiling. This was a marriage that they had known was in the works for years.
"Things that people remember about our wedding are: the white sandy beach, the sunset, the fresh flower leis, the bubbly, the coconut cake and the strawberry shortcake, and the turtles that joined us at the end of the ceremony. Things that I will remember are: the minister and his wife, who coordinated the entire ceremony, the beautiful way that the sky met the waves of the ocean, the sunset, and above all seeing my soon-to-be husband standing among our closest relatives waiting to take my hand."
Special Little Details and Accessories
Though Melissa wasn't worried about having her wedding be traditional, she did decide to adhere to the tradition of having something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue.
For her something old, she attached a heart pendant that belonged to her mother-in-law's grandmother to her wedding garter. Then for her something new, she wore a silver bracelet gifted to her by her mother for her birthday just a few months before the wedding. Her something borrowed was really rather creative. On the morning before the ceremony her and her husband went for a walk on the beach and picked up a single white stone from the sand. Borrowing the stone from the ocean, she hid it in her bouquet for the ceremony. At the end of their honeymoon she returned it by tossing it back out to sea. Then finally, as her something blue she wore blue crystal earrings.
Another little detail for her wedding that was particularly special was her gorgeous bouquet made by her husband's grandmother. It was a waterfall bouquet of white Lilies, hints of green leafs, and subtle small crystal accents at the center of each flower. The something extra these crystals added is simple proof of what a bouquet accessory (or really any wedding accessory) can do to make each wedding detail special.
It is obvious from her photographs that Melissa was a glowingly happy Bride. When asked what her advice would be to Brides, particularly those that are on a tight budget, she said "Go with the flow and stay true to yourselves...In the end there are a few key things that will make your wedding perfect. Make those things happen and let the rest be."
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