This Couple Brought Italian Flair to Their Lush Wedding in Hawaii

sarah daniel wedding bride and groom on steps
Melia Lucida Photography

High school classmates Sarah and Daniel had mutual friends, but neither really knew anything about the other beyond the fact that they shared a birthday. Years later, after college, they ran into each other on Halloween, then kept running into each other over the next couple of months. "Eventually, Daniel asked me on a date," says Sarah of the dinner and the movie that began their romance. "We've been together ever since."

Fast forward a few years: The pair was vacationing on Italy's Amalfi Coast. "We were at a beautiful cathedral courtyard overlooking the ocean in Praiano, and he got down on one knee," says Sarah. "Afterwards, I realized that he had set up a photographer!" The photographer brought Champagne with him, and the trio had a photo shoot all around the city.

The Carlsbad, California, couple initiallylooked at venues in Santa Barbara and Palm Springs ("Places we have great memories together," says Sarah), but say they weren't struck by any of them. Then they decided they were open to destinations. "We have traveled to the Hawaiian islands several times together," Sarah says. "There's nothing like getting on 'island time' and feeling truly relaxed. We wanted our wedding to be relaxed as well, and we wanted to come somewhere where we always felt happy and at peace." When they saw the venue at Haiku Mill, they immediately fell in love. "It was so stunning and there is no place like it," says Sarah of the estate. "We loved the garden feel and all the natural beauty. "

As for their event's design? Sarah wanted to incorporate warm colors—her favorite. "When I was first planning, I was so tempted to keep everything neutral or white," she says. "But when I really thought more about what was authentically my own aesthetic, I chose colors and elements that felt like my true style." The pair knew they wanted to incorporate citrus hues as a nod to their proposal location; they decided to include terra-cotta vases for another nod to Italy.

One of the biggest takeaways from their big day was that the time passes quickly. "I didn't realize how fast eight hours can go by," says Daniel. "I would tell other couples to make your wedding as long as possible because it goes by so fast." Another big takeaway? Gratitude. "We were so grateful to our family and friends for traveling out to Maui for our big day," says Sarah. "Our wedding was special because we got to spend time with them not just on the actual day, but the week of—doing things around the island, the rehearsal dinner, the brunch after the wedding—even beach days."

Watch Sarah and Daniel's wedding video by Wade from Shark Pig Weddings.

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Contemporary Invitation Suite

sarah daniel wedding invitations
Melia Lucida Photography

The couple's wedding invitation suite featured a clean, modern look and included a card that depicted plants native to Hawaii. A leafy envelope liner added just a touch of color.

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The Engagement Ring

sarah daniel wedding diamond ring
Melia Lucida Photography

Sarah's engagement ring features a brilliant-cut, oval-shaped diamond set on a delicate diamond band. "He did an amazing job with my engagement ring," she says of Daniel's choice. "People always ask me if I had anything to do with it, but it was all him! I love it."

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A Wedding Dress with a Traiin

sarah daniel wedding bride looking out french door
Melia Lucida Photography

Although she was initially drawn to another designer, once the search for a wedding dress really began, Sarah ultimately fell in love with a white lace Ines Di Santo bridal gown. Her favorite part of the design? The lush train that rivaled her veil for length.

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Timeless Wedding Shoes

sarah daniel wedding bride putting on shoes
Melia Lucida Photography

Strappy nude sandals by Alexandre Birman completed Sarah's bridal ensemble.

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Monochromatic Bouquet

sarah daniel wedding bride holding bouquet
Melia Lucida Photography

A gathering of all-white flowers, from garden roses to sweet peas, composed the bride's spectacular bouquet by Mandy Grace Designs.

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Handsome Boutonnières

sarah daniel wedding boutonnieres on antique tray
Melia Lucida Photography

Groomsmen were given creamy roses to sport on their lapels, while a lone black-and-white anemone was reserved for the groom.

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Black-on-Black Groomswear

sarah daniel wedding groom in black suit
Melia Lucida Photography

Daniel wore an ebony suit with matching shirt and tie, with mother of pearl button covers and a snowy pocket square for a touch of contrast.

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Bright Bridesmaids' Dresses

sarah daniel wedding bridesmaids in orange and yellow
Melia Lucida Photography

The bridal party was invited to wear the dresses of their choosing in citrusy hues.

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Handmade Vow Books

sarah daniel wedding vow books
Melia Lucida Photography

Sarah and Daniel penned the handwritten portion of their vows in lovely books bound with ribbon.

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Floral-Wreathed Flower Girls

sarah daniel wedding flower girls
Melia Lucida Photography

A trio of flower girls preceded the bride down the petal-strewn aisle; they wore crowns of white flowers with plenty of greenery.

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A Memorable Processional

sarah daniel wedding bride and father processional
Melia Lucida Photography

Sarah shared two very special moments with her father: a first look before the ceremony and a walk down the aisle to "Hallelujah" by Jeff Buckley. "Daniel and I wanted to wait until I was walking down the aisle," explains Sarah of the decision not have a first look. "When I saw Daniel, he had a huge smile on his face. I didn't take my eyes off him while I walked down the aisle."

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The Personal Ceremony

sarah daniel wedding ceremony kiss
Melia Lucida Photography

Although the pair read classic vows, they also wrote their own. "We were both a little nervous about writing our own, but after the fact, I wouldn't do it any other way," says Sarah. "Once you are up there, you don't worry about anyone else and it just adds a personal touch." Officiated by the bride's aunt, the ceremony itself "was my favorite part," says the groom of his wedding experience.

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An Elegant Bar

sarah daniel wedding hanging bar sign
Melia Lucida Photography

Guests ordered signature cocktails from a custom menu suspended over the bar. Individual glass bottles filled with flowers were also strung from the branches of a mango tree overhead.

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Fanciful Drinks

sarah daniel wedding tray of cocktails
Melia Lucida Photography

Tequila and fresh-pressed pineapple and lime juices were the foundation for one of the drinks that was offered during the cocktail hour.

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A Unique Seating Chart

sarah daniel wedding seating chart
Melia Lucida Photography

French doors calligraphed with guests' names and table numbers served as a one-of-a-kind seating chart.

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Table Numbers

sarah daniel wedding table numbers
Melia Lucida Photography

Terra-cotta bowls chosen for their Italian style held romantic, calligraphed notes that spelled out table numbers. Persimmons and lemons added a fresh edge to the tableau.

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Curated Tables

sarah daniel wedding reception long table
Melia Lucida Photography

Reception tables were lined with citrus-hued flowers mixed with white blooms. Individual pieces of fruit topped menu cards; royal blue goblets added a pop of color. "I had such a fun time picking these things," says Sarah. "I love to decorate, so this was one of my favorite parts." Alternating tables featured sweeping gray linens and amber-colored goblets. Overhead, string lighting lent a romantic glow and flower garlands added a lush, otherworldly effect.

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A Classic Wedding Cake

sarah daniel wedding cake bride and groom topper
Melia Lucida Photography

The couple selected a timeless white wedding cake topped with the vintage topper from Sarah's parents' wedding."We had two layers of different flavors that Daniel chose," says Sarah. "One was red velvet with cream cheese frosting, one chocolate with lilikoi filling."

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sarah daniel wedding bride and groom in wooded area
Melia Lucida Photography

Photography, Melia Lucida Photography

Location, Haiku Mill

Event planning, Elements by K.H. & Co.

Catering, Cutting Edge Catering Maui, Garnish Craft Cocktail Catering

Flowers, Mandy Grace Designs

Videography, Shark Pig Weddings

Officiant, Yolanda Northridge McGuinness

Stationery, Alannah Rae Calligraphy, Minted, Swell Press

Calligraphy, Alannah Rae Calligraphy

Cake, Sweet On Maui

Music, Island Encore Entertainment

Rentals, La Tavola Fine Linen

Bride's gown, Ines Di Santo

Bride's headpiece, BHLDN

Bride's shoes, Alexandre Birman

Engagement ring, David Levi and Sons Jewelers

Wedding bands, MarrowFine

Bride's hair, Haley Hawkins for Shear Chic

Bride's makeup, Chrissy Swink for Makeup Maui and Hair

Groom's attire, Nordstrom

Transportation, Aloha Maui Limousine

Photo booth, Bamboo Shootz Photo Booth

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