Liz and Michael's Laid-Back Destination Wedding in Hawaii

The Couple

Bryan Derballa

The day Liz Cebron met Michael Williams for a rooftop lunch arranged by a mutual friend in 2011, it was a scorching 90 degrees. The New Yorkers hit it off, but it's not the scintillating conversation that she remembers most. "Michael wore a black button-down shirt, and he wasn't sweating at all," says Liz, a digital strategist for J.Crew. "I thought that was pretty amazing!" When she and Michael, founder of a marketing firm and a style blogger at A Continuous Lean, met up a few weeks later at a music festival in Newport, Rhode Island, the pal Liz had come with wanted to head back to Manhattan early. Michael stepped up and offered to take Liz home later. "The rest," he says, "is history."

Just over two years later, Michael popped the question, only this time he wasn't as cool. (In fact, his face and neck were so flushed, he told Liz he had razor burn.) Despite his nerves—and a few seconds of fumbling for the ring—he managed to propose during an evening walk in Central Park, catching her completely off-guard. That wasn't the only surprise: He also flew in Liz's parents from California for a celebration at a nearby restaurant. When it came to planning their April 26, 2014, wedding, the couple made it a top priority to trade the city for the surf, inviting 103 loved ones to join them for a luau at The Club at Kukui'ula, a private property on the Hawaiian island of Kauai. "It's hard for us to relax with the craziness of New York and our jobs, and it's hard not to relax and be happy when you're in Hawaii," says Liz.

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The Invitations

Bryan Gardner

The engraved suite was intentionally minimal, putting the focus on the oversize, light gray lettering. It was designed by JP Williams at Design:MW and produced by Terrapin Stationers & Engraving Co.

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Hanging Out

Bryan Derballa

Michael, with his groomsmen and groomswoman, relaxes on a Kukui'ula cottage porch before the ceremony. Many guests stayed on the property for the weekend. "It felt like college again, in a good way," says the bride.

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The Ceremony

Bryan Derballa

The entire day was marked by just the kind of mellowness the duo craved. A slack-key guitarist played during the nondenominational ceremony, which took place in front of an elephant-ear tree on the six-acre farm at Kukui'ula.

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The Bridal Party

Bryan Derballa

Each bridesmaid wore a sea-glass-green silk-chiffon J.Crew gown with the neckline of her choice.

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The Bridal Bouquet

Bryan Derballa

Liz carried a bright clutch of peonies, phalaenopsis orchids, garden roses, cymbidiums, succulents, and scabiosa pods, created by Martin Roberts Design.

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The Fashions

Bryan Derballa

Michael, in a custom Freemans Sporting Club suit, and Liz, in J. Mendel, celebrate their newlywed status poolside at The Club at Kukui'ula on Kauai. "Hawaii has everything that makes me happy," says Liz. "Surfing, warm weather, and the best mai tais."

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A Beautiful Sky

Bryan Derballa

After a day of scattered rain and clouds, the sky cleared just after the vow exchange, revealing a spectacular sunset.

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The Escort Cards

Overhead View of Guests Eating at Reception Tables
Bryan Derballa

Calligraphed escort cards by Paperfinger, set in wooden planks, were marked by painterly brushstrokes.

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Island Style

Bryan Derballa

The couple's friend Teva wears traditional Hawaiian garb and sounds a conch shell at sunset to invite revelers to dinner.

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The Reception

Bryan Derballa

Everyone took part in a traditional Hawaiian pig roast. After the meal, when the DJ pumped up the volume, the groom—who had been hurt in a ski accident just months before—had another surprise in store. "We didn't know if he'd heal in time to walk, let alone dance," says Liz. But true to form, Michael didn't sweat it. In the end, he didn't even need a leg brace, making their first twirl as husband and wife extra-unforgettable. By the morning of the wedding, Michael and Liz still hadn't decided on their first dance song. They ultimately chose The Beatles' "Something."

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The Photo Booth

Bryan Derballa

The bride's father, mother, brother, and brother's girlfriend get goofy in the photo booth.

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The Cake Topper

Bryan Derballa

In honor of the bride's Japanese heritage, custom kokeshi dolls of the duo and their pup, Lancey, top the cake.

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A Tropical Touch

Bryan Gardner

Guests received "tropical nightcaps," which included mini bottles of locally distilled dark rum tied with calligraphed tags.

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Bryan Derballa

Location, Catering, and Cake: The Club at Kukui'ula
Event Planning: Marlene Mira at Mira*Mira
Flowers and Event Design: Martin Roberts Design
Photography: Bryan Derballa
Officiant: Niles Kageyama
Stationery: JP Williams at Design:MW [design]; Terrapin Stationers & Engraving Co. [printing]
Music: Pancho Graham [ceremony and cocktail hour slack-key guitarist]; C Squared Entertainment [DJ]
Kai Media
ET Services
Bride's Gown: J. Mendel
Saint Laurent [shoes]; Platt Boutique [ring]
Emiliano De Pasqual
Mia Moriguchi
Makeup Tutorial:
Moani Lee
Bridesmaid and Groomswoman Dresses and Groomsmen Suits:
Groom's Custom Suit:
Freemans Sporting Club
Groom's Accessories:
Charvet [shirt]; John Lobb [shoes]; Jaeger-LeCoultre [watch, custom-engraved by the bride]; Tiffany & Co. [ring]
Groom's, Groomsmen's, and Fathers' Custom Ties:
Alexander Olch
Bridesmaid Gifts:
Bamboula LTD Beach Bag from J.Crew, J.Crew Rashguard, Fuji Instax Mini 8 White Camera & Film, Love Birds LA clutch
Groomsmen Gifts:
Harry's Shave Kits, Onia Swim Trunks, Tanner Goods Dopp Kits
Kokeshi Doll Cake Toppers:
Custom by Pegged
ShakaPics Photobooth
Lee's Rentals, Inc.
Welcome Bags:
Custom by Maptote

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