A Romantic Beach Destination Wedding in Haiku, Hawaii

Caitlin and Loren

Rachel Thurston Photography

They met in 2001 in the Cayman Islands, where Caitlin Leiweke, then 18, was vacationing, and Loren Nowland, a 22-year-old, was waiting tables. They had an instant connection and promised to keep in touch. She went off to college in San Francisco; Loren moved to New Zealand and played hockey for the national team. In 2009, Caitlin reached out to Loren via Facebook. "We e-mailed, and three months later, I found myself on a plane to New Zealand to see him for the first time in eight years." She saw him and never looked back. They soon relocated to Australia, where they bought and renovated a surf bar. After a 2011 proposal in Hawaii, the two returned to the Pacific island state on June 16, 2012, to say "I do."

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The Stationery

Rachel Thurston Photography

A floral motif, like the one that later appeared on table linens, was letterpressed onto invites.

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Fern Bouquet

Rachel Thurston Photography

Caitlin's cascading clutch showcased a variety of native ferns. "It looked like it had just been gathered from the forest," she says.

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The Venue

Rachel Thurston Photography

The pair wed at Haiku Mill, a cliffside former sugar plantation. "When we first stepped foot there, we knew it was perfect for us," says Caitlin. "There's a magic there, and it's just stunning."

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The Bride's Entrance

Rachel Thurston Photography

A string quartet performed Coldplay's "Viva la Vida" as Caitlin took her father's arm. "I still get chills when I think about seeing her in her dress, walking down the aisle," says Loren.

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The Ceremony

Rachel Thurston Photography

Their ceremony included a group blessing from all attendeesand a string quartet's rendition of AC/DC's "You Shook Me All Night Long," to which the newlyweds danced back up the aisle. "The entire day was sublime, but reading the vows we had written was the most special," says Caitlin.

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Island Portraits

Rachel Thurston Photography

Photographer Rachel Thurston captured Loren and Caitlin stealing a kiss on the lush grounds of Haiku Mill.

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Lush Tablescape

Rachel Thurston Photography

Revelers took their seats at long tables lushly decorated with ferns, native phalaenopsis orchids, and botanical prints.

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The Decor

Rachel Thurston Photography

A variety of ferns helped green the scene. The continent-hopping couple's wanderlust also made its way into the décor. Before guests left, they signed a world map highlighting all the places Caitlin and Loren have been since the beginning of their fling-turned-forever romance.

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Tropical Cake

Rachel Thurston Photography

French buttercream cloaked a mango-filled white cake.

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Rachel Thurston Photography

Location: Haiku Mill

Catering: Aloha Events Catering

Flowers: Teresa Sena Design

Photography: Rachel Thurston Photography

Cinematography: Cinemaui

Officiant: Pia Aluli

Stationery: Kathleen Cooper Fine Papers

Cake: Cravings Bakery

Bar Service: Garnish Events

Music: Effesenden

Bride's gown: Monique Lhuillier

Hair: Dan Sanchez

Makeup: Jessica Waite

Groom's suit: Jack London

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There's More!


Whether you decide to go big or small, seaside or mountainside, bohemian or black tie, find more wedding inspiration in our fall Real Weddings issue by downloading our app and buying the digital issue for only $.99.

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