This Refined, Tropical Wedding in Hawaii Will Make You Feel Like You're on Island Time
It was love at first sight for Gloria and Fred, who met while vacationing in Inner Mongolia in China. Though they lived and worked in different cities, they were immediately inseparable and talked endlessly during their time together. At the end of the trip, they said their goodbyes and Gloria boarded her plane. "But by the time I had landed we were boyfriend and girlfriend," she remembers.
Fred flew to see Gloria just three days after they said goodbye in Inner Mongolia; in the following months, he made the trip to visit her every weekend, leaving on Sundays to go back to work. "The love was so intense," says Gloria. "I knew I'd found the one." The Monday after one of their weekend trips, Fred called Gloria to ask if she could pick up his laptop from the hotel they'd stayed at—he'd accidentally left it. "I went after work and the staff took me to a private room," explains Gloria. "There he was, waiting for me with the ring. It was the best surprise I've had!"
Six months later, on March 23, 2018, the couple and 33 guests gathered at the Four Seasons Hotel in Maui—a meeting point for their friends and family, who live in China, the United States, and Canada. The venue for the ceremony was beautifully decorated in varying shades of bright yellow, ivory, and blush, set against Hawaii's natural island aesthetic. Native natural details abounded—pineapples and lemons decorated tabletops and menus.
"A girl's beautiful dream finally came true," says Gloria of her fairy-tale celebration, which unfolded in paradise.
The elegant invitations, complete with gold calligraphy on ivory paper, were designed by Blushtype Designs.
A Special Dress
Gloria donned several Weiss wedding dresses on her big day, but she saved her favorite for the reception. "I was immediately attracted to this dress when I first saw it, because I felt like it represented the contemporary Chinoiserie style," she remembers.
The creamy dress featured swans, a symbol of purity and elegance.
The Groom's Attire
Fred wore a navy suit with a bow tie. His shoes were from Bonton; he accessorized his look with a watch.
Gloria and Fred took their wedding portraits—which were captured in various locations around the island—the day before the ceremony so they could relax and enjoy the cocktail hour and reception post-vows.
The First Look
Gloria and Fred's first look technically happened during their pre-wedding photo shoot. As for the most poignant moment? When their photographer asked Fred to kiss Gloria three times, he knelt down and kissed her baby bump, too. "I was surprised and immediately touched, and when we looked into each other's eyes, both of us knew our lives had become more meaningful from this point," remembers Gloria.
Sunny in Paradise
The next day, yellow, white, and blush flowers—as well as pineapples and lemons—decorated the front lawn of the Maui Four Seasons, creating a beautiful pop of color against Hawaii's natural island setting. Wedding guests were encouraged to wear mustard yellow and white to play into the color palette. "The tropical motif was used in every aspect of the wedding," explains the bride.
A Beautiful Bouquet
On par with the venue, Gloria's bouquet by Many Grace Designs—full of orchids, peonies, hydrangeas, ranunculus, and spray roses—was mostly white, with hints of blush and yellow. The handle was finished with ivory satin ribbons.
It was cloudy the day of the ceremony, but the rain held off. At 3:30 p.m., a string quartet began playing "Canon in D," and Gloria made her way down the aisle with her mother by her side.
A Family of Three
Gloria and Fred vividly remember the moment they exchanged vows—and both knew their promises extended beyond just the two of them.
"I was five months pregnant at that time, so the wedding for us was not just starting a new life together, it was also announcing that our family was established," says Gloria. "We were so glad that our boy witnessed this very moment with us."
After the Ceremony
Once the ceremony was over, guests came together for a cocktail hour in the Lumeria Garden. Hors d'oeuvres were served; attendees also enjoyed an open bar and a special fruit station. A string quartet set the mood for the festivities to come.
Around 5:30 p.m., guests made their way to the reception on the front lawn, which had been totally transformed during the cocktail hour.
Lush Seating Charts
Guests found their seats via calligraphed charts (by Miss B Calligraphy), which were placed on a cedar structure covered with lush flower arrangements.
Mellow and Yellow
To match the aesthetic of the ceremony, five long reception tables boasted ivory runners and light gray napkins. Guests' French bistro chairs were decorated with ivory cushions.
Five ceramic vases of various heights decorated each table, while yellow and white flowers added pops of warmth. Lemons in white bowls and ivory taper candles were placed between the centerpieces.
Table number cards were paired with pineapples; green leaf escort cards were placed in cut lemons.
A Hawaiian Dinner
For dinner, Hawaiian dishes—such as local honey-glazed sea bass—were served. Other menu items included diver-dusted scallops, lobster cobb salad, and squash soup.
A five-tiered fondant confection, complete with yellow flowers, was the final touch to an already-tasty menu. The couple and their guests enjoyed vanilla sponge cake, made with strawberry syrup, vanilla buttercream, and fresh strawberries.
A Fiery Reception
After dinner, guests took to the dance floor and watched Tahitian performances—including a fire knife dance.
Happily After Hawaii
Gloria, Fred, and all their guests were moved by Hawaii's hospitality. "From the decorations to the dances, guests had the full Hawaiian experience," says Gloria.
Since the couple welcomed their son four months after the wedding, they postponed their honeymoon indefinitely. "We hope one day we can bring our son back to the Four Seasons Maui," says the couple, "and tell him everything about our wonderful memories."
Photography, Stella Yang Photography
Venue, Catering, and Cake, Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea
Getting ready venue, Andaz Hotel
Event planning and design, Manna Sun Events
Flowers, Mandy Grace Designs
Videography, Strawberry Productions
Officiant, Kahu Kale Kaalekahi
Stationery, Blushtype Designs
Calligraphy, Miss B Calligraphy
Music, Shae Derrick & Full Flavor Band, Maui Harps
String Quartet, Maui Harp
Entertainment, Manutea Nuie
Rentals, Set Maui, Signature Maui, Rio Design, Rizzo Pacific Staging, Island Rents
Bride's gowns, Weiss
Hair and Makeup, Zhongyu Tian
Groom's shoes, Bonton
Transportation, Maui Rolls Royce Classics