A Green-and-White Luau-Inspired Wedding

Madeline and Tony

Erica Chan

On New Year's Eve of 2005, Madeline Trait and Tony Lee first met at a mutual friend's party in San Francisco. The pair came in contact again about a year later when one sneaky friend decided to play matchmaker. Tony was casually invited to a beach house Madeline was renting for a little getaway with friends. That was the turning point and where the relationship really kicked off. Tony began visiting Madeline in San Francisco and they were in constant communication until finally, he moved to be with her in 2007. Seven years later, on one special morning in September of 2014, Tony woke up Madeline to propose, with the help of their loveable pooch, Gus. With their pup holding the ring box around his collar, Tony asked Madeline to be his wife.

Seeing that Tony's family is Hawaiian, and the pair both share a love for the tropical locale, a destination wedding on the island of Maui was a simple choice. On April 18, 2015, 90 of the couple's dearest friends and family traveled to Makawao, Hawaii, to witness the duo's nuptials at Hui No'Eau, an arts center that's off the beaten path. Inspired by the natural beauty of the destination, the couple created a weekend full of local traditions. The pair's big day held the true spirit of Aloha, incorporating a blessing by a Hawaiian elder, a classic luau dinner, and fresh pineapples for décor. From the ceremony against a lush landscape, to dancing into the night under a green-lantern lit tent, Madeline and Tony's wedding day was rejoiced in true island style. And with the bride being an artist and interior designer, it was creative every step of the way.

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The Bridal Party

Erica Chan

Madeline and Tony's casually clad bridal party included Madeline's two sisters, Tony's brother, and best friend. Madeline wore a sequined Theia dress.

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Woodsy Backgrounds

Erica Chan

Erica Chan Photography photographed the pair in the Makawao Forest, using the island's natural woodlands as a backdrop.

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The Ceremony

Erica Chan

Hui No'Eau's expansive property provided a lush green locale for the late afternoon ceremony.

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The Programs

Erica Chan

Inspired by the island's native plants, Madeline designed the programs with imagery resembling the fauna of the tropical surroundings. The bride printed her work on paper using her own inkjet printer.

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The Processional

Erica Chan

Madeline's little niece and nephew made for the sweetest start to the couple's ceremony. (The flower girl wore a vintage white dress that Madeline wore as a child at her aunt's wedding!)

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Special Service

Erica Chan

Rabbi Brian worked closely with Madeline and Tony to craft a ceremony unique to the duo. The service incorporated a Quaker tradition in which seven friends wrote and read blessings for the couple regarding laughter, love, and friendship.

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Generations of Love

Grandparents Sitting Together at Ceremony
Erica Chan

In attendance were Madeline's 80-year-old grandparents from Long Beach, California. The duo shared a sweet embrace at the ceremony, also celebrating in their love of nearly 70 years.

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The Recessional

Erica Chan

The joyous newlyweds recessed to a Hawaiian song "Ku'u Hoa."

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Reception Bound

Erica Chan

Everyone in attendance paused for a group photo before heading to the ukulele-accompanied cocktail hour.

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The Seating Chart

Erica Chan

Madeline created a banner with the guests' names for the seating chart—unfortunately, the wind meant it couldn't be hung. However, the chart still served its purpose and made for a theme-fitting piece of décor.

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The Reception

Erica Chan

The reception was held under a large white tent housing colorful green and white paper lanterns, white tables with DIY details by the bride, and a dance floor. "I dyed and block-printed linen napkins and then made runners with green fabric and block-printed those as well," says Madeline.

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Table Settings

Erica Chan

Wood cut outs identified the tables, using various Hawaiian plants and flowers instead of typical numbers. In addition to floating candles the tables boasted, Hawaiian pineapples, which were later turned into a sweet snack for guests with three dipping sauces—li hing, honey with chili pepper flakes, and Hawaiian salt.

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Postcard Guest Book

Erica Chan

Instead of a traditional guestbook, attendees wrote notes on postcards addressed to the newlyweds, which were mailed home by their planner post-wedding.

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The Food

Erica Chan

The buffet-style feast was full of Hawaiian delicacies—including pupus of mini spam wasabi, ahi poke cups, macadamia nut crusted fish, marinated short ribs, poi, and fried rice.

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The Cake

Erica Chan

The passionfruit-soaked white cake with buttercream frosting, adorned with island blooms and a custom topper, made for a tropical treat. Madeline has been making cake toppers for nearly three years and couldn't resist creating her own wooden laser-cut piece.

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Erica Chan

Photography: Erica Chan Photography

Location: Hui No'Eau

Event planning, Catering, Cake, and Lighting: Celebrations Maui

Flowers: Wildheart Flowers

Officiant: Rabbi Brian

Stationery and Calligraphy: Madeline Trait

Music: DJ Miss Jackson

Hair and Makeup: Mira Carmen

Dress: Theia

Shoes: Rebecca Minkoff

Rings: Polly Water; Lola Brooks

Bride's Jewelry: Love and Luxe

Groom's Shirt: Sig Zane

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