Mustard-and-Emerald Hues Put a Modern Twist on the Tropical Décor at This Wedding in Hawaii
The event designer bride made her reception dream—"dinner under the stars"—a reality.
After moving from Georgia to Maui in 2015, Lucy Thompson was invited to see a movie with a group of new friends—only to find out much later that she was actually on a blind date with Ben Laird, who was also on the invite list. "We clicked pretty immediately, but I was hesitant to start a relationship so soon after moving, so we got to know each other over the next few months. Ben showed me the island, taking me on hikes, attempting to teach me to surf, watching the sunset, and star gazing with me on the top of Haleakela," says Lucy.
Three years later, Lucy, an event designer with Elements by K.H. and Co., thought she and Ben were posing for a promotional materials photo shoot at one of her favorite properties, Haiku House—but Ben had other plans. "We walked back to a section of the property with a row of huge trees with roots growing up out of the ground—something out of a fairy tale," she says. "Ben dropped on one knee and I was so happy. It was perfect."
The couple chose the boutique property at Hotel Wailea for their 120-guest wedding on January 18, 2020. "It is truly stunning and a real hidden gem," says Lucy. "There are so many amazing places to host a wedding on Maui, but we really wanted something that felt like us and with lots of natural beauty." Together with her coworkers, Lucy worked to incorporate elements personal to her and Ben into an "elevated but casual" event.
"We wanted it to feel like you just came over to our house for dinner on the lanai," she says. "The day was about us tying the knot—but also about all the wonderful people in our lives who helped us get here. We were so excited to cheers, and dance, and laugh, and just celebrate with our people." And though she loved planning with her team, she says, "The hardest part was actually making all the decisions! I see now I could have expedited some of the processes by just making clear decisions early on, but I think I'll stick to carrying out other people's visions from now on."
Lucy describes their invitations from Cornwall Stationery as "delicate meets modern," with yellow envelopes, neutral papers, and gold cord that previewed the wedding-day color scheme. "We chose to keep wording clean and simple on the invites and directed guests to our wedding website for all the details and RSVP," says Lucy. "We had Miranda Rose Art draw a special floral illustration for our invites that fused our vision for the day—beautiful Maui florals with a moon and stars to depict our 'dinner under the stars.'"
The textured overlay and gold thread of Lucy's strappy Truvelle wedding dress charmed her at first glimpse. "I only went to two stores and tried on a few dresses, but I loved this one as soon as I saw it," she says. "I wanted something unique to match my style, but also that was classic enough to stand the test of time." She added a mid-length Carol Hannah veil with gold flecks, velvet shoes in the palette's mustard tone, and earrings and a belt from Hushed Commotion. "I loved the vintage style of the beading and it looked like it was made for this dress," she says. "It gave it that little extra unique flair I was looking for."
Together in Spirit
Her medium-sized bouquet from Mandy Grace Designs included roses, ranunculus, snapdragon, sweet pea, and anemone in a collection of "muted sunset tones"—and two very special accompaniments. "Ben's grandma hand-beaded an antique hankie to be attached to my bouquet—she wasn't able to travel out for the day, but we had a very special piece of her there with us," says Lucy. "My mom also attached a little photo of my papa to my bouquet because he passed the year before and we so wished he could have been there."
Bright and Beautiful
Though Lucy had her heart set on her bridesmaids wearing yellow, she didn't want identical gowns. "I have a funny thing against adults matching, so I definitely wanted each girl to be in something unique," says Lucy. "I scoured the Internet for dress options in the color range from nude to mustard yellow and let the girls choose which ones they wanted." The women carried petite bunches of flowers in white, yellow, and green.
Lucy and Ben kept their wedding party a family affair, asking her cousins to serve as ring bearers and a friend's daughters to play the roles of flower girls. "The boys wore off-white heirloom linen outfits and for the girls, off-white linen dresses with yellow flower crowns," says Lucy. "Definitely an ode to our southern upbringings."
The property's Mango Grove—"a little tucked away, grassy area surrounded by fruit trees"—offered a picturesque spot for the ceremony. Low floral arrangements included bright gold, muted peach, taupe, and emerald blooms, and were placed next to hand-crafted benches to line the aisle.
Peace, Love, and Joy
Lucy's uncle officiated the couple's Christian ceremony, which included communion for the bride and groom, served from an heirloom silver goblet Lucy's grandmother brought to Maui for the wedding. "It was so special to have a quiet moment for the two of us to come before God and pray for this marriage," says Lucy. They also wrote their own vows. "We each told each other what we meant to each other and made a few vows to each other—some serious, some funny, some we know we can keep, and some we will do our best to keep (like promising not to give Ben a hard time for his taste in coffee)," says Lucy. "This was one of our favorite parts of the day."
The newlyweds decamped after the ceremony for their portraits, while guests moved on to enjoy custom blends from Garnish Craft Cocktails—including the Soulshine, a blend of bourbon and lilikoi created just for Lucy. "One of our favorite parts," says the couple. "We got to taste test and try so many amazing cocktails—Ben fittingly chose The Wild Redhead with gin, strawberries, and ginger."
Making an Entrance
At the entrance to the reception, a wooden trellis lined with hanging greenery framed a collection of natural-fiber lanterns. "A winding pathway of tree-like branches led guests to happy hour overlooking the ocean," says Lucy.
Yellow, peach, and coral panels held vellum envelopes marked with each guest's name and table number; inside, the couple packed dried floral tea as a favor.
Take a Seat
Sleek wooden chairs, cozy emerald sofas, and textured pillows created seating vignettes for guests near the bar and lounge area. The cocktail hour menu included Ahi Poke rice crisps, Kalua pork wontons, and Hamachi Musubi—"a little taste of Hawaii," says Lucy.
Space to Play
A small tent furnished with comfortable pillows, layered rugs, and a low table created a cozy space for the couple's littlest guests.
The same illustration the couple use for their invitation—a sketched flower under a moon and stars—also appeared on the welcome sign and menus.
Low Profile, High Impact
Guests sat on wooden wishbone chairs at long tables dressed with natural linen cloths. Low bowls filled with flowers sat alongside collections of pillar candles, lining the center of the tables.
Overhead installations of greens and dried florals created a backdrop for the bistro lights and geometric stars that brought the couple's "dinner under the stars" dream to life. "I had such a vision for dining under star lights, but finding the right ones that would actually ship to Maui in the time frame was a challenge," says Lucy. "I am so happy we didn't give up because they turned out to be one of my very favorite details."
Gold-framed table numbers with pressed flowers sat in front of arrangements in white, textured bowls. "The florals were whimsical and natural in muted sunset tones," says Lucy, "with tall mustard taper candles and fruits woven in."
"I love mixing modern with vintage," says Lucy, who combined contemporary speckled stoneware plates, gold flatware and vintage Champagne coupes to create the place settings. Napkins placed between the plates were a casual alternative to more formal folds, while custom clay nameplates sat atop the coral-colored menus. "There were so many little personal details throughout the day, but the biggest DIY project was the name cards," says Lucy. "A friend and I cut little clay rectangles out and hand stamped each name in to them. It was definitely a labor of love!"
History of Love
Lucy and Ben surprised her family with a romantic reception accent: An emerald-colored fabric installation onto which they asked Alannah Rae Calligraphy to replicate lines from a love note her great-grandfather once sent to her great-grandmother.
A three-tiered chocolate cake from Cake Fanatics, filled with lilikoi and covered with textured white chocolate frosting, was surrounded by flowers and fruit that coordinated with the centerpieces. Lucy and Ben also offered cool treats throughout the evening, stocking a dessert bar with gourmet popsicles and gelatin pops.
Meant to Be
One of Lucy and Ben's favorite takeaways of the day was "just the peace we felt," they say. "No stress, just so much peace and overwhelming joy. We both just knew we were exactly where we were meant to be. We never could have predicted what the rest of 2020 would look like, but we hold on to the memories from this day like a treasure. We are just so thankful."
In Your Arms
The newlyweds chose Drew Holcomb's "The Wine We Drink" for their first dance. "Drew Holcomb has been my favorite artist since high school—Ben and I listen to him a lot together and the lyrics to this song have always just felt like us," says Lucy. Island Kings provided music that kept the dance floor full. "We wanted a band to play all the old-school dance jams and wanted everyone on the dance floor," says Lucy. "We wanted a live band that got even the 'non-dancers' to bust a move, and Island Kings did just that!"
Photography, Melia Lucida
Venue, Hotel Wailea
Wedding planning, Elements by K.H. and Co.
Catering, Cutting Edge Catering
Flowers, Mandy Grace Designs
Videography, Sunlit Films; Stephanie Betsill (Super 8)
Stationery, Cornwall Stationery
Calligraphy, Alannah Rae Calligraphy
Cake, Cake Fanatics
Music, Island Kings
Rentals, Artisan Events Maui; BBJ Linen; Inspiration Events; Maui Tentworks; Rio Event Design; Set Maui; Winters Events
Bride's gown, Truvelle
Bride's accessories, Carol Hannah veil; Chinese Laundry shoes; Hushed Commotion belt and ceremony earrings; FEAST Hawaii x Jasmine Honey reception earrings
Hair and makeup, Amelia H&M Co.
Bridesmaids' dresses, BHLDN; Birdy Grey; Etsy; Show Me Your Mumu
Groom's suit and menswear, Express
Bar, Garnish Craft Cocktails
Bride's ring, Pashey Bella
Men's grooming, Hi-Roller Barber
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