I’m sharing this entire wedding today, even though I absolutely have enough images for two good blog posts… so snuggle in with your morning coffee and get ready for lots and lots of gorgeousness!
Whitney & Shane contacted us over a year ago, when they were newly engaged and just starting to think about where they’d get married. They thought about an “at-home” wedding in Austin, but the more they talked about a destination affair, the more it just felt like them! Whitney told me they were torn between Puerto Rico and Kauai, and although we would have happily followed them to either locale, I’ll admit… I had my fingers crossed for Kauai. I was SO thrilled when we finalized all the details, and this adventure didn’t disappoint. Working with Whitney & Shane has been an absolute dream!
Now, I love all the things that go into a big wedding. Details, tablescapes, dancing… they’re gorgeous. But it was SO refreshing to shoot this destination wedding with a total of 10 people! No reception… they’re going to party with their friends at family at home in a couple months. No big ceremony set-up… they just walked out onto the beach at sunset. Every second of the day was about Whitney & Shane, their love for each other, and the new life they’re starting together. The focus was exactly where it’s supposed to be on a wedding day. Mack and I were honored to get to know their families, and be a part of such an intimate celebration.
The day started at “home” : Kauai Coast Resort at the Beachboy. While Whitney was primped and pressed and made up for the event, Shane spent his morning lounging on the beach with the guys… that’s where we’ll start!
The “getting ready” portion of a wedding day is always easier for the groom than it is for the bride, but particularly when you’re getting married on the beach!
Whitney was so laid back and happy all morning… just excited to get going!
Whitney’s dress fit her perfectly, beautifully, flawlessly. But there may have been some teasing from Mom and Sister about it not zipping up, and Whitney’s reaction is PRICELESS!
Shane’s mom’s pearls were the perfect finishing touch to this ensemble!
The wedding took place on Lumahai Beach. Right before we all arrived, it started POURING rain. The beach pretty much emptied of people, and we ran about 10 minutes behind schedule. But then it dried right up, and we were able to have the ceremony on a deserted beach that would have otherwise been packed with people!
The officiant blew a note on his conch shell to call the bride to her groom…
Whitney is just beaming in this next shot… I love it!
Family was a big part of Whitney & Shane’s wedding ceremony. Not only did many of their family members have small roles to play in the different little symbolic ceremonies throughout, but each was also asked to say a few words to the couple… of course, leading to many tears!
Shane said one of his favorite parts of the ceremony was getting to pour the water out of the coconut… it was definitely beautiful!
But this next section was my favorite!
The following images show a part of the ceremony called a “Shared Breath”. It’s my new favorite ceremony element, and it made me weep like a sissy girl. Whitney & Shane leaned in, and each put a hand on the other’s cheek. For about 90 seconds, they just focused on the moment. They breathed together, and relaxed, and soaked in the love around them… not to mention the gorgeous scenery! Not only was it a beautiful moment to photograph (as evidenced by the fact that I’m blogging 5 pictures from a less-than-2-minute portion of the ceremony), but it was also so special for the bride and groom. They made a memory. Whitney & Shane were really able to slow down and work on committing their wedding ceremony to memory in the part of their minds that will never be erased. It was so special to see, and I hope more of our brides & grooms will do something like this in the future!
Man & Wife! Now it’s time to throw that split coconut into the sea…
A toast with the family, and a round of hearty congratulations… and the sun finally came out to play!
We don’t normally show family portraits on the blog, but with such a great group, we just had to!
Keep your fingers crossed, and maybe you’ll see the two couples below again on the blog someday.
Although we have a blog full of Day After portrait beautifulness coming tomorrow morning, we still wanted to take 5 minutes worth of portraits with the bride & groom on their wedding day. It’s called “The Big Day” for a reason, and everyone should have gorgeous portraits from this special time!
Congratulations, my dears… you’re finally married! I hope you’re as in love with these images as we are. Shooting your wedding was an amazing experience, and we’ll never forget your generosity. I can’t wait for you to see the entire collection!
Blogstalkers, be sure to come back tomorrow! We were up at sunrise the day after the wedding for a Bride & Groom session that will knock your socks off!