There’s one day each year that we all have the same thing happen. You know what it is. You think about it every so often as you reflect on what you’re doing and where you’re going in life. When seasons change and you begin a countdown. The months get shorter and before you know it, it’s your big day. That’s right, it’s your BIRTHDAY! The one day each year that can be all about YOU! Now imagine your birthday this year is going to be one of those milestones… 16, 21, 40, 75… These birthdays call for a special celebration. What are you going to do? A quiet dinner at your favorite neighborhood spot, a party on a yacht, an Alaskan backpacking adventure? Or maybe you’d like something really special but something you can invite people too without making a big fuss. Perhaps a throwback to a certain decade or carefree time in your life. Well that’s exactly what our clients Jill and Matt decided to do.

The dynamic husband and wife duo were both having a big milestone birthday last year. The big 4-0. It used to be that when you turned 40, the standard party theme was “over the hill.” Countless decorations and balloons were made in shades of black and gray; canes, tombstones and ugly graphics of cartoon elderly people were the norm. Modern times call for change and Jill and Matt’s party was so far from this idea that it should set the trend for 40th birthday parties to come. Our team planned the event from start to finish, executing all the details that the couple wanted in their celebration. The celebration started with a delicious, seasonal family style dinner in their backyard. Fresh floral arrangements, top notch catering, wine pairings. Sophisticated yet casual and intimate. And then it was really time to party. It was a birthday party after all! Jill and Matt are such a fun couple so we planned lots of fun festivities. Teams divided up for games of flip cup, shots were poured down an ice luge, a costume box was raided, open air photo booth and a silent disco kept the dance floor full and the party going all night long. And just as planned, there was absolutely nothing “over the hill” about this 40th birthday celebration. Here’s to celebrating four decades of fun! Happy Birthday Jill and Matt!

Design & Planning: Morgan Events | Photography: Michael Van Auken | Catering: Componere Fine Catering
Rentals: Hensley Event Resources | Linens & Napkins: Napa Valley Linens | Flowers: Revel Floral
Photo Booth: Heirloom Photo Booth Group | DJ/Entertainment: Love in the Mix  | VIP Restrooms: Royal Restrooms CA  Lighting- Pipe & Drape: Enhanced Lighting & Audio Visual

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Ah, the great outdoors! Summer has arrived and it’s that perfect time of year for outdoor weddings. Outdoor weddings can be as intimate or grand as you like. With all of today’s technologies and a good budget, almost anything is possible. From secluded island getaways to glamping in National Parks or multi-day celebrations in the middle of the desert, weddings under the sun and stars can be quite the experience.

We love outdoor weddings and events but they do require some extra-special know-how to deliver a seamless event from start to finish. And of course, we’re here for you! You might think of the big items – tents, heat lamps, lounge furniture and umbrellas – but you definitely need a professional to fill in all the other items that make an event go off without a hitch. For example: outdoor lighting, generators, catering tents, refrigeration, dance floors – and yes, portable VIP restrooms aka water cottages – just to name a few. Besides the practical, physical items needed, outdoor weddings require extra insurance, a check with local noise ordinances, ample parking… the list goes on. So while we do absolutely recommend hosting an outdoor wedding or event, we highly suggest leaving all the design and planning to the professionals. Now, to share a little inspiration with you, below are some of our past outdoor events. We’ve selected images from weddings and receptions on tropical islands, rooftops, in wine country and in the middle of the desert. These wedding ceremonies and receptions are some of our favorites from our collection of events under the sun and stars. Enjoy!

Photography Credits:

Image 1, 13, 15: Lisa Lefkowitz | Image 2-3: Sylvie Gill | Images 4: Larissa Cleveland | Image 5, 14: Michelle Walker | Images 6-10: Arrowood Photography | Image 11: Mel Barlow | Image 12: Kopol Bonick

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For many people, the wedding day is one of the most special days of their entire lives. It’s the first day that together, two people are creating a new partnership. It’s on this day that couples decide from this day forward, we are a team, and come what may, we’re in this together. Those commitments are strong, life-changing decisions, affirmations of truth and love. And during this special day, couples want to be surrounded by people in their lives who’ve come on a journey with them. Those family members and friends who have been with you every step of the way speaking truths, offering advice, providing support and always giving unconditional love. Because of this, couples often choose to find special ways to honor particular family members throughout their wedding celebrations. Here are a few ways:

Including Family Photos. Often, couples will display family photos on the welcome table. Guests love to pause and look at photos of other family weddings. Some might even spot themselves as a bridesmaid or flower girl from years ago. Or, a bride may opt to include family photos on her bouquet so that her nearest and dearest are close as she walks down the aisle. Framing photos of other family weddings is a nod to the past, an appreciation of what has come before that has led to today.

Father-Daughter Dance. One of the most universal requests is a father-daughter dance. Every father’s dream comes true when he takes to the dance floor with his daughter for that once in a lifetime moment. All the guests turn to watch as one or both shed tears of joy for the happiness of the moment.

Toasts. Historically reserved for funny jokes and wise cracks from the best man, wedding toasts have come a long way. Not only will members of the family get involved in toasting the newlyweds, but often, the couple themselves will request time with the microphone. When you’re surrounded by all the special people in your life, its a perfect time to let them know how much they mean to you. So go ahead, prepare a speech; there won’t be a dry eye in the house!

Fashion & Accessories. An old wedding tradition that seems to have staying power is “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.” Often, couples are able to incorporate fashion elements or accessories from family heirlooms into their wedding. Whether it’s an embroidered handkerchief from a special aunt or a swatch of her mother’s wedding dress sewn into her own, there are many ways a bride can update fashions in nod to her family’s history.

Job Assignment. Often, family members want to help with wedding planning and navigating the waters here can be a bit challenging. When working with clients, we often encourage the family to get involved in the special, intimate moments that lead up to the wedding celebration. But when it comes to the main event, it’s best to leave bigger items like planning to the professionals. This way, everyone can truly enjoy the event and celebrate with the couple, rather than focus on an individual task during the big day. Whether a family member can write a toast for the rehearsal dinner or recite a poem during the ceremony, you’ll make them feel special and involved if they can contribute a little something to the celebration.

However you choose to honor your family, we know they will be flattered. Below are just a few ways in which our clients did so.

Photo credits are listed in alphabetical order for simplicity :
Arrowood Photography | Jasmine Lee Photography | Kopol Bonick | Lisa Lefkowitz | Mel Barlow & Co. | Michelle Walker

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With the spring season in full bloom, we can’t seem to walk anywhere around the city without stopping to take in the beautiful flowers. If you scroll through the camera roll on Morgan’s iPhone, you’d see countless images of flowers from all around. Whether they are wildflowers growing in a garden, seasonal bouquets on sale at the farmer’s market or perfectly arranged centerpiece samples for a client meeting, we’re always capturing the details of one of nature’s best gifts. So in the spirit of all that blooms, today’s blog entry features beautiful bouquets and boutonnieres that our clients have loved throughout the years. But first, here are a few tips for choosing your wedding day flowers:

1. Seasonality – Just like produce, you want to consider the seasonality of the flowers you want in your wedding day. If you’re planning a winter wedding, it will be difficult to snag those precious pink peonies. If you love dahlias, a favorite fall season flower, make sure your chosen date falls during autumn. The season will determine the availability and cost of your flowers. Luckily, most varieties popular in weddings are available year-round so if roses, poppies or ranunculus are your favorites, any season will do.

2. Colors – Be sure to consider complimentary colors when choosing your wedding flowers. Keeping your color scheme to just three colors can be limiting but giving your floral designer a range of color hues to work with can yield beautiful results. It’s best to choose a few main colors and let the artists go to work adding neutral colors or fresh greens to accent the arrangements.

3. Size & Shape – It’s important to consider comfort on your wedding day and that extends to more than just your wedding dress. Bouquets can get heavy depending on the size and shape. You should be prepared to hold it during the ceremony and carry it around during your photo session and into the reception. Another consideration of size and shape is your wedding gown. A small hand-tied bouquet would get lost in the scene if you’re wearing a fluffy ballgown with a ten-foot train, but would be ideal for a slim fitting T-length dress. Be sure to communicate with your floral designer so they can best advise you on the proper size and shape for your wedding bouquet.

PHOTO CREDITS:

1-3, 6,-7, 22-23: Arrowood Photography | 4-5: Molly Landreth | 8 & 25: Larissa Cleveland | 9-13, 17-18: Michelle Walker | 14-16: Sylvie Gill | 19-21: Jasmine Lee | 24: Mel Barlow & Co.

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With spring just around the corner, we’ve got pretty pastels on our minds. From flowers to fashion, this is the season to highlight the softer side of colorful shades. Think minty greens, butter yellows, pale pinks and lovely lavenders. The softness of pastel colors is so feminine and flirty that we anticipate the transition to spring every year. So it’s no surprise that today’s blog entry features a truly romantic wedding with a pastel palette. Let’s get to the pretty details.

Ceremony. Chaai and Brian were married at Stanford Memorial Church in Palo Alto, California. Getting married here is a tradition in Brian’s family. His parents were married in the church 44 years ago as was his brother, just 10 years ago. Although Brian and Chaai now reside in Hangzhou, China, Brian was born in Palo Alto and had many affiliations to Stanford while growing up – attending summer programs and working as a research assistant at the medical school, while his father served on the medical faculty. However, it wasn’t until Brian was working in San Francisco, commuting to Palo Alto to visit his parents, that he discovered Filoli, the couple’s chosen reception venue.

Reception. Filoli is a magical estate. Full of gardens, wildflowers, walking trails and a Georgian Revival styled country house, being within the grounds takes your breath away. And just last year, Filoli decided to open its estate for private weddings. We were so thrilled to be designing just the second-ever wedding reception held on the grounds!

Details. The evening wedding reception began with cocktail hour at the Pool Pavilion Lawn. Guests relaxed and mingled with friends while hors d’ oeuvres were passed and a fully stocked bar provided libations. Tables were dressed in pale pink linens, topped with bunches of pastel colored roses in the center. An ivy clad gate pointed the way to the Entry Courtyard where dinner would be served. Guests found their designated table with the help of our vintage key escort cards hanging on the gate. Who wouldn’t love the feeling of being invited to an enchanted garden that can only be unlocked with a secret key? Inside the courtyard, a mix of kings tables and round tables were set with a variety of centerpieces. For the kings tables, Revel Floral set green garland dotted with soft pink and ivory roses down the center, trailing to the ground. On the round tables, gold urns full of pastel colored garden roses were placed around the centers. Tall candelabras created a focal point for each table and tea lights added a warm glow. Place settings were kept simple with gold-rimmed chargers, menus with calligraphy details, and slim glassware. The three-tiered cake was placed on a sparkling sequins pink linen and covered in fresh blooms around the base and over the top. Complete with lace detailing and a custom monogram, the cake was pastel perfection.

Now that you know the details, we’ll let you start scrolling through the images! We hope you enjoy all the lovely details of Chaai and Brian’s enchanting garden wedding.

Special Thanks to our team:

Photography: Arrowood Photography |Design & Planning: Morgan Events | Floral Design: Revel FloralCeremony Venue: Stanford Memorial Church | Reception Venue: Filoli Gardens | Catering & Cake: Taste Catering | Rentals: Bright Event Rentals | Hensley Event Resources | Napa Valley Linens | Lighting: Got Light. | Calligraphy: Papineau Calligraphy | Entertainment: Take 2 via Hip Service Entertainment | Live Painting Artist: Talia Koval | Transportation: Global Transportation | Restrooms: The Water Cottage | Bride’s Hair/Makeup: J Beautique | Wedding Gown: Pronovias with shoes by Miu Miu | Bride’s Reception Gown: Grace Kelly | Groom’s Tuxedo: Practical Tailor, Hong Kong with Tom Ford bow tie & handkerchief | Wedding Rings: Tiffany & Co.

wedding invitation wax sealfiloli garden wedding invitation

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Happy news today! We’re so thrilled to share that one of our weddings has been featured on Carats & Cake! Kristin and Zach’s destination wedding at the Four Seasons Hualalai is full of pretty little details that you’re sure to love. You can view the full feature on C&C here and read all about the design and planning that went into creating this memorable wedding weekend. We love destination weddings especially when our clients get a little love from the wedding bloggers too. Congratulations Kristin and Zach!

carats and cake featured wedding kristin and zachcarats and cake featured wedding kristin and zach

At Morgan Events, we love planning life celebrations. Those milestone birthdays, anniversary parties, baby showers… if there’s a celebration, we make it happen. Today’s blog entry features a very special life celebration… a sweet young lady’s bat mitzvah bash. We first met little Sophia back when she was a 1 year old flower girl in her aunt’s wedding which we planned and designed. So it was such an honor when her family called to say little Sophia was all grown up and being called to the torah.

If you’re not familiar with the bar/bat mitzvah celebration, it is a Jewish coming of age ritual for boys/girls at the age of twelve years. This is the age at which the young boy/girl has reached religious maturity and is considered a full-fledged member of the Jewish community. And certainly achieving this milestone is definitely worth celebrating!

For Sophia’s bat mitzvah bash, the decor scheme was inspired by a chic nightclub atmosphere. We transformed a ballroom space at the Claremont Club & Spa – A Fairmont Hotel into a sleek, modern yet fun night club aka “Club SK”.

The club entrance was lined with hot pink velvet ropes and a seamless hot pink carpet – fuchsia uplights transformed the walls and created a club-style entry. Inside the ballroom, we used swanky white leather sofas adorned with bright pillows to add stylish and comfortable lounge seating for kids and grown ups alike. Hot pink, fuchsia and gold set the color palette, fitting for a vibrant young lady with a sparkling personality. The tables were sleek glass, paired with acrylic ghost chairs for a very modern ambiance. Along with a trio of satellite floral arrangements and floating candles, tables were topped with clear glass orchid-filled lamps and set with gold chargers, fuchsia napkins and custom printed menus. But perhaps the most special area of the ballroom was the VIP suite. This section was reserved for Sophia’s VIPs and of course, no adults allowed.

A few other details that made the event unique included a magnetic acrylic escort card display; a blooming custom pink floral paper wall photo booth with fun props; a custom engraving station; a sweet Sophia donut bar and a sweet endings candy bar; and of course let’s not forget about the custom monogramed bars – a VIP Suite Bar for the VIPs and Bar 21 for those adult over 21. Throughout the evening, kids and adults alike were entertained by Aaron David and his amazing team of dancers and emcees. Continuous dancing, food and fun throughout the evening made Club SK the “best celebration ever” for our sweet Sophia! We are so proud of you! Mazel Tov!

We hope you enjoy viewing the photos of Club SK, open for one night only! Special thanks to our team who created such a memorable celebration for Sophia, her family and friends.

Event Design & Planning: Morgan Events | Venue & Catering: Claremont Hotel | Photographer: Richard Mayer | Video: AMYX Video | Flowers: Revel Floral | DJ & Entertainment: Aaron David Productions | Rentals: Hensley Event Resources | Lounge Furniture: Blueprint Studios | Lighting: Got Light | Linens: Napa Valley Linens | Invitation & Stationery: Penn & Paperie | Calligrapher: Lewes Lettering Co. | Hair & Makeup: Artists by Sherrie Long  Engravers: The Vanity Plate Co. | Photobooth: Heirloom Photobooth Group

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December! The last month of the year… the beginning of a busy holiday season. Are your calendars filling up with parties and celebrations galore? Are you hosting a chic soiree for friends, family or colleagues? If so, its time to get planning! And we’re here to help with a Classic Black & White Design Inspiration for you!

We teamed up with our fellow San Francisco event professionals to create this sophisticated style at the St. Regis San Francisco. With a beautifully sleek aesthetic, the styled shoot showcased below is perfect for any number of celebratory occasions. From birthdays to fundraisers, a black & white table design is a tried and true classic. Pair the dynamic duo with one other color to change up the mood or add festive flair. We promise, the color combo never goes out of style!

To keep this styled shoot fresh and modern, we put a few twists on the classic. First, we chose white block tables with massive bases that looked similar to concrete sculptures. Then we paired the the tables with clear acrylic chairs evoking a contemporary art vibe. Lush, monochromatic greenery divided the width of the tables by creating a strong line down the center. Using greens in this way kept the design clean and sleek without overpowering the simple styling of the place settings and glassware. Finally, we added simple place settings with circular silver detailing around the dinner plate, black napkins and custom printed menus. The end result was an elegant blend of materials creating a new modern classic design perfect for entertaining in style. We hope you find this design inspiring. Happy Holidays!

Photography: Arrowood Photography | Design & Styling: Morgan Events | Floral Design: Revel Floral
Venue & Cake: St. Regis San Francisco | Tables & Tabletop Rentals: Bright Event Rentals | Chairs: Blueprint Studios
Menus: Dependable Lettepress | Calligraphy: Papineau Calligraphy

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This one’s for all the pet lovers out there! For those of you who consider pets your family, here are our Top 5 Tips for including pets in your wedding celebration.

1. Consider Your Pet’s Personality – A pet can be a guest of honor and simply stand with the wedding party during the ceremony, or your pet can have a specific role (ring bearer or flower girl are common roles) in the ceremony. But before giving your pet a starring role, think about whether this will be an enjoyable experience for him or her. Will your pet feel comfortable around your guests? Is he or she obedient and well behaved? There’s no guarantee that your pet will behave exactly how you want them to on the day of the wedding. Even the most outgoing and friendly pet can be overwhelmed by a crowd of guests, so always have treats and water on hand to curb unwanted behaviors. 

2. Confirm That Pets are Allowed in Your Ceremony/Reception Facility – With everything else on your to-do list, it’s easy to forget this simple—yet important—step. You don’t want to show up on the day of your wedding, four-legged ring-bearer in tow, only to be told that pets are not allowed on the property, etc. Can’t bring your pet? You can still include him or her in the wedding! Include your pet in your portrait session before and/ or after the ceremony.

3. Book a Pet Sitter – You have enough to worry about on the day of your wedding—hire a pet sitter to be responsible for bringing your pet to the ceremony, taking them home after, or watching them during the reception. That way, you won’t need to worry about who’s feeding the dog (or keeping him away from the chocolate). Let your pet sitter be your pet’s guide. And if your pet is especially skittish, consider having someone carry him or her or letting them catch a ride in a wagon or stroller. And if your pet is overly affectionate or easily distracted, be sure to use a short leash.

4. Don’t Jeopardize Safety for Style – Make sure your pet’s attire (tux, dress, etc) fits properly and doesn’t create any discomfort. Keep the accessories simple—a bowtie, ribbon and/or flower attached to the collar is a fun way to dress up your pet. Ensure that any accessories won’t come loose and pose a choking hazard. And most importantly, be sure to check if any flowers or plants being used at your wedding are toxic to your animals.

5. Prepare Your Photographer- If you already know your pet will be joining your celebration when you’re choosing a photographer, make sure you choose someone who is comfortable around animals. Don’t assume just because you have the sweetest pup that your photographer will love them. Tell your photography team of your intent to include your pet in advance. It’ll help your photographers prep for those unplanned moments, like when your dog leaps up to kiss you during the vows! Your photographer can also help you brainstorm fun photo ideas with your pets for the portraits after the ceremony or during the initial getting ready time of the day.

And now, time for some fun furry friends photos! Thanks to the following photographers for catching our furry friends in action!

Michelle Walker | Gertrude & Mabel | Arrowood Photography

corgi in wedding

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Here at Morgan Events, we LOVE a destination wedding. There’s something extra special about gathering your friends and family and jetting off for a weekend (or more!) to celebrate love. That’s what it’s all about, right? So, this blog entry is dedicated to our clients, Kristin and Zach, who dreamed of a destination wedding at the Four Seasons Hualalai on Hawaii’s Big Island. We’re using this wedding to give you a glimpse as to what it’s like to host a destination wedding. You can read our short summary of the events below but rest assured, our actual ‘notes’ (read: playbook!) is quite a bit larger for a wedding of this scope! But space is limited and a photo is worth 1000 words so read, browse and DREAM about your very own destination wedding.

Destination Wedding Design

Let’s start with the color palette. Gone are the days of one or two colors dominating the artistic vision. Today’s couples are creatives in their own right and envision a myriad of hues working together. Our color palette for the wedding included coral, bright pink, peach, cream, white, green and gold. Each weekend event, from the Aloha Cocktail Gathering on the Beach Tree Lawn to the Mahalo Brunch at the Beach House, featured this color combo in a seamless design. The aesthetics played a role in evoking ambiance for each event- from festive and lively during pre-wedding events to romantic and elegant during the formal celebrations.

Pre-Wedding Events

If you’ve read our blog before, you know we’re all about creating a warm welcome for guests during destination events. In this case, guests were traveling to the Big Island for Kristin and Zach’s wedding. It was important to the couple that guests make new friends but also reconnect with old friends and thoroughly relaxed and enjoyed all the delights of the island. The kickstart to the weekend was the Aloha Cocktail Gathering. We set the festive Hawaiian scene for two hours of a meet and greet with passed canapés and cocktails. The following evening, a more formal Seaside Welcome Dinner was set where guests were treated to live music and an unforgettable seaside feast.  The Ulu Ocean Grill was the perfect spot for outdoor dining and catching the sunset.

Wedding Day

At last the wedding day arrived and the spacious Ke’ Olu Green at the Four Seasons Hualalai was transformed into an intimate ceremony location. The ceremony aisle began with two large urn arrangements on pedestals while floral planters continued down the aisle through to a custom 16′ wide staircase to a second ceremony level.  The altar floral structure featured asymmetrical cascading florals.  Lush florals of David Austin roses, peonies, ranunculus, garden roses, and hydrangeas kept the color scheme in tact and on point. After the ceremony, guests were escorted to an elegant cocktail reception and seated dinner in the Ke’ Olu Clubhouse Garden. Tables were set in more vibrant colors with tall centerpieces surrounded by satellite floral arrangements.  A sea of candles were added to a create a warm romantic glow. Place cards were held in stunning sea urchin shells and gold flatware framed each place setting. There was cake cutting and dancing, music and moonlight and even a sparkler send-off for the newlyweds.

Post-Wedding Events

As a final thank you and farewell to guests, a Mahalo Brunch was catered at the Four Seasons Residence’s Beach House on Sunday morning. Lasting three hours to accommodate even the late night partygoers who may be oversleeping, the brunch was a casual flow of guests reminiscing about the weekend events and bidding farewell before catching flights to the mainland. This last event is always a crowd pleaser as our couples get one more chance to connect with their guests.

If you’ve just started dreaming about your very own destination wedding, congratulations! The fun is just beginning. If we can be of help, please get in touch with our team and let us guide you every step of the way. Mahalo!

Wedding Design & Planning: Morgan Events | Photographer: Sylvie Gil Photography | Venue & Catering: Four Seasons Hualalai  Floral Design: Flowers by Heidi | Invitation & Stationery: Lettered Olive | Calligraphy: Papineau Calligraphy | Hair & Makeup: Beauty Lux Salon | Linens: La Tavola | Lighting/Rentals & Lounge: Hawaii Island Events, Inc. | Band: Hip Service Band | Hawaiian Music Entertainment: Kevin Kealoha Trio | String Quartet: Magic Strings | Audio Visual: PSAV | Videographer: Techy3 Studios

*Updated February 2019: This wedding has been featured on Carats & Cake. Click here to view.

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