Fairmont Wedding at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii
“We wanted to celebrate at a location that was special to us”
Congratulations on your wedding! What made you decide on having your wedding with us at Fairmont?
The Hawaiian Islands, especially the Big Island, have been a favorite destination throughout our relationship. We discovered The Fairmont Orchid on our first trip to the Big Island about two years ago. When we started to plan our wedding, we wanted to celebrate at a location that was special to us and would be an interesting and fun destination for our friends. The Fairmont Orchid was the perfect choice.
Where did you have your ceremony? Did you incorporate any special or cultural traditions?
We held our ceremony at Coconut Grove, exactly where we wanted to have it: on a beach, under swaying palm trees, with a spectacular sunset. We were drawn to the symbolism and beauty of a lei exchange and we incorporated one between us and with our parents into the ceremony. For many of our guests it was their first visit to the Hawaiian Islands and wearing a lei for a special occasion was an experience they never had. So we provided our guests with leis at the ceremony to welcome them in the spirit of aloha.
Tell us about the flowers you chose. Did you go traditional or contemporary?
With all of the beautiful natural flowers growing throughout the island, it was a hard-try to upstage the natural beauty, but The Fairmont Orchid's preferred florist created tropical centerpieces for both our cocktail table as well as the dinner tables. They were arrangements of green palm leaf and lily; white tuberose; purple, yellow, and orange orchids; pink ginger; and bird-of-paradise. The leis we wore for the ceremony were white tuberose and green maile twists. We exchanged solid white tuberose leis with our mothers and kukui nut and silver leaf leis with our fathers. Our guests wore leis with a mixture of orchids, plumeria, and lantern flowers.
Tell us about the meal you served your guests. What type and flavor cake did you have at your reception?
As the sun was setting, the sparkle and crackle of the beachside BBQ grills attracted the eyes and noses of our guests. We served a Beach Boys buffet, including grilled hoisin chicken, coconut thai fish skewers, and grilled New York strip steak, with some special additions. There were too many fresh fruit and vegetable sides to count. Having my mother exclaim that she had never tasted a papaya like that was a treat. The fresh ahi poke was a special request as it is one of our favorite dishes.
What element(s) did you add to make the wedding uniquely ‘yours’?
Since all of our guests were traveling to Hawaii and that our families live in different states on the mainland, we planned a whole series of events over the weekend so that people from different parts of our lives could meet one another and enjoy Hawaii. We started the weekend off by inviting all our guests for dessert and drinks on the lanai of The Luana Lounge. The following morning we went on a snorkel cruise along the coast just south of The Fairmont. For the ceremony itself, we asked a close friend to serve as our officiant. He spoke with each of us individually and wove into the ceremony our thoughts about each other, about marriage, about our future, and of course about why we chose Hawaii. Finally, like many couples, we chose to write our own vows as a way to express our feelings and to reflect our individual personalities.
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
We stayed to enjoy the Big Island for our honeymoon. After a spectacular week at The Fairmont, we snuck away for 5 days to a small bed and breakfast up the mountain from Kealakekua Bay. It was the perfect opportunity to relax and enjoy the island, just the two of us.
For more information or to start planning your wedding at The Fairmont Orchid: