I, like the 75 guests who attended Charles and Chris's wedding, am in love with these two! It's hard to not fall in love with the two grooms from Down Under when you first meet them and watch their interaction. Handsome, authentic, fun, funny, and totally in love, these two were elated that Hawaii would soon recognize gay weddings and legalize them, so they left Australia for Oahu to exchange their vows and make a statement. In fact, their support of Pride Month was so strong that they began their wedding day with participation in the Pride Rally that morning! Eventually this civil union became a legal wedding, and later Australia would recognize and legalize gay weddings, too! They just celebrated their 9th anniversary! While they celebrated their love with 75 of their closest friends and relatives back in 2012, they still celebrate their wedding day like honeymooners...only now it's with three little ones!
My favorite memories of this wedding begin with our trip to Costco together to purchase the bar beverages and possible end with their choreographed first dance.
The bar was one of their most important wedding elements. These Aussies were going to drink, celebrate and party! At this private estate wedding venue, the grooms were allowed to bring in their own alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. When I took Charles and Chris to Costco to shop for beer, wine, champagne, and soft drinks, they were like two kids in a candy store! Apparently Costco is not available where they lived in Australia. One of their biggest observations was that the Kim Crawford wines from Australia were actually less expensive in the states! Crazy, huh?
This wedding was very much about the guest experience. Guests were shuttled from Waikiki to the wedding venue so they could celebrate without worry. From the moment guests arrived, they were greeted with a Guava Champagne Cocktail and tray-passed canapes that included (1) Hamakua Tomato Skewers with Fresh Mozzarella, Nalo Basile & Balsamic Drizzle and (2) Big Island Artichoke Bruschetta on Kauai Sea Salt Crostinis. Ushers escorted guests to the ceremony seating, providing the guests with parasols and fans for comfort, while the song Chapel of Love by Dixie Cups played. Nannies were at the wedding in the suite from the beginning to the end to keep the children entertained so the adults could enjoy themselves.
The private moments that the couple shared with each other while getting ready in the private suite at the wedding venue were some of my favorite moments with the couple. They truly love each other and displayed it without hesitation as they helped each other look their absolute best for their special day. Before going outside for the ceremony, they enjoyed a toast to their relationship, unending love, and the fabulous celebration that awaited them.
The ceremony was quite special. I don't think there was a dry eye because every single person at this wedding truly loved this couple and appreciated how important this ceremony was to the gay community, especially in Australia. The couple's friend played piano as the processional began. The conch shell was blown and the grooms made their way down the aisle. There were guests who were asked to participate in the ceremony by reading special selections the couple requested, and officiant Kalehua Featheran delivered a heartfelt ceremony. We were blessed with ocean breezes on this beautiful day.
The ocean view was stunning at this venue, and so was the couple as they enjoyed their portrait session with Simon Le. Guests enjoyed tray-passed appetizers and drinks as they took in the stunning ocean views and great music selections carefully curated by the couple. The hors d'oeuvres menu included:
Crispy Tempura Vegetables in Cones with Ponzu Drizzle
Thai Style Seared Steak on Sesame Crisps with Cucumber Avocado Salsa & Lime Jalapeno Mint Cream
Mochiko Chicken Sticks with Coconut Lemon Sauce
. Are you drooling yet?
While Michael Bublé music songs were played during the dinner reception, guests enjoyed fun toasts, plentiful amounts of drinks, and a most delicious meal that offered a variety at three different live action food stations. Mediterranean Station – Live Carving Station (to honor Charles' Greek culture)
Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb
Mediterranean Couscous with Grape Tomatoes, Feta Cheese, Artichokes & Pine Nuts
Mini Falafels with Tzatziki Sauce
Spinach & Feta Spanakopita
Asian Station – Live Plated Station
Lemongrass Crusted Fresh Catch with Red Curry Coconut Cream Sauce
Over Okinawan Sweet Potato Mash
On a Bed of Baby Bok Choy with Garlic Butter Oyster Sauce
Island Station (to honor the islands local flavors)
Kalua Pig Sliders on Taro Rolls with Kale, Cilantro Sour Cream & Hoisin Drizzle
Kahuku Coconut Shrimp with Guava Lime Aioli
Waimanalo Corn Cakes with Kamuela Tomato Salsa & Roasted Red Pepper Coulis
Tropical Summer Rolls with Coconut Cream Peanut Sauce
Now, another of my favorite memories of this wedding includes the first dance. From the moment the grooms shared their plan to perform their own choreographed version of the famous dance from Dirty Dancing, including the big dramatic jump at the end, I knew we would all have the time of our lives! (yes, pun intended!) These two did not fail to impress!
And, then there was cake! Yep, no one went home hungry or thirsty from this wedding! How adorable is this cake topper, by the way!?!?!
It was a fun-filled evening and their love for each other was expressed through food and alcohol, treats like Shave Ice, special dances, and fun stories shared amongst each other. Oh, and did we mention the Dessert Action Stations? Flambe Dessert – Live Action Station
(Ripe Bananas, Brown Sugar & Sweet Butter Flambeed with Spiced Rum over French Vanilla Ice Cream)
(Grand Marnier Flambéed with French Crepes simmered in Citrus Juices served over Ice Cream)
(Seasonal Fresh Berries Flambéed with European Kirsch Liquor over French Vanilla Ice Cream)
Traditions were honored, people were included, and people still talk about this fabulous wedding nine years later!
We form relationships with our couples. We have kept in touch with this awesome couple over the years and are so happy to report that they are the best fathers ever to their three children. You can read about their surrogacy here.
We feel so blessed to have had the privilege of creating this amazing, significant milestone for Charles and Chris, and look forward to visiting them in Australia some day!
OAHU WEDDING VENDORS FOR THIS WEDDING INCLUDE: Wedding Coordination: Tori Rogers of Celebrations by Tori (Hawaii Weddings by Tori & Hawaiian Island Wedding Planners) Babysitting Services: Nannies Hawaii LLC
Photography: Simon Le
Transportation: Royal Star Hawaii Motorcoach
Wedding Cake: Cake Garden
Catering: Beaches and Backyards
Some of the fun songs this group danced to include:
Dancing Queen by Abba
Billie Jean by Michael Jackson
Don't Feel Like Dancing by Sissor Sisters
I Wanna Dance With Somebody by Whitney Houston
I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor
It's Raining Men by Weather Girls
Let's Twist Again by Chubby Checker
Livin' on a Prayer by Bon Jovi
Love Shack by B52's
Mambo No 5 by Lou Bega
You’re The Voice by John Farnham
Baby Got Back by Sir Mix-A-Lot