Happy Monday everyone!  My partner in crime (aka co-editor) is off at a conference in the Caribbean, so I thought I’d start the week off with a fun tropical-theme wedding from Rebekah J. Murray.  Angelise is from Hawaii planned a tropical destination wedding right here at home – complete with leis, lots of orchids, even a surprise hula performance during the reception!

From Angelise: Our wedding was classic Hawaii with ono (delicious) grinds (food), good music, lots of aloha (love) and touches of teal everywhere!

We wanted to bring my Hawaiian upbringing to NOVA with an authentic menu, island flowers, and island music.  For the ceremony we had the mothers and grandparents wear floral leis and at the reception all of the family tables had leis for them to wear, which we re-used from the ceremony decorations!

Our main priorities were bringing the laid back Hawaiian love and celebratory Aloha spirit to northern Virginia and hosting our guests with great food and drinks.  Matt grew up right here in Vienna, so we had to find a venue that would not only fit our very large circle of family friend from over the years, but also feed our 200+ guests within budget.

Matt’s personal favorite moment was when I surprised him with a surprise hula to Keali’i Reichel’s “E O Mai.”  It brought the room to tears.

We had the DJ play Bob Marley and island favorites during the cocktail hour and lots of Hawaiian classics during dinner. And all of the reception tables were named after cities in Hawaii with a picture to capture that place.  We truly felt transported to the islands.  You almost thought you were there.

One of the most special aspects of our wedding as the food.  The Marriott catering staff was inspired with our desire to bring Hawaii to Virginia.  They researched Hawaiian flavors and actually created a special menu for us.  They created an unreal paniole (cowboy) steak and an island salad with fresh pineapple and papaya dressing. Our friend, Rebekah Pizana of Gourmet Amore, made us a 4-tier cake with three amazing flavors: carrot cake with macadamia nuts, coconut, and chocolate mousse with a creamy filling she has been perfecting for the past 15 years!

Angelise’s advice for other engaged couples in the DC area:

Your marriage is the priority, not the wedding.  We wanted to create an atmosphere for celebration, but we put just as much energy into making sure that the ceremony was the focus and the party was the icing!  I recommend working with vendors that come with recommendations and remember: it’s just one day, it’s okay to cut something if it doesn’t fit the budget.  Figure out what is most important and put your money there.  For us it was the photos and the food.

The following Washington, DC area wedding professionals contributed to Angelise and Matt’s wedding:

Ceremony Venue: Vienna Presbyterian Church
Reception Venue + Catering: The Fairview Marriott, Falls Church, Virginia
Photography: Rebekah J. Murray
Floral Design: Fleurish Events
Reception DJ: Tony of The Lace Music
Cake: Gourmet Amore
Hair + Make Up: Wear Hair
Invitations + Ceremony Programs: Bride’s Mom
Day-of Stationery: Jennifer Olmstead of Deleted Space Creative
Bridal Attire: Demetrios Bridal
Bridesmaid Attire: David’s Bridal

Don’t forget to visit our vendor guide for more fabulous Washington, DC area wedding professionals or our real wedding gallery for more beautiful weddings!

Photo Credits: Rebekah J. Murray Photography

Submitted via Two Bright Lights

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