meeting halfway in hawaii

From Bliss Wedding Design & Spectacular Events “Love knows no distance. In the case of Autumn and Steve, I believe that love not only knew no distance, but that the distance only strengthened their bonds and made it the special and unique love that it is today. From the moment they locked eyes, they knew it was something magical, something magnetic.

Over the course of the next two years, the two committed to visiting each other in both Australia where Steve lived and California where Autumn lived, and occasionally meeting halfway in Hawaii. That is where their love truly blossomed, for both each other and the island of Maui!”

Pink and gold floral centerpiece Matching bridesmaids robes Clear wedding sign Pineapple centerpiece Bridesmaids in hot pink Remembering grandparents at wedding

“After a truly fairytale Italian proposal these lovebirds decided that Maui was the perfect place for friends and family to come together and celebrate.

From gorgeous and vivid florals from Petals, to sizzling performances by Manutea Nui E, and of course some sweet island flavor from our friends at Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice, Autumn and Steve’s Maui Wedding was complete tropical Bliss. We are so thrilled that the talented Caprice Nicole Photography was there to capture so many gorgeous moments and beautiful details!”

Driftwood wedding ceremony arch with flowers Wedding guest book Bright summery boutonnière Maui wedding Maui destination wedding Pets at weddings Driftwood wedding ceremony arch

THE PROPOSAL – “All I would talk about was going to Europe so Steve planned a 6-week European vacation for him and I. All my friends kept telling me that of course he was going to propose in Europe but Steve had convinced me otherwise by taking me to a custom jeweler about two weeks before we left for our trip. He took me there and basically said he wanted me to design my own ring so I could have exactly what I wanted. The jeweler took my ring size and asked me a couple specific questions about what I wanted and then we agreed to email back and forth to design my ring. All along, unbeknownst to me, the ring was already made! Steve took me to the jeweler to get my size and get clues about what I wanted for the final touches (like if I wanted diamonds on the band). I was completely convinced that he wasn’t proposing since I was emailing back and forth with the jeweler who was in on the whole thing.

We flew into Greece and had an amazing two weeks there. Then the plan was to drive up the entire length of Italy starting in Sicily. The hotel we stayed at in Taormina Sicily was one of the coolest I have ever seen, it was built into the side of a mountain with a private beach and amazing pool built into the rock. One night Steve said abruptly that we had dinner reservations and gave me like 2 minutes to get ready (because he lost track of the time and I think wanted to catch the sunset). We ran down to the open air restaurant where the entire dining patio (which had about 50 tables during breakfast) was cleared off and there was just one candle-lit table facing the sea with champagne and appetizers. Steve had the ring hidden in his sock and got down on one knee and said the most beautiful things that I don’t remember because I completely blacked out from shock and excitement! lol…. and then we drank champagne and danced all night under the stars to an old Italian man who played the piano and sang Frank Sinatra songs…. it was the best.”

Hot pink bridal bouquet Hawaii wedding menu Flower girl Plexiglass bar sign Hot pink and gold wedding details Fun Hawaii wedding

THE PLANNING – “Maui was the perfect place for our destination wedding. We had met up in Hawaii several times during our long distance romance and we both always said that we really fell in love in Maui. In fact, 4 years to the actual day of our wedding (10-21-16) October 21st 2012 was the day be both flew into Maui and met for the first time after first meeting in Las Vegas (I realized this about a week before the wedding looking at the dates on old pictures….so it felt full circle). We always talked about one day going back to Maui and getting married there and it worked out well given Steve’s family lives in Australia and mine lives in California. It seemed somewhat of a central place we could all meet! And it was the best decision we made!

Honestly I didn’t have an actual vision of the wedding itself. I knew I wanted it to feel Hawaiian and have Hawaiian elements such as the fire and knife dancer and the Shave Ice. The most important thing for us was that our guests had a great time and made amazing memories.”

Hawaii wedding favors Hawaii wedding food Distance travelled sign Creative wedding guest book Flower girl and bride in flower crowns Outdoor Maui wedding reception

DIY & DETAILS – “Steve and I made all the small pineapple box favors a couple of days before the wedding while in Maui. One of the special wedding details that we loved was the directional sign that was made for us. It had Melbourne, El Centro, New York, San Diego, LA with the mileage to each from Maui – these were all the places that our guests came from.

Our wedding date is my grandmother’s birthday. She passed away Christmas eve of 2012. We were very close and it was very special getting to share her birthday. We had a special picture and sign out to honor her.

I loved our sign-in canvas which I had made through Etsy. It was the map of Australia and California superimposed on each other, with a heart over San Diego where we live now and had our motto of “Love knows no distance…” which is also engraved on Steve’s ring.

Our baby (furry baby) Mochi that we couldn’t bring to the wedding showed up in another form…we had a cardboard cut-out of her made! She also greeted the guests at the welcome table when people walked in and they all loved it!

Maui destination wedding

SPECIAL MOMENTS – “My best friend Katie has an amazing voice and sang our first dance. She put together a medley of our favorite songs. It was probably my most favorite part of the wedding besides the ceremony.

Steve’s best friend Craig Sewing married us and did such an amazing job. I still get teary eyed thinking about the sweet things he said. It felt very personal and that much more emotional as he told personal stories and jokes. I am so happy we decided to do it that way.

At one point a giant turtle came up on shore during the wedding and just stayed there!! It was so cool… the guests loved it!”

Hawaiian shave ice Flower adorned wedding cake Cutting the cake

ADVICE – “I just think the best thing about planning a destination wedding is the experience. A wedding lasts one day but when you choose a destination you get an entire week with family and friends making the whole wedding celebration that much longer! Our parents had never met (given the distance) and it was such a great way for them to get to know each other. Steve and I loved our wedding day but we always say that our favorite part was just having our families together in one spot…. that was so important and special to us!”

Hawaiian fire dancer

See another fantastic destination wedding designed by Bliss, and at the same venue too – here!


Photography: Caprice Nicole Photography // Coordination: Bliss Wedding Design & Spectacular Events // Videography: Ohana Films // Floral Design: Petals // Photo Booth: Bamboo Shootz // Hair & Makeup: Meili Autumn Beauty // Dress: Martina Liana // Shoes: Vince Camuto // Jewelry: Nadri // Entertainment: Manutea Nui E // Groom’s Attire: Hugo Boss // Shave Ice: Ululanis Hawaiian Shave Ice // DJ: DJ Benjamin Jay // Location: Kukahiko Estates, Maui, Hawaii.

About Sara Burnett

Editor of Burnett's Boards, which she founded to showcase global creativity in the wedding industry. Sara currently lives out of a suitcase while island hopping the Caribbean and beyond. Learn More // Follow on Instagram.