Multifaceted brides (as most of us are!) have plenty of inspiration to draw from – from family tradition, vintage glamour, and pretty boho styles to modern royal weddings. This Hawaiian wedding inspiration mixes many of our favorite past and present trends. As photographer Melissa Ergo describes it perfectly, it’s a “time-honored tradition with a glamorous yet free-spirited approach.”

There’s the classic influence: old-school romantic scenes of bride and groom locked in a kiss, with a glamorous sweeping bridal hairstyle and vibrant red lip. Then, there are the free-spirited vibes: an easy-going, off-the-shoulder wedding gown to throw in your suitcase to your elevated, tropical picnic wedding (sweet Hawaiian treats included).

If you’re a frequent visitor to the Hawaiian Islands, you know the not-so-secret value of a killer popsicle & shaved ice. In true Maui fashion, the team forwent the traditional wedding cake for classic local “wedding popsicles” – an essential cool treat for the Hawaiian tropics.

From Melissa Ergo Photography

Magic seems to happen where Old World Europe meets natural Hawaiian splendor. A huge inspiration for this eclectic, mid-20th-century-themed wedding shoot was the venue itself. When we first saw Haiku Mill in photos, I was inspired by the way lush greenery seemingly burst from the old stonework of this historic building. I loved how fresh growth wove throughout the beautifully restored ruins, giving it a new and unique beauty and elegance. I wanted to create a theme that played off of that feel of old meeting new, so I came up with an idea for a classic composition with pops of bold color mixed with edgier elements. The goal was to feel elegant but surprising and fresh.

The theme’s aesthetics also have some symbolic significance: The mid-20th century was an iconic and glamorous period governed much more by tradition than today. Today’s couples are reinventing how marriage is defined and how weddings are held. The rules of marriage and weddings are still important, relevant, and present, but it is exciting to see how couples have turned them into something new. The shoot brought together the best of both worlds: a time-honored tradition with a glamorous yet free-spirited approach.

The Flowers

Maui Floral chose a simple King Protea for the bride and fresh tropical greenery with a few King Proteas for the table setting. The King Protea is gorgeous, standout, and sturdy- perfect for an elopement. Since we were surrounded by the bountiful tropical greenery of the venue, we wanted to let that speak for itself and contrast it with other elements.

The Dress & Attire

Dreamers and Lovers was my top choice for the bridal gown designer to feature because the gowns are perfect for the free-spirited bride having a destination wedding or elopement. They are stunning but also practically made to pack up and go. The dresses don’t have stuffing and are mostly lace, making them easy to throw into a suitcase, fly to the other side of the world, and pull out without finding wrinkles. As for the specific gown we chose, I loved the way it was classically elegant while still being very bohemian.

We dressed the groom in a simple, classic gray suit and tie that would touch on the mid-century elegance we wanted to impart on the shoot. I felt that the traditional case would bring out the classic elegant quality of the bride’s dress, making the pair look sharp.

The Decor

You could say that the tablescape aimed to let the structures of tradition out a few notches. The low table and floor cushions created a “luxe picnic” feel that brought in our shoot’s eclectic and free-spirited quality. Having floor seating is almost a way of reverting to the jaw-dropping nature that pops out of the walls of this historic venue.

Kimiko of Elements Luxury Design styled the table with a decadent fruit, nuts, and cheese spread. The vintage textured glass, marble, wood, brass, and greenery were all about creating a luxe, modern and eclectic look. Our bar cart brought in more of the mid-century feel and featured beautiful tropical drinks and Daneson luxury toothpicks.

The Desserts

Instead of a cake, we featured local Maui popsicles by Shaka Pops! We wanted to do something fun and different for the free-spirited style of the shoot. The popsicles felt appropriate for a hot and tropical place like Maui, allowing us to bring in a local tradition.