Maui, Part III: The Wedding!

July 7, 2011

On Thursday it was time for the main event- Gary and Rita’s wedding!  We had chosen our hotel, The Royal Lahaina, to be within walking distance of their wedding at Kahekili Beach Park.  When we got to the park just a couple family members were there, ready to hand out programs.  As the guests arrived George and I took photos of them reading the programs and greeting each other (as the official photographers).  Gary and Rita had put a lot of detail into programs, in the format of playbills, with bios on their close friends and family members who were attending the wedding and even advertisements from their wedding vendors.

Guests Gathering and Reading the Playbills
G&R Playbill/ Wedding Program

Once most of the guests had congregated under the gazebo Rita’s cousin took roll call to see if everyone was present.  The bride and groom had not been spotted yet, but almost everyone else was accounted for.  As the guests milled around, wondering why there were no chairs set up and where the bride and groom were, a large tour bus rolled up, labelled with G&R July 7, 2011.  We were asked to board the bus and take our assigned seats.

G&R Tours Bus

And so began Act I of G&R Tours: The Journey.  The bus took us up into the hills and through a coffee plantation.  The best part was the on board entertainment!  Gary and Rita had prepared a photo slide shown that played on the TVs throughout the bus and also a hilarious karaoke video of them for “Brown Eyed Girl.”  As we drove by a mansion, out the window we could see Gary running to board the bus.  Ah, ha!  Many guests thought we had found the true wedding site.  But “where is Rita?” they exclaimed.

Gary Getting on the Bus

Gary boarded the bus and gave a short welcome and thank you speech to the guests, and on we continued.  Back down the hill and north along the coast.  The bus pulled into a parking lot and Gary joked that we would have to walk from there.  Actually, there were 3 minibus shuttles waiting to take us the rest of the way on our journey.

Switching to the Shuttle Buses

A little bit farther and we pulled into an estate on a cliff overlooking the ocean.

Arriving at the Estate Overlooking the Ocean

It was time for Act II: Paradise Found.  This is where the wedding ceremony would take place!  The guests mingled in the yard for a bit, enjoying a drink, while the bride peaked outside, anxiously awaiting her walk down the isle.  The guests were asked to take their seats and the Hawaiian officiant took his place.  George and I were in place ready to capture the ceremony.  When we are photographing, our focus is all on catching the moments.  Gary had assisted George in photographing a few weddings and he knew how hard it could be to capture those fleeting moments like the ring exchange, so they displayed their rings to the camera an extra long time.  Thanks guys :).

G&R Wedding Ceremony
Ring Exchange
G&R Just Married

After the ceremony, guests enjoyed appetizers and drinks while we took group photos and some photos of the bride and the groom overlooking the ocean.  After the “cake cutting” of Rice Crispy treats, George said it was time to relax.  We scarfed down some appetizers and downed a drink.  Some people thought this was the scene for the entire wedding, but we knew that it was just about time to get back on the shuttles.  Then back on the bus, this time with everyone singing along to Brown Eyed Girl.

We managed to get in the group photo too!
Gary & Rita's Destination Wedding in Maui

But where were we headed, some people wondered.  We reached Lahaina and the bus pulled into the parking lot for the Old Lahaina Luau!  It was time for Act III: The Feast!  George and my photography duties were over, and we could enjoy the feast, entertainment, and a couple more drinks :).  In one day it had been a full Hawaiian experience!

g&h at the Luau at Gary & Rita's Wedding

After the Luau we piled back on the bus and were dropped at Kahekili Beach Park, where it had all started.  From there, we walked back along the beach to our hotel.  What an adventure!

(You can see more of our wedding photography work at Avelino Photography.)


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