The Wedding of Rachel and Joel

I can’t believe it’s been a year since I received an email from a lovely bride wanting to hold her wedding day on the sandy shores of Oahu. A perfect idea complicated by the small fact that she and her fiancee live in Missouri. She heard of us from a couple of friends at our church who moved here from Missouri, and she wanted us to provide officiating and photography. It is always a blessing to be able to work side-by-side with my husband, Scott. We do a fair number of weddings on our own individually so it’s a real treat for us to be able to team up.

This sweet young couple (I’m starting to feel old at thirty years of age) were so excited about their Hawaiian wedding. Joel and Rachel are fun, carefree, and wanted to make their commitment solidly planted on their shared love for God.

Rachel and Joel didn’t want a big fussy much-to-do wedding. Rachel had only three small requests.

1. To get married on Kailua Beach
2. To have an arch on the sand
3. To have a bouquet of her favorite flower, plumerias

That was it, all she asked for. Let see…

#1. To get married on Kailua Beach- Kailua beach, gorgeous. But for the past two years, Kailua beach has been suffering from drastic sand erosion, even unearthing old walls once hidden under the dunes of sand. She was a trouper and chose Lanikai beach, just a step farther down the same shore and one of the most beautiful beaches in Hawaii (some people might put it at #1 but we are a little biased).

#2. Arches are absurdly expensive to rent. Sigh…no arch.

#3. A plumeria bouqet. I admit it now. I was the fool who tried who even advised her against it. Plumerias are gorgeous but the most fragile flower ever. I’ve seen tons of weddings with plumerias as the accent flower but never as the primary bouquet, because they wilt so quickly and drastically. Rachel had an exquisite bouqet of plumerias nestled in baby’s breath. It took some extra caution in preserving it the night before but it was breath-taking. It was handmade (well, I guess all bouquets are handmade huh) by Pauline of Weddings By Pauline. If you are interested, contact us for details on how to purchase.

I think you can learn so much from a couple by watching their emotions play across their faces. They were joined only by Rachel’s parents, Richard and Ramonda, with the rest of their family and friends at home unable to make the long trip to Hawaii. And even though it was a Wednesday afternoon, the beach was shockingly busy, with tons of beachgoers planted on the sand, canoes (a fave local sport) sliding across the water in the background…yes, even a canoe with six young boys flipping in the water right behind the couple during the ceremony. Rachel and Joel were sharing their vows all while the boys could be seen in the distance bailing water out of their canoe. But Joel and Rachel only had eyes for each other and they couldn’t even wipe the smiles off their face. It was heartwarming to watch, and their love and joy was so obvious. Their unintentional wedding guests, the fellow beachgoers, all watched intently and shouted out “Congratulations” to the newly married couple.

I would also like to say CONGRATULATIONS!!! As my husband likes to say “Marriage is wonderful, I highly recommend it to anyone.” And come back to Hawaii soon!!!

The local canoe club unwittingly became wedding guests…
The wedding of Joel and Rachel
Not your typical church aisle…and the bride’s procession was heralded by young beach-goers
A sandy aisle

Joel had this giddy smile he couldn’t shake…even when I was trying to get him to take a serious pic. =)

Ring exchange
Look for that smile again.
Joel and Rachel
Plumeria bouquet from Weddings By Pauline.

Plumeria bouqets by Auntie Pauline

A dance to remember

There was a sudden explosion of little kids running down the beach

Rachel and Joel continued...

The entire wedding party

I will hold your hand each day forward
To view these images and more from Rachel and Joel’s special day, please visit and enjoy.

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