Tanya + Greg ~ Pahala Plantation Cottages Wedding ~ Big Island Wedding ~ Hawaii Wedding Photography

If you had told me at the start of this year that we would close out our 2013 wedding season with a wedding in Hawaii, I would have told you that you were CRAZY. Never in a million years did I think this was in the cards for us, but James and I are unbelievably grateful that the stars aligned and that this was a reality and not just a dream!!! (I mean… James and I have dreamt of going to Hawaii since we got married. We would talk about it (and even started to plan for it), but things just kept happening and it never came to fruition.) Then last spring Tanya inquired with me to talk about she & Greg’s wedding that would be taking place on the Big Island over Thanksgiving weekend and we couldn’t believe it. Was this really going to happen?!? Were we going to shoot a wedding in Hawaii?!

At the time we were still trying for a little one, so I let Tanya know what was going on and that if we had no luck (as had been the case for a while) then we were definitely in. (How amazing were they to patiently wait for an answer from us for months?! The first sign of many that these two are unbelievably wonderful people!) Well, you all know how that story ends… no baby happened, and so I emailed Tanya to let her know. Let me just say that this trip really helped ease the blow of the rough spring we’d had, and I couldn’t help but feel everything turned out how it was meant to be. Plans were made, plane tickets were bought, hotel rooms reserved… and next thing we knew – it was official! We were going to be documenting Tanya & Greg’s intimate wedding on the Big Island of Hawaii!!

Now – this may turn out to be a novel – but I really can’t help it. I have so much to say about Tanya and Greg. I don’t think my words can fully explain how giving, selfless, and truly amazing these two are… not only with each other, but with everyone lucky enough to call themselves their friends/family. They designed an entire wedding weekend built around showing their loved ones how much they mean to them. They planned events like group runs, and a chili cook-off the night before the wedding at this unbelievable ranch where many of the guests were staying.

The wedding itself was held at Pahala Plantation Cottages and was the most wonderfully intimate (and fabulous) dinner party for their closest friends and family. They only invited people who have been in their lives for a long time… through thick and thin. People who they could share a story about and that they had known for anywhere from 6 years to 20+ years!! This intimate and amazing group of friends and family gathered on a beautiful Saturday afternoon in Pahala to celebrate Tanya and Greg… to give back just a small piece of the love these two have showed to all of them for so long. In a corner room on the main floor of the house these two shared their hand-written vows with one another and left the entire room in tears. They told stories of how the other made them a braver, better, and happier… They promised to laugh and love together for a lifetime… and it was beautiful.

Afterwards they all celebrated together on the lanai with red wine and margaritas to wash down the unbelievably delicious local fare prepared by a husband and wife chef team. James and I were lucky enough to join the guests at the long tables for the dinner under twinkling white Christmas lights and tiki torches. Laughter, stories, and cheers filled the warm night air and it was perfection. The night continued organically… a little dancing here and there to the beautiful music performed by Anna and Phil of Foreseeable Futures… roasting s’mores for dessert and laughing around a crackling fire.

Basically, the entire day felt like a dream. When we went up to our room at the end of the night to upload the images I could hear the dance party still going on downstairs in the main room, and I had to swallow hard to hold back the tears. I was so overwhelmed with gratitude for all of it… and so humbled to be a part of it.

Tanya & Greg ~ I’m already getting choked up just thinking about what I want to say to you here. I’m not sure words will do it justice. But thank you… thank you… thank you, from the very bottom of our hearts. You both made James and I feel so welcomed, so loved, and so taken care of – on a weekend where you could have been worried about a million other things. From loaning us your car and apartment (!!!) while we were in Oahu, to answering my non-stop texts to you with question after question while we were enjoying some down time in the days surrounding the wedding… to waking up early THE DAY AFTER YOUR WEDDING (?!?!) to surprise us with breakfast in bed!! You two are just beyond amazing. You wholeheartedly put your trust in us to document your beautiful day and I can only hope we did it justice. This is a wedding and a trip we will remember for a lifetime. Thank you. xoxo ~ Christy & James (now get your butts to Chicago so we can hang out some more!!) 🙂


Tanya’s niece helping her get ready was the sweetest thing!

Loooove this First Look and all the moments that followed!!

Oh.My.Word Tanya…

Then Tanya & Greg went around and poured each guest their first glass of wine… such a lovely gesture.

And the food!!!! The food was UNBELIEVABLE. Oh my gosh – SO good.

An absolutely perfect day for an amazing couple. xoxo Love you guys!!!


~  Vendors ~

Venue: Pahala Plantation Cottages

Music: Foreseeable Futures

Hair & Makeup: Mara McMichael from Lilikoi Hair Studio

Catering: Aloha Mondays

Day of Coordinator & Florist: Kelsi

Bride’s Dress: Made by her mom!

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Christy & James are Chicago based but happily travel anywhere in the world that beautiful love stories take them!