Love and fun, gorgeous sunsets, first dance on roller skates, declarations of love from drones and beautiful pictures to remember made by Norman & Blake — it's all about Chloe and Duncan's wonderful and unique Hawaii wedding. The couple, sharing an interest in surfing and the rich national culture of the pure Paradise in the Pacific Ocean, celebrated their love holiday in perfect harmony, happiness, and vibrant colors. Read below, dive into Chloe and Duncan's story and learn fascinating details about the organization of this stunning event.
Tell us a little about yourselves. How did you meet? What do you do for a living? What are your hobbies?
We met on a dating app and had our first date at the Garret Bar in New York City in 2019. Duncan is a middle school Latin teacher and I’m a lawyer. When we first started talking, we realized we both shared a love for surfing and traveling, which is what eventually led us to relocate from NYC to Santa Barbara during the pandemic.
Can you share your engagement story?
We were in Kauai for my birthday and woke up early to hike the Nepali Coast Trail. Due to intense rainfall, we weren’t able to make it all the way to the famous waterfall. I noticed Duncan was more agitated than usual that we couldn’t make it there. We meandered back down the trail to Ke’e Beach. Duncan took out his GoPro so we could take a photo to “remember the hike” (even though we were both covered in mud) and then got down on one knee. No one was there besides a random chicken. I was totally shocked. He nailed it.
Where was your wedding? Why did you choose this venue?
Maui is a very special and sacred place to both of us. Duncan’s first job out of college was at Maui Prep, a school in Maui. He lived on the island for about a year, where he fell even more in love with surfing. I grew up going to an amazing all girls surf camp on Maui, called Maui Surfer Girls. My Maui surf camp friends became my family, and I've gone back to Maui every year since I was a kid. The island has an incredible energy — and being on Maui, with its local people, feels like a big hug. Our venue was a private plot of land in Haiku, a cooler and more lush side of the island, that our planner, Jolene of Laurel & Rose, discovered through her network. Our venue was full of native trees and plants, so it felt like a jungle playground, and we could feel the ocean breeze from the top of our ceremony site.
What was the concept behind your wedding, and how did you find your inspiration?
We are not fans of tradition, and we wanted our wedding to feel like an earthy, organic,beach/ jungle party. Given our love of adventure, the ocean, and affinity for warm island spirit, Maui was the perfect place to celebrate our lives coming together.
How long did it take to plan your wedding?
Did you encounter any challenges during the planning process? It took a little over a year to plan our wedding, but mostly because we wanted to go all out — with a skating rink, explosions of colorful florals, custom furniture, cocktails with local ingredients, and even a guest DJ! The entire process could not have been smoother or more fun! Jolene Peterson and the entire team at Laurel & Rose made the process so joyful that I seriously have considered leaving my law career behind for the wedding planning world ha.
How many guests did you have? And what was the seating arrangement at the wedding like?
We had about 165 guests, which is a great turn out, given how far Maui is from the East Coast and Europe (my sister lives in Berlin, and two of my best friends live in London). The seating was totally open, with nothing assigned, besides a reserved VIP table for our immediate family. I wanted our guests to float between tables, connect with old friends and new, and feel free to land wherever they felt comfortable.
Tell us about your outfits. How many different styles have you tried?
I am really not fancy or fussy, so finding my dresses was pretty straightforward and practical! I have always adored the designer Ines Di Santo. Her dresses are clean and so flattering. I wore one of her ivory silk wedding gowns, and then changed into a floral (somewhat sparkly) mini dress. I actually danced so hard at our wedding that I busted my wedding dress strap…but it was worth it. Duncan, on the other hand, has always known brands and designers he likes. He is way more knowledgeable of fashion and knew he wanted to wear something on the higher end. He wore a tan linen Brunello Cucinelli suit that fit him perfectly. It was breathtaking.
What was your first dance song? Did you choreograph or improvise?
Our first “dance” was actually on rollerblades! We entered the skating rink and did a little skate routine to Fleetwood Mac’s 'Everywhere'. We practiced a few moves a couple times in our driveway in Santa Barbara a few days before we flew to Maui. Our first skate was hilarious and perfectly imperfect. After the dance, all of our guests joined us on the roller rink!
Did you have any special performances or entertainment?
Duncan’s friend, Tolga Dogan, an amazing DJ in New York, dj’d for most of our wedding, including the late night silent disco. We also had performer Austin Millz perform as a guest DJ. He’s taken over Instagram reels and TikTok, so it was so cool to have him play songs we recognized while we were skating or dancing!
What was the most memorable moment from your wedding day?
When Duncan and I got back to our hotel that night, we sat at our dining room table for a few seconds in total silence. It was the first time we had really been still and could soak up everything. We both started crying like babies! We were so overwhelmed by all of the love and happiness we felt that day. That moment will always be the most special to me.
Are there any vendors that you would like to tell us a little more about?
Nearly all of our vendors were local to Maui. It was so important to us to honor the beauty and history of the island by celebrating local vendors’ work. My make-up artist, Meili (from Meili Autumn Beauty) is incredible. Not only did she make me feel confident and gorgeous (since I am someone who usually never wears makeup), she also guided me with a short meditation just before I walked down the aisle. It was spiritual…she is literally magical. I also have to shout out Rachel Smith. This woman created the most stunning (and all native) flower arrangements and bouquets I have ever seen. She was climbing trees, going deep into brush. She created this epic “love tunnel” of hot pink flowers that the guests entered from cocktail hour to the reception area. She literally blew my mind.
Were there any national/religious traditions at your wedding, and how did you implement them?
On Friday night at our welcome party, guests were encouraged to choose a handmade lei from Hawai’i Flora + Fauna. Leis in Hawaii symbolize love, celebration, and the welcoming spirit of aloha.
Did you have any special or unique elements (such as a signature cocktail or a fragrance) at your wedding?
Oh, did we ever! The morning of our wedding, we organized a big surf session at Launiopoko in Lahaina. Many of our friends and family members joined. My camp director Dustin from Maui Surfer Girls brought extra boards, and we all got to ride waves together. Some of us even wore costumes. It was the happiest, coolest way to start our wedding day. And now, given all that Lahaina and its people have lost in the devastating fires, Duncan and I are even more grateful that we could share that beautiful part of Maui with our loved ones. Also, it goes without saying that our custom built skate rink was the absolute highlight of our wedding. It worked as an ice breaker, serving as a way to cruise and take a break from the dance floor, but also was where everyone wanted to gather and laugh! Roller Skating kind of just unites people, you know?
What advice would you give to couples who are currently planning their wedding?
My best advice is to find a planner you can fully trust and put all of your faith in. Jolene at Laurel and Rose celebrated my visions and ideas, and allowed us to make our wedding so authentically us. She literally can make anything happen. Through the process, she has become one of my close friends, and I’m just insanely grateful.
Venue: Haiku Ranch
Wedding Cake: Happy Happy Joie Joie
Ceremony Music: @alikasmusic
Silent Disco: @kckentertainment
Drone Show: @skyelementsdrones
Hair and Makeup: @meiliauttumnbeauty & @mauimakeuparttistry
Paper Goods: @emerence.depotesta
Reception Music: @tolga.wav
Rentals: @accelrentals & @refineryrentalshawaii & @setmaui