Ocean's Edge: A Wedding at Waikoloa Village Resort
Westley Rowe was taken aback when the beautiful blonde he was admiring across the room winked at him. He quickly made his way to her table and spent the rest of the evening chatting with Amanda Cole and her sister. They kept in touch and eventually Westley persuaded Amanda to go on a date with him. It was the beginning of a lifetime romance that would lead to a destination wedding on the Big Island of Hawaii.
Westley was born on the Big Island and relocated to Oahu to pursue a career in technology, and Amanda accepted a position as a pediatric nurse there. When they first started dating, the two spent a lot of quality time with his family, and she was excited to take him to Chicago to meet her family and friends that summer. She loved showing him her favorite spots in the Windy City, so different from his quiet island life. Her dad must have been impressed with Westley, as he offered his season tickets to a Chicago White Sox game for them to enjoy one evening. Amanda says, “It was a great and important memory for me.”
After two years of dating, Westley asked Amanda’s parents for their daughter’s hand in marriage when they all visited Maui on vacation. With their blessing, he decided on New Year’s Eve at lovely Lanikai Beach. The second full moon in a calendar month on New Year’s Eve was a rare occurrence, so he wanted to take full advantage — it would literally be a once in a blue moon experience! They spent the afternoon lounging on the beach and enjoying the sunset while waiting for the anticipated moonrise. As the moon ascended into the sky beautifully reflecting off the waves, Westley proposed on bended knee presenting Amanda with a sparkling diamond ring.
"The Big Island is a magical place for us,” says Amanda. “Our trips are always filled with warm, carefree moments.” They flew to Hawaii in search of their perfect wedding venue and Westley suggested the romantic Hilton Waikoloa Village. As they entered the lobby, they realized a wedding was about to begin! As they watched it unfold, their choice was made. The luxury resort offered all the amenities for their guests to relax and enjoy – from luxurious suites and fabulous pools to breathtaking grounds and waterways. They would soon discover the resort’s experienced wedding staff would help them plan and deliver the wedding of their dreams.
The lure of Hawaii’s tropical setting assured their friends and family a perfect place to become acquainted. As self-appointed tour guides, the bride and groom spent lots of quality time with their loved ones, showing them the sights of Oahu and the Big Island, the highlight of which was renting three boats — a veritable “armada full of cousins and friends” — to the sandbar in the middle of Kaneohe Bay. An extravagant wedding shower was hosted by both the mothers and Amanda’s bridesmaids allowing the girls a time to reminisce and celebrate before the wedding. The rehearsal was held at the ceremony site, followed by a luncheon to acknowledge their special guests: the wedding party, parents and grandparents.
An understated classic, romantic wedding showcased the natural beauty and warm spirit of Hawaii’s Big Island among the cinematic setting of the Hilton Waikoloa. Amanda chose a color palette of dusty lilac, creamy white, blush and charcoal grey for the “soft, pretty” look she desired. The gorgeous bride wore a floor length mermaid gown with a sweetheart neckline and a grand train. Her shimmery cathedral length veil (a childhood dream) was custom-made to match her dress, both from Casablanca Bridal & Formals. Her blond hair was adorned with a Hawaiian gardenia bridal hair pin from the Midori Designs Etsy Shop. Her bridesmaids were lovely in flowing lilac gowns from David’s Bridal carrying white roses in contrast to Amanda’s bouquet of pink roses. The girls wore crystal teardrop earrings and silver cuff bracelets, gifts from the bride. Westley and his groomsmen were debonair in Jean Yves charcoal grey suits. In appreciation, he gifted them with engraved ipods. A Hawaiian guitarist serenaded the bride and her father as they walked down an aisle carpeted with white dendrobium orchids. Amanda recalls the look on her groom’s face when she made her entrance. Westley recalls, “The moment I saw Amanda in her wedding dress, it was like I was seeing her again for the first time. She out-shined the sun that day.”
Wedding coordinator Kristine Gancinia left no detail to chance in her preparation for the festivities. Lit with candles surrounded by pink roses and orchids, the Waikoloa ballroom had a dreamy, nostalgic feel with tea lights flickering from each table. One hundred attendees were treated to music by Frank Sinatra, Bobby Darin and Israel Kamakawiwo‘ole while feasting on delicacies from a Hawaiian style buffet. Later they all enjoyed the sweet three tier white wedding cake with lilikoi (passionfruit) buttercream icing topped by white ceramic lovebirds and decorated with phalaenopsis orchids. Young and old took to the dance floor as Tiger Jones Productions spun tunes to encourage the revelry. Amanda exclaims, “We wanted everyone to have a great time in great company, and to eat, drink and be merry. And that’s exactly what happened!”
Text by Carole Search