Seven years ago I (Jess) was sitting at Ke’iki beach with Bethany and telling her about “this guy” I had just started dating the day before. We soaked up the island sunshine while I told her the entire story of how James and I met, became best friends, kissed, and then started dating (yes in that order). We spent the week celebrating our dear friends Chris & Des as they got married on the North Shore and we ate our hearts out with poke, shave ice, acai bowls, and snorkeling at every opportunity we got! The following year, James and I got to go to the North Shore together, just days after we got engaged, and we fell in love with this area of the world! We now have family there, and spend as much time there as possible. The North Shore will always be a special place for us, and we were absolutely thrilled when Jon and Bethany asked us to photograph their Oahu wedding at Kualoa Ranch.
Kuala Ranch has been used to film numerous films, such as Jurassic Park, Jurassic World, Lost, 50 First Dates, Hawaii Five-O, Along Came Polly, and so many more. It’s one of the most breathtaking locations we’ve ever experienced. Jon and his brother spent the week leading up to the wedding catching the fish that ended up being cooked for the wedding! How unreal is that?!
The weather the day of the wedding could not have been more perfect. The girls got ready and we were blown away by Bethany’s dress. Bethany’s dress was designed by her uncle Kevan Hall who is a red carpet celebrity dress designer. It was GORGEOUS! When Bethany came out in her dress for the first look, Jon had the best reaction. He did a little dance with his hands because he was so excited to see his beautiful bride. His first look reaction was one of our favorites. It was such a special moment to get to capture!
The ceremony was a beautiful reflection of Jon and Bethany’s love, friendship, and faith. One of our favorite lines from the ceremony was when the officiant described the way they live out their faith by saying, “You both have a way that is filled with laughter and joy even in hard times. You have a way that changes the way we think about the Lord.” Wow wow wow. She went on to describe how they both are others focused rather than being focused on themselves and she described how their love is grounded on a strong friendship. We also loved when she described, “You are to seek each other’s good above your own. In marriage, you love each other just as you are and yet also believe in a process of sanctification. You’re going to encourage and build each other into all God has created you to be.” It was such an amazing depiction of what we have seen of Jon and Bethany’s relationship.
After the ceremony, everyone transitioned to the reception. One our favorite touches of the reception was that they incorporated one of their favorite drinks from a local restaurant. They love celebrating special occasions at a restaurant called Roy’s, and their favorite drink is Roy’s Hawaiian martini. They love it so much they decided to make it for all of their guests at the wedding. It’s tropical and delicious, and truly the most incredible Hawaiian martini you could imagine. They also offered somewhere between seven and twelve HANDMADE desserts by family members. It was amazing.
During the speeches, Bethany’s sister talked about one of the quotes their Great Aunt would always say to Bethany growing up, “Timing is the Father’s business.” She went on to tell Jon how happy she was to have him for a brother and said, “I can’t think of anyone better who can take care of my sister and feed her chicken when she’s starting to get a little stir crazy. I’m so grateful that she married you.” The toasts were incredible and filled with humor, laughter, and tears. After the toasts, everyone headed to the dance floor.The dance floor was packed all night long because the bride and her 3 sisters are dancers, and we saw some of the best dance offs ever!
It was such an amazing weekend filled with celebration, starting with a venue walkthrough followed by a sunset catamaran cruise in Waikiki. Jon and Bethany’s wedding was stunning in every way and we loved getting to play a part in the weekend!