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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

North Shore Hawaii Wedding :: Ricky & Nozomi

The most divine breeze I've ever felt rustled through the tropical leaves as the graceful hands of Malea danced a hula blessing over Ricky and Nozomi. We were on the edge of Loulu Palm Estate on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii with Pacific waves crashing onto the sand before us. The ceremony began with the sound of conch shell blown to all four directions. Just a few beaches down the coast, a surfing competition was drawing flocks of spectators but here we were on this small beach, in perfect privacy, watching Ricky and Nozomi performing Hawaiian wedding rituals, bringing themselves to one another to be united into a family. 
Ricky and Nozomi have both spent so much time in here and grown so fond of Hawaii, it was a complete no-brainer where they were going to have their wedding. Plus, Hawaii was a beautiful meeting ground for their families to come together for a week of celebration. Watching their two cultures, Japanese & American (Seattle), merge together was lovely and very entertaining. Ricky and Nozomi had prepared an entire cheat-sheet of Japanese-American phrases & translations for the guests! I didn't have much time to practice on the day but I had researched ahead of time how to say "Say Cheese" in Japanese! ;)
I'm so obsessed with the gorgeous Hawaiian plants. They made amazing wedding "decorations" all around the estate. I photographed them all day long and I had to resist publishing all my flower pictures  in this blog post — perhaps they'll win their very own post in the near future!
Oh, Nozomi...such a beauty.
Ricky picked out Nozomi's bridal shoes. :D Super sweet!
Barefoot (or nearly barefoot) wedding celebrations make me so happy! 
Look who it is?! Those goofy peeps are my parents! I love shooting weddings that they're invited to because 1. I get to spend time with them, 2. They get to see me doing my ninja camera skillz (a.k.a. they don't see me at all! lol) 3. They lend a helping hand when needed (my mom packs me wedding photography survival kits the morning of a wedding!) and 4. They're super fun to photograph! Never a dull moment with those two!
Witnessing a Hawaiian wedding for the first time was fascinating. My favourite thing about the whole ceremony was how each tradition felt so rooted to nature. I think this made the whole celebration seem so wholesome and genuine — we could all sense that a true bond had been made between them.
Nozomi's adorable niece doesn't like being photographed so I made it my mission all day long to try and catch her looking cute. :)
This was my first time every photographing tropical light! I am head-over-heels in LOVE! The last wedding I photographed was in Scotland and let me tell ya.... the "sunshine" up there is SO DIFFERENT and I had NO idea just how different until now. It's seriously like I've seen light, real glorious golden light, for the first time and oh my it's divine. I get it now. :)
Hooray! These two are so cute.
In Hawaii, there is a rainbow everyday. On Rick & Nozomi's wedding day, the pot of gold was right smack dab in the middle of our celebrations! Perfecto!
The golden sunlight made way for a purple haze that faded into a crisp black starlit nightsky, beneath which we danced to the guitar, swayed with the hula, gawked at a firedancer, and went crazy with Karaoke (special performance by my dad — LOVED this!)

Thank you so much Rick & Nozomi for taking me with you on your special adventure to the North Shore! I LOVED every minute of it and I can't wait to celebrate there again...hopefully with you! Congratulations on big celebrations and little surprises ;) Happy Thanksgiving & Lots of love, xoxo Chamonix