A Green-and-White Luau-Inspired Wedding
Madeline and Tony
On New Year's Eve of 2005, Madeline Trait and Tony Lee first met at a mutual friend's party in San Francisco. The pair came in contact again about a year later when one sneaky friend decided to play matchmaker. Tony was casually invited to a beach house Madeline was renting for a little getaway with friends. That was the turning point and where the relationship really kicked off. Tony began visiting Madeline in San Francisco and they were in constant communication until finally, he moved to be with her in 2007. Seven years later, on one special morning in September of 2014, Tony woke up Madeline to propose, with the help of their loveable pooch, Gus. With their pup holding the ring box around his collar, Tony asked Madeline to be his wife.
Seeing that Tony's family is Hawaiian, and the pair both share a love for the tropical locale, a destination wedding on the island of Maui was a simple choice. On April 18, 2015, 90 of the couple's dearest friends and family traveled to Makawao, Hawaii, to witness the duo's nuptials at Hui No'Eau, an arts center that's off the beaten path. Inspired by the natural beauty of the destination, the couple created a weekend full of local traditions. The pair's big day held the true spirit of Aloha, incorporating a blessing by a Hawaiian elder, a classic luau dinner, and fresh pineapples for décor. From the ceremony against a lush landscape, to dancing into the night under a green-lantern lit tent, Madeline and Tony's wedding day was rejoiced in true island style. And with the bride being an artist and interior designer, it was creative every step of the way.
The Bridal Party
Madeline and Tony's casually clad bridal party included Madeline's two sisters, Tony's brother, and best friend. Madeline wore a sequined Theia dress.
Hui No'Eau's expansive property provided a lush green locale for the late afternoon ceremony.
Inspired by the island's native plants, Madeline designed the programs with imagery resembling the fauna of the tropical surroundings. The bride printed her work on paper using her own inkjet printer.
Madeline's little niece and nephew made for the sweetest start to the couple's ceremony. (The flower girl wore a vintage white dress that Madeline wore as a child at her aunt's wedding!)
Rabbi Brian worked closely with Madeline and Tony to craft a ceremony unique to the duo. The service incorporated a Quaker tradition in which seven friends wrote and read blessings for the couple regarding laughter, love, and friendship.
Generations of Love
In attendance were Madeline's 80-year-old grandparents from Long Beach, California. The duo shared a sweet embrace at the ceremony, also celebrating in their love of nearly 70 years.
The joyous newlyweds recessed to a Hawaiian song "Ku'u Hoa."
Everyone in attendance paused for a group photo before heading to the ukulele-accompanied cocktail hour.
The Seating Chart
Madeline created a banner with the guests' names for the seating chart—unfortunately, the wind meant it couldn't be hung. However, the chart still served its purpose and made for a theme-fitting piece of décor.
The reception was held under a large white tent housing colorful green and white paper lanterns, white tables with DIY details by the bride, and a dance floor. "I dyed and block-printed linen napkins and then made runners with green fabric and block-printed those as well," says Madeline.
Wood cut outs identified the tables, using various Hawaiian plants and flowers instead of typical numbers. In addition to floating candles the tables boasted, Hawaiian pineapples, which were later turned into a sweet snack for guests with three dipping sauces—li hing, honey with chili pepper flakes, and Hawaiian salt.
Postcard Guest Book
Instead of a traditional guestbook, attendees wrote notes on postcards addressed to the newlyweds, which were mailed home by their planner post-wedding.
The buffet-style feast was full of Hawaiian delicacies—including pupus of mini spam wasabi, ahi poke cups, macadamia nut crusted fish, marinated short ribs, poi, and fried rice.
The passionfruit-soaked white cake with buttercream frosting, adorned with island blooms and a custom topper, made for a tropical treat. Madeline has been making cake toppers for nearly three years and couldn't resist creating her own wooden laser-cut piece.
Photography: Erica Chan Photography
Location: Hui No'Eau
Event planning, Catering, Cake, and Lighting: Celebrations Maui
Flowers: Wildheart Flowers
Officiant: Rabbi Brian
Stationery and Calligraphy: Madeline Trait
Music: DJ Miss Jackson
Hair and Makeup: Mira Carmen
Shoes: Rebecca Minkoff
Bride's Jewelry: Love and Luxe
Groom's Shirt: Sig Zane