One Couple's Intimate Cliffside Wedding in Hawaii
It may not be a traditional pickup line. But when Eryck Quesada asked Rebecca Arthurs, "What have you learned from God lately?" on a dating app in 2016, she knew she'd found someone as serious about faith as she was. Because she lived in Kona (on the Big Island), and Eryck on Maui, their courtship—including long, spiritual conversations—played out over many hours of FaceTime before they met in person, in Waikiki. "By the second time we met, I was thinking about marrying her," he says.
Eryck, now a part-time pastor as well as a web designer and photographer, proposed after just four months, on a trip to New Zealand. Strong winds derailed his plan to pop the question on a Valentine's Day sunrise hot-air-balloon ride. But two days later, just before a flight over Queenstown, all systems were go. Of course, she said yes.
Knowing sources were scarce back home, Rebecca began her wedding dress search on that very trip. But her job as a wedding photographer posed a unique challenge. "I'd photographed so many weddings that each dress I tried on reminded me of a particular bride." Amazingly, she found the one that would become her dream gown just a few days post-proposal, in Auckland. The boutique was able to remake the style to fit Rebecca's vision in three days, and she carried it home.
For the wedding itself, the couple pictured a small, intimate celebration and on Instagram found their ideal setting: Hale Kukui Orchard, with its stunning cliff views of the Waipi'o Valley, lush foliage, fruit trees, and black-sand beaches below. On May 16, 2017, Rebecca's pastor married the pair in front of just 30 guests, in a traditional Christian ceremony that included communion and friends singing, playing guitars, and leading the worship song "Build My Life." Traditional Hawaiian leis were presented to the couple's parents. A homey vibe permeated the whole day, with mismatched chairs and rugs (some loaned by pals), local fruit and flowers on the tables, and wedding cakes that were lovingly crafted by Rebecca's sister.
A sprinkle of rain fell on the ceremony, but no one minded. "Every time something significant has happened to me, it has rained," says Rebecca. "So that was perfect too."
The couple's friend Savannah Rose FitzGerald crafted the invitations with a wash of indigo ink, copper detail, and hand-lettering.
Dressed in Style
The First Look
The couple's first glimpses of each other was to take place before the ceremony, on the black sand beach. To navigate the steep terrain, Eryck was blindfolded and driven down in a 4x4 truck by Rebecca's father.
Best Foot Forward
"We wanted the eclectic feeling of the mismatched furniture to feel homey underneath the sky," says Rebecca. Bliss in Bloom dressed up the seating with flowers.
The Young Attendants
Nephews and nieces were ring bearers and flower girls. The girls tossed white garden-rose petals.
Tying the Knot
At the ceremony, the couple wanted the cliff to feature prominently. So pampas grass and flowers were arranged to complement the setting.
Love Through the Years
Eryck stands with his parents who've been married for 47-years. "We didn't have a traditional bridal party, so asked family members to dress in blue—our wedding color," he says.
Fruit and Flowers
Bundles of geraniums, roses, cymbidium, eucalyptus, and blue viburnum berries gave the arrangements a wild, unstructured look.
Guests' plates were adorned with fruit that Rebecca chose from the local farmers' market and the property's orchards, to represent the sweetness and goodness of life.
A Cliffside Meal
Dinner was served at one long table set beneath a tree strung with lanterns and lights.
Cutting a Rug
Eryck and Rebecca shared first dances with their parents on an antique-carpet "dance floor."
The sunset over the water didn't disappoint.
The Wedding Cake
Rebecca's sister, Beth, created a delicious vanilla almond cake with lilikoi filling and Swiss meringue buttercream frosting.
Location, Hale Kukui Orchard
Event planning, flowers, and design, Bliss in Bloom
Catering, The Strawberry Patch Hawaii
Photography, Perry Vaile
Videography, Andrew James Abajian
Officiant, Pastor Ryan Burns
Stationery, Savannah Rose FitzGerald
Rentals, Hawaii Island Events
Hair and makeup, Reghan Campbell Rojas
Flower-girl dresses, Rainey's Closet
Groom's suit, J.Crew
Groom's bow tie, The Tie Bar