Time-honored Traditions

Remember the time-honored wedding tradition of incorporating ‘something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue’ into the wedding, along with ‘a sixpence’ placed in the bride’s shoe for prosperity. These resonant traditions breathe life into a wedding day, enriching the vows with a deeper sense of blessing and purpose. This was evident at Seanna and Eriq’s Maui wedding, where these age-old traditions and unique family customs added a profound depth to their love and commitment.

The couple’s romantic journey was traced from Eriq’s proposal on the Crystal Cove coastline of Newport Beach to their wedding venue at Gather in Maui in Wailea. Nestled in the heart of Maui, the breathtaking vistas spanning from the majestic Haleakala to the azure depths of the Pacific Ocean provided a familiar backdrop to their union, where they overlook the shoreline where Seanna’s parents once exchanged vows. The charm of the location complemented their ceremony, adding a fine layer of sentiment to their celebration. As their chosen Maui wedding photographer on this balmy Maui day, under swaying Kona wind-kissed palm trees, I remained alert to nature’s sudden shifts, catering to the bright, windy weather that could potentially affect the bride’s portrait shots.

The atmosphere within The Palms Condo in Wailea emanated anticipation as nostalgic 90’s tunes filled the bridal suite, while sea turtles graced the television screen in the groom’s suite. Seanna spent the afternoon with her cherished female companions, sipping sparkling champagne and indulging in delectable fruits and pastries while preparing for the ceremony. Admiring from a nearby window, she watched with awe the expertise of Jo Ann Iha and her team as they performed their beauty mastery on the entourage. Meanwhile, Eriq and his groomsmen enjoyed Hawaiian poke and chilled beers in relaxed camaraderie.

Once Seanna donned her elegant streamlined ivory gown, her mother reminisced about her own Wailea wedding whilst perfecting the lavish bow on her daughter’s dress. Memories intermingled with expectations as Seanna’s pearl clustered earrings were being fastened and she placed on her ‘something old’, a treasured family heirloom – a single strand of pearl necklace, passed down through generations. Her wish for photographs of her groom’s cologne with her pearl necklace was heartening, a hint of something personal and unique for me to capture. A vibrant blue sapphire and pearl ring was a stunning ‘something blue’ that she added.  The bride, attired in her ‘something new’ wedding gown and white leather-banded slippers, had no place to tuck away ‘a sixpence in her shoe’. Thus, the playing of the song ‘Kiss Me’ by Sixpence None the Richer added a playful twist to this tradition. My camera lens captured these intricacies, keeping these precious moments forever. 

Bridal Elegance

Newer traditions were upheld with the emotionally stirring first looks between the father and daughter, as well as the groom. The tears in Seanna’s father’s eyes at the sight of his radiant daughter, as a blushing bride, reflected a profound love. I fought off my own tears during this poignant moment. Seanna then went to meet her groom outside, who was waiting on a secluded staircase framed by sleek architecture and dancing palm and monstera leaves. Their first look was a passionate exchange of heartfelt compliments, against the backdrop of an intimate tropical setting. Bold floral print socks added a touch of whimsy to Eriq’s attire as the couple took the opportunity to revel in their shared joy. Returning to the suite, the picturesque window provided the perfect setting for some light-hearted family photos with the bride and groom. 

Rustic Beauty

When Seanna arrived at the wedding ceremony site at Gather In Maui, the ‘something borrowed’ – a veil from her cousin, was elegantly draped across her flowing curls. The family’s ceremonial traditions poetically unfolded as the ukulele’s Hawaiian melody permeated the air, signaling the commencement outside at The Wedding Knoll. The Maui sky was pleasingly bright and warm with a gentle breeze flowing through. As Eriq and Seanna exchanged vows in front of their familiar officiant, the groom's closest friend, they felt an overflow of love and support from their loved ones witnessing their union. Sealing the moment with a kiss followed by a graceful twirl and dip – my camera lens captured every treasured moment.

Glamourous Traditions

In Japanese culture, there are three distinct ways to express, “I love you”; each intended for the relationship’s depth. Interestingly, Eriq mirrored this tradition in his actions, expressing his profound love for Seanna through three gestures – lifting her to symbolize support, twirling her in admiration and dipping her back with a kiss to display his profound affection. You can truly sense their deep connection and honor for one another in their interactions. The captivating sunset provided a spectacular backdrop to capture the newlyweds basking in their joy and happiness as we took photos all around this tropical landscape.

A black and white photo of a bride posing by big doors at Gather In Maui
Bride holding bouquet behing the grooms head while looking at camera in Maui
Local Maui bride posing during golden hour at Gather In Maui
Groom lifting bride while posing during golden hour at Gather In Maui

Everlasting Grace

As the celebrations transitioned to the reception at Gather In Maui restaurant, the Exclusive Island Weddings team welcomed guests with a dazzling array of tropical florals delicately placed. The gleaming octopus artwork at the entrance, a symbol of adaptability and transformation in Japanese culture, seemed apt for the occasion – embodying the spirit of change and new beginnings. The joy of the newlyweds, Mr. and Mrs. Eriq Plechot, overflowed as they partook in their first dance and offered words of gratitude to their guests. This day of celebration was heightened with a gift of the bridal bouquet given to the maid-of-honor, the sister of the bride continuing a cherished family tradition. Alas, a banzai toast by the bride’s cousins capped off the ceremony, leading to an evening filled with warm laughter, dancing, and heartfelt aloha. This captivating day of tradition-infused elegance lingered as an everlasting memory, epitomizing the grace and beauty of Seanna and Eriq’s Wailea wedding. 

Wedding reception gifts place on tables at Gather In Maui
Wedding reception details of tables at Gather In Maui
A round table setup during wedding reception at Gather In Maui
Gather In Maui workers serving guests appetizers during cocktail hour
The bride and groom table during wedding reception at Gather In Maui
Two groomsmen toasting to the groom at the bar at Gather In Maui
Two elderly ladies toasting to the bride and groom at Gather IN Maui
Bride and groom walking in during wedding reception at Gather in Maui
Bride and groom dancing on the dance floor for their first dance
Mother of bride toasting to the newly wed couple
Bride and groom toasting during the Banzai toast during the wedding reception at Gather In Maui
Bride and groom cutting the cake during the wedding reception at Gather In Maui
Bride and groom feeding each other cake during the cake cutting at Gather In Maui
Guests dancing on the dancefloor during the wedding at Gather In Maui
A groomsman dancing on the dance floor to at Gather In Maui
A collage featuring a bride's parents getting married and picture of her and het husband recently married

Sunset Love: Wailea Memories

Photographing Seanna and Eriq during their post-wedding photoshoot in Wailea was a magical experience. The golden hues of the setting sun painted the sky as the couple strolled hand in hand along the breathtaking beach. Amidst the soft whispers of the waves, we decided to recreate a cherished moment from Seanna's parents' wedding photo, which held deep sentimental value for her. The joyous laughter and affectionate glances shared between Seanna and Eriq made every frame come alive, capturing their love in its purest form. As the sun dipped below the horizon, casting a warm glow on the couple, I couldn't help but feel honored to be a part of their special day and to immortalize these unforgettable moments in photographs that they will cherish for a lifetime.

Bride and groom standing on a beach holding each other in Maui
A bride posing in her wedding dress on a rocky beach in Maui
A groom lifting his bride during golden hour on a beach in Maui
A groom looking back at his bride standing on a beach during sunset

Thank You,

Seanna & Eriq for choosing to work with me. I don't take my time with my clients lightly. The months we shared communicating and getting to know each other helped to make your wedding day such a success. I loved getting to know your story of how you both got together and the decisions you made that lead you to your wedding day. Your family and friends were such a joy to be around and they literally KILLED it on the dance floor! A 10-hour wedding is a lot to commit to and I honestly feel like it was the perfect amount of time to complete your day through photography. There are sooo many moments that have easily become some of my favorite memories as a wedding photographer. Thank you for trusting me to capture what you both envisioned. I hope to work with you both in the future. Best of luck in your new chapter together! - Mahalo, Aaron Najera

Photography: Aaron Najera Photography

Coordination: Exclusive Island Weddings

Venue: Gather In Maui

DJ & Entertainment: Next Level Entertainment

HMU: Jo Ann Iha