Perfect Hawaiian Wedding Venue

KayLi and Ruifeng’s Hawaiian wedding was a small and intimate affair that showcased their love, some serious DIY skills from Cheryl DeShon, and the beauty of the big island. Our venue was the Ohana Retreat just outside of Kona, HI. This lovely resort had comfortable accommodations, beautiful florals on every corner, and an entire plantation where guests could pick fruit! (I took full advantage of this BTW.) Additionally, the plantation roasts its own coffee and dark chocolate. I’m not lying when I say the dark chocolate was literally the best I’ve ever tasted and will go back just for the chocolate!

The Big Day

On Aug 4, KayLi’s family was up early to finish a week’s worth of preparations. Her aunt was putting the final touches on the flowers, her uncle was hard at work over the BBQ, and her sisters and bridesmaids were doing hair and makeup. By the time we were ready for the first look, the weather had turned overcast and muggy. (In just a week a hurricane would make landfall!) Yet we avoided rain and the heat didn’t even seem to phase KayLi and Ruifeng. They were too busy laughing and enjoying the moment to complain about the heat.

The ceremony had beautiful music provided by a local musician, Lito Arkangel and KayLi’s sister Rachael. The officiant included native Hawaiian traditions including hand binding, offering a Lays and of course, vows and ring exchange.  Once the ceremony was finished all the guests and family went to the main pavilion on the property for an amazing home-cooked dinner with multicultural roots. I loved the dumplings that Ruifeng’s mom handmade as well as the kabobs! Just before sunset KayLi, Ruifeng, and I went down to the beach just across from the Ohana Retreat for a few sunset photos. This was a perfect way to end a beautiful and romantic day.

Congrats again to all of the members of the DeShon and Wang families! Thank you for sharing your joy with me.


Here are a few notes from the bride about their amazing DIY Hawaiian Wedding

  • Where did you get your wedding dress and who designed it? Bellevue Bridal, Essense of Australia
  • Where did you get your suit/tux and who designed it? Shirt made by Cheryl DeShon
  • Where did you get your accessories? The hairpiece is from LaineeMeg, Leis from Lynn’s Leis
  • Where did you find your wedding party attire? Shirts and Sandals were from Tommy Bahama for the guys, Dresses for girls were from DC Dress
  • Who was your florist? Debbie Tilger (Aunt) and Cheryl DeShon did the flowers
  • Who made your wedding cake and other sweets? DeShons
  • Who was your caterer? DeShons
  • Who was your DJ? Lito Arkangel – Ukelele/Singer, Rachel DeShon – Singer
  • Wedding Coordinator? Cheryl DeShon
  • Jeweler? Sholdt
  • Officiant? Kalei Nuuhiwa
  • What were some DIY projects you put together? Everything! 1000 cranes, place settings, banana bread, party favors, etc.
  • Why did you choose your venue? Lots of room for everyone to stay, with lots of choices for ceremony locations and the big pavilion for the reception.