Nicole Redding and Michael Wilheim, whose wedding will be featured tonight on the TLC special Extreme I Do's, knew they wanted to do something big for their wedding, but only had a short time to plan it. "After we found out we were selected for the show, we only had 54 days to plan," Nicole says. "But when you have the right team and a clear vision, it can be seamless."
The Bay Area-based couple chose to wed in Hawaii, where they first met, but wanted to exchange I do's in an extreme location. Once they found a volcano overlooking the water, Nicole and Michael knew they found their venue. The pair worked with AaB Creates to plan an over-the-top ceremony followed by a reception at the Haiku Mill. Keep reading to see all of photos of the day, captured by Chris J. Evans Photography, and tune in to TLC tonight at 10pm to see the entire process unfold!
Nicole chose a strapless trumpet wedding dress from Alfred Angelo for her walk down the aisle. "I knew it was the one when I tried it on for the first time," she says. She completed her look with a bouquet of speckled mokara orchids, astilbe, roses, and native ferns.
Although Nicole told her bridesmaids they could chose any style Alfred Angelo gown they wanted in coral, each attendant loved the same knee-length number.
Michael and his groomsmen wore matching heather grey suits. While the groom chose a white tie, his attendants all wore coral bowties to match the bridesmaids.
Tying the knot on top of a volcano didn't come without its challenges. Namely, the venue didn't have a physical address, so guests gathered at a local vineyard and drove together to the ceremony site. But for Nicole, an extreme entrance was a must. She surprised her guests (and her parents!) by making her grand entrance in a helicopter. "I told my parents that the three of us were taking a helicopter right before the ceremony," Rachel remembers. "Their faces were priceless!"
But getting to the volcano wasn't the only aspect of the day that proved difficult. For AaB Creates, working against the rough terrain was certainly a challenge, but one that their team was up for. "Decorating for the ceremony was tough because the grounds were extremely rocky and there was no clearly delineated aisle," the planners say. "Luckily, nature gave us the best backdrop and so to work in the color scheme a bit more, we staked tiki rods into the ground and tied long ribbons in various shades of peach and gold onto them so they would blow in the wind."
Guests looked on as the couple exchanged personalized vows and, after Nicole and Michael were pronounced husband and wife, a traditional Hawaiian ukulele player performed.
After the ceremony, the party moved to Maui's beloved Haiku Mill for the reception. "We picked Haiku Mill because we love the Hawaiian Islands and the Haiku Sugar Mill was the first sugarcane mill in Hawaii," Nicole says. "Plus, we liked the idea that it was like Sleeping Beauty's castle since the mill was abandoned and gently decaying over the past 100 years." There, Nicole changed into a second wedding dress — this one, a beaded lace number with an open back, ruffled skirt, and illusion neckline.
Guests found their seating on an antique mirror that was transformed into a seating chart. Once inside, place cards made from calligraphed banana leafs were left on each place setting along the elegant, flower-topped tables.
AaB Creates brought in wooden tables and chairs that were decorated with taupe sequin runners, oversized French candlesticks, and mixed floral arrangements in shades of pink, white, and peach.
For dinner, the party dined on traditional Hawaiian breads, a farm salad, and short ribs. To compliment their tropical locale, Nicole and Michael created two signature cocktails. His, an Old Hawaiian, featured grilled pineapple and peaches, fresh pressed lemon, and bourbon while hers, the Perfect Pair, contained pear juice, fresh pressed lemon, pear liqueur, and vodka.
After Nicole and Michael shared their first dance to "At Last" by Etta James, the couple cut into their two-tiered ombré wedding cake. Beneath scalloped decorations, guests found red velvet and chocolate salted caramel layers.
The surprises weren't over yet, though, and Nicole snuck away from the party to slip into a knee-length dress (her third change of the evening!) for dancing. The dance floor was packed as the couple, their friends, and family all celebrated while their DJ played.
Ceremony Site: Volcano in Maui || Reception Venue: Haiku Mill || Wedding Planner: AaB Creates || Bride's Wedding Dresses: Alfred Angelo || Veil: Alfred Angelo || Shoes: Badgley Mischka || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Alfred Angelo || Groom's & Groomsmen's Attire: Selix Formalwear || Engagement Ring & Wedding Bands: Shane Co. || Florist: Teresa Sena || Seating Chart & Place Cards: Miss B Calligraphy || Ceremony Music: Ben DeLeon || Reception Music: Clarity Entertainment || Catering: Maui Executive Catering || Cake: Maui Sweet Cakes || Rentals: Signature Rentals; Set Maui; BBJ Linen || Photographer: Chris J. Evans Photography