Taliaferro Jones (Tali, for short), 32, always knew she'd marry on Kauai. Her parents honeymooned there; her dad, Robert Trent Jones Jr., designed the island's first golf course; and the family has vacationed at its Kauai home ever since. But becoming engaged to British transplant Simon Jennings, 39, put a hiccup in her plans.
"Traveling to Hawaii seemed a lot to ask of Simon's side of the family," Tali says. So the couple, who live in Toronto, scouted West Coast locations instead—but came up short. Simon picks up the story: "After we spent a few days in Northern California, Tali flew to Kauai with her mom for a visit, while I went home and met up with my best man. And the first thing I said to him was, 'You'd better start saving, because we're getting married in Kauai.'" And, to much delight, they did.
For their August vows, Hawaiian chants set a contemplative mood as Tali and Simon exchanged vows. But the groom saved his most poignant words for the reception at the Wilcox Estate, former home of a missionary family, where he recited a poem to his new bride in a voice as caressing as the trade winds. Spiritual though the wedding was, it wasn't what you'd call quiet: Defying the town's noise curfew, the couple asked their R&B band to keep the tunes coming until the police showed up. Which they did, sending smiling guests into the warm Hawaiian night. —Sally Kilbridge
Learn from Tali and Simon
Go With Your Passion: "I adore water, and we used watery motifs throughout the wedding." Tali's "Take the Plunge" theme inspired the water bubbles on the invitations and the program illustration.
End on A Sweet Note: "The menu was completely delicious, but our favorite part was the brownies and milk we served after the cake, in honor of our first meeting over a friend's famous triple-fudge brownies."
Ceremony and Reception Site
Kauikeolani Estate, 888-900-1454, hanaleiland.com
Cinque, Boomer, 416-598-0013
Blossoms Kauai, 808-639-7550, blossomskauai.com
I Do Weddings, 808-827-8123, idoweddingskauai.com
Kauai Cuisine, 808-822-3994, kauaicuisine.com
Icing on the Cake, 808-823-1210, icingonthecakekauai.com
Christiaan Phleger and Lexi Mackenzie, christiaanphleger.com