Casual, Budget, Destination Wedding in Hawaii

Aloha Zoe Photography

July 8, 2020

Brendan and Cheyanne come from Reno, Nevada which, by their own admission, is known for it’s super-speedy drive thru weddings and wild nightlife. “This didn’t really fit us,” explained Cheyanne. “We wanted something small and intimate, and we wanted to take our time and make it special in our own way. We love to travel together, and I’ve always been totally drawn to the ocean, so we decided on Hawaii.”

It was also important to the couple not to take on any debt for their wedding, and so spent just $5,000 on their day. “I think we brought a new meaning to ‘Ballin’ on a Budget’”, said the bride. “By focusing on each other, and our small number of guests, we created something super intimate. It wasn’t about materialism, or how much the dress cost, or how fancy the venue was. We did everything we wanted to do, no more no less.”

They spent a week on the island of Kauai with their guests and really made the most of their time together, booking activities around the island. Their biggest expense was lodging – the couple didn’t want anyone to feel like they couldn’t come due to finances so they paid for their non-family guests to stay in a cute AirBNB near the beach.

“We saved a LOT of money by cutting out pretty much everything that we deemed non-essential. No venue, no DJ, no catering (but we did go have dinner after the ceremony), small guest list, no paper invites, no shoes, I did my own makeup and spent like $50 on my dress. All of my jewellery was borrowed. I think a lot of what people spend money on at their wedding is not really necessary… we figured, we’re in Hawaii, we have nobody to impress, let’s just do whatever we want to do!”

They started off their day at the local Hindu monastery for meditation and prayer to celebrate Cheyanne’s faith. In the afternoon, they met on the beach in Kauai for their ceremony. “We gathered together by the water and had a quiet and quick ceremony. My favourite part was when we were all asked to close our eyes, listen to the ocean together and meditate. Brendan and I basically cried the whole time. We were so happy to be in the moment and excited to start planning our lives together. After the ceremony, we were surprised with bubble blowing and champagne, then walked to a cliff top overlooking the ocean to take photos and watch the sunset.”

“Don’t worry about impressing other people. You don’t need to DIY 500 gorgeous quaint little party favours if you don’t want to. You don’t have to put on a show for others, or invite people you don’t like. Heck, you don’t even have to wear shoes… It’s your moment, and the people you share it with will be happy just to share it with you.”