Lisa & Carlos' runaway Hawaiian elopement wedding

By on Nov. 28th

The offbeat bride: Lisa, Nurse

Her offbeat partner: Carlos, IT&S.

Date and location of wedding: Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, Hawaii — October 2, 2011

What made our wedding offbeat: We were having issues within our wedding party, and suddenly it just wasn't working to have all the people from all of our different worlds together in the same room. When guests started arguing about our ceremony, Carlos and I just decided to leave everyone (and our wedding deposits) behind. We flew to Hawaii to get married alone.

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We had a friend from San Francisco fly there to help with the details and hired a photographer and hair/makeup person to help us. Then we ran around the island for seven days and saw all of Oahu.

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Tell us about the ceremony: It was at sunset on the back lawn of the Moana Surfrider, an old and very vintage-looking hotel. The waves were crashing in the background and the beach was public so a small group of people watched the ceremony.

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Our biggest challenge: Getting everything to Hawaii. We spent hours weighing our luggage to make sure we could get everything there but stay within our budget. I went into hair and makeup blindly since I didn't find someone to do the work until we got there. I had one and a half days once we got there to tie up loose ends. I just remained calm and accepted the good and the bad.

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My favorite moment: We each wrote our own vows since that was really important to me, and they turned out so great. Being alone made it so meaningful to us.

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My funniest moment: We used a CD player from the hotel for the ceremony and we weren't shown how to use it until minutes before the wedding. When the ceremony ended, the CD was set to start playing and it didn't. So Carlos left me at the altar, ran over, and started the CD, then ran back to me and we walked down the aisle.

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Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? My dress. I bought a dress and then had a seamstress try to give it a vintage Hollywood glamour look. I was really worried that it wouldn't look right with the material we used, but I loved it in the end.

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My advice for offbeat brides: To me, the photographer is much more important and rewarding in the end. Find just a few key elements that you love and add those to the wedding, don't stress too much about details.

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Have you been married before and if so, what did you do differently? This was my second marriage. At my first wedding, I did what other people wanted/expected of me. This time it was all about Carlos and me.

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What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? Getting caught up in too much "stuff" steals your attention from the reason why you're there. Also, take deep breaths and look around. The time flies and you'll want to remember everything that you can.

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Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

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