Hawaii Wedding: Claudette & Dave

Categories Photography + Real Weddings

Claudette & Dave’s February 29, 2012 Hawaii Wedding {yes, a Leap Year}

Brought to us by Benn Brown of Blue Sky Photography, we’re thrilled to feature Claudette and Dave’s Hawaii wedding–a dream destination on the jaw-dropping Mauna Kea beach on the Big Island. Benn brilliantly captures not only the magical moments of Claudette and Dave’s big day, but also the flawless, colorful and raw beauty that is Hawaii itself. Surrounded by family, friends and a picturesque landscape, be inspired by Claudette and Dave’s laid-back yet elegant, sentimental wedding style–in paradise!

About the couple: Claudette, a wedding planner, is from the United States while Dave, a port operations manager, is from Australia. They reside in Australia and love every minute of it.

Hawaii wedding photography


Venue/Location: Mauna Kea Beach Hotel on the west coast of the Big Island
Photographer: Benn Brown, owner of Blue Sky Photography {based in Cairns, Australia}


Hawaii wedding photography


About the wedding

To make the wedding the most relaxed it could be, we decided on Hawaii for the big day. We went there for a holiday at Christmas with my family a few years before and just loved the laid back style and the amazing scenery that the Big Island has to offer. We’re really into traveling so we knew that a destination was our best option, and the added bonus that all of our friends and family can get together and have one massive holiday!


Hawaii wedding photography

lace wedding dress

Hawaii wedding photography

Hawaii maui wedding

Hawaii wedding photography

Hawaii real wedding

Hawaii wedding photography

Hawaii wedding

Hawaii wedding photography

Hawaii wedding ceremony

Hawaii wedding photography

Hawaii wedding photography


Highlights of the day:

  • The Anthem Battle.  Journey vs. Khe San (Australian’s version of Journey). We had Dave and I out there belting out the words to both and the confused look on the face of the opposing nation was priceless!
  • My dress.  I used the lace from my mom’s dress to make the top of mine and some of my father ashes (he passed away a few years ago) was tucked into my bouquet. We released him privately a few days after the ceremony.  The shell of my mother’s dress I had altered to fit me for the rehearsal.
  • Our friends.  Dave and I have been fortunate to be friends with many people and who are all important to our lives. It was beautiful to see girls I lived in France with getting along so well with my friends in Cairns.
  • Our families.  They have actually gotten so close, Dave’s mom is coming with us to Michigan for Christmas this year!!
  • Simplicity. We arranged a bus service from an area where everyone was staying (Waikoloa Beach Resort). It picked them up and took them home at the end of the night. We also rented an extra room and hired a babysitter so our guests could relax.

Hawaii wedding photography


How did you and Dave meet?

I came to Australia after graduating college (University of Florida) and planned on staying for 4 months and returning back to the states.  I came to Cairns a couple days after landing in Sydney and was quickly running out of funds so I landed a job bar-tending a corporate tent at the Cairns Amateurs, the city’s largest horse races of the year. The tent I was assigned to was Dave’s social club’s tent …  We went for drinks a couple of times and started dating shortly after.

Since my visa was expiring, I was going back to the states to decide if I would leave everything I knew and move to Australia for a year, or stay and go on the traditional path. Well, Dave and his friend changed their holiday plans to come to the states at Christmas and Dave came to my Mom’s house for a few days. He bought me a one way ticket to Cairns and was pretty sure that I wasn’t going to come back. I nearly didn’t because of snow storms and getting stuck in elevators, but I made it and haven’t looked back since.


Hawaii wedding photography

Hawaii wedding photography

Hawaii wedding photography

Hawaii real wedding photography


The reception was under large rain trees coated in Christmas lights and paper lanterns.  The food was all buffet and traditional Luau food–we even included the one thing Dave wanted most–a pig! The little guy was cooked in the ground and there was an Imu ceremony to bring it to the table to be served.


Hawaii wedding photography

Hawaii wedding photography

Hawaii wedding photography

Hawaii photography


Fun fact about the Best Man 

Did you notice that the Best Man is Steven Bradbury? Steven is the Australian short track speed skater who won the Olympic Gold in 2002, when everyone else fell over except for him! Do you remember? Unbelievable! Have a look here to relive that incredible race.

Congratulations Dave and Claudette. Thanks so much for sharing your lovely day with us. We wish you many blessings to come and many more holidays that bring your families together!

Drop by Benn’s blog here to see lots more loveliness from Dave and Claudette’s wedding.

  • http://twitter.com/jendaniels jendaniels

    Beautiful pictures! And I love her shoes!

  • gina

    what an absolutely BEAUTIFUL love story. I wanted to read more.
    they both have inviting smiles.
    ~ congratulations ~

  • Rach

    Love the pops of bright blue! I’m always a fan of anything blue. :) What a magical reception setup, too…simply stunning. Congrats Dave and Claudette!

  • Amy

    Just stunning and with so many intimate details

  • Bridal Sassique

    Just have captured the best moments! Clean, blue is so fresh to see in the eyes! And the violet bouquet, gorgeous! – Congratulations!

  • Benn Brown

    This was such a great wedding to photograph!! Coming all the way from Australia to photograph Hawaii is probably a once in a lifetime for me. The wedding party and guests were all amazing people and the Mauna Kea was a dream to shoot at! A big thanks to all of the people who made it such a great experience:)

  • reantan

    Amazing marriage…..that i had seen ever, the same thing will be experience by Hostelworld byron bay , lovely arrangement, i did experienced…