Come Away with Me

January 6, 2011

Pacific Weddings

The day before Justine Edwards- Miguel was to wed her high school sweetheart Chad Godfrey on the beach in Hawaii, the stunning bride fell silent. “In all of the excitement I lost my voice,” she says. “I was able to mouth the words during our ceremony and tried to squeak out an 'I Do'!” The idea of hosting two wedding ceremonies in the same day—not to mention slipping into three bridal gowns—was all part of the fun for Justine and Chad. “We wanted the best of both worlds: a simple beach wedding and a grand ceremony at the Cathedral,” says the bride.

In the early morning light on August 7, 2010, an intimate ceremony commenced at Paiko Beach, a hidden strip of sand on Oahu’s southern shore. Justine says, “The beach itself is very small but that day the tide was the lowest I’ve ever seen it. It was such a blessing from God!” Justine’s longtime dream of getting married barefoot on the beach came true in an intimate ceremony officiated by Pastor Vince Tabudlo. The bride was effortlessly beautiful in a simple white shift dress carrying a bouquet of white lilies. Chad was a handsome groom in crisp white linen. Before their parents and church family, Justine and Chad were pronounced man and wife.

An island-casual wedding reception awaited guests at a private Balinese-style home along Oahu’s windward coast. Set amid the lush mountains of Ko‘olau Ridge, the home fronts the secluded Kaneohe Bay with views of Mokoli‘i in the backdrop, known as “Chinaman’s Hat” by the islanders. It was a fitting locale since the couple took a light- hearted cue from their favorite movie “50 First Dates” for the wedding party. Scenes from the blockbuster were actually filmed in Kaneohe Bay on Oahu’s North Shore.

Hawaii’s exotic flora and fauna provided a vivid canvas for the laid-back reception. Chinese paper lanterns were delicately strung between swaying palm trees on the oceanfront lawn. The bride wished to be completely surprised in terms of décor and opted to hand over all creative license to wedding designer Kanani Oury of Knockout Productions. “As long as I had Chad, my friends and family and the colors of the ocean, I knew I would love it!” Justine exclaims. Using the bride’s relaxed direction to incorporate a spectrum of colors inspired by the sea, Oury opted for a palette of turquoise blue and lime green. She kept the open-air reception simple and understated, using white roses interspersed with purple tropical flowers to make the arrangements pop. Colorful handwoven floor pillows provided a casual lounge area for the party- goers. The space was imbued with a sense of relaxation, inspiration and good cheer— exactly what the couple had hoped for on their special evening.


Bridesmaids wore one- of-a-kind cocktail dresses in bright confetti colors by fashion designer Cindy King of the label Acid Dolls. Chad opted for a stylish beige suit with a pale pink bow tie.

Later that afternoon, the couple changed into their finery to attend a traditional Catholic ceremony at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace, the oldest Catholic Cathedral in the United States. The bride says, “This was one of the easiest decisions when it came to planning our wedding, because the Cathedral is where my mother got married. It’s so grand and spectacular, we couldn’t resist.” Justine wore a dramatic mermaid gown that she happened upon at a bridal shop in Chinatown, the same boutique where her mother found her own gown. “The tulle skirt on the dress reminded me of a ballerina’s costume so I paired the dress with my pointe shoes!” says the avid dancer. Justine carried a bouquet of white roses, her favorite flower.