Jennifer Jackson and Christian Koch have long considered Hawaii their home away from home. The California physician spent the summers of his youth on the island of Oahu, his father’s birthplace. From a young age, the Hawaiian culture had been ingrained in Christian through music, surfing and strong family ties. “The aloha spirit is a big part of who I am,” he says. “Returning to the Islands with Jennifer for our wedding felt like the most natural decision.” From the onset of their relationship, Christian imparted his love of the islands to his girlfriend and longed to share “his Hawaii” with her.
Since there was never any doubt that they would celebrate their love along the azure blue shores of Oahu, Jennifer and Christian began to plan their destination wedding from their home in Los Angeles. They envisioned an intimate gathering by the beach, one marked by casual island elegance. Above all, they wished to impart the spirit of aloha to their out-of-town guests, most of them first-time visitors to Hawaii. “In my mind, Oahu was the perfect island to entertain our family and friends,” says the bride. “It offered nightlife in Waikiki, surf culture on the North Shore and great hotel options for everyone.”
On June 25, 2010, guests converged upon the expansive lawn festooned with fragrant plumeria blossoms and festive paper lanterns. A relative of the groom, Pastor Raymond Glory from the Big Island, presided over the union, sharing family stories in a lighthearted ceremony. Musician Tyler Gilman was on hand to play Jennifer’s all-time favorite Keali‘i Reichel song “E Ho‘i I Ka Pili”. The bride was breathtaking in a glamorous Eve of Milady gown. Her bridesmaids wore chic dresses in canary yellow with designer Madewell necklaces to suit their individual styles, fun gifts from the bride. In true island fashion, the groom donned a maile lei over a sleek Banana Republic tan suit.
Jennifer’s knack for arranging interiors and combining just the right colors was evident in the event décor. The interior design student drew inspiration from the plumeria, a flower synonymous with the Hawaiian Islands, in selecting the fresh color palette of the day: canary yellow and crisp white. Christian oversaw the layout of the space, positioning the dance floor between two palm trees that overlooked the ocean. Tables on the lawn were dressed in pale shades and accented with clusters of cymbidium orchids and chrysanthemums for a fresh and modern look. Floral designer Terrie Easley perfectly captured the tropical essence of the evening.
The celebration continued beneath a grand clear tent that offered unobstructed views of the brilliant night sky.
The couple made a special trip to Oahu to search for a picture-perfect venue. They were thrilled to discover Lanikuhonua, a seaside estate tucked away on Oahu’s southwest shore. Jennifer was instantly drawn to the sense of privacy and the natural beauty of the oceanfront setting. Once the location was in place, the pair set about creating a personal “wish list” of photographers, florists and caterers pulled from the pages of bridal magazines and wedding blogs. “The moment we met with photographer Frank Amodo we had to book him!” the bride says. "He has this genuine warmth about him that made us feel so comfortable, and we loved his ideas for the post-wedding photo shoot.” Jennifer enlisted the expertise of coordinator Karine France Matsumoto for the day of the event to ensure every detail went as planned.