When you think about elegant wedding invitations, an octopus might not be the first thing that comes to mind. But I love to surprise instead of doing what’s expected, and this week’s designs are no exception. I can’t wait to show you how truly anything – even sea creatures – can be couture!
The octopus had a special significance to the bride’s family, so from our first creative consultation we decided to let it play a starring role for her tropical wedding at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel on the Big Island in Hawaii. My challenge was to convey an under-the-sea theme while keeping everything chic, sophisticated and luxurious. You get to be the first ones to see it in this exclusive peek!
The oceanic theme also inspired a little family trip to the New York Aquarium on the boardwalk on Brooklyn’s Coney Island. It took 15 years of living in NYC and a 2½-year-old to finally make it out to Coney Island, but I’m so glad we did! Mason loved the fish, and I, naturally, got my creative wheels turning with all the vibrant colors and creatures around me.
I’m also bringing you on another recent journey I took to engage!14 The Luxury Wedding Business Summit held at the Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch in Colorado. I was honored to be a featured speaker and share my insights on balancing work and life, a topic I feel very passionate about. Don’t miss my recap plus a peek into my personal photo album from the conference and all the festivities.
P.S. Special thanks to Tamiz Photography for this week’s Muse photos. You’ve definitely got me dreaming of Hawaii!
Be inspired by Kelly & Kaniela’s tropical, vintage Hawaiian wedding
Tags: beveled edge, crest, foil stamp, hawaii, invitation, letterpress, luxury, octopus, printed, sea, shimmer, tinted edge, wedding
For my wedding, we incorporated a memorable event from my parents’ honeymoon in Mexico City: the Octopus, affectionately known to my dad as “L’Ochopus.” This small element quickly became the focal point for so many items. For example, Ceci Johnson really made the sea creature come to life in the invitation envelope with the gold bubbles and unique scale of the drawings.
My advice is to use non-traditional cues for your wedding. We took traditional elements, deconstructed them, and made them surprising and fun. Here are just a few ways (of many) we did that: I didn’t carry a bouquet down the aisle so guests could really see my dress; we referred to our friends as Friends of Honor; all of my bridesmaids wore cream dresses and walked into the venue in a big group, then scattered and sat with the guests for the ceremony; our ceremony was in both English and Hawaiian; because my groom is a collegiate basketball coach, he tossed 50 mini basketballs ringed with tiny lace garters into a sea of guests; our reception looked as if an 18th-century luxury yacht spilled its treasure onto the beach!
What It’s Like to Be a Ceci New York Bride:
The Ceci New York team is gifted at making your vision come to life by combining old-world printing techniques with modern panache and style. Excitement builds as you go through the creative process. The color boards and sketches are fantastic to see and should be kept! It’s fun to get the feedback from Ceci Johnson and watch the evolution of the design.
View Kelly & Kaniela’s wedding invitations and photos in Our Muse
KELLY & KANIELA’S DREAM TEAM: Invitations: Ceci New York Photographer: Tamiz Photography Venue: Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Big Island of Hawaii Planner: Vintage & Lace Florist: EKO Farm Hawaii Catering: Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Big Island of Hawaii Cake: Leilani Bakery Music: 808 Hype Hair & Makeup: Erica Badke Dress: Lela Rose Shoes: Rene Caovilla Bride’s Ring: New York Jewelers Groom’s Ring: Martin & MacArthur Lighting: Illuminated Garden Design & Decor: Hawaii Island Events
Tags: aquatic, big island, cake, decor, fire pit, hawaii, mauna kea beach hotel, octopus, reception, table, wedding
Use this palette as a stepping stone toward creating your own dream event. Click on the color swatches to see how the colors come to life at a real event or discover more inspiring color stories now.
Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Waimea, Big Island, Hawaii
“Every great beach deserves a great hotel.”
This was said by Laurance S. Rockefeller, who founded The Mauna Kea Beach Hotel in 1965. He knew the great beach at Kauna’oa also deserved spectacular golf and exceptional dining to accompany the most exclusive and expensive resort of its day. Four decades later, following a $150 million repair and renovation, The Mauna Kea once again stands as a landmark of luxury on the Big Island’s golden Kohala Coast.
Discover more on Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Waimea, Big Island, Hawaii
CECI JOHNSON RECAPS HER TRIP TO ENGAGE!14: BACHELOR GULCH
I recently had the privilege to speak at the engage!14 conference at the Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch, Colorado, produced by the kind and talented duo behind Engaging Concepts, Rebecca Grinnals and Kathryn Arce. It’s always a pleasure to be a speaker among my colleagues in the luxury wedding industry and to come together to share ideas, get inspired and have some good old-fashioned fun, too!
This year’s theme was “glamping” (glamorous + camping) and it didn’t disappoint – with country-style dancing (plenty of cowboy hats everywhere!) and breakout sessions in tents on a great lawn, the organizers always had something fun and interactive to keep everyone jiving. Of course, the last night’s gala was a more dressy affair, and you can see that a few of my friends and I went so far as to stage our version of a Vanity Fair group cover. We couldn’t resist!
I am so thankful to all of those who attended my presentation, which was all about how to run a profitable business and have a life at the same time. I’m very passionate about finding a way to create work-life balance for us entrepreneurs, so it’s extremely rewarding to be able to pass along to others what I’ve learned in the last 10 years of business.
Below are my favorite shots to give you a glimpse into the experience. If you haven’t been, you have to check out engagingconcepts.com and engage14.com. But register early – these conferences fill fast.
P.S. Thank you again, Rebecca and Kathryn and the entire engage! team, for an amazing event, as always!
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, Founder and Creative Director of Ceci New York
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