Photography by
Visionari


Emily Van Mourick & Derek Masi

November 1, 2014 in Haiku, Hawaii


For Emily Van Mourick and Derek Masi’s families, their relationship began in a very familiar way–meeting at a local USC watering hole after a football game. Coincidentally, Emily’s parents had their first hangout at the same spot. Their first date was also at a surf shack bar in Manhattan Beach, which was were Derek’s parents had their first date. 

After a few years of dating, Emily enrolled in nursing school and the couple became pressed for time together. In an effort to relieve her from the stress of her studies and spend some quality time together, Derek planned a much-needed weekend getaway to Palm Springs, California. There, he filled their hotel room with a collection of memory tokens he had saved throughout their relationship–champagne corks from special occasions, programs from events they attended, and every card and note she had ever written him. “Derek went the longest he has ever gone without words before he was finally able to pop the question,” Emily shares. 

The couple decided to have a destination wedding in Maui. With Emily’s maternal family being from Hawaii and Derek’s family being Italian, Maui was the perfect way to honor their heritage, while also representing the bride and groom’s laid-back vibe. Their venue of choice was the Haiku Mill, which conjures up feelings of a forgotten castle covered in vines and flowers. “We wanted to give our guests the vacation experience at a big resort, but also the local experience with a venue of more historical and local relevance,” says Emily. Partnering with the Haiku Mill, they worked to create the couple’s wedding vision–an evening of old-world details, locally farmed and fished cuisine, and an intoxicating dance floor.

On the day of their wedding, Maui’s weather greeted guests with a double rainbow arching over the site, as they were seated under a glass latticework ceiling covered in cascading vines. The bride and groom were married while standing on the stone steps of the mill, complete with a waterfall flowing from the stones behind them. A Hawaiian slack key guitarist and ukuleles were also playing as they exchanged vows they had written together. 

The cocktail hour that followed was nothing short of an example of Hawaii’s unpredictable weather. As thunder clouds rolled in and the humidity rose, a downpour caused guests to find shelter by the bar, which was conveniently located under a large mango tree. A power outage also turned their cocktail hour into a candlelit affair, as guests spent time cooling off and laughing in good spirits at the sudden change in weather.

The reception revolved around dancing, with the bride and her father performing the foxtrot, and the newlyweds dancing to “How Long Will I Love You” for their first dance. Keeping with Hawaiian tradition, Emily’s first gift to Derek was a hula, performed in the middle of the sugar mill, to a song by her favorite Hawaiian singer, Keali’I Reichel. After some witty and beautifully-written toasts, lights were dimmed and accented with flashing colors in preparation for what guests described as “the most epic dance floor.” 

The bride and groom finished the night surrounded by friends and family, rapping along to “Hypnotize” by Biggie Smalls. Exiting under an archway of sparklers, they were overwhelmed with feelings of aloha and amore from their loved ones.

Location and Planner: Haiku Mill Haiku, HI; Floral Design: Teresa Sena Designs Kula, HI; Cake: Cake Fanatics Lahaina, HI; Wedding Dress: Romona Keveza Collection;

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Emily Van Mourick & Derek Masi

November 1, 2014 in Haiku, Hawaii



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