California couple Haleh Kazemzadeh and Jason Campbell longed to elude the formality of a hometown affair and “escape to Hawaii” for their nuptials, but initially dismissed the idea as just a dream. “I’ve always thought it the perfect place for a wedding— you are close to the ocean, surrounded by beautiful nature and only a plane ride away from home,” Haleh says. After scouring possible wedding venues in L.A. for nearly four months, the couple began to seriously consider a destination wedding on Maui. “Most of the locations we visited in L.A. were large and glamorous, and we wanted a more intimate place to gather with friends,” Haleh says. In their eyes, there was no place more charming and pretty than the chapel at the Grand Wailea Resort on Maui’s south shore. “My mom later revealed to me that she had once made a wish in the mermaid fountain at the Grand Wailea that one of her children would be married there someday,” Haleh says. “And since my brother just had his wedding, that left me to grant her wish!”
The festivities lasted for five days, with many of the 50 guests staying at the Grand Wailea and nearby vacation rentals. It didn’t take long for the entire wedding party to settle in to island lifestyle, enjoying the pristine beaches during the day and leisurely group dinners at night. On the eve before the wedding, the couple with their families hosted a luau on the open-air pavilion in true island fashion; fresh local delicacies were displayed on banana leaves and a ukulele player entertained the party-goers. “We had so much fun, and it gave us a chance to connect with our friends before all of the rush and excitement of the wedding!” Haleh says.
The wedding day was clear and warm. Celebrants were greeted on the oceanfront lawn with lei strung with vibrant orange orchids. Escorted by her father, Haleh walked down a grass-lined pathway toward the chapel where Jason waited. She was a gorgeous bride in a strapless ivory Rivini gown with eye-catching turquoise and diamond jewelry, a gift from her mother. “I wasn’t expecting to feel as nervous as I did!” the bride says. “But once the music starts and you see all of your friends, some of them crying, and your husband standing at the end, it’s just this unbelievable feeling.” The groom was handsome in an Italian linen suit donning a traditional maile lei interspersed with orange orchids. Haleh’s maid-of-honor traded in her heels for a pair of navy Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars. “She told me, ‘I’m tall enough already, I don’t need to wear heels!’…lucky for her!” the bride remarks. Haleh carried a bouquet of green, gold and eggplant-hued cymbidium orchids and trailing Amaranthus. “I’ve always been drawn to the colors of autumn: deep orange, amber, copper and olive green,” Haleh says. After the touching ceremony, guests traversed the lawn to sip cocktails at sunset while the newlyweds stole away for a photo session with Visionari.
The couple wanted the reception to be island-casual but sophisticated, so tables were covered with champagne silk linens and decorated with bouquets of lush roses, miniature cymbidium orchids and fragrant tuberose. For their first dance as husband and wife, Jason and Haleh chose one of their favorite songs by Etta James, “At Last”. Together, the couple devised the Pacific Rim menu, which included fresh Hawaiian ono, spicy ahi tuna poke and tender beef tartare. As a sign of thanks, guests received banana bark baskets full of iconic Hawaiian goodies, including wine from Maui’s Tedeschi Vineyards and specialty chocolates from the Big Island. Late into the night, guests danced to a festive mix of hip-hop, top 40s and Persian music. “That was by far the best part for me— my friends and I danced for hours!” Haleh says. A graceful hula performance was the perfect ending to the enchanting evening. The newlyweds fell in love with Maui and decided to extend their stay, finally bidding the Islands a fond farewell, aloha a hui hou, until we meet again.