Josie & Noble - Married in Lahaina, Maui
I was feeling a bit nostalgic today when the heat of the day was cooled by an afternoon rain. It reminded me of a magical few days I spent on Maui exactly three years ago.
I'll never forget the day I read Josie's email asking if I would be interested in coming to Hawaii, for her wedding with fiancee Noble. I literally let out a squeal and jumped in the air in excitement! I was even more delighted when I learned that while she was currently in Wisconsin attending Lawrence University, Josie is actually from Lahaina, a charming city in Maui. She and Noble would be inviting people from all over the country, people who have poured into them over the years, to celebrate with them in the church that Josie grew up attending.
I know I said it before, but Maui is magical. I can understand why Josie would want to share it with everyone dear to her! It still gives me goosebumps when I think back on the whole day. The giddy bridesmaids peeking around the corner as Josie put on her gorgeous gown. Her mom helping her put on her delicate flower crown as her bridesmaids held a mirror and gushed over how beautiful she looked. Josie sharing a traditional lei and special greeting with her parents and Noble's parents. The groomsmen, all Southern gentlemen (Noble is from Louisiana) sharing encouragement and prayer with the delighted groom as they stood under a towering Banyan tree. The moment when Josie and Noble joined hands around the corner of the little church built of volcanic rock to share a prayer before the service began. The graceful sound of harp music and warm sunlight floating on the humid air of the church as Josie and Noble exchanged leis, rings and vows. It was a beautiful mix of Hawaiian traditions and blessings given by the pastor of the church and Noble's dad, also a pastor.
Two families meeting in the middle of the ocean to join two lives.
I can still feel the hot sand of the beach on my feet and hear the laughter of the joyful bridal party here and as we stopped at Ululani's Hawaiian shave ice (a landmark in Lahaina), so much joy! The happy theme was even present in the vibrant colors of the fresh, tropical flowers, the colorful decor, and even the live music played by local artists before dinner. Walking into the reception area I could feel the love poured into the day by so many friends and family. They had strung colorful paper lanterns in the high wood rafters, every table covered with a white table cloth and a bold pop of patterned table runner made by Josie and her mom with covered chairs tied with contrasting ribbon. Orchids and old photographs graced the tables. At dinner guests were treated to a feast of amazing Hawaiian dishes, everything was incredible!
My favorite part of the day was near the end of the day. Just weeks before marrying Noble, Josie approached an aunt and asked her to teach her to hula dance. She wanted to surprise Noble with a special dance at their wedding. As the song Maunaleo by Kealii Reichel played, Josie gracefully, flawlessly, danced hula as if no one else was in the room, as if she had an audience of one. I'd be lying if I said I didn't have a whole lot of tears in my eyes and tingles on my spine. It was one of the most beautiful and romantic things I've ever witnessed.
Three years later Josie and Noble are happily living in the southern US and are now a family of three having welcomed baby girl, Ruby this year!
Three years later I'm still in awe that they saw something in that new photographer I was then that made them want to fly me thousands of miles to share in their unforgettable and truly meaningful day.
Happy anniversary to one of my all time favorite couples!
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