Our tropical bridal shower

Our tropical bridal shower

Photography: Sarah Jual

Now that our marriage is officially 3 month old, I am so excited to share with you all some memories from that

crazy, joyful whirlwind of love

...also known as our wedding week! 

I was born & raised here on Oahu, and I wouldn't have had it any other way. However, events like birthdays and holidays have always been small and quiet, held with just my immediate family of the parents and sister. For this reason, I wanted to host our bridal shower the week of the wedding, so that our loved ones could help us celebrate! 

To give you an idea, we had 80 guests at our wedding, with almost about 1/2 that amount as family flying in from places as far as Sydney, Australia + Boston, Massachussets!

My mom is child #6 of 12,

so that means plenty of aunties and uncles!

This bridal shower was the perfect place for relatives on both of our sides to meet, considering the interesting cultural medley between my Vietnamese Aussie side + Phil's east coast family!

Location, Location...


Thanks to our friend's generosity & event-perfect backyard, we decided to host the party at a private waterfront estate overlooking Kaneohe Bay...

I mean,

Look at that view!

(Thanks again, Brooke!)

It was a hot July afternoon, and our family loved relaxing beneath the shade.

Note to self + any one planning future events:

a tent is KEY, even if rain isn't in the forecast! The sun was blazing this afternoon, and with no cover, we certainly would have all passed out. 



Being that this also served as a welcome party for our visiting guests and that our wedding was more rustic/countryside, we wanted to choose a bridal shower theme that would highlight the local & natural beauty of Hawaii! 

[ Inspiration + Plans ]

…& what better inspiration than foraged flora?

( Special thanks to groomsman, Mr. Garth for his botanical talents! )

I was especially excited about this perfect way to welcome guests & set the theme:




by the one and only Palm Palm Parties !

The best part is that these letters can be used to any special celebration, and they even have other options too.

In addition to this adorable photo opp, we also wanted a photo wall…

( & when I say we, it really was expressly ME )

I had my heart set on creating a monstera wall - a backdrop with cuttings of my favorite local plants, where guests could pose for photos!

These monstera leaves were easy to find in nearby jungle-y areas, and I didn't mind going out to forage. Phil & my sister definitely were the real MVP's in figuring out the layout & construction of it!

I was

absolutely in love

to see my dreams come true! 

This wall was the perfect photo-backdrop for our guests to snap away & create memories to add to our guest book...

... but more on that later!


 In the theme of expressing appreciation for the supportive women in my life, I handmade lei po'o or haku lei for each of my 5 bridesmaids + 2 moms!

It was quite the time commitment, considering it took me about an hour to create each, but the look on their faces when I presented their lei was priceless



Since I knew our guests would be sticking to the fun tropical theme, I chose to go with a classic bridal white look.

I bought the dress (by Jen's Pirate Booty) about 3 years ago, knowing that it would be the perfect occasion ensemble. The art deco beading & ethereal sleeves were absolutely divine, and the length made it easy to wear on a sunny Hawaii afternoon. 

The earrings, by Melinda Rose Design,

were the perfect compliment -


with an art deco edge.

I loved Melinda Rose Design so much that I used their pieces for our rehearsal dinner + wedding too! For any brides-to-be, I highly recommend them… beautiful, high-quality
& affordable!


First things first!

To drink:

  • local + popular beers

  • mimosas with fresh local juices

  • refreshing lemonade punch

    To eat:

  • Local Korean BBQ … with ALL the fixin’s

    Next, it was time to play!

    I’m not one for cheesy games, but if there is ever a time for them, it’s at a shower. My bridesmaids were fantastic at planning games that weren’t too cringe-worthy or for women only (since it was a co-ed event).

    First we played the couple shoe-questionnaire…

    We could respond to these Q’s by either raising Phil’s shoe or mine.

    The easier questions were ones we agreed on:

    Who is cleaner?

    Who is the better singer?

The harder questions were the ones we disagreed!

It was a fun way for guests to learn about the day-to-day things that make our relationship special!

The next game involved more crowd participation…

but not entirely on our terms.

Groomsmen & family members joined me in planting a kiss…

while Phil had to guess which was mine!

Now, it was my turn!

I got to feel varying degrees of leg fuzz, to guess which was Phil’s…

Everyone got a big laugh!

It was time to create teams for our final game.

In this last challenge, teams would have to put themselves in order to display the correct numerical answer,

but FAST!

Because there was a prize.

We all decided that if Phil won, I would have to do dishes for 3 months. If I won, I could have 5 new plant babies!

All I’m going to say,
is that our apartment is looking pretty green!

My favorite part of this special day was laughing + enjoying time with our loved ones…

We only wished we could make it last forever.

& thanks to my sister’s creative hard work, WE DID!

My sister & maid of honor, Clara, compiled this beautiful guestbook of polaroids & letters from our loved ones.

It’s one of my favorite things to read… especially on those difficult days.

The “Monday blues” are no match to a good cup of coffee + a flip through these pages.

These notes fill my heart & feel like a warm blanket of comfort.

Three months…
I can’t believe it’s flown by since that magical wedding week. Yet at the same time, July feels so distant.

While event planning had me on the brink of delirium (let’s talk spontaneous laugh-crying at any moment), I am so glad that we were able to welcome our family & friends in this meaningful way.

I’m even more glad that the memories and beautiful words of love will last forever. I would do it all again in a heartbeat…

Next up in newlywed life?

Our honeymoon to the Yucatán Peninsula in December ‘18 … ¡Vamos!

But before then, we have some wedding goodies to share with you all - the crazy stories, the DO’s + DON’Ts… and of course the amazing photos and video!

Sydney museum & gallery walk

Sydney museum & gallery walk

Home for the holidays

Home for the holidays