A Relaxed, Rustic Wedding at Ka Hale Olinda in Makawao, Hawaii

In true Hawaiian fashion, Rachel Kahne (32 and an actor) and Wesley Freitas (33 and a producer) planned a laid-back, intimate celebration for their early-fall wedding in Maui, Hawaii. “Honestly, my dream wedding was a courthouse on a Tuesday afternoon, so I was a bit out of my element when my dad and husband put their foot down and insisted on a wedding,” Rachel says. “I’ve been a bridesmaid almost 30 times, so I knew what I didn’t want—stress or drama. Simplicity was the most important thing to me. We didn’t have a theme or a design motif; we just wanted to keep things low-key.” 

With Wesley’s roots in upcountry Hawaii, the island seemed like the perfect place to say “I do.” The festivities kicked off with a ceremony overlooking rolling hills and miles upon miles of lush green landscape. The event was a family affair, with Wesley’s father, a pastor, officiating, and other family members pitching in to create everything from the quaint wooden wedding arbor under which Rachel and Wesley exchanged vows to the mini plumeria wreaths that guests tossed as the newlyweds made their way up the aisle at the end of the ceremony. The celebration continued at Ka Hale Olinda, where the newlyweds and their guests enjoyed a night of dinner and dancing under an open-air tent that provided beautiful views of the Hawaiian countryside. Wesley’s mother and aunt created all the centerpieces for the reception, combining green trick, seeded eucalyptus, wax flowers and lush greenery in hobnail milk-glass vases and displaying them atop tree-trunk pedestals to achieve a rustic-chic look. Rachel and Wesley treated their guests to a dinner of traditional Hawaiian fare, followed by an assortment of decadent one-tier cakes. 

“One of Wesley’s friends created a bit of a mashup for our first dance. It started with ‘When the Stars Go Blue’ by Tim McGraw and eased into ‘Come and Get Your Love’ by Redbone halfway through,” Rachel says. “All our guests joined in dancing with us at that point. I loved it!” A tip from Rachel and Wesley: “The best advice we received was in our premarital counseling. The couple leading it said, ‘You don't get in a car without knowing the destination. When you get in, you plug the address into your GPS and you head in that direction. So many couples get married and just feel like that's it. They wander aimlessly in their lives together. But instead, figure out a destination. My goal was at the end of our lives, my wife would want to do it all over again. I didn't want her wishing she'd spent a bulk of the time elsewhere. So that was my goal. My destination.’ That meant a lot to us.” —Libby MacCarthy