An Elegant, Tropical Wedding at Makanalani in Kauai, Hawaii

Sara Kellenberger (32 and an accessories designer) and James Brady (40 and a director of finance) caught each other’s eye in San Francisco, California, on their daily bus commute. Seven years later, James gifted Sara with a ring on top of Half Dome in Yosemite. “It was beautiful, unexpected and worth the stress of the climb,” Sara says. When it came time to plan their September nuptials, the couple chose yet another naturally beautiful destination for their big ay: the 120-acre Makanalani private residence in Kauai, Hawaii. Deep red roses and lush greens crafted by florist Martin Roberts added romance and depth to the picturesque location. “We wanted to elevate the already gorgeous Hawaiian setting with a touch of California punch,” Sara says. Traditional Hawaiian elements were present too—bridesmaids wore floral armbands and the couple exchanged lei during their short and sweet outdoor ceremony. Sara and James's 65 guests were offered large palm straw fans and fresh shaved ice to help them keep cool. At the reception, cocktails were mixed with freshly squeezed juices, and guests enjoyed local fare on long koa-wood king’s tables topped with tea lights and colorful crimson and pink floral centerpieces. "We had the best wedding week," Sara says. "It felt like a fabulous vacation with all our favorite people."—Carolyn Meers