Feel the Island Breeze at This Couple’s Bohemian Wedding at Olowalu on Maui, Hawaii
Sometimes, you must wait for the right time to fall in love. Jewels and Khang Nguyen first met as teenagers through mutual friends, then again as young adults. Though they dated for a while, they broke up, and it would’ve seemed their story was over. “We grew apart, then we grew up,” Jewels notes. They met again in their late twenties, and their relationship finally blossomed.
Khang proposed at a family Fourth of July celebration. Wanting to get into something comfortable after tanning, Jewels let her boyfriend know she was going to change into his extra shirt and shorts. “Khang insisted I wear something “cute,” but I refused—I was hangry,” she laughs. “I indulged in my food and didn’t notice Khang was on one knee. I was bewildered and confused and said, “no.” He got up and down several times because I didn’t believe him: I kept saying no. It wasn’t until his family confirmed it was really happening that I started to fill up with emotions and bawl.” Finally, she did, in fact, say “yes!”
Although the couple's wedding took place on Maui, the bride and groom drew inspiration from a family member’s destination wedding on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. “We fell in love with the Hawaiian spirit, its beauty and its people,” says Jewels. “We knew we wanted to return to one of the islands [for our wedding] and make it a vacation for everyone (a twofer).” The couple’s laid-back style and love of family catalyzed their tropical, boho-chic vibe. “Our wedding planner came up with the color scheme: punchy apricot, fuschia, nude, taupe and varying tropical greens. In addition to this styled theme, we wanted to focus on our family and friends: Ohana. A sense of togetherness.”
Before jetting off to celebrate their June wedding, the lovebirds set out to curate their looks for the big day. “Khang wanted a classic look from his hair down to his shoes. His tuxedo was wool to keep cool, and nothing beats loafers for our summer wedding,” the bride reveals. For her outfit, Jewels thought she knew what she wanted—until she fell in love with a designer gown with a dramatic, romantic feel. “I initially wanted a simple silk dress, but nothing looked good on my body type. It wasn’t until I came across my Galia Lahav dress that I changed my mind.” Jewels admired the flowing, ethereal feel and the textured appearance offered by the dotted tulle and appliqués.
Once the wedding day rolled around, family and friends alike gathered together on the ceremony lawn underneath matured, lush trees. The alfresco aisle featured woven baskets overflowing with tropical blooms and greenery at its entrance, rattan chairs and a wooden arch adorned with fuchsia, blush, peach, ivory and yellow flowers—some strung together to form leis—accented with palm leaves. “The flower girl, our 4-year-old daughter, carried a bamboo-handled wand with flowing ribbon and flowers on the top and wore a nontraditional Lei Po’o. The ring bearer, our 4-year-old son, carried a polished coconut with a bed of flowers and ribbons with the rings attached,” the bride explains. The couple met at the end of the aisle to exchange vows with guidance from Jewel’s best friend, who officiated.
The reception welcomed guests with bold, inviting colors. A grand display featuring the meaning of Ohana (family) displayed each invitee’s name and table number. Dinner was served at long wood tables with neutral-toned chargers and blush-and-white menus. Centerpieces included striking tropical flowers at small and medium heights, and the dining area rested underneath multiple wooden arches festooned with bouquets of leaves and rattan chandeliers. “To keep guests hydrated, we had fresh coconuts chopped live. In addition, our caterer made the family-style menu interactive, so there was a fire-and-ice station with a mini “campfire” for guests to toast their s’mores and milkshakes. With both the passed appetizers and the action station, we paid homage to our Texan roots with BBQ (but we made Hawaiian-style).”
As for favorite moments, there was a clear winner. “Our favorite parts of the reception were the surprise dances: my dad is in his late 70s, and we did a fun TikTok dance that got the crowd pumped. All of Khang’s siblings took turns dancing with their mother—all the guests and the vendors were crying,” the bride lovingly shares.