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Samantha and Mike

Samantha and Mike

Samantha & Michael Debes { 10 MARCH }

Na Aina Kai Botanical Gardens – Kauai, HAWAII 

photos captured by: Bayleigh Vedelago
styling by Moana Events 

Mike and Samantha met in Costa Rica. He was there for the waves, Samantha  was there for the yoga. "I walked into the afternoon yoga class, and there he was! He lived in Laguna Beach and I lived in Sydney, so there was a bit of back and forth, but six months later he made the move to Australia!"

Three years later, on their anniversary, proposed on a romantic getaway to the Blue Mountains.


HASHTAG HIGHLIGHTS | The wedding hashtag was #DebesWeddingEver. "Our ceremony was a highlight – it was non-religious yet still spiritual and felt true to us. We wrote our own vows and I'm so glad we did and can always read over them." 

DESTINATION WEDDING | With family and friends sprawled across the globe; Mike from Canada and Samantha from Australia, finding a place that was convenient was important. "We had already fallen in love with Kauai on our previous travels and knew it was the perfect place because it both felt like it embodied so much of who we are and what we enjoy, but also felt like a second home. We wanted to share it with our loved ones." Na Aina Kai was the only venue they looked at. 

FLORAL | Wedding Planner, Moana Events, and florist designed a beautiful organic mix of wax flowers, garden roses, anenomies and wild flowers. 



Samantha wore a romantic and feminine Steven Khalil lace gown. “I chose a dress that made me feel incredible and comfortable. I tried not to do anything too outrageous that I would get sick of looking at or change my mind in years to come. I thought about what styles suited me, the vibe of my venue and the way I wanted to wear my hair on the big day."

A dress code for guests was Garden cocktail. "We wanted guests to fit in with the setting and wear light, bright colours."

Samanthas bridesmaids' wore timeless soft silk dresses with the colour matching the groomsmen and groom "We wanted the colours we wore to tie in with the teak forest setting."

"I left up the groomesment to the groom, believe it or not!" Choosing to match his outfit, but not be identical, and again, suit a garden/island setting.


WEDDING VIBES |  "The 'vibe' over the course of planning changed a lot. It went from pretty garden party vibes to more neutrals and metallics. One thing I always wanted it to be was romantic. Even though we were on island, I didn’t want it to be beachy, and thought being by the beach was enough." 

In their open air marquee the setting was white washed farm tables with beige gauze runners, white plates, dark gold cutlery, amber goblets and sand coloured knotted napkins atop the menus. A greenery installation hanging from above which brought some of the lusciousness of the nature surrounding the clear marquee inside. Wild bunches of gum leaves and dark greens, whites and pops of deep purple flowers speckled the table in various sized vases accompanying candles and lanterns. "We had a mix of cafe and fairy lights covering the roof of the tent for the nighttime, and of course, lots of lights for the dance-floor."

HEARTS RUN FREE |  Walking in to our reception to “Young Hearts Run Free” was so much fun and the looks on our families faces will stay with me forever. The speeches were incredible and I am so happy we spread them throughout the night rather than one after the other, so that they received the attention they deserved. 

FAMILY MOMENTS |  Dancing with my mum and then with Mike's dad were private moments we got to spend with each other.

PLACES PLEASE |  Guests were able to find their seat thanks to a huge greenery backdrop that had vegan leather luggage tags pinned to it with their name and table name. Each table was named after beaches that meant something to Mike and I. When they got to their table, they would see their personalised menu to locate their seat. The luggage tags also had a cute “love travels” motif with our initials included, and these doubled as wedding favours. 


VEGAN | Sami and Mike had an entirely vegan wedding. "It was challenging at times, we persisted because we felt the day should be a reflection of who we are, both vegan, and not about appeasing anyone else. We also went plastic-free. Nobody minded and we had people who had never eaten a non-meat meal, licking their plates! The food was amazing."

DELIGHTS | The cake was a delicious, fluffy and vegan coconut cream layer cake! .

I remember standing in front of the tent together as we were coming back in from sunset photo’s and feeling so overwhelmed with gratitude.
— Sami


: Steven Khalil, 

photographer: Bayleigh Vedelago,

videography: Lemon Tree Films,

coordination & design: Moana Events,

groom’s & groomsmens' attire: Montagio Custom Tailor

bridesmaids’ outfits: Bec and Bridge,

flowers: Steven Boyle Designs,

rentals: Lee’s Rentals,, Accel Events,, The Letter Palette,

catering: Contemporary Flavors,

cake: Kawaii Cupcakes,

ceremony entertainment: Pancho Graham,

celebrant: Kelvin Ho

reception entertainment: Kustom Sounds Kauai,

hair/makeup: Mia Moriguchi,

invitations/stationery: Anna Claire Calligraphy + Designs,

Jacinta and Blake

Jacinta and Blake

Carly and Mike

Carly and Mike