Michael and Sera
Weddings in Hawaii can of course come with rain. But usually we get those tropical warm showers that are over almost as fast as they start. And in dry season (which is the winter in Holualoa) weeks can go by without a drop. Which is why it was very unexpected when a huge week-long storm system rolled in November 2017, right in time for Michael and Sera's wedding. Their wedding day was truly a "worst case scenario" day. Their wedding actually was not supposed to be at our farm, but at our next door neighbor's property with me as the wedding coordinator.
In the morning of their wedding, by looking at the radar, we knew it would rain. What we didn't predict was how much. It was torrential. The wedding was set to start at 4pm and even though we had a tent and a rain plan, by 2pm, the entire wedding area, even under the tent, was flooded to the point that it was impossible to walk and all of the linens were splattered with mud just from the staff trying to set up.
We had to make a call to either postpone, cancel or move the wedding to a different location. I had a hard meeting with the bride and groom, staff and bartender, and we decided to move the 80 guest wedding to our farm just an hour before guests were set to arrive. It was truly an all hands on deck make it work moment.
Now, even though our house/farm is a wedding venue, when we are not using it as a venue, it is just our regular house. There were dishes in the sink, nothing set up for guests, not really clean and ready for an event. There also definitely was not space for 80 people with all of our furniture and stuff in there. But everyone knew that we needed to pull this off for Michael and Sera and pull it off we did.
Our first step was Michael and the groomsmen calling all of the wedding guests and postponing the ceremony to 6pm.
Then we had to move everything from the property next to ours to the farm to set up - which is easier said then done when the only vehicle that could even make it through the mud was our RTV.
Joe (in the soaking wet white t-shirt holding the ice), my right hand man and best staff member drove everything over from the flooded property to the farm and unloaded it with help from the groomsmen, bridesmaids and bar staff. Sera's mom washed all of the dishes in my sink. Michael's groomsmen moved all of the furniture in our house and swept and vacuumed the floor underneath. It was certainly an unconventional wedding day set up, but with the team effort, many hands did make light work.
While we were moving everything, there was a break in the rain! Michael and Sera had enough time for a first look and pictures with their bridal party before it started up again.
One tough part of moving the wedding to the house is that we didn't have a spot for the ceremony - certainly not for 80 people. But we made it work with a DIY wedding wedding arch out of christmas lights, vines and orchids. A ton of family and friends spent the hour or so before the ceremony working on it.
In the end, the ceremony, while later than planned, turned out beautifully. The rain calmed down, and we somehow made the whole event perfect! I can tell you right now, the way that Michael and Sera, along with their families, friends and vendors, handled this whole situation was remarkable. There was NO way that anything could have ruined Michael and Sera's wedding day, not even a flooded ceremony site and moving to a totally new venue.
And despite the rocky start, this wedding was one of the most fun I have ever coordinated! The guests had a great time, and a few of them didn't even realize that our farm was not the original venue!
I have coordinated a lot of weddings, and with wedding coordination and venue management, I prepare for bad weather and I prepare for the timeline to get messed up. But I have never had a wedding that was so close to disaster as this one. I literally could not have asked for a better vendor team for this crazy wedding. The catering, from Da Bomb BBQ, made a really great vegetarian BBQ spread. The bartenders, friends of Michael and Sera, had drinks flowing the whole time. And the DJ from Hawaii Sound and Vision, set up lights and music, and even though they were smushed in the corner, did an awesome job of keeping the party going. Finally, their photographer, Eric Franke, who I am sure brought equipment for a daytime outdoor wedding, was able to roll with the punches and take beautiful photos even with a ceremony back lit and after dark.
The couples that book me and the farm for their weddings are always awesome - after all, only awesome people book a working farm for their wedding. But if it wasn't clear from this blog post already, Michael and Sera were above and beyond awesome - I cannot thank them enough for being the most chill bride and groom of all time. Even when I was telling them that the wedding would have to be postponed and/or moved, they handled it like champs. They are seriously dream clients!
From Michael and Sera:
What was the most memorable moment of your day?Michael: Saying “I Do”Sera: Our first dance
What was your favorite detail?Michael: the guest-made archway!Sera: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Any advice for future bride/grooms?Michael: BOOK KATE!Sera: BOOK KATE!
Funniest memory from your wedding day?Michael & Sera: our first Dance, we forgot to take lessons!
If you could do it all over, would you change anything?Michael & Sera: Not one single thing.
Where did you go on your honeymoon?Kauai, and the rain followed.
To get a better idea of Michael and Sera, their fun personalities and their wedding AFTER the crazy weather and the move to the farm, watch their wedding video! It was filmed by Kyle Jacobson, who also wrote, composed and performed the song in the video! How awesome is that!?