The Hawaii days…Katy & Shaun’s Pre-Wedding Events Part 1

I always thought it was weird when people pinch themselves in movies to see if what they’re seeing is real.  I mean, I’ve  never thought to pinch myself when I’m in a dream and then said “well that didn’t hurt so I guess I’m dreaming”.  But I take back my skepticism on the whole pinching thing because I was really tempted to do it several times during the week that we were hanging out with Katy and Shaun and all their friends before their wedding in Hawaii.

(Katie is on the far right and Shaun is sitting to the left of her… and he’s the only boy in the picture).

Let me start by saying this blog will be different than our normal posts.  We usually write from the perspective of impartial outsiders who are there to capture a visual record of what’s happening around us.

But Katy and Shaun were cool enough to allow us into their circle of friends and invited us to be just as much guests as we were “hired help”, “vendors”, or whatever other cold and isolated word you could put on it.  Throughout the week we were anything but isolated from this astounding couple and their equally wonderful friends.

So instead of writing this blog from the view of 2 photographers who watched all the amazingness happen from the outside, we’re going to write as 2 people who’s lives were affected greatly by Katy and Shaun’s and the beautiful people they’ve surrounded themselves with.

Scottie and I (Breanna) spent 2 weeks vacationing in Hawaii before Katy and Shaun’s showed up with their crew which signified the start of our official “job”.  And yet despite the fact that we were working during our 3rd week in Hawaii, it was at least twice as fun as our first two weeks were!  (This picture totally cracks me up.  She decided to get her snorkel because she was getting too much water in her eyes. Genius!).

The factor that changed and made all the difference was that we were surrounded by a bunch of hyper-intelligent, creative, fun, and ultra cool people (aka Katy & Shaun and their wedding guests).

And really, I’m totally not exaggerating when I say that with the exception of our own wedding week, I think this past week was one of the best in our lives.

I turned to Scottie at least twice and said, “you know, I really can’t ever remember a time where I was happy at this ridiculously high level for such a crazy long amount of time before!” I know we were in one of the most beautiful places in the world, doing all kinds of fun stuff, but it didn’t turn into the best week of my life until we input the new relationships into the equation.

In order to understand why this was a wedding week instead of just a wedding day, you have to understand Katy and Shaun.

These are two people who’s lives revolve around their friendships.  In fact, they are known in their group for their huge annual theme parties (which are amazing by the way) that they go through a ton of work to host… and they love every minute of it.

When we were meeting with them at various points throughout their wedding planning, the main thing we heard repeated over and over again with unending enthusiasm, was that this wedding was about the people involved in it all.

(Katy with her mom.)(Shaun with his dad.)

Katy and Shaun made painstaking efforts to do everything in their power to make sure that their guests had the time of their lives…

… and I think that’s exactly what happened.

Now that you’ve had a glimpse into Katy and Shaun’s world back home and the people in it… lets talk about the Hawaii wedding chapter of their lives!  Katy and Shaun rented a big house right on the beach to share with their bridal party…

…and a bunch of their guests rented other houses all along the same beach to share with one another.

So basically it was a 24/7 party, overlooking one of the best views you can imagine, in absolutely perfect weather.

To kickoff this week of heaven that Katy and Shaun put together, we had a potluck on the beach in front of one of the houses the guests rented.

Since our job was to capture the whole feel of the week (not just the wedding day), we got to join in on this party (and many others) and reap all the benefits that being guests at a Hawaii wedding has to offer!

For Scottie, one of these main benefits was volleyball.  A bunch of Shaun’s friends (including Shaun himself) have either played professional volleyball at one point, or have played so well for so long that they might as well be professional.

This was great news to Scottie who has been looking forward to the day for awhile now where he could play with serious volleyball players again. So of course he saw his chance and jumped in for like a 4 hour or something volleyball showdown (that happened to take place in front of this beautiful mountain backdrop of course).

(Scottie is the giant in the back there).

(There’s Scottie again… the one who looks like he’s about to get beat down!).

He held his own too I might add, I was pretty proud of him for busting out all his latent sporting skills (we’ve both re-discovered a lot of our forgotten skills since we’ve been out from behind our computers for over 3 weeks straight now)!

After Scottie played a game involving Katy he said “When she was playing all I could think about was that scene in ‘Meet the Parents’ where the bride gets hit in the face with a volleyball the day before her wedding.”  Thankfully, Katy’s nose was still in tact by the end of the game… but I thought that was pretty funny commentary all the same!

Scottie also jumped into another event that I politely declined (more like bolted in the other direction and pretended not to hear as soon as the words “5:30 am” came out of Shaun’s mouth) and that was a spectacular sunrise hike.

Scottie didn’t escape as quickly as me and since Shaun is one of those people who could convince you to get up at 5 am for a root canal you don’t need, Scottie found himself lacing up his boots and heading up a mountain in the dark early the next morning.

For as good of a “motivator” as Shaun is, he proved to be every bit as honest because once they were at the top, Scottie saw as much beauty as Shaun had promised and more.

In fact I almost (almost being the key word here) wish I had gotten up that early just so people could at least think that there’s a chance that some of these amazing pictures are mine!

Alas, they are not.  I slept through a chance of a lifetime and Scottie’s pictures of perfectection will forever be known as Scottie’s pictures alone. 

And yet, I can say in all honesty that I’m still glad I slept in that morning (am I lame or what?!).

Another thing I slept through (in this group you’d think I was a freak for needing to sleep EVERY night!) was golf day…

…and again Scottie got some great shots. 

But that’s OK I’m holding on to my pride because of my volleyball shots… and just wait until you see my wedding pics! 😉

We have a little healthy competition going on between us if you can’t tell. Good job Scottie, I’m proud of the freaking amazing pictures you took this week… and the next 3 photos are my favorite series from our entire trip.

(Poor brown shirt guy, he didn’t get the blue shirt memo…)

(So his teammates traded him in for the photographer!)

(Poor brown shirt guy, he’ll just never be good enough.)

Ha ha, those crack me up. 🙂  Oh and to end the story, don’t worry… brown shirt guy changed his shirt the next day and found he had friends again!

Anyways, I heard the golfing was a ton of fun and everyone came back with awesome raccoon eye sunburns to prove it!

So now that you all think I’m stupid and lazy for missing such cool morning events… I will say that I got my fill of late night activities! Starting with a “beach crawl” which is basically a pub crawl but with beach houses instead of pubs.

Each house that the guests were staying at had a different theme for their drinks and appetizers that somehow fit the story of Katy and Shaun (for example the last house was occupied by all Katy’s college friends so the theme was “college” and they served lots of beer, jungle juice, and pizza). The grand finale of the beach crawl was to end up at the bar where Shaun’s band was playing that night.

Shaun says that when he thought about what he wanted to do in Hawaii the week of his wedding the first thing he thought was, “well I’ll do what I love… I’ll play with my band”.

(Two very different faces that both show how much he loves what he’s doing).

He told us this months and months ago and he’s been looking forward to it ever since.

There are no words to describe how much I loved this band.

(By the way, you can like our page on Facebook to tag yourself in some of the photos).

Lets just say that as I sat there listening to a particular song in which Max (one of the groomsmen) was smoothly rapping in Portuguese (at least that’s what language I heard someone say it was)…

….among a bunch of incredible musicians who were pouring out their hearts over the noise of a bar…

…that was packed full of their friends swaying to the music and laughing…

…I had another moment where I considered pinching myself to make sure this incredible moment in life was really happening.

So even with all the amazingness that gushed out of these events, I’m still not done telling you about this week of wedding events.  Don’t worry, I’m not going to tell you everything since including all of it would work better for a great book rather than one measly blog post and I know you are probably all reading this at work and are starting to get nervous that your boss might walk in…that’s right, we have analytics that tells us you all look at our stuff during work hours!

Scottie is actually going to write about the final event (so it will be much shorter!) which is the Groom’s dinner that was held on deck of the U.S.S. Missouri.  If you do a quick scan of your brain to find your old high school history lessons (it’s right there past the lyrics to every Bon Jovi song ever written and the phone number to your secret crush’s parent’s house) you’ll find that this is the ship on which the Japanese soldiers stood 65 years ago when they signed the document of their surrender at the end of WWII.  It’s a huge piece of history that most people tour during the day… but we got to party on it at night!  Of course an experience like this doesn’t slip past us without some once in a lifetime photos coming out of it (and I didn’t sleep through this one!)!  See the photos on our blog about the Groom’s Dinner HERE.

If I had to sum up all the events of this week would be to say that even If I decided to make up this entire blog with a fictional story about the week, I couldn’t have written this week any better than it actually happened.

The people, the places, the activities… all of it was just so so SO perfect!

Katy and Shaun, you were the incredible dreamers behind all this and I hope that it was all you wanted and more!  We tried all week to tell you how much your wedding meant to us (and there is still so much to that story that we’ll have to tell you when we come visit you in Venice one day soon) so we hope this blog has helped at least give you some idea about how much we really do mean that!

We love you guys and we’re so excited to post the blog about your wedding day very, very soon!

(There are many more photos from all the events to view and purchase. Click here to see ALL the photos from Katy and Shaun’s Hawaii wedding week events!)

September 13, 2010 - 1:26 pm

Cocktails, Dinner, and 16″ guns . . . Katy & Shaun’s Pre-Wedding Events Part 2. « Radiant Life - […] rss « Katy & Shaun’s Pre-Wedding Events (Part 1) […]

September 14, 2010 - 4:07 pm

Chris - Amazing stuff guys. Can I ask how you book these types of weddings? Where do you find these people?

September 14, 2010 - 4:39 pm

Erin Paris - You guys really captured the essence of the islands – and seriously Brianna- I wouldn’t regret sleeping in either ; ) They were so lucky to have you two photograph their wedding…. and all the other events!

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