Maria & Bryce’s Sunglasses & Flip-Flops DIY Beach Wedding
Lovely couple Maria and Bryce wanted a fun and casual celebration of their love & happiness rather than a formal affair — and Bryce really wanted to wear flip-flops — so they came up with a playful theme of sunglasses and flip flops for their beach wedding! Just how cool is that? They’re based in NYC but they chose to get married in an intimate & beautiful ceremony on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii where Maria was born. The party’s laid-back atmosphere totally reflected them, and their theme was carried out through the whimsical details such as the custom blue sunnies sitting on each chair and the little flip-flop toppers on the cupcakes.
I loved everything about this fun wedding from the moment Maria showed it to me and I’m glad you can also enjoy it today through the stunning images from Hawaii-based Marcia Campbell Photography.
They ordered blue sunglasses with ‘Bryce & Maria’ written on the sides for each of their guests and placed them on each chair to use for the ceremony. The sunglasses were a huge hit and people wore them all day…and night!
These little wooden boxes where the couple kept their rings are Hawaiian Dream Catchers. Maria shares:
When we bought the boxes, it included a small piece of paper where you are supposed to write your dream for yourself or for another person. We used those pieces of paper to write a short note to each other. That morning I wrote a small note to Bryce and put his ring in the box and he did the same. When we exchanged rings at the ceremony, we read the note that we wrote to each other…we did not read it out loud – we just read it to ourselves – and I would totally suggest people doing this! It was like we each had our own little secret and it made us feel what a wedding is supposed to feel like… your love and admiration for each other!
Maria is such a gorgeous bride, isn’t she? It’s time to get to know the twosome a little better. Here they are with their love story:
Maria and Bryce met on Thursday, February 1st, 2007 in New York City. Bryce had graduated from Columbia University and Maria had moved to New York City to pursue her acting career after graduating from Syracuse University. A few months before they officially met, Bryce saw Maria for the first time at Amsterdam Billiards and at first glance, said to his friends, “I love that girl”. They never spoke that day but they finally met on February 1st. They had their first date two days later and have been inseparable ever since!
On November 27th, 2010, Bryce suggested they take a stroll to Bryant Park, one of Maria’s favorite places during the holidays. With a little black box in his left jacket pocket, he took her left hand and led her through the shops and past the skating rink to a private balcony overlooking the entire park. She was shocked when Bryce dropped to his knee and asked her to be his wife! With a huge smile on her face, she was only able to say a few words: “Seriously?!,” “What the heck?!” At dinner that night, Bryce told Maria another surprise he had planned…a celebration trip to Las Vegas that weekend! When they arrived to their dinner reservation on their first night in Vegas, the hostess seated them at a table where a group of people were hiding behind menus. Yet another surprise! Knowing that Maria would be spending Christmas in Manitoba with Bryce’s family, she would not have the opportunity to celebrate with her own family, so…there they were! Maria and Bryce’s parents, as well as Maria’s Lolo, were sitting at the table waiting to congratulate them and celebrate their engagement! The rest is history!
Maria shares they made sure that their wedding reflected them 100% and here she is to tell us how they personalized their ceremony:
Because we are not really religious, I really wanted to have our ceremony reflect our relationship. Two friends who were in our wedding party (who are also actors) read a few letters that we wrote to each other over the years.
- “The marriage between Bryce and Maria does not mark the beginning of a new relationship; It is an acknowledgement and celebration of a relationship that has been flourishing since the moment they met. As proof, here are a few love letters and notes that they wrote to each other over the years…”
- They read 4 notes that we wrote: A promise that Bryce wrote to me on our one year anniversary, a Valentine’s Day card that I wrote to Bryce, a birthday card that Bryce gave me, and a note that I wrote to Bryce on our 4 year anniversary). People laughed, people cried. It was a hit!
We also included a hand ceremony where we held each others hands as our officiant (who was also a close family friend) said:
- These are the hands of your best friend. These are the hands that will passionately love you and comfort you through the years. These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief fills your mind. These are the hands that will wipe the tears from your eyes; tears of sorrow and tears of joy. These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it. These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children. These are the hands that will help you to hold your family as one. And these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged will still be reaching for yours.
I love that the couples I feature on here are crazy for each other, and obviously these two aren’t any different.
Didn’t I say the photos were stunning? I’m letting Maria take over for now so she can share how they made their wedding uniquely theirs:
Bryce and I had a very small budget for this wedding, which we were worried about, but we totally pulled it off. We just prioritized what was most important to us… If you have good company, good food, yummy drinks and music — it’s bound to be a hit!
In lieu of a rehearsal dinner, we decided to put that money towards privately renting a Catamaran sail for everyone the day before the wedding. Though I am originally from Hawaii, we still considered it a destination wedding as I hadn’t been back in a few years… I didn’t just plan a wedding, I planned a whole week itinerary of fun things for us to do and places for us to meet. We hosted a picnic/BBQ/beach day, an outing at a fun Tiki Bar, a Catamaran sail and a luau.
I designed our Save the Date Magnets and Invitations and made sure they were more casual and fun. We also did thank you postcards to fit our casual & Hawaii theme.
We used blue wine bottles and local Hawaiian flowers as centerpieces to keep it fun and casual. And I purchased little chalkboards on Etsy.com to use as Table Numbers and also for the seating chart.
One of Bryce’s nicknames for me is Cakes, because I LOVE cakes, particularly cupcakes – so obviously we had a cupcake tower. We had cupcakes with edible blue sunglasses and blue flip flops. Plus a little edible Bryce figure and Maria figure on top! He’s Canadian and very proud so he wore a Canadian Tshirt. He loved it!
My dad hired one of the most popular bands in Hawaii, Kapala, who is also a family friend… My dad, who is also a musician, sat in and sang some Bob Marley and played the steel drum. There were a lot of other singers, musicians who also sat it. It made it so special!
I also used to be a bartender, so I designed specialty drinks with fun names like: Sun Kiss, Blue Hawaiian, Surf’s Up…I forgot the others…
Two of our friends are amazing professional dancers and we had them choreograph our first dance (‘Lucky’ by Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat). Bryce is no dancer — but he’s strong so they had us do some fun lifts and kept it simple.
Towards the end of the evening, we had a bonfire. Bryce and I made a s’mores basket so people could make a yummy late night snack!
I planned our whole wedding in Hawaii from New York City, never seeing one venue or tasting a bite of food. I just read a lot of reviews and did my research! I knew that sometimes things don’t work out like they are supposed to…So, from day one of wedding planning, I just tried to be as prepared as possible so that when the day finally came, I could just relax, have fun and take it all in! I knew that some things might not be how I envisioned it in my head – and it wasn’t…it was even better! I lucked out! Overall, I was really laid back and easy going about the whole wedding planning process and I think it paid off!
Thank you so much Maria for sharing your beautiful wedding with us! Here’s wishing you and Bryce a lifetime of married bliss!
Photographer: Marcia Campbell Photography
Venue: Loulu Palm Estate North Shore, Oahu, Hawaii
Dress: Nicole Miller (From the bride: Fun story about the dress…I had tried it on in a little boutique in the Village and thought it was perfect. Simple, Casual & Elegant. That night, I went online to look at it again and I found it on eBay in my size and brand new for $449. I’ve never purchased anything from eBay and I asked Bryce how it works, he says you bid on it and then other people place higher bids and the highest bid wins…So I bid on it right away, thinking I would have more time to think about it once people start bidding on it too…Well no one else bid on it and 2 days later, it arrived at my apartment and fit perfectly!)
Caterer: Island Fusion Catering
Rentals (tent, chairs, etc…): Pacific Party Rentals
Bar & Bartender: Aloha on the Rocks
Cake / Cupcakes: Frosted
Entertainment: Hawaiian Band Kapala
DJ: Joe Ugalino
Flowers (bouquet, centerpieces, etc): the bride’s aunt, Gilda Lee