Cafe Julia Wedding in Downtown Honolulu | Chelsea Abril Photography

Hawaii Weddings

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I’m not gonna lie, Jenny and Yao’s Cafe Julia wedding in downtown Honolulu, was a celebration after my own heart.

My friends, if you have followed my work for any length of time you know I am all about the fun side of things. The scrunched noses and belly laughs, the awkward dancing and thousands of real moments that pop up throughout the day. These are the things I strive for at every wedding. The moments that show who you really are.

While this is the goal every damn time, every now and then I get clients like these two incredible human beings, where the connection is instant and it is strong. When this happens, you KNOW you are in for a great time and the rest just comes naturally.

A details photo featuring brown men's  dress shows, a brown belt, sunglasses and pink tie.
A man can be seen from the knees down tying his brown shoes. He is wearing blue dress pants, polka dotted black and white socks, and a white dress shirt.
A groom stands with a phone in his hand and a groomsman on each side of him. All three men have a silly look on their face as they attempt and fail to tie their neck ties.
A man watches video on his cell phone which shows how to tie a neck tie.
Three boutonnieres for a wedding. All three feature calla Lilys, two pink and one white.

A Little About Yao and Jenny:

This is couple is from right here in Seattle, WA, but decided to escape the cold city winters. So, they headed to the warmth of Hawaii for their Cafe Julia wedding. If this wasn’t a match made in heaven, I’m not really sure what is!

They are huge fans of goofy moments, silly dancing. While they frequent plays and musicals, their fave moments are spent chillin’ together at home with copious amounts of takeout, Netflix and their rad cat Marley.

Jenny moved to Seattle in 2013 from Puyallup, WA where she was born and raised. Yao was born in China but moved to Scotland when he was three. The pair were introduced by a mutual friend after Yao eventually moved to Seattle for work in 2013. It took three years for them to start dating. Both agree that they knew it was something special from that very first date. By 2018, they were married.

Yep, you read that right. These two lovebirds knew it was meant to be, got engaged, and organized a courthouse wedding in just THREE WEEKS! Most of Yao’s family are still in China or Japan which meant they were not able to attend on such short notice. Friends and family are some of the most important things in their lives, so the duo organized their Cafe Julia wedding as a chance celebrate together with everyone they love.

Hawaii happened to be where they went for their first vacation together and the area holds many special memories for them. The decision to host their wedding there was pretty much a no brainer.

Trust me when I say, these two were meant to be together. They are constantly making each other laugh and admit to being the couple often found giggling in the corner of most formal events.

While they were both extremely excited for their big day, they weren’t too stressed about details like cakes and decor – these two were in it for the party with all of their faves.

A bride inspects her white wedding dress which is hanging in the light of a window
A bride stands with her back to the camera while wearing a detailed white wedding dress. Her mother stands behind her buttoning up the back while three bridesmaids help spread out the dress's train
A closeup of a blonde bride putting on her earrings
A blonde bride has her hair put up into a formal bun. Her back is to the camera as her dress is buttoned by someone standing behind her.
A bride in her wedding dress cuddles up to her m other as they hold hands before their wedding.

The Big Day

The morning was spent at the Courtyard Marriott where the bride and groom got ready in their separate rooms. From the very freakin’ start these two let their personalities run wild and I absolutely loved every minute of it. There was so much laughter, dancing, and quite a bit of swooning (at least on my part).

A mother buttons up a. bride's dress. The bride is out of focus.
A bride pulls back a strand of hair as she gets ready to leave for her wedding
A mother and bride are seen from their shoulders to their waist, facing one another and holding hands.
Bridal details which include earrings, a necklace and a handkerchief that has the words 'keep your shit together' stitched into it in blue thread.

Jenny and Yao kept their wedding party small for their Cafe Julia wedding, with three bridesmaids and two groomsmen, and their guest list to 50 people. It was simple and it was EVERYTHING! I quickly found out that it wasn’t just Jenny and Yao who were absolutely amazeballs, but their family and friends were a party and a half.

A groom stands in front of a building with lots of dark and tropical greenery. He's wearing a dark blue dress pants and jacket, pink tie, white shirt and brown dress shoes and black glasses.
A groom grins sillily while throwing up some devil horns with his hands. He is wearing a dark blue suit jacket and pants, a white dress shirt, pink tie and brown shoes and black glasses
A groom stands in his dark blue suit with a pink tie and white shirt. He has his hand over his chest while taking a deep breath moments before his first glimpse of his bride at their Cafe Julia  wedding

At about 3 pm everyone headed off for the Cafe Julia wedding. This, by the way, is possibly the cutest venue ever and was perfect for the entire day. Their first looks, ceremony and reception all took place at this adorable venue. They kept the ceremony short and sweet and off we went to take advantage of the amazing archetecture surrounding the venue and capture some photographic awesomeness.

A bride places her hand on her groom's shoulder as she approaches him from behind. She is wearing a detailed floor-length white wedding dress. The groom stands waiting to get a first look at his bride. He is wearing a blue suit with brown dress shoes.
A groom dances with excitement as he sees his bride for the first time. He is wearing a blue suit with a brown belt, white dress shirt and pink tie. The bride is in a detailed white backless wedding dress.
A bride and groom stand outside at their Julia Cafe wedding. They stand side by side but are looking in opposite directions. The groom is in a blue suit, white dress shirt, pink tie, and brown dress shoes. the bride is in a detailed white wedding dress with a semi long train and is holding a large bouquet of tropical greenery and flowers.
A bride and groom throw their hands in the air and wiggle their bums at the camera as they dance sillily. The bride is in a detailed white wedding dress and the groom is in a blue suit and brown dress shoes. They both are standing outside of Cafe Julia
A bride and groom do a goofy dance outside their Cafe Julia wedding in Hawaii
A bride and groom stand facing one another hand in hand at their Cafe Julia wedding in Honolulu, Hawaii. An Officiant can be seen reading his speech between the two.

Once group shots and portraits were done we settled in for the reception. One major perk of a Cafe Julia wedding is by far the courtyard. Its intimate without being cramped, and adorable while still giving an elegant feel. Their decor was simple, bright and playful, a perfect reflection of the couple of the day. The table settings were small and intimate and the food was to die for.

Dinner turned into dancing and you better believe that this crew took FULL advantage of that dance floor.

A bride in a detailed white wedding dress with a long train and a groom in a blue suit and brown dress shoes share their first kiss after they become married.
A bride and groom celebrate as they walk down the aisle after they say their vows at their Cafe Julia Wedding  in Honolulu, Hawaii
A bride and groom kiss after walking down the aisle at their Cafe Julia wedding in Hawaii.
A bride and groom cheer along with their guests after they say their vows. The bride is holding a large tropical bouquet.
A bride and groom dance in front of their guests at a Cafe Julia wedding in Honolulu
A bride and groom stand together after their wedding ceremony, their mothers stand on either side of them
A cell phone is shown in the middle of the photo with a video chat with several people on the screen. A bride and groom are out of focus and align from the background to all the people in the video.
A bride and groom blow a kiss to wedding attendants who are participating through a video chat on a cell phone. The cell phone is blurred in the foreground.
A bride and groom pose for a portrait together at Cafe Julia in Honolulu. The bride is in a long detailed white dress and the groom is in a blue suit with brown dress shoes.
A bride and groom pose by large pillars outside the United States Post Office Custom House . The bride is in a long and detailed white wedding dress. The groom wears a blue suit and a pink tie.
A bride and groom jump in the air for a fun posed photo together after their wedding. The bride is in a detailed white dress and the groom is in a blue suit with brown dress shoes.
A groom dances in front of the camera. He is in a blue suit, white shirt and pink tie with brown dress shoes.
A bride stands between a column of pillars. She wears a long white detailed wedding dress and holds a large bouquet of tropical flowers.
A groom tips back his bride and kisses her between a column of pillars. nThe bride is in a detailed white wedding dress, and is hold a large bouquet of tropical greenery and flowers. The groom is wearing a dark blue suit and pink tie.
A bride and groom do a goofy dance in front of the camera. the groom is in a dark blue suit and the bride is in a detailed white wedding dress with a large bouquet of tropical flowers and greenery,
A bride and groom stand several feet from one another at a Hawaii hotel. Before them is a blue watered pool and the areas is filled with tropical greenery.
A bride and groom stand by a white railing with tropical plants surrounding theta a Hawaii hotel
A bride and groom stand a few meters away from one another and are photographed from across the street. The empty street is before them and behind them is an old building with large stained glass windows.
A bride and groom kiss in the middle of s street crosswalk. A bus goes by in a blue in the background.
A bride and groom cuddle together in a group laughing with their bridesmaids and groomsmen. All are dressed in formal wear and the bridesmaids are holding large tropical bouquets.
A groom stands with his groomsmen on either side of him. They all wear dark blue suits, white shirts and pink ties. Each has a calla lily boutonniere.
A bride and groom open and spray a bottles of champaign while their groomsmen and bridesmaids celebrate at their Cafe Julia wedding
A bride playfully shows off her wedding ring while a groomsmen playfully pretends to be very upset.
A bridal party stand together as they look at one another with love and admiration at a Cafe Julia Wedding in Honolulu
A closeup of a large bouquet of tropical flowers and greenery.
Three large bouquets filled with tropical flowers and greenery.
A bride smiles as she poses with her large bouquet featuring tropical flowers and greenery outside her Cafe Julia Wedding
A bride and her bridesmaid celebrate outside their cafe Julia wedding. the bridesmaid is in a pink formal dress and the bride in a white detailed wedding dres.
A bride poses smiling with her bridesmaid at a Cafe Julia Wedding. The bride is wearing a detailed white dress and simple necklace and earrings. Her blonde hair is pulled back into a bun. The bridesmaid is wearing a pink dress and is holding a large bouquet of tropical flowers and greenery,
Two wedding rings sit onto of tropical greenery
A table is set up with tropical flowers and white linens at a Cafe Julia Wedding in Hawaii
A bride and groom sit cheering at the heatable of their Cafe Julia wedding in Hawaii. Their table is decorated with lots of tropical flowers and greenery.
A display of the reception food at a Hawaii wedding
A bride dances with a glass of champaign in both hands. She is wearing a detailed white wedding dress.
A bride and groom dances and poses with a group of friends and family during their Cafe Julia wedding reception
A bride and groom pose with their friends and family during their Cafe Julia wedding reception
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