Avid travellers Diana Zhou and Lee Tobey knew they wanted a destination wedding. When it came time to decide where they would tie the knot, Hawaii was a natural choice. “We just loved the beautiful seclusion and romance of Four Seasons Resort Lanai,” says Diana. The couple planned the wedding from their home in New York, over 4,500 miles (7,240 kilometres) from the Resort. “We knew it was going to be tough to arrange everything remotely,” she says. “But we also knew we could rely on the Resort to help us plan our big day.”

The Scene: For the wedding theme, the couple borrowed creative inspiration from Lanai. “I wanted to match the natural feel of the island and incorporate elements of the ocean, the flowers and even the lava rock,” says Diana. Cream and turquoise tones reflected the tropical setting. To create a relaxed, beachy vibe, lava rocks were used to craft a heart-shaped “altar,” and a sand-filled seashell bore the wedding rings.

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Magical Moment: After the ceremony, the couple hosted a cosy outdoor reception for eight. A hula dancer set the tone of the dinner, creating an enchanting atmosphere. “When the cool breeze blew past us as we sat under the shade of the palm trees, it felt like the perfect moment in the perfect place,” says Diana.

The Bride and Groom: After meeting in September 2006 on a blind date, which nearly ended without the promise of a second date when Lee arrived late, the pair became friendly over Hawaiian appetizers at Roy’s Restaurant. “Four years later, we visited the Brooklyn Botanic Garden for our anniversary,” says Diana. “When we got to the Japanese garden, Lee surprised me with anniversary gifts for each year we had dated, and of course the final gift was the proposal in poem form and a ring.”

The Bride Wore: Diana’s airy gown by Jasmine Bridal reflected the casual elegance of the day. The strapless, flowing dress featured a sweetheart neckline. “I wanted my dress to feel romantic and light,” Diana says. Michael Antonio wedges completed her ensemble.

A Personal Touch: To honour family celebrating from afar, Diana chose to wear jewellery given to her by her grandparents along with the pieces given to her by Lee.

Photography Joanna Tano

Florals Lois Hiranaga Floral Design

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