Hulihee Palace Wedding, Pualei & Kahekili

This is a wedding from a few months ago that I absolutely adore. Pualei and Kahekili were married at Hulihee Palace, right in the heart of Kailua-Kona. Once a summer vacation home for Hawaiian royalty built in 1838, today Hulihee Palace is a museum operated by the Daughters of Hawaii showcasing Victorian artifacts from the era of King Kalakaua and Queen Kapiolani. The Hulihe‘e Palace beautiful oceanfront location is a unique and prestigious site for weddings.  300 people were in attendance on the grounds, so many family and friends and such a loving family environment. The reception took place at the Kona Imin Center, which was beautifully decorated by many friends and family members. Guest enjoyed traditional island face and mesmerizing performances that continued throughout the night,  highlighted by a special hula performed by Pualei for Kahekili, this dance is traditionally  a gift from the bride to the groom, a way for her to open up hear heart and soul to her new husband.

The bride and grooms dance morphed into a money dance, which is another fun tradition that occurs at most Hawaiian weddings. The money dance originated in Poland, but everyone knows that in Hawaii, cultures are mixed and traditions are a must, and weddings are no exception. One belief is that the money dance started when arranged marriages ruled. Since the groom didn’t receive any dowry until consummation, the couples performed this money dance to set up their household. In exchange for the dollar (or more!), the guest would get a chance to dip the bride or sway with the groom. Nowadays, the money dance has become a guaranteed way to get face time with your guests!

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The reception featured performances by Lehua Kalima & Shawn Pimental, Bulla & Hawane, Kumu Etua Lopes’ hula Halau (hula school) Na Pua U‘i O Hawai‘i, and Iwalani Kalima’s Halau, Country Lion ended it all off with chill vibes

Steve and Mai’s wedding, Kikaua Point, Big Island of Hawaii

Steve and Mai traveled to the Big Island of Hawaii to make Kikaua Point the location for their special day!  It was a picture perfect morning for their small, intimate ceremony including just Steve and Mai’s little girl, Kohana, and two of their closest friends.  The ceremony was officiated by Lona Lyons of Romantic Beach Weddings.  I have to make special mention of Kohana…..she was a complete angel during the ceremony and such fun to photograph!  Some of my favorite pics of the day are of this beautiful trio just hanging out, laughing and having fun together.  Thanks again for allowing me to part of your stunning Kikaua point wedding!

Hillary and Scott, Kikaua Point Beach, Big Island Hawaii

This Big Island wedding is about as vintage and gorgeous as they come. Hillary and Scott are self-described “old school”, and their eclectic style shows it! Hillary wore a gorgeous vintage style dress she referred to as a woodland fairy dress, the long ribbons gracefully danced in the light wind during the wedding. A unique and inspiring service, complete with powerful chanting was performed with aloha by Rev. Penei Aller of Beach Weddings Hawaii. After the ceremony, Hillary and Scott danced as the sun went down over the water. For more of this perfect day, sit back and revel in a little Big Island beauty.

Jordan & Jeremiah, Old Aiport Beach & Royal Kona Resort, Big Island Hawaii

Being a wedding photographer in Kona has its perks, namely the weather.  Let’s just say I’m spoiled with year-round sunnyness…almost every day.  In fact, rain is so infrequent on the beaches here that  most couples don’t have a plan B for the wedding location, so, when we are hit with the occasional rain we usually have to scramble to make last-minute changes to the wedding. This is exactly what was going on yesterday at 4pm, when it started raining at Old Airport Beach, and with Jordan and Jeremiah’s  ceremony scheduled for 5pm.  Now, I think there is something really romantic about the rain. I absolutely love that this adorable couple didn’t let rain on the day of their wedding stop them. I think it really just added to the magic of the day……….because they decided to stay and have the ceremony outdoors on the beach, and the rain just stopped, magically, shortly after Jordan arrived. The wedding ceremony was officiated by Rev. Patrick Thompson and the couple wrote their own vows …which were incredibly touching. We headed back to the Royal Kona Resort for cocktails and dinner and I need to take a moment to thank Brian Scully for orchestrating a beautiful reception.

Karen Loudon Photography Wins Two Bright Lights Editors’ Choice Awards

Editors Choice Award


As a testament to my outstanding clients, and my commitment to producing the best-of-the-best wedding photography, I am thrilled to announce that I have been selected as a winner of the 2012 Two Bright Lights Editors’ Choice Awards!

The award is given in recognition of the those whose number of published features in 2011 placed them among the top 5% of all Two Bright Lights members. Winners were published across many of the most respected lifestyle, wedding and other print and digital publications in the United States and worldwide.

I am honored to be part of this group of talented photographers and creative professionals. My features this past year have enabled me to increase exposure for my work, and I am thrilled to have been recognized for my endeavors.

In 2011, I had the privilege of being published in the following publications:

Boho Bride,

Destination Inspiration,

Done Brilliantly,

One Stylish Bride,

Your Engagement 101,

Thanks to all of the other creative professionals who made these features possible!

To get in touch about my services, please e-mail me at

Kupala and Jeff, Waialea Bay, Big Island of Hawaii

I  know what you’re thinking…. How does Karen Loudon consistently get such beautiful brides? I can’t even count how many times I meet with a bride for the first time and have to pick my jaw up off of the floor. Kupala was one of those, AND generous and sweet.  She’s the total package for a fun guy like Jeff and they’re perfect together, it just doesn’t get a whole lot cuter than these two. . .their wedding at the Lalamilo Beach Bungalow in Waialea Bay was everything I love about weddings. Laid back, on the beach, intimate with great people and lots of Hawaiian Kava Kava.

Karen Loudon Photography receives Bride’s Choice Award

Weddings, Wedding Venues
2012 Bride's Choice Awards | Best Wedding Photographers, Wedding Dresses, Wedding Cakes, Wedding Florists, Wedding Planners

The WeddingWire Bride’s Choice Awards ™ recognizes the top local wedding professionals from the WeddingWire Network that demonstrate excellence in quality, service, responsiveness and professionalism. Unlike other awards in which winners are selected by the organization, the WeddingWire Bride’s Choice Awards™ are awarded solely based on the reviews from over 1.2 million newlyweds. Awards are determined by a combination of four factors: Overall rating (quality), total number of reviews (quantity), review performance from 2011 (recency), and consistency of reviews from year to year (consistency). This year’s recipients represent the top 5% of WeddingWire’s vendor community, across all service categories and all regions throughout the US and Canada.

Anastasiya and Cory, Mauna Lani Bay Hotel, Big Island of Hawaii

Some weddings I book years in advance and know every detail on what to expect from my couple, some weddings I book them right around the corner and am surprised with every thoughtful detail they created to make the day even more special!  Anastasiya and Cory’s wedding day was filled a whole lot of love from everyone in attendance.

Destination beach weddings are all about the organic textures, tropical  bouquets & centerpieces, and simple touches. Anastasiya and Cory had a beautiful outdoor ceremony on the beach in front of the elegant Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts on the Kohala Coast of the Big island of Hawaii. The pureness and authenticity of their day is what stands out in my mind.

Thank you Anastasiya and Cory for your kindness, authenticity and grace. Thank you … for everything!!

Annika and Sean, Kealakekua, Big Island of Hawaii

When most people think of elopements they think of Vegas or the courthouse. ….but how about a simple wedding getaway in Hawaii? Now doesn’t that sound romantic? A lot of brides elope these days and I say elope-away! Celebrate your love. And since it’s just the two of you, there’s no added pressure to make the day perfect for anyone but you and your fiancé!

Annika and Sean had been together for almost nine years and during the first couple of years it was a trans-atlantic love story (complete with romantic trysts in far away places and ridiculously high phone bills). Then Sean moved to Sweden in 2005 and they’ve been living together happily ever since then. They wanted an intimate and private wedding and why not do that in warm and sunny Hawaii! So they got married in Hilo, on Jan 2, 2012, in the Queen Liliuokalani Gardens, with just Annika, Sean and Pua, the judge officiating the marriage, present.

Annika and Sean had their wedding portrait session a  few days later at Napo’opo’o Beach Park  in Kealakekua, on the Big Island of Hawaii. Simple, sunny, romantic and fun, what a wonderful way to kick off 2012!

Karen Loudon