Aulani Photo Shoot with the Roots!

After the ceremony, we about 90 minutes before our brunch reservation at ‘AMA ‘AMA to shoot photos with the Roots. I’m going to apologize in advance for crazy-insane number of photos I’m about to post due to my crippling inability to photo edit—even between almost identical images—because I can always see merit in nearly all of them. And trying to whittle down the number when they’re Root photos practically paralyzes me because they’re ALL good!

Our first stop was the lava rocks out beyond the JW Marriott Ihilani Ko Olina Resort, which is on the right if you’re standing at Aulani and looking out toward the bay. We didn’t last long here cuz the sun was at squinty-blinky-eye level, which is never a great look in photos. We did get to go back later, though, cuz the backdrop is pretty dang amazing…


Caption THIS!

Ah… that’s better…

Naturally, when we came across a cute little birdie we immediately began miming for it to come perch upon our hands like Snow White…

Oh goody… more rock climbing…

…And another critter to look at!

Sorry! We’re easily distracted!

VERY easily distracted…

Then it was back to squinty-blinky-eye sunshine to see if we could get a shot with waves crashing in the background. This is not as easy as the brochures make it look, which meant lots of time to nuzzle and smooch—you may need to scroll through these ones quickly!

“Enough with the nuzzling and smooching already!”


And then I went in the drink!

I don’t even want to know how much of Patrick is in the water for this shot…


Patrick: “So…. you in town for the convention?”


Me: “Oh-ho-ho…. HIGH-larious…”


Let’s see that one again, shall we?

What we were standing in…

We finally found a spot where the waves were at least lapping the shore, if not crashing against it. More nuzzling and smooching, dead ahead!

“All right, enough of that. Somebody get me a SmartWater… and Patrick a Red Bull!”


“Aaaaaaand…. we’re BACK!”


Now I’m not saying that Nate Root encouraged this kind of reckless behavior, but he does seem to wind up in a tree at some point during every photo shoot, so it’s no mystery where Patrick got the idea…

Patrick writing “I love you” in the sand… Too bad there was no nearby tree for Nate to scale so you could see it!


One of the things on my list was to get Root-erific shots of all the wedding venues at Aulani, so we went and stood in some of them to give you an idea where the “altar” would be. Of course, Disney would clear out all the gear and rope the area off, but it’s kinda hard to visualize with all the junk strewn around normally.

Wishes Collection Beach Location

“Disney went all-out with this altar arrangement! It totally reflects our sporty lifestyle!”


Memories Collection Beach Location

The cones add a certain je ne sais quoi

“Yeah…. not feelin’ it…”


And then, I had hair…

So, all the way out on the left side of the lagoon from Aulani is this pretty knoll with palm trees and a nifty view back toward the resort. We went out there to see if it’d make a good photo spot.


What Nate was shooting…

Gotta love a beach wedding…


Nate and Jensey needed to do a few test shots for lighting. Thank goodness there was a professional MODEL around to help out!

At this point a woman in a security polo shirt drove up to us in a golf cart and officiously told us we weren’t allowed to be taking pictures there. I wish Nathensey had a pic, but they were too polite to sneak one. I informed her that we were allowed to shoot there because we’d just paid $$$ for a vow renewal at Aulani, but she said, “They’re the ones who called to report you.” Sigh… I guess even at this remote outpost, Disney’s right hand never knows what its left hand is doing, as usual. I didn’t want to make a scene in front of the Roots, so we just moved on, but I really wish I’d told her we weren’t going anywhere til she called my planner. Because, sure enough, when we later mentioned it to Elena, she was dumbfounded, telling us that there are absolutely no rules prohibiting Disney couples from shooting out there.

As we headed back toward the resort, the Roots shot the wedding chapel next door for me. Apparently the owners have been hassling Disney about its beach ceremony locations because their brides don’t want to see Disney brides out the window. Come to think of it, I wonder if THEY’RE the ones who ratted us out…

Meanwhile, back at Alohi Point…


“Thank the maker, they’re finally gone! Timmy… let’s ROLL!!!!”

We went around to the back of the resort to shoot the Halawai Lawn ceremony site next.

Halawai Lawn

“We came all the way to Hawaii for our wedding and NO ocean view???”


Here’s the other spot:


Patrick got very into Aulani’s “find the Menehune” game while we were there. I thought it was kinda lame cuz we’d easily spotted dozens, til I got home and learned that there are more than 200 of them scattered around the resort!

Our next stop was the terrace off the lobby that overlooks the entire pool area and the ocean—Aulani’s Kodak Photo Spot, if you will. Except that it really IS a photo spot, with a PhotoPass photographer and everything, so we had to wait our turn. Ahead of us was a large family smiling wide for a classic Christmas card shot—all except one little boy, who’d decided he was going to be different by pouting. Patrick immediately set about remedying this situation…

Our turn!!!

Our planner, Elena, happened to be passing through the lobby so we excitedly ran up to her for a photo like she was a Disney princess. Heck, she pretty much IS a Disney princess—she got an award in the Miss Oahu/Waikiki/Diamond Head pageant the day before!

“Thanks—now can you take one with MY camera?”


Apparently the light out front was really good for photos at that hour, so we went out to get some headshots.

A nice touch at the valet stand


This is one of the beautiful atriums (wait—atria?) in the lobby. Some have waterfalls or pools in them.

Up Next: “Reception” at ‘AMA ‘AMA—with CAKE!

11 Responses
  • Elizabeth
    June 25, 2013

    Great photos…you look beautiful, Carrie.

    • Carrie
      June 26, 2013

      Hey, thanks!

  • Claire (Chilly)
    April 24, 2013

    Great photos as always. The chapel looks pretty, did you go inside? Now on to cake, I think I have some around the house which is good as i’m normally hungry after your posts, and its cake time…

    • Carrie
      April 24, 2013

      LOL! I’d intended to shoot all the chapels in the Ko Olina area, but we ran out of time and didn’t get to any of them…

  • Hope
    April 22, 2013

    No wonder you had such a hard time narrowing down the pictures for this post! They’re all fantastic! When it ended, I actually wanted to see more. The locations were really pretty and you two always look good in front of pretty locations. Though, I must admit I was sort of hoping for that T-Rex to photobomb you again at some point. 🙂

    I’m glad you took the time to go to the official DFTW locations out there and got pictures.

    • Carrie
      April 22, 2013

      LOL! Yeah, that T-Rex is a wiley one… you never know where he’ll show up!

  • Katelyn
    April 22, 2013

    You really know how to set up a cliff hanger, promising Cake like that! Beautiful pictures! That said, I was really hoping the caption on the “Come Here Often” one would be “So, are you in town for the convention?” 😀

    • Carrie
      April 22, 2013

      Oooh! I’m stealing that! And wondering about your availability as a gag writer….

      • Katelyn
        April 22, 2013

        I was just hoping you wouldn’t be weirded out by your Trip Reports being so deeply ingrained in my head that I can recall jokes from your wedding trip that quickly and easily! I just love living vicariously through you so much, especially when the husband and I are cancelling Disney trips left and right while we’re in school.

        • Carrie
          April 22, 2013

          No, I’m just kicking myself that I forgot! Sorry to hear about all the cancelling… you’ll be due for a real blow-out trip when you finish school! Like an around-the-world Disney trip!!!

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