Waiopai Gardens Wedding

Jon Bodhi

October 18, 2022

K A R E E N & J U L I O

Waiopai Gardens | Kailua Kona | Big Island Hawaii


Photography style. Willing to venture out into nature to capture your couples.


I work in construction management, he secures a place we can’t talk about. Relationships with family and friends are important. Yummy food and personal sanity are both equally important as well – thus we live a very active lifestyle. I run (a lot), he does jiu-jitsu. Gym time for him, kickboxing and conditioning classes for me. We work out because we love to eat. He adores his two kids, and we have a Florida exchange dog that we’re fostering for a couple months.


Before moving to Las Vegas from Hawaii, I had planned to hike the backside of Stairway to Heaven (legal way) with family and friends. Of course, we had a lot more people joining than usual, but I figured they just wanted to spend time before I left the island. Little did I know, he started the hike a couple hours earlier with a few of our friends who “cancelled” that morning. He flew in from Las Vegas the night before (without my knowledge), asked my parents for their blessing in person, then ventured to start the hike 5 hours later. It was the worst day to hike the Backside that day. There was strong wind, lots of mud, and rain. His group took an hour and a half to get up there, afraid that we would beat them up by the time we started but it took us 5 hours if not more since we had more people, and a few were afraid of heights. Julio’s group waited in the cold for a couple hours at the 2nd platform – worried that my group wouldn’t make it up because of the conditions. When we got to the top of Stairway, I started rushing down the steps to get to the platform (so we can rest) but everyone was asking me to wait for them because they were not comfortable coming down the steps. I obliged – waited until most of them were down. I was very focused coming down the steps, when I felt it was too quiet with everyone down the platform, so I looked up – and there he was – with his teary eyed nervous smile and his knee brace on. I eventually walk down to him, gave him the biggest hug as he said his sweet nothings, and he went down on one knee. He put my perfect knot ring on my dirty muddy fingers after I was able to manage removing my gloves. We enjoyed the moment for a little bit before I had to put the ring back in the box so we can all hike back down in the mud and rain. It was a loooong tiring day, but it was so full of love and smiles. We ended the night by getting his favorite food on island, garlic shrimp!


At first, it was New Zealand – to see snow in July (Julio’s name translation) but when we found out my family was going to be on the Big Island during this time, we jumped on the opportunity to be able to get our closest family and friends to come together and celebrate our love. Hawaii is a very dear place to us so it wasn’t much of a compromise. And ultimately, we wanted to be in the mountains, or somewhere with a view – so we found something very close to that in Waipai Gardens. And for the second shoot, we really liked the idea of capturing us in nature – doing what we enjoy together, and as a family.

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