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The royal marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton has set romantics abuzz, and no wonder. Consider the centuries of tradition, the grandeur of Westminster Abbey … even the speculation over whose gown Kate will wear, all of which adds to the allure of royal nuptials. Nary forget that this real-life fairy-tale fantasy-the commoner marrying a Prince-is every girl’s dream come true. But true love isn’t reserved for royalty. It’s a story that plays out every day in the most ordinary circumstances: Boy meets girl. A ring is offered in proposal of never-ending love. Friends are told. The search for the perfect gown begins. Another love story is set in motion…

ABOUT THE SETTING

Towering 38 stories above Hawai’i’s most storied beach- and bathed in golden sunlight-the Grand Waikikian penthouse suite that stood as our “set” was a big departure from last issue’s stark concrete slabs.

Although steeped in fantasy, this realistic setting saw our “bride” as she celebrates all the milestones in planning her “wedding.” The Waikikian’s elegant décor, accented by dark wood furniture, crown molding and meticulously cu-rated art (itself an extension of the property’s noteworthy art collection), made for picture-perfect vignettes. (It’s no wonder that Hilton Grand Vacations Club members from all over the globe-as well as “stay-cationing” kama’aina- scramble to secure one of the Grand Waikikian rooms for a getaway.)

Yet, it isn’t often that you are invited to “come along” for a pictorial essay that follows a couple through engagement, the planning, the inevitable “girl time” that ensues, and ultimately, the wedding and honeymoon. Our team carefully sketched each scene prior to casting our model couple (and gal pal); just to give you an idea of the time that goes into these shoots.

Making use of all three bedrooms and the fully equipped kitchen, our creative and fashion teams noted the ease of making the scenes feel “real” when the backdrops included the liberal use of huge flat-screen T.V.s, oversized tubs (especially in the master suite), and touches like Crabtree and Evelyn bath amenities and in-suite laundry.

Toss in direct access to the Duke Kahanamoku saltwater lagoon, Mandara Spa, all the Hilton Hawaiian Village restaurants, the on-site wedding chapel and so on, and you’ve got the perfect one-stop betrothal destination-or fantastical photo shoot, as it were.

FASHION EDITOR & WRITER: NADINE KAM
PHOTOGRAPHER: LEAH FRIEL
MODELS: MIKE HSIA, KATE SCHUETTE, DANIELLA ABE
HAIR & MAKEUP: CHRISTINE GARDNER OF FLAUNT