AVERIE + MEL: Photography, Love & Hip Hop – A Hawaiian elopement in pictures

ELOPEMENT- A term often used to refer to a marriage conducted in sudden and secretive fashion, usually involving a hurried flight away from one’s place of residence together with one’s beloved with the intention of getting married.

What do you get when 2 photographers meet, fall in love & step in front of the camera for a change? You get a world-wind romance that leads to a breathtakingly beautiful Hawaiian Elopement! Say Aloha to this weeks Real Wedding of Averie + Mel as they share their love story in pictures….

Mel from NYC and Averie from Sydney had never met but shared one thing in common – they were both hip hop photographers…but they lived on the opposite side of the world.

© Folk + Follow

They met in July and by October, they were married.

© Folk + Follow

Averie recalls “In 2011 I wrote Mel an email about how much I loved his photos but it wasn’t until 2015 that we would eventually meet face to face.”

© Folk + Follow

“We met up for drinks on lower east side and walked the streets taking photos until the early hours of the morning.”

The bride wore a stunning tapered flower crown made by local Oahu florist Passion Roots Her hair & Make up was done by the talented Kat Margarita © Folk + Follow

“We saw each other again the next day at the Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival as we were both there shooting. It was so bizarre to me, I was thinking shit this is my dream guy and he’s right in front of me what the hell!?”

The couple reunited in Honolulu before their big day © Folk + Follow

“I spent the whole plane ride back to Australia with him on my mind. Since that first night together we’ve spoken every single day via 1000’s of photos and messages + FaceTime calls.”

© Folk + Follow

“I can’t remember exactly when Mel started asking me to marry him but he pretty much asked me everyday for two weeks until he won me over “FINE”. I was like shit now I have to plan a wedding in a month really!?”

Sharing an intimate ‘first look’ at Averie’s stunning bridal gown custom made in lightening speed by local Sydney designer Collezione Santina before they travel to the ceremony together © Folk + Follow
Averie’s custom sheer gold embellished gown made by Collezione Santina allowed the bride to wear a full length gown for their ceremony, removing the skirt at the reception to reveal a fun play suit to dance the night away. © Folk + Follow

“I was going to Hawaii in October for my 30th birthday so we decided to hijack the trip and turn it into a wedding.”

The bride received a custom necklace of their wedding date made by good friend, guest & local Sydney accessory designer Haus of Dizzy © Folk + Follow
The couple exchanged vows in an intimate ceremony at Oahu’s Makapu’u beach, a stunning white sandy beach and infamous local surfing spot © Folk + Follow

“Ends up it was the greatest idea either of us have ever had.”

© Folk + Follow

“We kept it super simple, on the beach, no fuss – no bullshit”

© Folk + Follow

“A small group of my friends and family came to the wedding as they were already coming for my 30th…but other than that we didn’t tell anyone.”

The mountain tops surrounding Makapu’u beach in Oaha made the perfect backdrop to their Hawaiian Elopement © Folk + Follow

“So many people couldn’t believe it. All of Mel‘s family and friends thought it was a prank or a photo shoot!”

The couple were joined by close family & friends who wore white as Averie + Mel hijacked her 30th birthday holiday celebrations. © Folk + Follow
The couples wedding rings were purchased from Etsy © Folk + Follow

“We really surprised and shocked a lot of people (including ourselves) but to me that’s just shows how powerful and mysterious love is.”

Mel keeping up with Hawaiian traditions wearing the Hula with his Tux jacket!  © Folk + Follow
The happy couple took a stroll around the rock-pools & cliff-faces of Makapu’u beach for their adorable couple portraits © Folk + Follow

“Love can completely reinvent everything you know and expect out of life.”

Celebrating the best day ever with a post reception dinner dip! © Folk + Follow

The Bride & Groom treated their guests to a fun evening reception dinner and drinks held at The Modern Honolulu. Shortly after their wedding Averie moved to NYC where they now reside. The newlyweds were greeted by Mels family with open arms, hosting a big BBQ cook out so she could meet  her new family!

Wish all wedding portraits could be this awesome. Averie + Mel, we salute you! © Folk + Follow

The couple intend on planning a vow renewal for all family and friends to attend on their 5 year wedding anniversary. If your vow renewal is as rad as your elopement, we can’t wait to see it!

Want Averie + Mel to shoot your wedding or love story? Follow them @averiecole @meldcole


The Bride: Averie Cole  / The Groom: Mel Cole / Photography: Folk + Follow / Bridal Gown: Collezione Santina / Groom’s Suit: J.Crew / Accessories: Michael Kors & Haus of Dizzy /Flowers: Passion Roots/Ceremony: Makapu’u Beach, Honolulu, USA/Reception: The Modern Honolulu, USA/Celebrant: I Do Hawaiian Weddings /Transport: Dukes Limo

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