Hawaii is a dream wedding locale for many people, but for one same-sex couple, the island where both men are stationed in the U.S. military became the surprise setting for a wedding beyond their wildest dreams.
Christian Alarid, a 24-year-old staff sergeant in the Air Force, teamed up with the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau to surprise his partner, Shayne Barnes, with a proposal that led to a wedding on the same day. Barnes, 27, recently completed his service in the U.S. Marine Corps as a corporal and is now a full-time student at Hawaii Pacific University. He thought he was participating in a romantic photo shoot — but his partner had other plans.
As Go Hawaii's touching video below shows, the bureau had several surprises in store for both grooms — including bringing family and friends to Oahu to help each man prepare for the big day.
Less than 10 hours after Alarid popped the question, he and Barnes walked down the aisle at the Kahala Hotel and Resort, surrounded by loved ones and set against the backdrop of the clear blue Pacific sky, white-sand beaches, and Oahu's striking mountains in the distance.
With tears in their eyes, the men recited the vows they had written each other, then shared their first kiss as husband and husband.
The wedding was coordinated and funded by the the tourism bureau as part of its #LetHawaiiHappen campaign, with many different companies and wedding vendors donating their time and efforts to make the wedding happen.
Join Christian and Shayne Alarid's celebration in the video, filmed by the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, below.