Oleema Miller and Bryan Phillips’ blissful day on the misty Oahu North Shore
Words by RACHEL MARLOWE
The groom, in J.Crew, wipes away a tear, as the bride beams in a custom gown by Monique Lhuillier. PHOTO: Todd Glaser.
Water is a recurring theme in Oleema Miller and Bryan Phillips’ love story. The pair — a former professional surfer from San Clemente turned creative director and designer of the swim and ready-to-wear line MIKOH and a lifeguard turned stuntman — first met while surfing in Oahu. Phillips proposed on the Pont Neuf bridge spanning the Seine in Paris. A year later, when the couple tied the knot at the Kualoa Ranch nature reserve, water played a role once again. “It poured rain,” Miller laughs. “And it made everything just feel magical.”
A self-described control freak, Miller took the creative lead when it came to planning the nuptials, custom designing everything from the florals, linens, glassware, and menu to the wedding favors. “As a designer, you’re always thinking big picture about your brand and the story you want to tell, but I’ve never done something so personal,” she says. For her dress, however, Miller relinquished control to Monique Lhuillier. “What I’ve always loved about her dresses is they all feel so airy, almost ethereal. I had this vision of my veil blowing behind me and my skirt just floating like a cloud — something that felt natural and fit with the landscape.” Ultimately, she wore the gown only for the ceremony and gave up entirely on The Row sandals she had shipped from Italy. “It was too muddy to wear shoes,” she says, “and the dress got so wet I had to change.”
“While I had dreamed about my wedding, I never really knew exactly what I wanted it to look like but I did know how I wanted it to feel,” says Miller. “And in the end the rain and being barefoot just washed away all the months of planning with this quiet calm and allowed me to just enjoy the moment and be truly present.”
Miller wore The Row for the welcome party at their Haleiwa home. PHOTO: Doug Falter.
Custom embroidered vintage Levi’s jackets celebrate the newlyweds. PHOTO: Doug Falter.
The ceremony took place on the Kualoa Private Nature Reserve in Oahu. PHOTO: Lauren Ross.
The bride performs a hula for her new husband. PHOTO: Lauren Ross.
Hair: Lo Wheeler
Makeup: Kecia Littman
Venue: Kualoa Ranch
Bride: Monique Lhuillier and The Row
Feature image: The wedding ceremony. PHOTO: Doug Falter.
This story originally appeared in the Winter 2023/2024 issue of C Weddings.
See the story in our digital edition