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Soon after actor Antonio Sabato Jr. met singer-songwriter Cheryl Moana Marie in 2009, the couple vacationed on the island of Kauai. "He said to me, 'I'd love to get married here on the beach,'" recalls Hawaii native Marie. Three years later, on Sept. 25, the couple exchanged vows at sunset on Kauai's Anini Beach. "Her family was here and my family was here … it was just wonderful," Sabato says. "It was a beautiful, small gathering. But in so many ways it was bigger than life.”
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LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON
Dressed in matching white linen pants and shirts, Sabato and the couple's 15-month-old son, Antonio III, walked along Anini Beach before the ceremony. "I call him Little Boo Boo and the Hawaiian family calls him Makana [Hawaiian for 'gift']," says the groom. "He had such a great day. The beach here is so calm … he can stay in the water all day."
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DRESS TO IMPRESS
Marie's Gucci Tom Ford collection shoes were an elegant touch to the ivory gown she "picked out at an outlet store," she says with a laugh. When Sabato saw his bride for the first time on their wedding day, "everything kind of stopped and it was slow motion," he says. "I was breathless. I couldn't speak. I thought, This is my wife, the person I'm going to spend my life with. It was just amazing."
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KEY DATE TO REMEMBER
Marie's white orchid bouquet, made by Tammey Faford Flowers, was adorned with a key that Sabato gave her on the one-year anniversary of their first date. "He said, 'This is the key to my heart,' and he put a ruby on May 8, which is the day we met. On that same day a year later, he proposed," says Marie, wearing the 9-carat, pear-shaped, pave-set blue sapphire wedding ring and pave-set eternity band that Sabato had custom made for her.
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A PERFECT SETTING
Eighteen guests were seated with the couple at a long table underneath a tent just outside the Anini Beach estate where they wed. Purple orchids from the island added a splash of color to the "elegant, classy, intimate and simple" seaside dinner that followed the sunset ceremony, Marie says. With the help of Jonette Jordan from J Squared Events Planning and Design, Marie says they were able "to show our guests who aren't from Hawaii my culture and how we were raised."
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EVERY LAST DETAIL
Each guest received a small woven box of chocolate macadamia nut cookies to take home. The boxes, known as lauhala, were hand-woven from dried banana leaves, tied with raffia and topped with a fresh purple orchid. The four-course dinner menu included ahi spring rolls, Kilauea organic green salad with lilikoi dressing, grilled fresh catch and grilled chicken breast with Okinawan sweet potato mash. Dessert was lilikoi crème brûlée.
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Marie's sister, Sharla, entertained the newlyweds and little Antonio with a love-inspired hula. "It was a dance to send us off on our way to love," Marie says. "Everybody was mesmerized by her."
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ONE HAPPY FAMILY
After exchanging vows barefoot in the sand, Sabato and Marie celebrated with Little Antonio (in dad's arms), as well as Sabato's children from previous relationships, daughter Mina, 10, and son Jack, 18. "The first time we came to Kauai we had Jack and Mina with us," Marie says. "It was such a dream come true. We had our family together again at our favorite place."