Bobby Burling and Laura Francis first met at Loyola Marymount University, when Bobby went over to her house to pick up some test notes from her roommate. Although there was an instant attraction between the two, he still jokes that Laura “showed no interest,” since she was a bit shy at first. A year later, however, they became an official couple and were college sweethearts ever since.
After their years at Loyola, Bobby entered the world of professional soccer and spent the next seven years playing in California. This allowed Laura to pursue her own career, while still being with him, and they had a long-distance relationship for three years while Bobby played in San Jose and Laura lived in Los Angeles. “We’ve always had our own passions and individuality, but when we come together, I think we are even stronger than when we are apart,” Laura says.
“WE’VE ALWAYS HAD OUR OWN PASSIONS AND INDIVIDUALITY, BUT WHEN WE COME TOGETHER, I THINK WE ARE EVEN STRONGER THAN WHEN WE ARE APART” LAURA FRANCIS
It was about eight years into their relationship when they found themselves on a trip to Hawaii with Laura’s family–although Bobby was secretly planning a surprise with the help of his cousin Freddie, who lives in Maui. He decided to take Laura on a walk from their villa to Merriman’s, a popular restaurant in the islands; but what was supposed to be a romantic stroll, turned out to be more of a mini adventure. As Laura describes, “We lost our way on the trail, a Rottweiler almost barreled into me, and Bobby had to unbutton his shirt because he was sweating.” Eventually, they found themselves at a picturesque outlook in Kapalua Bay, where he proposed with Laura’s family and a photographer watching them and taking photos. “We spent the rest of the week in engagement bliss with my parents, sister and nephews. It was amazing,” she says.
The newly-engaged couple started planning their wedding in Hawaii as well, putting together the guest list and researching venues online. They both envisioned having a beautiful, outdoor wedding, but Bobby’s career only allows him time to get married in December or January. So after several trips to Carmel, Temecula and San Luis Obispo to look at wedding venues, they decided to trek back and have a destination wedding in Hawaii, because it had such a special place in their hearts.
Their wedding took place on January 18, 2015 with 151 guests in attendance, and the inspiration behind their theme and design was “Rustic Elegance.” Laura says, “We wanted to incorporate neutral, pastel colors, dark wood, mercury glass and a design that would last the test of time (like we have). The Maui backdrop is already so beautiful, that the smallest touches made a big impact.” Guests also loved the outdoor photo booth, which was behind a hanging frame.
The bride and groom both enjoyed every aspect of their wedding, which turned out to be “absolutely perfect,” and experienced countless incredible moments. It was the happiest of days for the newlyweds, and filled with love and support from their family and friends.
Location: Olowalu Plantation House, Maui, HI; Cake: Cake Fanatics, Lahaina, HI; Floral and Event Design, Planner: Maui's Angels Destination Weddings & Events, Lahaina, HI; Floral Production: Sunya’s Flowers, Maui, HI; Linen, Rentals and Lighting: Hawaiian Style Event Rentals, Maui, HI; Hair & Makeup: MeiLi Autumn Beauty, Kula, HI