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  • The Persimmon Images studio is closed.

    As of December, 2015, we are no longer accepting new clients for weddings or portraits except on a limited by-referral basis or for repeat clients. If you are a current client and have any questions or requests for us, please email us at love [at] persimmonimages [dot] com or call/text Kat at 206.354.2212.

    Thank you for your years of business, support, laughter, and love!

    - Kat & Justin

Mauna Lani Bay Sea Turtle Independence Day | Christen + Leigh

As if their destination wedding week wasn’t epic enough, Christen and Leigh were also asked by the wonderful staff at the Mauna Lani Bay resort if they wanted to take part in this year’s Sea Turtle Independence Day on the Fourth of July. The Mauna Lani hand-raises baby sea turtles in some of their on-ground ponds to mature adulthood and then releases them when they are big enough to fend for themselves in the less hospitable sea. Every Independence Day, they release the newly minted turtles into the sea with the help of guests and their children. Of course, Christen and Leigh were all like, “HECK YES, SIGN US UP.” (I was too, I mean, who are we kidding… I love me some sea turtles!)

Sea turtles abound at the Mauna Lani… maybe the beach has some really tasty algae growing there. The first night I stumbled upon what I thought was a dead sea turtle on the beach and I was really upset. The staff reassured me it was just sleeping, which I thought was a cover-up, hush-hush way to get rid of the dead sea turtle without upsetting the guest. It turns out, sea turtles just sleep like the dead (something they usually do during daylight hours) and my “dead” friend moved on after a nice, long nap. Almost every day there was a sea turtle sleeping in the same spot on the beach. In the evenings, more animated turtles would swim offshore and nibble the sea plants there, which I discovered when two of them bumped into my legs as I was wading. Why hello there!

So I was totally psyched to photograph these two letting a sweet sea turtle free into the wild blue. The turtle Christen and Leigh set free was named Pilialoha, which means “a loving or tender relationship.” Aww!

The local news channel also reported on the event, with a short video where you watch the newlyweds release Pilialoha!

Hula dancers with haku head wreaths at Mauna Lani Bay Sea Turtle Independence Day 2011Mauna Lani Bay Sea Turtle in sale water pond before turtle independence day release 2011Sea turtle Independence Day on July 4, 2011 at Mauna Lani Bay Resort in Hawaii with bride and groom Christen and Leigh HunterAdult Sea Turtles at Mauna Lani Bay Resort being prepared for Sea Turtle Independence DayFine art sea turtle photography by Seattle wedding photographers Persimmon Images at Hawaii Big Island Mauna Lani Bay ResortHawaiian male hula dancers wearing haku wreaths waiting for sea turtles on Sea Turtle Independence Day at Mauna Lani Bay resortSea turtle and hula dancer, two native Hawaiians, meet on July 4 on the Big Island at Mauna Lani Bay resortHula dance at Mauna Lani Bay resort as a tribute to the legendary turtle PunaluMauna Lani Keiki kids help newlyweds Christen and Leigh with the sea turtle PilialohaSea Turtle Independence Day on July 4, 2011 at the Mauna Lani Bay resort with destination wedding couple Christen and Leigh, who are releasing turtle PilialohaThe Hawaiian sea turtle Pilialoha, meaning Couple releases sea turtle on July 4th for Hawaiian sea turtle Independence Day at Mauna Lani Bay resortCaptive sea turtle in new ocean home, the Hawaiian sea off the Big IslandMale hula dancer displays haku lei head wreath and Polynesian tribal tattoo at the Mauna Lani Bay resort on the Big Island

Want more photos? Check out Christen and Leigh’s destination wedding at the Mauna Lani Bay, complete with karaoke craziness!

Half-iversary. « Random Acts of Wedding - […] – WE RELEASED A SEA TURTLE. […]

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