As of Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Kari Ann Long and Jeffrey Jae Croke, both of Hood River, were married Jan. 12 at Hamoa Beach in Hana, Maui, by officiant Becky Lind.
The bride is the daughter of Brenda and Alex Mercado, of The Dalles, and Peter Littlefair, of Carson, Wash. The groom is the son of Christine and Douglas Croke, of Columbus, Miss., and Jeff and Deanna Wilson, of Grants Pass.
The wedding was held on a sunny day with a show of strong tides, making it a perfect day to elope on a stunning black sand beach, with a backdrop including the bride’s father, the officiant, surfers and a Hawaiian monk seal. When Kari and Jeffrey kissed, many were clapping and cheering them on.
The couple stood in a heart carved in the sand, with white and red rose petals lining the heart. Kari’s white dress was laced with crystals and adorned with a white and purple dendrobium lei; Jeff wore an all-white Hawaiian button-up shirt and white linen pants with a maile leaf lei.
Everyone was barefoot during the earthy and holistic 15-minute ceremony. The newlyweds had dinner and dessert at Lahaina and honeymooned at the Marriot that evening.
Since family and friends were not present for the ceremony, Jeff and Kari will have an exchange of vows and a reception at the end of the summer.
The bride is a 2000 graduate of Hood River Valley High School and works at The Pines and Mt. Hood Meadows. The groom is a 1995 graduate of Heritage Academy and trained at the Western Culinary Institute Le Cordon Bleu in Portland. He is head chef at Horsefeathers.