Maui is one of the most sought-after wedding locations in the world. This is quite possibly because Maui is also one of the planet’s most romantic locations. The beautiful valley isle adds rainbows and sunsets to blushing brides nearly every day of the year.
That all comes with the territory, but you still have to plan your big day. Where do you find a dress? How about a venue? These are questions all couples have, and we’re here to help.
We’ll start with relaying the wedding experiences of two couples who decided to get hitched on Maui. Then we’ll give you a rundown on where you can get dresses and gowns. Then we’ll detail a few of the more unique venues.
If you’re hearing wedding bells, this issue will have you working on your dream nuptials in no time.
James and Brittany
Private Plantation Home, Lahaina
Aug. 2, 2012
It was love at first sight when Brittany and James met. It was also their first day of college at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton.
“We were being introduced to lots of people on that day,” says Brittany. “Right away we had a connection.”
They dated for about eight and a half years before James got down on one knee. He asked her to marry him right in the middle of the town square, as the clock struck midnight on New Years Eve. They both knew immediately the wedding would be in Maui.
“Our love of the island is one of our biggest connections as a couple,” says Brittany.
They decided on a tropical-inspired wedding at a private plantation home in Lahaina. There, the whole family could stay and they could do their intimate ceremony and four-table reception in the backyard that was right on the beach. Old Lahaina Luau catered the wedding with Hawaiian food and a lilikoi wedding cake. The couple also hired a fire dancer as a surprise for their guests.
The bride wore a vintage inspired cap sleeve gown with a keyhole back from David’s Bridal, while the groom wore a Tommy Bahama linen shirt with slacks and slippers. The bride cruised down the aisle while everyone listened to Bruddah Iz playing on uke. Later Barefoot Minded played.
“We love Old Lahaina Luau so we had them cater the reception,” says Brittany. “They had really great prices and even for the smallest buffet the amount of food was ridiculous. More options than could fit on my plate. I heard people say it was the best food they had at a wedding.”
Will and Jane
Westin Ka‘anapali Ocean Resort Villas
Aug. 27, 2012
The pediatric ICU is not the most romantic place in the world but that’s where sparks flew for pediatric resident Jane and pediatric neurosurgeon intern William. Their physician’s studies and practice barely left time for romance but they certainly did not let that stand in their way.
While working at the hospital over common patients in the ICU, romance blossomed and Will decided to find the perfect birthday surprise for Jane. In a moment of impulse he bought tickets to Maui and found a great six-day stay at the Westin Ka‘anapali Ocean Resort Villas. He convinced colleagues to help with the plan, even going so far as to create a phony list of appointments when they had cleared Jane’s schedule of patients.
“The only thing left was to talk to Tom Florin from the Westin, and he helped me plan the perfect evening and proposal on the beach,” says Will. “We had a private dining table set up overlooking the beach at sunset, and I got down on one knee. I think at that point she kind of figured out that something was going to happen.”
The couple was ecstatic about each other but that didn’t make the engagement easy. Jane had originally made plans to move to Korea when she graduated as a pediatrician, and Will still had his neurosurgery residency ahead of him.
“It was complicated,” says Will. “We got off to a rocky start. I had to convince her to stay with me in the states. I wouldn’t say our romance was stormy, but it definitely turned her well laid-out plans for the future completely upside down.”
They decided to return to Maui for their small wedding, which was themed in pink and purple, Jane’s two favorite colors. The tied the knot along the beach boardwalk at Ka‘anapali Ocean Resort Villas with traditional vows. Officiant Keli‘i Arruda began the ceremony with a blow of his conch and a Hawaiian oli. The bride walked down the aisle while Kalani Smythe strummed “Morning Dew” on the ukulele.
“Since we were all staying at the Westin we didn’t have anywhere to escape after the ceremony, but I knew Jane really wanted to drive away in a limo after the wedding,” says Will. “So afterwards I surprised her with a big party bus for us and the whole bridal party for a quick cruise along the Honoapi‘ilani Highway, complete with Dom Perignon and a DJ. It was a great way to end the night.”