Maui boasts a multi-million dollar wedding industry that serves brides and grooms from all over the world. The island offers unparalleled locations, hidden beaches and luxurious honeymoon amenities. In fact, nearly 87 percent of the nearly 7,000 weddings performed on Maui each year are destination weddings for non-residents. Put another way, Maui hosts about 30 percent of all the weddings held in Hawaii.
This year’s MauiTime Wedding Guide profiles a local bride and groom, explains why the wedding tech industry has Maui in their crosshairs, touches on homegrown bridal couture and offers a bit of advice on the latest trends from wedding industry experts.
Weddings can be manic events, so let our guide help smooth things over.
In this Maui Wedding Guide:
We’re lucky to have so many couture designers and artists who call Maui home. Koa Johnson of Kojo Couture graduated from the University of Hawaii Maui College Fashion Technology program, and today teaches in that program. More recently, he launched a bridal gown collection called Opulence by Kojo, which is available exclusively at White Hot Hawaii. He does custom designed gowns, suits, tailoring and alterations.
Marie Jaylahay of Marylane has been a portrait photographer for years but is branching out into wedding territory with her modern and clean style, seen on this week’s MauiTime cover and bridal fashion shoot.
Chris Cabotage of CK Cinema brings the art of filmmaking to his videography of events, one more way digital media has wedged its way into the modern wedding.
I enjoy making gowns. When I created my sister’s wedding gown, I got more into doing bridal. I’ve always loved being involved with weddings. There’s an instant thrill of gratification to be able to play such an important role in a bride’s special day.
A lot of my inspiration stems from my surroundings and people. I look at the organic details that nature has to offer and give my modern interpretation and execution through my designs.
Exposed backless gowns with plunging necklines that feature the brides greatest aspects that seem sexy and but not overly provocative. The 3D effect is another trend where bridal gowns are detailed with embroidered lace appliqué that gives the gown a dimensional textured look. Another trend with a big impact for walking down the aisle is the jumpsuit, which can be comfortable and functional.
Work ahead! If you’re planning on a custom wedding gown set up a consultation at least six months in advance. Have an idea of what you may like or the details, silhouettes that interest you and compliment your body type. The earlier, the better because we’re able to go through swatches of fabrics and arrange fittings that are tailored to your needs and comfort.
Marylane Studios, marylanestudios.com
My love for photography grew from collaborating with others. I believe the makings of a wedding come together from collaboration between creative artists, it’s a really beautiful thing and centered around the celebration of love.
I love Sue Bryce’s portrait work! A big thing though is collaborating with my friends and local artists here on Maui. It definitely keeps me inspired.
I’d love to see more couples do a “first look.” I know it isn’t traditional but it’s such an emotional moment, the images that transpire are powerful, timeless and truly romantic.
Ask questions to ensure you will love every step of the process. Put the work in for planning beforehand, then on the day of, let go and just live in the moment!
My uncle owned his own videography company and I helped him with some of his weddings back in the day. That inspired me to pursue my own company.
Films, hiking in nature, seeing a couple that’s genuinely in love.
Wedding films are finally catching up with wedding photography as a way to share and preserve your big day.
Don’t overlook filming your wedding day. Video is able to capture so many more layers to your wedding memories and it’s just as easy to share with your family in years to come.
Special Mahalo to the production crew:
Koa Johnson, Kojo Couture for White Hot Hawaii, Assistant Ashlyn Carvalho
Darren Keali’i Keala and Shane Canada, Bliss Wedding Design & Spectacular Events, Assistant Nicole Rosen
Marie Jalayahay, Marylane, Assistants Yukio Kina, Shawn Kubo, Taena Garcia
Danae Cabreros, Cakecup Maui, Assistants Skylar Cabreros and Raynette Balag
Miya Brown, Blushmb of GalleryMSalon
Leona Rocha Wilson, Lona Ridge, lonaridge.com, Manager Mars
Chris Cobotage, CK Cinema, ckcinema.com