A Burlap-Clad Destination Wedding in Maui

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Audrey and Matt hosted a truly global affair for their destination wedding in Maui. Each from different parts of the world, it was important to them that they find a place that worked for all of their loved ones. And today they share their special story with us! “We selected Maui because the Hawaiian Islands are almost exactly halfway between our two hometowns in Florida and Australia.  We only wanted to have one wedding- so we needed to make it as fair as possible for friends and family on both sides!  We wanted our wedding to be fun, non-stuffy, and reflect our unique styles and personalities.  We envisioned everyone laughing, drinking, and dancing- on holiday in one the most beautiful locations in the world.  Since travel has been a huge part of our lives and relationship, and always will be, it made sense to do a travel themed wedding, which inspired our guests and the décor.”

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 “My dress was a simple, sweetheart-neckline, strapless tulle dress with Swiss dot overlay, a crossover bodice, and medium train. It fit like a glove, but I could still easily eat and dance in it, which was crucial to me. I loved how soft and light it felt- perfect for a breezy beach wedding. I also wore a birdcage veil, large dangling blue crystal vintage style earrings, and sandals. Matt wore grey suit trousers & vest, white button down, and leather flip-flops. It actually looked great and was exactly his style! No closed toes shoes at the beach! And just under the surface, the groom’s party had personalized undergarments (groom, best man, and more!).”

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“Held outside on a grassy lawn adjacent to a long, white, sandy beach, attendees looked out over the water and islands off Maui.  The ceremony was a very intimate, special, family affair, with every family member involved.”  

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“Our flower girl was Matt’s Japanese step-grandmother, Yoshie, who designed and made her own hot pink dress.  Yoshie, the 3 groomsmen, 3 bridesmaids, Matt and his parents all walked out to Vitamin String Quartet’s version of God Only Knows.  I walked out with both of my parents to Vitamin String Quartet’s version of Hallelujah, the first song Matt ever heard me sing.” 

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“My grandfather performed my parents’ wedding, and my father wanted to follow by creating a new family tradition.  He got certified online and served as our officiant, which was a real treat.  My younger brother Vince wrote and sang an original song for us, while Matt’s brother James accompanied him on the keyboard.  His sister read the Hands Ceremony, and we gave each other our own, personalized vows.”

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Destination weddings are not always predictable, but luckily for these two, weather proved not to be a problem. “The weather forecasted a hurricane that day, but fortunately it never arrived and you would never know about the forecast from looking at the photos.” 

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“Vintage suitcases decorated the space, and our ‘guest book’ was an antique globe. Everyone wrote messages to us over their home country and state- something we will keep forever!”

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“We went with a vintage travel theme, with the main colors of mint and peach which gently reflected the colors of the tropics.  Family and tradition are very important for Matt and I, and we had antique picture frames with old pictures (one on each dinner table) of the weddings of our family members.  The large crystal chandelier hanging over our dinner table just glowed as the sun set over the Pacific.” 

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“We went in for the first dances and Matt and I danced to Meiko’s Stuck on You, while my dad and I danced to Free Fallin, our favorite song when I was little. We heard some hilarious speeches from our very international bridal party and everyone hit the dance floor. There were ‘shout out’ songs from the DJ for lots of our guests- music we picked specifically for them. Another funny thing was the groomsmen dropped their trousers just enough to show their printed “groomsmen” boxers, linking arms and backing it up across the dance floor! We also had a surprise video that our friend put together, with little video messages from friends and family abroad who couldn’t make it. Then we had cake, more dancing, and a big sparkler exit.”

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“The day itself was absolutely perfect- clear, blue and sunny- a huge relief since a hurricane had been forecast for that day!  I just remember being so completely happy and excited, I couldn’t stop laughing or smiling long enough for the makeup artist to do my lipstick.  Everything ended up being exactly as we had hoped, and it felt so amazing to be marrying Matt and to know that we have so many wonderful friends and family who would travel around the world to be there for us!”

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Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer: Aubrey Hord Photography

Wedding Vendors: Location, Wedding Coordinator, Catering + Cake: Sugar Beach Events, Videographer: IMF Visions, Florist: Maui Floral, Hair: Amanda Nigbur of Maui Modern Hair, Makeup: Dacia Waller of Spa Lotus, Officiant: Bride’s father, Larry Schueren, Ceremony Musicians: Brother of the Bride, Vince Schueren and Brother of the Groom, James Edwards, Rentals: Hawaiian Style Events RentalsRio Event Design, Signature Event Rentals, DJ: Liam Grist

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A Tropical Wedding in Kona, Hawaii

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Trina and Chris said “I do” on the Big Island of Hawaii, at the Fairmont Orchid in Kona. But this big day was almost derailed by a natural disaster; luckily however the weather (and the surf) was perfect for the outdoor ceremony and reception overlooking the ocean.

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The couple came from Washington to the islands to tie the knot and found the Fairmont to be the perfect spot for their size, budget and style. Wedding planner, Erin Lindeman of Lindeman Weddings & Events filled us in on the planning and day’s details. The Fairmont Orchid is great because it carries the brand and service of a Fairmont property but isn’t very big compared to its sister property over on Maui or other surrounding mega hotels on the big island. It almost feels like a boutique hotel and is a perfect size for a smaller wedding group.”

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“The wedding was held just before Christmas so the hotel and surroundings were all decked out for the holidays.  I am so in love with the red poinsettia plants that overwhelm Hawaii during this season. Their colors of deep red-fuchsia and purple were perfect for this time of year in Hawaii.”

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“The wedding day started off a little rocky — without warning there were record breaking waves that day along the Kohala coast and a large wave had crashed into the resort at 6am that morning, flooding the property. The area that they were going to get married on was flooded as were the restaurants closest to the water.  The hotel staff didn’t miss a beat. They started working on the property immediately.  The incredibly high surf continued all day.  It was so spectacular I even saw a chef grab a surfboard and go tear up a few waves during his lunch break.  Gotta love the cowabunga dude attitude of the locals!”

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“As the day went on we needed to make the call whether or not we should do the wedding outside so close to the ocean or move into a ballroom.  This was a very difficult decision for everyone to make, including the hotel for liability purposes.  I am glad the hotel made the right decision and I am glad the bride and groom weren’t scared off by this either.  Let’s just say no one was swept away and they had the most spectacular backdrop to their wedding I’ve probably ever seen. The waves were so massive and loud, you could barely hear the ukulele player during the ceremony.”

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Rain or shine, this darling couple was going to have an amazing wedding day, and that they did!

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As guests enjoyed an amazing sunset, the reception kicked off next to where the ceremony had taken place.  One long purple-clad table was set to get the party started.

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The pair rented chandeliers to add a little drama to the outdoor setting which popped with color otherwise.

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The vibrant color palette was carried throughout the day and night, right down to the tropical wedding cake!

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This picture perfect wedding certainly doesn’t look like it faced a natural disaster that morning!  Luckily all was well!

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Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer: Fletch Photography

Wedding Vendors: Wedding + Reception Location: Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii, Wedding Planner: Lindeman Weddings & Events, Stationery: Nicole Mae Paper Design, Florist: Ainahua Florals, Linens: BBJ Linen, Chandelier Rental: Hawaii Island Events

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Maui, Hawaii Intimate Destination Wedding

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Beth and Matt traveled from Chicago to Maui with fifteen of their closest loved ones for an intimate destination wedding on the island overlooking the gorgeous waters of Hawaii.  The couple spent a few weeks in the beautiful locale for not just their wedding but their honeymoon too!

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We asked the couple how they came to land on such a special place for their big day.  We wanted to honeymoon on Maui, so then we just decided to have a small wedding there. We spent two weeks there in all, and we wouldn’t change a thing. It was absolutely perfect for us.”

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We love the idea of leis for all the guests!  A great way to welcome everyone and include all in the ceremony.

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We asked both Beth and Matt about their most memorable moments throughout the day.  Matt said: “Watching my bride walking down the aisle.”

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Beth said: “When we said our vows to each other, and the lei exchange. I loved having a mix of a Hawaii and Traditional ceremony.” 

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When asked what advice they would give our readers planning a destination wedding they said, “trust the coordinator, let them handle all the details!”

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To put some personal touches in the reception, the couple looked to Etsy.  “We ordered a map of Hawaii with a heart located on Maui, with our names and our wedding date written on it. It was what our guests signed, and is now framed and hanging in our home.” 

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And when the day was all said and done, the newlyweds went to the water!

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Other words of wisdom included “book a photographer you are comfortable with. Don’t just hire one at the destination location, sometimes bringing one with you from home works out better!” 

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Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer: Thomas Slack – Slack Photography

Bride Dress: Nicole Miller sold by Jenny Yoo Collection in Chicago, Groom Suit & Groomsmen Vest and slacks:  JCrew, Maid of Honor dress: Davids Bridal, Wedding & Reception (provided all food, drinks, decorations, wedding coordinator-Laura Creider): Gannon’s Restaurant, Guest Book: Shape of Love, Officiant: Rev.Valentine Tino Rosete Rev. Tino Rosete, Hair & Makeup: MiRa Carman Maui MiRa

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Ritz Carlton, Kapalua, Maui Engagement Party

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Emma and Jaan planned a destination wedding in Maui, but things don’t always go according to plan.  Jaan is from Belgium and they had a bit of unexpected visa trouble before the intended “I do’s.”  But the plans had been made, the flights booked and guests excited to attend the big day so instead, the couple turned their would-be wedding into a fabulous destination engagement party!  With just a few good friends and family members in attendance, the pair celebrated their upcoming wedding with a dinner overlooking the ocean at the Kapalua Bay Cliff House.

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We asked Emma about their experience and what it was like having an engagement party instead of the wedding they had expected.  “I thought we were going to feel really disappointed on the day of, but it was so relaxing and the party was so much fun we couldn’t be sad about not getting married that day.”

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Luckily, these love birds didn’t have to wait much long to actually tie the knot.  “We got married a week after my husband’s visa came through. In other words, we had a week to plan a wedding and decided to piggy back on a 3rd cousin’s wedding (she was okay with it!)”

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We often ask couples for advice for you and here’s what this pair had to say.  “Don’t get too wrapped up in planning. We planned for months only to have to cancel our wedding. But in the end, we were able to plan our actual wedding in a week and it turned out just as ideal as we’d imagined.” 

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“In the end I was happy we didn’t get married in Hawaii. There were so many competing weddings happening on the beach we had planned to get married on, I’m glad things turned out the way they did. But of course, everything else about Hawaii was beautiful and amazing.” 

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One of their favorite moments from the festivities?  “Trying to light lanterns on a very windy night and then having the hotel sprinklers go on and getting totally soaked.”  Sometimes the unexpected and unplanned are the best of memories from the big day!

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Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer: Audra Wrisley Photography + Design 

Wedding Vendors: Location: Ritz Carlton, Kapalua Bay, Dinner Venue:  Kapalua Bay Cliff House Wedding Cake: Maui Cake Store, Bride’s Dress: Urban Outfitters

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A Vintage, Rustic Wedding with a Tropical Twist in Lahaina, Maui

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We’re clearly loving Hawaii this week with another wonderful wedding from Maui!  Clarice and Omair wed in beautiful Lahaina, on the island of Maui in Hawaii.  The couple traveled from San Francisco to do say I do at the Hyatt Regency Maui.  This destination wedding wasn’t all travelers though – the bride is originally from Maui so friends and loved ones came from both near and far to celebrate together.

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We asked the bride what is was like returning home for her wedding.  “Actually, I initially didn’t want to have the wedding on Maui. We recently moved to San Francisco after many years of living in Southern California, and most of our friends live there, too. So I really wanted to have the wedding there – I was worried no one would want to travel all the way to Maui! And I wasn’t sure I could pull off planning a destination wedding. Having the wedding on Maui was actually my husband’s idea. He had been a few times with me and absolutely loves it, and told me it would be the perfect place. And of course, he was right. I’m so glad we got married on Maui because it’s where I grew up and where all my family is. It just felt very comfortable and familiar to be back. I’ve been living away from Maui for 12 years now, but I still consider it to be my home, and I’m always happiest when I’m there. It was also nice because we got married at the Hyatt because I have memories of going there when I was little, so it just felt right to have the wedding there as well.”

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“I really enjoyed the whole process of getting ready with my mom and sister. It was just hours of relaxing, having our make up and hair done and drinking champagne. It was awesome!”

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One of my favorite moments of the day was when we were exchanging vows. We had decided early on that we were going to write our own…but had both not written them until the very last minute. My husband is totally not the type to spill his guts (especially in public), but his vows were so heart felt and sincere that it totally caught me off guard. I was completely speechless after he read them!”

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We asked the couple if they were glad they had a high tech wedding with Instagram and the answer was a big yes!  “Yes, totally! Instagram has turned everyone into a photographer (myself included!), and so it was nice (and easy) to see everyone’s pictures in one place.”

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“The reception was amazing because we got to have all our friends and family in one place! It’s never happened before, and it was seriously the best time.”

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And this one-of-a-kind cake topper?  “These lego people were supposed to represent us as a couple. We used these little guys for our save-the-dates because we felt weird about our pictures being on people’s refrigerators. I know that sounds weird, but it’s totally true. So we scoured the internet for wedding lego people. We found the bride pretty easily, but had a hard time with the groom. We actually had to order his head and hands separately, but it was worth all the work! We love them! We plan on taking them with us on our honeymoon to Italy in May.” 

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For favors, the couple went with a local theme!  “We gave away Big Island Candies chocolate dipped macadamia nut shortbread cookies. And they really are as good as they sound! Maybe even better! They are my husband’s favorite cookies. My mom, sister and I stamped and embossed cards with a “thank you” stamp, and put the cards and cookies in little cellophane bags.” 

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Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer:  Joanna Tano Photography

Wedding Vendors: Venue: Hyatt Maui, Dress: Amy Kuschel, Flowers: Bella Bloom, Big Island Candies, DJ: DJ Boomshot, Officiant: Pia Aluli, Photo Booth: Strike a Pose, Invitations: Paper Source 

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