Beautiful Garden Wedding in Maui Overlooking the Ocean

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David and Alison tied the knot at a destination wedding in Maui, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Their intimate event was full of celebration, happy tears and big smiles, in addition to one magical Maui sunset! We asked the bride and groom to share a little bit about their big day with us.

David and I had spent a solid amount of time searching many places to get married. We decided on a destination wedding because we wanted to have a small and intimate event. We searched locations for Maui weddings and came across Simple Maui. Their website had many beautiful and intimate options for the ceremony site. We ultimately chose Gannon’s because of the beautiful views, as well as the great reviews for their dining. Having beautiful scenery, delicious food, as well as the convenience of having the restaurant at the same location seemed like a win-win to us. 

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We asked Alison and David about their favorite moments from the day.

Alison: My favorite moments from the day… that is a difficult question. The whole day went very smoothly, and we got lucky that the wind calmed down at the perfect time. My favorite moment has to be seeing David for the first time at the altar, and how special it was to see the emotion in his eyes. The entire day was amazing, sharing the whole experience with close family and friends.

David: My favorite moments of the day were: 1. The wedding itself as I was happy to finally be married and see everything we worked so long planning come together.  I also enjoyed taking pictures with everyone as those are photos that we’ll have forever.  My final favorite moment of the day was the dancing.  I’m not a big fan of dancing myself, but it was fun to get everyone up and dance for a couple hours.

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I am a fan of rustic decor, and though transporting items in my luggage kept decor at a minimum, I brought mercury glass votives, burlap, and rustic wood place settings. I enjoy that style at home, and it just translated to wedding decor. As far as colors, I liked dusty oranges and pinks, sent some sample images in, and the florist took care of the arch arrangements and bridal bouquet.

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Advice for other destination couples?

Alison: Picking a wedding planning service made our planning very simple. We couldn’t be there in person to arrange anything, so having someone that could be there in person to take care of the details was awesome. We planned the entire thing over e-mail and it was perfect. Our wedding coordinator, Emily, was alway so kind and answered any questions we had. She really took care of every aspect and made everything extremely simple. They handled the flowers, photography, setting up the venue, and even the reverend to marry us. 

 Some other advice is that we wanted to save a bit of money with flowers, so we went to Costco and bought a bunch of flowers, and made all of the bridesmaid bouquets the day before the wedding. The girls really enjoyed making their own bouquets; they put their own personal touches in each bouquet, and it was a great bonding experience.

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David: I would recommend you not look too hard at too many different places.  I think people get over stimulated when looking at so many venues that it is hard to pick one.  We looked at a few and it was so hard to decide but what you need to realize is that whatever you chose is going to be nice and work out.  Just pick a place because once that is done it feels like a large burden taken off of your shoulders and you can have a mini-celebration.  Regardless of the specific spot, you can always make it nice and exactly how you want.  Just remember that.  If you can’t choose between 2 spots, just pick one and move on and start figuring everything else out.  You’ll forget about any other spots rather quickly and you’ll start to feel accomplished with your planning.

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Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer: Karma Hill Photography

Wedding Vendors: Floral Designer: Dellables Wedding Design & Florals, Restaurant: Gannons, Beauty: MeiLi Autumn Beauty, Officiant: Reverend Joe Miles, Event Planner: Simple Maui Wedding

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A Fun Star Wars Themed Destination Wedding

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Today we’ve got a darling Hawaiian destination wedding with a Star Wars twist!  You read that right, Brittany and Ethan wanted a little personal touch for their event and they got exactly that!  The couple shared with us the details and decisions behind their big day.

Halekulani is one of the most beautiful and elegant hotels you can visit on Oahu. It was the first and only venue we looked at when we were shopping around for venues and we instantly fell in love with the intimate setting provided by the “Hau Terrace” (a patio deck and cozy banquet hall that overlooks the ocean). We wanted our wedding to be for the closest of family and friends while providing an upscale, yet relaxed environment (we are in Hawaii after all!). Lastly, Halekulani is known for their exquisite food, desserts, and service… And isn’t that what most guests enjoy in a wedding? It was “perfect” for our needs.

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The significance behind the Star Wars theme starts with Ethan’s love for Star Wars. Although we both love a lot of different “nerdy” stuff, we had to narrow it down to something that meant something for both of us – and that was Star Wars. Our birthdays are 5/5 and 5/9, we often celebrate our birthdays together on May the Fourth (a “geek-culture holiday” that doubles as the line from Star Wars, “may the force be with you”). And so, we settled on Star Wars because it was a perfect embodiment of our “nerdy-ness.”

 We incorporated it because we wanted to be a little different while staying true to our interests as a couple. A lot of weddings we’ve attended all seemed very traditional, and so we wanted to do things just a tad different. Also, with all the collectibles we have lying around the house and Star Wars: The Force Awakens coming out around the time we were planning, it just made sense to incorporate the Star Wars theme into our wedding.

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Our most favorite moment from the day was our “First Look,” there was so much anticipation building up to it (with getting ready and our vendors coming in to capture every moment) and Halekulani offers such a prime spot for this little moment to take place that it felt “perfect.” It was a wave of emotions that hit us as soon as I tapped Ethan on the shoulders and he turned around. At that exact moment, we knew we were getting married and that we would be spending the rest of our lives together. It sounds really cheesy, but in that moment is when the weight of this symbolic event – and everything that marriage stands for – finally hits you! Other memorable moments were the Mother/Son & Father/Daughter dance. We are both close to our parents and so having that private moment with them in the midst of our wedding celebration was a touching moment for both of us. Our last favorite moment was our Grand Entrance, it was such a silly idea to walk into our wedding reception with lightsabers and to do a little Star Wars battle before our first dance, but it was a great encapsulation of who we are as a couple. It was fun, different, and “ours” and that’s what made it so memorable.

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The details from Star Wars that we incorporated were a lightsaber grand entrance with a lightsaber duel right in the middle of it using our Force FX lightsaber props and complete with the Imperial March playing in the background. A harpist that played iconic Star Wars tunes for our guests leading up to our wedding reception. A Star Wars themed sign in poster with 1990 Star Wars micro machine collectibles to accent the sign in table. Darth Vader table numbers and storm trooper, rebel alliance, and imperial insignia confetti for table decorations. Custom made Star Wars keychains for each guests. A custom made wedding topper of Totoro (one of Sumi’s favorite anime characters) with lightsaber in hand. And lastly, Xwing and TIE fighter hidden “Easter eggs” on our welcome cards and printed materials.

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One last thing we would like to share is that we learned to not worry about making everything “perfect” for everyone else, but to make it perfect for ourselves. We had family members second guess a lot of our choices, but we knew what we wanted and we stuck to it. In the end, everything turned out beyond what we had envisioned and it made for our “perfect little moment” in our new lives together.

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Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer:  Creatrix Photography

Wedding Vendors: Favors and Gifts: Candy Art Hawaii, Veils and headpieces: Casablanca Bridal & Formals, Photo Booth Equipment: Crane Media, Beauty: face art beauty, Reception Venue: Halekulani, Linens and Coverings: The Wedding Linen Co.

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Picture Perfect Beachside Wedding Dinner on Maui

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Looking for a truly picture-perfect place to wed in Hawaii?  If you’re hosting an intimate destination wedding or elopement, then look no further than Cliff House, a private event space perched on the rocks above the water at Montage Kapalua Bay.

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This stunning dinner took place at sunset with waves crashing below and whales out on the horizon (yes, you can whale watch from your wedding dinner, pending the season)!  A table set for 20 was the perfect size party, but you can certain host more cocktail style and even exchange vows in this intimate wedding space.

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The design was provided by the talented team at Island Events, using a mix of local and brought in decor elements.  Of course the florals were inspired by the tropical island surroundings and fit perfectly in this space!

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The menus for the amazing five course meal were designed and hand embellished by the Hawaiian wedding invitation company, The Boutiquery.  And the dinner that it described was truly unforgettable! One event guest said it best meal they’ve ever had!  The Montage Kapalua Bay showcased the freshest fish from the area, local lobster, root vegetables, and even bread made from their local potatoes.  If you’re looking for a food-centric wedding venue with a million dollar view, you’ve arrived here.

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As the sun set, the incredible staff wined and dined guests who not only enjoyed the indoor space but time out on the wraparound balcony too.  This tiny structure is one you will wish you could call home, but it’s only available for private events!

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Luckily for us though, when the night did end, the incredible Montage Kapalua Bay residences (what they call suites) were waiting for us to retire to.  And if you think this wedding location is amazing, what until you experience the rest of the resort!

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For an unforgettable destination wedding experience in Hawaii, land on Maui and say I do to the Montage Kapalua Bay.

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Event Vendors: Location: Cliff House at Montage Kapalua Bay, Linens: LaTavola Linens, Chair covers: WildFlower Linens, Florals: Maverick Events, Menu cards: The Boutiquery, Design: Island Events

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Pretty Peach + Pastel Destination Wedding in Hawaii

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Leona and Stephen said I do to a destination wedding on Oahu, Hawaii at the breathtaking Hale Ohana O Kei Kai property. The couple traveled from Canada to the North Shore of Oahu to celebrate their nuptials in a wedding rich in Hawaiian tradition! The pair’s wedding planner, Michelle Garibay of Michelle Garibay Events, shared with us a bit about their big day.

Leona and Steven wanted a beautifully appointed, private oceanfront estate on the North Shore of Oahu.  The perfect location was a priority to them.  The two challenges in selecting such a high-end estate is that the surrounding neighbors needed to be considered.  There was a cap placed on the number of people that could attend and we had to keep the music at a low volume for the entire event.  This was an intimate destination wedding and everyone traveled from Canada.

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This wedding was in the middle of a series of tropical storms that hit the state this summer so the tent had to be added just a few days before the wedding.  Despite the stormy skies, the view and setting didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits.  The bride and groom even got a brief moment of sunshine during some romantic beach photos.  We lucked out and avoided rain during the ceremony and it waited until the guests were under the tent for dinner. I couldn’t have asked for better timing.  

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They had a very clear vision of what they wanted – an intimate celebration at a private estate with a focus on delicious food and specialty cocktails and a beachy-elegant feel in soft natural tones with a touch of bohemian detail.

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I loved their tabletop pieces with the mixed glassware, modern gold flatware and floral menu card.  All of the elements tied together beautifully.

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Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer: Christina Heaston Photography

Wedding Vendors: Venue: Private Estate, Wedding Planner: Michelle Garibay Events, Floral: Passion Roots, Hair + Makeup: Leslie Fair, Rentals: Pacific Party Rentals / Event Essentials / Les Saisons / Maison de Ware, Catering: Chef Elmer Guzman’s Island Cuisine, Bartending Service: Aloha on the Rocks, Cupcakes: A Baked Romance (no longer taking orders/not in business), DJ/MC: N-D Mixx, Ceremony Music: Akahi Productions

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Where to Wed in Maui: Montage Kapalua Bay

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Ever called a hotel home before? Well, when you check into your residence at the Montage Kapalua Bay, that’s exactly what you’ll do. They don’t have your run-of-the-mill hotel rooms, they have residences, that you live in, indulge in, rest and relax and even celebrate in, when you touch down on Maui for your destination wedding or honeymoon.

Recently I traveled to the island to experience what Hawaii has to offer us mainlanders looking for an exceptional destination wedding. And it’s called the Montage. A boutique property, with just 50 residences (all suite like homes with full kitchens, dinning rooms and living rooms too – though it’s your massive deck or garden patio you’ll spend the most time in), the property has the offerings and options of a large resort without the crowds or craziness of one. Of course it has its multiple infinity pools, several dinning choices (the Cane & Canoe Bar is a must for a nightcap), and a spa that can properly service the most discerning massage guest.

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And the spa, let me tell you about the spa. If you’re honeymooning or traveling as a pair, the Maui Romance Couple’s Package is a must! It begins with a coconut milk bath for two complete with fresh fruit platter and personalized service in an outdoor private bath, followed by a pair of massages that have notably been called the best on the island.  The best part?  They even take place in a private outdoor hale (house) treatment room!

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But really it’s the wedding staff, the wedding dining, and the wedding locations at Montage Kapalua Bay that make this property so memorable for what we do. Imagine an intimate dinner for 16 guests or cocktails for 40, in small structure perched on volcanic rock with crashing waves below, incredible sunsets on the horizon and whales breaching the waters within earshot outside. This is their intimate events only space appropriately called The Cliff House. Whether you’re hosting dinner for two, a rehearsal or welcome party, wedding cocktail hour, or even an intimate wedding, it’s a truly magical place to celebrate in Maui.  Unlike anything I’ve dined in before, The Cliff House is an idyllic place to celebrate just about anything!

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For larger parties, the Namalu Lawn or The Point with beach to your left and tide pools to your right makes for amazing places to ceremony, celebrate, and even dine under the stars. For late night dancing and parties, retire to their 120 person capacity ballroom with walls that open up for indoor/outdoor living.

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Now matter where you decide to celebrate, I can assure you, then menu will take your breath away. From local lobster to bread made fresh daily with purple Moleki potatoes that is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced – the menu is memorable, and the food will not disappoint even your biggest foodie in the bunch. And the cocktails are just as special! Be sure to order from their secret cocktail menu, a favorite being the 1944 Mai Tai, that now may not be so secret, but something so good deserves to be shared.

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Planning a destination wedding at Montage Kapalua Bay is a breeze, something you’ll enjoy like the trade winds, thanks to Katie Cotton and her team who treat your party as if it was their own. My only disappointment? Leaving.

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For more information on getting married at Montage Kapalua Bay, be sure to check them out here. And don’t be shy about staying on for your romantic Hawaiian honeymoon too!

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