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Friday, May 12, 2017

A Magnificent Maui Wedding

Words by Courtney Cox
Photos courtesy of Aihara Visuals

Crystal and Daniel originally considered a destination wedding in Southern California, but none of the venues clicked for them. Instead of getting discouraged, the couple sought an alternative option. “We began half-joking with each other that we should just have it in Hawaii if we couldn’t find anything else,” recalls the bride. Crystal initially assumed that Hawaii would be beyond their budget, but decided to do some research anyway. Thank goodness she did and the couple discovered that, with a little creativity, they could make their island wedding dream a reality.

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The couple is extremely close with their family, so before signing on the dotted line, they consulted with their loved ones. “Before finalizing the venue contract, we spoke to our immediate family members to make sure everyone could attend,” says the couple. “This helped to ease any doubts we had about having a destination wedding, because we knew the most important piece of it all was to have our family present. Everyone in our family was supportive and genuinely excited about having the wedding in Maui. We are all very close to each other and felt it would be a memorable experience for all involved.”

These lovebirds were right in their assumption that a destination wedding to beautiful Maui, Hawaii would make for unforgettable memories! “While I had never been to Maui before, I had only ever heard great things about its natural beauty and relaxed vibe,” says Crystal. “I also felt comfortable planning our entire wedding remotely because Hawaii is still part of the United States and there were no language barriers.” Speaking of planning, the bride entered the destination wedding process with a simple and straightforward approach. 

“I came into the planning process with an open mind with just the one constraint of making sure that it could fit into our budget. From there, it was easy to decide upon Olowalu Plantation House for its intimate setting and the freedom to work with any vendors I wanted to.” Part of the reason the couple chose Maui for their wedding destination was because of its relaxed vibe and they carried this attitude over into their mindset in the months leading up to the wedding.

“Deciding to remotely plan a destination wedding was the best decision I have ever made!” explains the bride. “I embraced the fact that I didn’t have to spend my weekends going around tasting cakes, picking linens and hoarding wedding supplies in our apartment. It helped me to separate the special (but stressful) process of planning with my everyday activities. I found that all important decisions could be made just fine over the phone or through video chats.

“I had very few moments of ‘second guessing,’ simply because I couldn’t go there and see the items myself. In hindsight, I probably saved enormous amounts of time compared to agonizing over the tiniest details. You have to be open to trusting yourself, your vendors and the universe to make your wedding day wonderful! It’s hard to enjoy the little surprises when you plan everything out.”

Crystal and Daniel attribute much of their W-Day success to their vendor team. While the couple remained relaxed throughout the planning process, they still did their due-diligence when it came time to select their vendors. “Before choosing a vendor, make sure you do your homework. Be honest about what you are looking for, what your priorities are, and what kind of communication style you prefer. Remember that your vendor may be working with multiple clients, so it’s okay if they can’t respond right away.” The couple did most of their correspondence via email, so there was a paper trail so-to-speak of all conversations and it was easy to keep track of things.

Come W-Day, Crystal and Daniel got just the “I do’s” they had hoped for. A beautiful island setting and a fun atmosphere – surrounded by those they love most. “Having the wedding in Maui felt like one giant vacation with our closest family and friends,” says the bride. “One of the best decisions we made was renting a large house for our bridal party to stay in. It was the perfect way to bring all of our friends together and keep the vibe lighthearted. I’m not sure if we would have had the same opportunity to do that if the wedding were at home!”

This practical and savvy bride has some final words of advice for other couples considering a wedding away. “Planning a wedding will only be as stressful as you make it! Pick three things that are most important to you and keep that as your focus. Don’t sweat the other details, because it’s easy to fall into the rabbit hole and you’ll eventually hit decision fatigue.” 

Vendors: Photography: Aihara Visuals, Wedding Planner: Tropical Maui Weddings, Ceremony/Reception Site: Olowalu Plantation House, Florist: Bloominous, Videography: Live Maui Webcasts, Stationery: Minted.com, Gown: Eddy K from BHLDN, Hair: MeiLi Autumn Beauty, Bridesmaids/Groomsmen’s Clothing: Jennifer Lopez/The Black Tux

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