Destination I Do
Thursday, March 7, 2013

A Hawaiian Wedding in Paradise

Words by Alicia Clark
Photos courtesy of Caprice Nicole Photography

When an Australian and a Canadian decide to get married, where does the ceremony take place? Should the ceremony be held in a charming garden in Canada, surrounded by lush mountains and flowers, or in the dusty beauty of the Australian Outback? How does one choose between these two very different locations?

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The answer is easy, have the ceremony in an entirely different country! This answer was obvious for Marla and David, who held their wedding in the tropical paradise of Maui, Hawaii.

“We always knew our wedding was going to be a bit tricky as it was going to be an ‘away’ wedding,” the bride, Marla said. “We finally decided on Maui as it was about half way between the two countries.”

But this couple’s Hawaiian wedding almost didn’t happen. “Once we decided on Maui as the destination, we began doing some research by contacting hotels and enquiring about the wedding packages that we saw offered on the various websites,” the couple said.

Marla and David soon became discouraged when all of the wedding packages offered were out of their budget and didn’t suit the personality of the couple.

“As we weren’t ready to give up the dream of being married on Maui just yet, my then fiancé suggested we should generally search for wedding venues,” the bride said. “Once this happened, we discovered the world of private estates!”

By having a wedding at a private estate, Marla and David had the ability to rent the venue and bring in their own selected vendors. This revelation allowed the couple to have the wedding of their dreams.

The next step, was finding the perfect vendors. Seeing as the bride was in Australia at the time, organizing vendors from afar would have been a nuisance if the couple hadn’t come upon the perfect wedding planner.

“Once we had Laurie (Laurie Terry of Makena Weddings) it was a simple matter of making all the fun decisions like flowers, hair, food and decorations while Laurie had the task of interpreting what I was looking for and organizing everything,” said the bride.

By having a wedding planner familiar to the area, they were able to get the best quality and deals on the island. By putting their wedding together in this way, W-Day was filled with wonderful surprises for the couple.

Having a destination wedding made adding DIY touches difficult for Marla and David, but they made sure their personalities shone through with the use of their color scheme and the reoccurring theme of starfish.

Since guests would be coming from Canada and Australia, the couple had to make sure their guests had plenty of time to prepare for the wedding. 

“We decided on a December wedding as it was easiest for everyone to take holidays and gave an 18-month notice to save up,” the couple said. “We also said that we would like our wedding to be looked at as more of a vacation where we would like you to spend only a single day with us – the rest of the time was yours!”

Instead of booking a block of seats on an airline or organizing hotel accommodations, the couple informed their guests of what their plans were, that way guests would be able to make arrangements based on their desires.

Marla and David encourage other destination couples to do as much research as possible before embarking on their destination wedding adventures. This means looking at flight and accommodation costs, seasonal weather patterns, etc.

While all of these details are important to factor into the marriage process, the couple urges other destination brides and grooms to make sure they never lose sight of what is really important about their big day.

“The best weddings are not about decorations, or the food, or the dress, they are about the bride and groom and how much you enjoyed spending the day with them,” Marla and David said.

“So if things don’t go your way or look exactly as you wanted them to, keep in mind that no one is going to notice but you! So relax, have fun and just enjoy getting married!”

Photography: Caprice Nicole Photography
Wedding Planner: Laurie Terry of Makena Weddings
Ceremony/Reception Site: Olowalu Plantation
Drinks: Bars R Us
Caterer: Stella Blues


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