M Is For Married In MauiWords by Candice Maniga
Photos courtesy of Chris J. Evans
Australia is a beautiful place to live and - no doubt - has several gorgeous wedding spots, but two residents, Daniel and Joana knew they were meant to be married in Maui. “We wanted to do something completely different than what was considered ‘normal’ back home,” Joana said. “Hawaii is a very special place for us. It only seemed natural that we got married there!”
Before their wedding, a major Maui moment the couple shared was their proposal - “Daniel proposed atop of Haleakala Summit at sunrise, so it was befitting that we return to Maui to get married.” The destination announcement excited guests as the only Hawaii stories most had were the ones Daniel and Joana had shared about their past adventures.
The newlyweds’ key concerns about a wedding overseas had to do with getting guests and vendors to Maui. They were relieved to find Maui had “an amazing community of quality vendors” and credited their wedding planner, Lorrie Betsill of Maui’s Angels with simplifying their various planning stages. The other helper to thank in the process? The Internet.
“The Internet is a wonderful thing,” the newlyweds said. “It allowed us to keep in regular contact with our vendors despite the fact we were thousands of kilometers away.” Social media – specifically Instagram and Pinterest – also played their parts in finding the wedding look. Lastly, email exchanges with responsive vendors and weekly Skype sessions with their planner Lorie kept everyone caught up until they could meet.
A year prior to their “I do” date, the bride and groom went on a “fact-finding” trip to scope for venues, meet with vendors and figure out the best ways their guests could explore the island during their weeklong wedding stay. To ensure as many guests as possible could make the trip, save-the-dates were sent out 18 months in advance to give invitees enough time to plan and save. The couple also worked with a travel agent in Australia to obtain the best deals on flights and set up a room block with a hotel in Maui. They made the travel information accessible to guests with their own wedding website.
Although Daniel and Joana spent more on guests individually than they would have if they had a wedding at home in Australia, they’re happy with the choice they made. “We definitely spent more per head than we would have,” they admitted. After factoring in the additional guests that would have been in attendance if Daniel and Joana were married at home in Australia, they realized they spent less than they would have altogether and, in exchange, received a “much nicer and incorporated” wedding week.
Daniel and Joana stressed how hiring a wedding planner could make a bigger and better difference for soon-to-be brides and grooms, but it’s their reminder for other couples that is surprisingly comforting. “On the day, it’s out of your control. Don’t stress. Just go with it,” Joana said. “There is nothing you can do but make the most out of all situations – like when my veil blew off into the ocean!”
Vendors: Photographer: Chris J. Evans, Wedding Planner: Lorrie Betsill of Maui’s Angels, Ceremony/Reception Site: Olowalu Plantation House, Florist: Mandy Grace Designs, Cake: Cake Fanatics, Gown Designer: Velani by Nicky Velani (Sydney, Australia), Groom’s Clothing Designer: Brent Wilson (Sydney, Australia), Bridesmaids’ Clothing Designer: Zimmerman and Forever New, Groomsmen’s Clothing Designer: Brent Wilson and Bardot Junior, Other Vendors: Sunlit Films
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