Destination I Do

A Magical Maui Wedding

Words by Courtney Kellar
Photos courtesy of Tamiz Photography

Elena and Jeff have been inseparable since the moment they met and it is more than appropriate to say there were fireworks between them – considering the couple met at a Fourth of July party. When it came time to begin planning their dream destination wedding, the couple knew only one place would do: Maui, Hawaii. The groom was born and raised on the island and the two were anxious to share the “beautiful and peaceful” place with those they love the most. 

“We looked at multiple locations and the more we looked, the more we realized we had the perfect location all along at Jeff’s family’s home in Alaeloa,” says the couple. “In doing so, we kept a family tradition alive since both Jeff’s parents and aunt and uncle also held their wedding receptions at Alaeloa.”

In order to make the most of the time they had with their guests, Elena and Jeff planned a few pre-wedding activities. Most memorable was a “Golf with the Groom” tournament held at the Kapalua Bay golf course. Twenty-eight guests competed in the fun, yet competitive scramble. Following fun in the sun, the couple hosted a welcome dinner at the Old Lahaina Luau for their guests.

On W-day, 85 guests walked along a path and through a canopy of plumeria trees to arrive at the ceremony on the property’s beach lawn. Elena and Jeff said “I do” overlooking the ocean and with a view of Molokai in the distance.

“Our officiant was Jeff’s childhood pastor and he presided over the ceremony with a mix of spoken word and song,” recalls the bride. “The ceremony was fairly quick and was lighthearted with tears and laughter throughout.”

The reception was held in the property’s mango orchard and was a mix of vintage and modern touches all with the goal of showcasing the natural beauty of the location. Guests dined on dishes made with locally grown ingredients and fresh caught fish, with a view of beautiful flower centerpieces in metal urns, hanging lanterns and bistro lights.

“As the main course was winding down, it started to sprinkle, which is considered a blessing during a wedding in Hawaii,” says the couple. “After a minute or two it was a downpour. We laughed as the rain came down as it was such a fun moment to pull everyone together.”

Elena says a crucial part in planning your dream destination wedding is to have a clear picture of what you want from the start. What’s her favorite moment from the day? “After we were pronounced husband and wife, we walked down the aisle in total bliss after months and months of preparation. Those exciting first few moments as man and wife were incredible!”

Vendors: Photography: Tamiz Photography,, Ceremony and Reception Site: Private estate in Alaeloa, Maui, Hawaii, Wedding Planner: Belle Destination and Events,, Invitations & Paper Goods: Erica Keuter Designs,, Floral Design: Bella Blooms,, Décor: Opihi Love,, Catering: Maui Executive Catering,, Mixology/Bar: Garnish Events,, Beauty Services: Maui Mira,, Wedding Gown: Lazaro,, Groom’s Attire: Suit by J.Crew & custom bowtie and pocket square by Otis James Nashville, &, Bridesmaids’ Attire: J.Crew,, Groomsmens’ Attire: Suit by J. Crew & custom bowtie and pocket square by Otis James Nashville, &

This article first appeared in Destination I Do's Fall2013/Winter 2014 issue. You can order a copy here.

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