Destination I Do
Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Meaningful Maui Wedding

Words by Courtney Kellar
Photos courtesy of Karma Hill Photography

After Butch proposed to Gina in Maui, Hawaii, there was no question where the two would ultimately say “I do.” Thankfully, their friends and family were completely on board with the idea of Hawaiian nuptials. “Everyone was ready to go on vacation and have a big celebration,” says Gina. The beautiful island of Maui has plenty of wedding venues, but the couple ultimately decided on Merriman’s Kapalua.

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“Our original options were Haiku Mill, Grand Wailea and Merriman’s,” says the couple. “We’re glad we chose Merriman’s for our wedding.” The couple worked with the venue’s wedding planner throughout the process and really came to rely on the team. “The coordinators at Merriman’s were helpful in giving us a list of vendors they work with,” says the bride. “We were referred to Karma Hill by a good friend of Butch’s…”

Because the couple was hosting a wedding so far away from home, Gina put together a lot of DIY projects so she still felt like she was an active participant in the planning process. The couple created welcome bags full of yummy treats and helpful info for their guests. The bride also hand-stamped the guests’ favor bags and filled them with macadamia nut kisses. The two also created a lot of the signage seen around their ceremony and reception. All-in-all Gina and Butch ended up with three full suitcases of wedding décor.

The couple made one site visit to Marriman’s in Maui and then returned eight months later for their wedding. While all the details came together perfectly, there was one thing the couple couldn’t control: the weather. “Tropical rainstorms come and go,” says the bride. “I remember [the] two days before the wedding it was raining really hard in Kapalua. I prayed really hard for it not to rain on our wedding day. [Thankfully,] it was a beautiful, sunny day to have a destination wedding.”

When it came to the ceremony, the couple considered holding a Catholic, church ceremony, but ultimately opted for something more traditionally Hawaiian. Their officiant was able to incorporate a number of Hawaiian blessings and wedding traditions into the couple’s ceremony – making it truly unique. As the couple had hoped, the island of Maui made for a gorgeous backdrop come W-Day.

Gina and Butch were joined by 110 friends and family for their wedding away and say a hometown wedding would not only have been much, much larger (think 300+ people), but also more expensive. For that and many other reasons, these two don’t regret their destination wedding decision for a second. “I’ll admit, it’s stressful,” says Gina. “But having trust in our coordinator and vendors made the process a little easier through phone calls and emails.”

Ultimately, the couple’s many DIY details came together flawlessly and really personalized their ceremony and reception. This savvy bride has some last advice for other couples considering a destination wedding: “Prepare and save months in advance, and shop around for venues to see if they have any restrictions.”

Vendors: Photographer: Karma Hill Photography, Ceremony/Reception Site: Merriman’s Kapalua, Videography: All Time Media, Florist: Dellables, Stationery: Lucky Luxe and Papersource, Cake/Wedding Planning: Merriman’s Kapalua, Hair & Makeup: Liz Javelosa with Maui Makeup Artistry, Gown Designer: Alfred Angelo, Bride’s Shoes: Tieks, Groom’s Clothing Designer: Topman, Bridesmaids/Groomsmens’ Clothing Designer: Bill Levkoff/Kenneth Cole, Acoustic Music: Marvin Tevaga, Officiant: Laki Kaahumanu, Welcome Bags: Jeff’s Jams & Jellies

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