A Dream Maui ElopementWords by Courtney Kellar
Photos courtesy of Dmitri and Sandra Photography
Chloe and Carlos are fortunate to have large families spread around the globe. When it came to planning a wedding, however, having loved ones from Colombia to Canada proved problematic. “We struggled to find a location that both our families would be able to travel to easily,” explains the bride. “His family is in Colombia and England and my family is in France, Italy and Canada!” Ultimately, the couple decided on eloping, but first they gave a traditional destination wedding a chance.
“[We] spent 19 months trying our hardest to coordinate a wedding that just didn’t seem to be coordinating itself! We originally had a wedding planned in Cartagena, Colombia [and] it was such a stressful experience for us.” The bride and groom both travel quite extensively for work, so once they were no longer trying to accommodate their guests, the world was their oyster when it came to picking a destination. “We chose Hawaii because some of my best childhood memories are from the islands,” says Chloe. “I grew up coming to Hawaii and I have nothing but the BEST memories of its beauty. And the smell…it smells SO good in Hawaii!”
Once the couple decided on a destination elopement to Maui, Hawaii, it was time to break the news to their family and friends. “We had a mixed reaction at first…people were a little bit upset and struggled to understand why on earth we would make such a decision! But, in the end, our families understood that we lead busy, hectic lives and if we didn’t do it this way we would ultimately never be able to please everyone. Everyone was really supportive in the end. We explained that we wanted to have an intimate experience that we would remember forever.”
After a complicated planning experience in Colombia, Chloe and Carlos opted to hire a professional wedding planner to organize their Maui elopement. “We called Bliss Wedding Design & Spectacular Events and were paired up with Fran,” explains the bride. “Within two weeks she had everything organized for us. Bliss made it so easy to coordinate the vendors…our options were emailed to us and I was able to choose the vendors based on the pictures and information provided. It was so easy and stress free. Looking back on it, I would highly recommend going this route for anyone having second thoughts about [hosting] a big wedding.”
Not only did opting to elope simplify the planning process, but the couple was able to shift their budget and priorities. “Choosing a destination elopement allowed us the opportunity to truly indulge and spoil ourselves in absolute luxury,” reminisces the bride. “We had no guests to worry about and our expenses were solely geared towards our personal desires! We treated ourselves to a dream wedding, stayed in a dream hotel, ate in dream restaurants…every choice we made was 100% for us. [For example,] we stayed at the amazing Hotel Wailea, Relais & Châteaux. It was truly unforgettable. We will be back to celebrate our anniversary in the future for sure.”
Out of curiosity, we asked Chloe and Carlos what their Cartagena, Colombia destination wedding would have looked like. “It would have been HUGE! A mix of Italians, Colombians, a few French and some crazy Canadians! It would have been fun, no doubt, but our elopement was perfect for us.”
It’s clear from the gorgeous and joyous photos that Chloe and Carlos made the right decision for them when it came to saying, “I do.” We asked the bride what advice she would give other couples currently planning or considering a destination wedding or elopement. “Just make your day your own. [For example,] I think my favorite part of the entire day was helping my husband get ready – and this is so rare! The bride never gets to be involved in this because she is usually separated from the groom and busy with her bridesmaids. We kept it traditional in that he never saw me fully dressed before the wedding, but I got to help him get ready. This was really special. Enjoy every second of your day and don’t over complicate [things]! Your wedding day is about you…not everyone else. People forget this when they begin planning.”
Vendors: Photographer: Dmitri and Sandra Photography, Wedding Planner: Bliss Wedding Design & Spectacular Events, Ceremony/Reception Site: Kukahiko Estate, Stationery: Hand-Painted Weddings, Hair & Makeup: MeiLi Autumn Beauty, Gown Designer: Custom Gown by Stephanie Allin Couture purchased in Paris at Nuit Blanche, Bride’s Shoes: Valentino, Bride’s Custom Clutch: Box Bag, Bride’s Engagement Ring: Irelia Fine Jewelry, Wedding Rings: Minichiello Jewelers, Groom’s Clothing Designer: Hugo Boss & 1957 Porsche 356 Speedster: Maui Roadsters
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