Inspiring Maui Real WeddingWords by Jessie Allen
Photos courtesy of MeewMeew Studios
Monica and Samir originally planned for a large wedding in California to accommodate all of their loved ones, but the pandemic forced them to reconsider.
“After two failed wedding attempts,” Monica says, “we chose to have an intimate wedding of 25 in Maui, Hawaii where COVID-19 numbers were very low and every guest was required to test before flying in.”
The couple was determined to make their Plan B extra special, and a huge part of that would be taking advantage of the wonderful, tropical destination. Unfortunately, having to change directions completely from their original plan was only the start of the challenges Monica and Samir would face.
“The pandemic devastated Hawaii,” the bride says. “And, we were planning our wedding during a time when restrictions were still very severe. Due to low staffing and unemployment, it was difficult to get in touch with many wedding venues and vendors.”
To the couple’s delight, the Wailea Beach Resort reached back out and planning started up once again for Monica and Samir. The first thing the couple did, after notifying guests, was search for a photographer. That’s when they found the “dream team” with MeewMeew Studios.
“They [MeewMeew Studios] recognized the challenges we faced in planning from afar and they provided helpful tips throughout the planning process,” Monica says.
While several guests were not able to make the wedding due to travel concerns and/or not being vaccinated yet, those who would be there were thrilled with the couple’s decision to take their nuptials to the land of leis and luaus. And to make the most of their time out of the house and in paradise, Samir and Monica planned fun group activities like boating, snorkeling, dinners and pool days leading up to and after the wedding day. But for the bride, who would act as her own wedding planner, these extra activities were some of the easier parts to plan.
“During the pandemic, it was difficult to find a wedding planner,” Monica says, “so I found myself taking the reins and planning the wedding with the help of my family. It’s tough to think of all that goes into a wedding day without an experienced professional, but a good place to start is with someone at the hotel or wedding venue of choice.”
Monica made sure every part of the wedding was created specifically for her and Samir’s special day. For example, the couple wanted a classical, elegant look that also incorporated subtle island vibes. They asked their wonderful florist, Della of Dellables Florals to bring fresh banana leaves for each reception guest place setting.
“We custom ordered their names in 4-D calligraphy and placed them on the leaves,” the bride says. “We also had butterflies flown in from another island for a butterfly release after our vow exchange.”
When the wedding celebration finally arrived, Monica and Samir made sure to take every moment in, knowing it would fly by.
“Our best advice,” the couple says, “would be to personalize your special day to capture your love for each other and the special memories you’ve shared. Talk with each other about what you’re hoping to get out of the day and what you’re nervous about. Know that the day itself will go by in the blink of an eye so make sure you enjoy it!”
Vendors: Photographer: MeewMeew Studios; Venue: Wailea Beach Resort; Florist: Dellables; Cake: Maui Wedding Cakes; Hair & Makeup: Meili Autumn Beauty; Gown Designer: BERTA; Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo; Groom’s Suit: Saks Fifth Avenue; Groom’s Bowtie: Giorgio Armani; Groom’s Shoes: Salvatore Ferragamo; Bridesmaid Dresses: Vera Wang; Groomsmen Ties: Michael Kors; Videographer: Loved Films
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