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Destination I Do
Friday, July 10, 2020

Intricate Maui Real Wedding

Words by Lauren Ertl
Photos courtesy of Melia Lucida

Hosting a wedding away can be the perfect opportunity for couples to enjoy the presence of their closest friends and family as they commit to forever. Choosing a destination wedding doesn’t come without its challenges. Jing and Ilya gladly faced the hurdles in order to host an intimate wedding in Maui, Hawaii with those closest to them.


“The decision inspired a sea of mixed feelings and excitement,” Ilya says. Some guests who are avid travelers were absolutely thrilled, while the remote location and costs of the trip presented insurmountable challenges for others. But nothing could beat saying “I do” in the verdant Hawaiian countryside.

“For us, it is a state that offers unparalleled variety in just about everything,” the couple says. “There are different styles of islands to travel to, some are relaxing, some are better for adventure and thrill-seekers, etc. And, it is not just the islands, but also the iconic culture and history.” 

When the couple discovered Olowalu Plantation House, they knew it would be the perfect venue to incorporate some of Hawaii’s best elements into their wedding.

“I loved having the ocean view without getting any sand in my hair, the ancient trees which gave me a magical feeling, the mountains behind, the cute plantation house…it was just perfect,” Jing says.

Although planning a wedding away wasn’t a piece of cake for Jing and Ilya, relying on their wonderful team of professional wedding planners offered peace of mind. With their help, the couple could focus on how to blend their Jewish and Chinese heritages with the Hawaiian culture.

The Hawaiian sunset made for a breathtaking scene on the evening of the ceremony. “Jing met me at the Chuppah, walked by both of her parents to the traditional, nostalgic melody of Mendelssohn’s march,” Ilya says.

The magic of the day flowed into the night as Ilya serenaded Jing, playing a “A Whole New World” on the violin. After all the fun festivities of the reception, the couple ended the night with a special final dance: “мы желаем счастья вам”- a Russian classic, which was the final song at the groom’s parent’s wedding.

When asked what their favorite part of the day was, the couple’s response brings tears to the eyes: “Everything! This is a day that we put so much heart into planning; almost every detail was customized and had a meaning behind it. It was full of culture, intimacy, and was gentle and romantic. And, it feels funny that we planned so long for that day, and when the day actually came, it went by faster than the blink of an eye.”

The couple encourages others in the planning process to remember to look at your wedding as more than a celebration, but as a lifetime memory and reunion that will be reminisced about for years to come. 

Vendors: Photography: Melia Lucida; Wedding Planner: Moana Belle Events; Ceremony/Reception Site: Olowalu Plantation House; Florist: Mandy Grace Designs; Stationery: The Writing Desk; Gown Designer: ShiniUni; Groom’s Clothing Designer: TOPZIO; Tableware: Set Collections; Linen: La Tavola Linen; Rentals: Inspiration Events Hawaii; Makeup: Meili Autumn Beauty

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