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Destination I Do
Friday, July 21, 2017

A Stunning Maui Destination Wedding

Words by Courtney Kellar
Photos courtesy of Tamiz Photography

This professional planner and her Beau were together for 18 years before saying “I do,” but it was well worth the wait. Macenzie and Beau put lots of heart into planning their maui destination wedding and what resulted was an unforgettable Hawaiian event. The decision to host a wedding away was an easy one. The couple has family spread across the U.S., they love to travel and wanted a three-to-four day wedding extravaganza. Not surprisingly, their friends and family who had been waiting years for them to tie the knot quickly signed-on to attend.

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“We were told with a destination wedding we might get 75% of our invite list at best,” says the bride. “In the end, it was 90% who RSVP'd ‘yes’ and came! We had an adult-only wedding…and all of our friends were so excited to make an adult trip out of our wedding, leaving the kids at home!” Despite their guests’ enthusiasm, the couple still took the cost of travel into account. Macenzie and Beau opted for a 15-month engagement to allow everyone plenty of time to get their financial ducks in a row. “Our closest friends and family had plenty of warning that we would someday get married and, when that day came, it was going to be out of state – maybe even out of the country. I jokingly always said ‘Just start saving so it doesn't creep up on you!’”

Over the course of their engagement, the couple became even more confident in their decision to host a Maui destination wedding. “We knew that when we were going to get married, it wasn’t just about us anymore,” reflects Macenzie. “We wanted this to be a time with those we love to make memories as a group. Even though we had dated 18 years, with my family being out of state, some of my family had never met Beau's family and it meant so much to us that everyone met and loved each other as much as we love them all! Making our wedding a three-day event brought everyone together and created memories that are priceless to all of us.”

Surprisingly, Hawaii wasn’t the bride’s initial choice of wedding location. She had always envisioned a wedding in Italy, but knew Hawaii would be more convenient in terms of travel. Thankfully, she ultimately got the best of both worlds – a romantic venue in the gorgeous Haiku Mill and a convenient destination in Maui. “Hawaii is a top destination for a lot of people in Seattle, where we live, so I knew it wouldn't be out of the question for our friends and family on the West Coast to travel there. The second I stepped onto the property at Haiku Mill, I knew I had to get married there. It gave me the rustic vibe of Italy I had once dreamed of, but had a magical touch and charm that I couldn’t resist.”

Macenzie is a self-professed “Type A” personality, so planning a wedding from afar had its ups and downs. For her, hiring a local wedding planner and being clear and concise in her vision were essential. She also set aside time to go on a scouting trip a year ahead of the big day to tour the venue and meet with vendors. “I did tell myself going into planning that this should be fun...something you do once in your life and just enjoy it. I had to remind myself a couple times to not stress out and know in the end it would all work out, which it all did!”

When it came to narrowing down their vendors, the couple took a few different approaches. First, they asked their wedding planner for recommendations and then the bride did research on social media like Instagram and Facebook. “I also researched and read hundreds of reviews,” says the bride. “To me, nothing beats a referral/review from a past customer.” Macenzie stresses that having professional help throughout the planning process was imperative for her and, when it came to the big day, it was indispensable. “If a wedding planner is out of your budget, I would suggest getting a day-of planner/coordinator – they will make sure everything is set-up and looking how you want it and will handle any bumps that might be thrown your way that you can't and do not want to deal with that day,” she says.

To help make the destination wedding experience smooth for their guests, the couple reached out to Alaska Airlines (a popular Seattle carrier) to negotiate a group discount on flights and also locked-in a group room rate at their chosen hotel. For additional options, Macenzie and Beau included house/condo rental options on their wedding website. “I used Appy Couple for our wedding website, which was great because they also have an app that your guests can download and all of the information including accommodations, events, etc. are right at their fingertips. This was great, as it also allowed me to get RSVP's via the app not only for our wedding, but luau, rehearsal/welcome dinner, food choices and music choices.”

Come W-day, all the mood boards and brainstorming conference calls paid off. Macenzie and Beau not only got the romantic wedding of their dreams, but a weekend full of love and unforgettable memories with those they cherish most. “We may have spent more, but the memories we made are worth every penny and, in the end, you don't remember the cost, just the memories.”

This savvy, “Type A” bride had too much helpful advice to mention, but below you’ll find some of her top tips for planning your own successful wedding away.

  • If you're doing a destination wedding, go a few days early to relax and ensure that all of your errands are done before the big day.
  • I think gift bags are a great gesture for your guests who have traveled with you to celebrate your big day. Give them a taste of their surroundings with snacks, lists of places to see and great restaurants or any other fun facts about the location. It’s also a great way to hand out your schedule, as everyone always forgets when and where to be.
  • If you are using shuttles/cars etc. to transfer your guests, have a list of all of your guests with their cell phone numbers. Put one or two people in charge of checking everyone off the list as they board. If anyone is late or missing, they can just give them a call.
  • Let your hotel know it’s your wedding when you check in…you never know what great surprises they may give you! One of the things we got were complimentary cabanas for us and our friends staying at the hotel, which were $500 a day!
  • If you have family members/friends who don't get along, ensure you let your hotel know this, so they are not placed by each other. Also, be considerate of this when you are making your seating arrangement.
  • Make a list beforehand of pictures you want and give that to your photographer a couple days before wedding. (i.e. your invitations, announcing you as a couple, if you need family photos with and without certain people.) This also helps gauge the time they need for everything. Trust me, you don't have a second chance to go back and get that one picture you my really wanted.

Vendors: Photographer: Tamiz Photography, Wedding Planner: Lindsay Miller of Elements by K.H & co., Ceremony/Reception Site: Haiku Mill, Florist: Mandy Grace Designs, Wedding Stationery Suite: And Here We Are, Calligraphy: Miss B Calligraphy, Hair & Makeup: Maui Makeup Artistry, Gown Designer/Veil: Nordstrom Wedding Suite, Bride’s Bracelet/Earrings: Nadri, Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo, Groom’s Suit: Giorgio Armani, Groom’s Tie: Charvet, Groom’s Shoes: Gucci, Groom’s Belt: Ferragamo, Cocktails: Garnish Craft Cocktails, Catering: Sugar Beach Events, Chairs/Linens/Tables: Island Rents, Tents: Maui Rents, Chandeliers: Signature Event Rentals, Tableware: Set Maui, Table Numbers: AllThingsAngelas, Dessert/Cigar Signs: LettersToYou, Escort Cards: Sofia Invitations, Guest Book: Lorgie, Music: Clarity Entertainment, Photo Booth: Bamboo Shootz

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