6 Ways to Honor “Aloha” During Your Maui Wedding


June 5, 2023
Words by Kinsley Brown
Photos courtesy of various

Hawaii is a destination that captivates with its stunning landscapes, vibrant culture, and rich traditions. If you’re planning a wedding on the beautiful island of Maui, incorporating local customs can add a unique touch and make your special day even more meaningful. We spoke to two experts, Lokalia Farm, Montage Kapalua Bay‘s cultural ambassador, and MaryAnn Blanchard, Director of Meetings & Events, to gather their advice on how to respect the island and its traditions during your destination wedding.

Support Local Small Businesses

Lokalia Farm emphasizes the importance of supporting local small businesses when planning your wedding. By avoiding large corporate businesses and choosing local vendors, you contribute to the local economy, ensuring that more of the money spent stays within the community and benefits the people and culture of Hawaii.

Photo by Lawrence Sawyer

Exercise Caution Around Wildlife

Hawaii’s marine life is incredibly diverse and fragile. Lokalia Farm urges visitors to exercise caution around wildlife, particularly coral reefs. It’s essential to remember that coral reefs are living beings, and stepping on them can cause irreparable damage. Furthermore, when enjoying the beautiful Hawaiian sun, opt for reef-safe mineral-based sunscreens that are free of harsh chemicals to protect the delicate ecosystem.

Photo by Jess Vide

Respect the Environment

Taking rocks or sand from Hawaii as souvenirs may seem tempting, but Lokalia Farm reminds us that these natural elements belong to the islands and are essential for preserving the local culture. By leaving them untouched, you contribute to the sustainability of the environment and honor the traditions of Hawaii.

Photo by Kdvandeventer

Be Mindful of the Road to Hāna

The Road to Hāna is a scenic drive that many couples wish to experience. However, Lokalia Farm advises against driving yourself and instead suggests booking a guided tour. This choice is more ethical as it reduces the number of cars on this heavily traveled road, ensuring the safety of residents who rely on it for their daily commute.

Handmade Lei Exchanges

Lokalia Farm recommends incorporating the art of making lei into your ceremony and reception. “You may still choose to purchase a lei from the ‘pros,’ but the aesthetically beautiful lei cannot match the aloha that you put into creating a lei yourself,” Farm says. Exchanging the handmade lei during the ceremony, followed by a hug and a kiss, symbolizes your love and connection.

Photo by Wingmar

Embrace the “Hanamoon” Experience

MaryAnn Blanchard suggests making the most of your honeymoon in Maui, affectionately referred to as a “Hanamoon.” She advises packing a small cooler and setting out early from the hotel, especially depending on which side of the island you’re staying on. As you drive, remember to slow down and embrace the spirit of aloha by giving the right of way to others. The journey to Hana is filled with breathtaking sights like Rainbow Eucalyptus Trees, beautiful beaches, and enchanting Bamboo Forests. Keep in mind that this trip is not just about reaching a destination but about savoring the entire experience.

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