couple stand at altar by ocean

A Maui Wedding with Rustic Charm


March 3, 2023
Words by Lauren Ertl
Photos courtesy of MeewMeew Studios

Love can sometimes find you in the most unexpected places, and for Klarisa and Kevin, it was at their workplace, the front desk of South Coast Winery in Temecula, California. Although they had previously known each other through mutual friends, working together brought them closer. Fast forward to March 2015, and their first official date was on Coronado Island, which marked the beginning of their love story. They created a lot of memories together, traveled the world, and eventually got engaged and would begin planning a destination wedding in Maui.

“One of the first vacations we took together was to Maui and it was also the first time either of us had been to Hawaii,” the couple says. “We got to experience so much on the island and in particular the Lahaina/Kaanapali area, so much so that we knew we would want to come back someday. Little did we know that it would be for our own wedding, six years later!”

Klarisa, who comes from a larger family, felt that having a large ceremony with 100+ guests would be overwhelming. Moreover, they had to plan their wedding during COVID times, which made them opt for a destination wedding for a smaller guest count.

When choosing their venue, they did a lot of research online. Olowalu Plantation House was a top pick in each of their searches. 

“Olowalu Plantation House offered the perfect scenery of the natural beauty of Maui and the relaxing sound of ocean waves,” the couple says. “One of the most appealing parts of this venue was how secluded it was. This ensured we would have privacy on our wedding day, in comparison to choosing a hotel venue or other locations.”

Although Kevin and Klarisa did thorough research, they knew planning a wedding from afar and in a different time zone would prove tricky. So, the next step? Hire a wedding planner local to Maui! 

“Selecting a wedding planner was the best choice, especially planning from California,” Klarisa says. “We spoke with various planners, and once we got in touch with Makena Weddings, we knew it was a good fit and that we could trust their advice and suggestions for selecting our vendors.”

The bride’s vision for details and decor kept with the rustic and tropical vibes of the venue. This also tied back to the couple’s color scheme (beige, gold, white, and greens). Having a destination wedding with a fewer number of guests also allowed the budget for details Kevin and Klarisa wanted to be included. 

“We kept to the theme of ‘destination wedding’ and had our invitation suite done like a boarding pass itinerary,” Klarisa says. “For our seating chart/giveaways, we had ‘Aloha’ luggage tags with each guest’s name and table assignment.” 

The couple wanted their ceremony to be intimate and selected live musicians to play. They incorporated the traditional Hawaiian wedding vow traditions, such as exchanging leis and portions of religious prayer to bless their marriage. They also privately exchanged vows before the ceremony during their first look, which was a special moment they wanted to share between themselves.

With such success, Kevin and Klarisa share their advice for couples in the planning process:

“Make time for just the two of you to take in shared special moments to remember. Trust in your wedding planner and your vendors, and do your best not to stress!”

Vendors: Photographer: MeewMeew Studios; Wedding Planner: Makena Weddings; Venue: Olowalu Plantation House; Florist: Dellables Floral Artistry; Stationery: Inspirations by Amie Lee; Catering/Cake: Cafe O’Lei Restaurants; Hair & Makeup: Amelia Hair and Makeup; Gown Designer: ÉLYSÉE; Gown Store: The Bustle Bridal Boutique; Groom’s Attire: Ralph Lauren & Friar Tux; Bridesmaids Dresses: Show Me Your Mumu; Groomsmen Attire: Friar Tux; Videography: Hi Focused Cinematography; Bar: Aloha Bars Maui; DJ: Take 3 Events; Musicians: Cambria Moss and Ricardo Dioso; Rentals: Let’s Entertain Maui; Jewelry: Brilliant Earth & David Yurman

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