No Regrets

An Intimate Maui Wedding


February 15, 2019
Words by Emily Garcia
Photos courtesy of Anna Kim

Katarina and Elijah decided to have a destination wedding after their local venues didn’t meet their expectations and left them disappointed. The couple wanted to do something different and personal. When local venues could not accommodate their wishes, they turned to Maui, Hawaii.  

Katarina and Elijah’s families were concerned that extended family members would not be able to attend. The guests were invited with “a very advanced notice” and understood if family members could not make it.

The couple chose Maui because that is where Elijah proposed to Katarina during their fourth year of dating. The couple heavily relied on the venue and the vendors in Maui because they did not visit the venue before booking.

The newlyweds say their destination wedding planning was overall a good experience. They decided to keep their ideas simple and having the venue elsewhere allowed them to relax during the planning stages.

“In a way, it was a relief to have things not as accessible so there would be less to worry about,” the pair says.

The couple did their own research on vendors and relied on references from their friends. They also used Merriman Maui’s vendor recommendation list to narrow down the options.

The bride limited her DIY projects due to travel, but did design her own wedding invitations and thank you cards. For table numbers, the couple had acrylic blocks and hired Jolene Xie, a local calligrapher, to write the numbers.

Katarina and Elijah’s guests didn’t face many travel-related issues. The couple made sure to give a lot of notice via save the dates and early invitations. Most of their guests flew from San Francisco, California, and Seattle, Washington without a problem.

The pair coordinated with their vendors primarily by email. Their venue provided event coordination and was able to assist if questions came up.

The couple thinks they spent the same amount of money, as they would have a local wedding. The couple could have saved money by having their reception during the day, but wanted to go the extra mile for their guest and have it during the evening to show their appreciation.

If the pair had a local wedding, they would have invited more people. The couple says if they had invited more people to their wedding, it would have changed the overall experience for them and their guests. Having a destination wedding, they were able to keep their wedding intimate and relaxed.

The newlyweds advise people who are planning their big day to remember that it’s your wedding and to not let peoples’ opinions weigh too heavily on what you want.

“No matter how well prepared you are, something will go wrong or not be how you envisioned,” the couple says. “Let the small things go and enjoy the moments. The day goes by fast!”

Vendors: Wedding Location: Merriman’s Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii, Photographer: Anna Kim, Wedding Planner: Merriman’s Kapalua, Ceremony/Reception Site: Merriman’s Kapalua, Florist: Dellables, Cake: Maui Wedding Cakes, Hair & Makeup: Mei Li Autumn Beauty, Gown Designer: Willow by Watters, Shoes: Alexandre Birman, Groom’s Clothing Designer: Hugo Boss, Table Numbers: Jolie Xie & Wedding Sign Calligraphy: Sara Verduzco

*This wedding was first published on September 26, 2018.

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