groom dips and kisses his groom with wedding guests clapping to the side and circle floral arch and ocean in background

Gorgeous & Gay Maui Wedding at Olowalu Plantation House


June 7, 2024
Words by Jessie Allen
Photos courtesy of Matias Ezcurra Photography

Maui’s magic and the beautiful Olowalu Plantation House weren’t just the backdrop for Boyu and Dana’s wedding; it was the very reason they chose the island for their “I do’s.” “Maui has this breathtaking beauty,” says Dana, “with pristine beaches, lush landscapes, and stunning sunsets. It’s the perfect place to escape and feel at peace, which is exactly how we wanted to feel on our special day.”

But Maui wasn’t just about the scenery; it held a special place in their hearts. “We went there as busy grad students,” Boyu adds, “and it’s where we truly appreciated the spirit of aloha. We wanted to share that feeling with our loved ones.”

circle floral arch with ocean background, grooms with their wedding party in black and blue attire, groom wearing boutonniere and watch

Finding the perfect venue was like finding a hidden gem. “We stumbled upon Olowalu Plantation House,” Dana explains, “and the moment we saw it, we knew it was special.” Tina from Food for the Soul, their wedding planner, happened to be there and helped them envision their dream ceremony. “It just clicked,” says Boyu. Their advice for other couples? “If you can visit venues in person, do it! But even if you can’t, check out photos and prioritize things like guest accommodations and how flexible the space is for your vision.”

pink flower, groom posing in front of tropical trees, wedding party poses with florals

With 60 loved ones by their side, Boyu and Dana wanted to make sure everyone had a seamless experience. “We set up a wedding website with all the details,” says Dana, “and even created a custom Google Map itinerary with fun activities like snorkeling and hiking.” They wanted their Maui adventure to extend beyond the wedding day.

Of course, even the best-laid plans can have a few surprises. “We didn’t have quite enough champagne for our champagne tower,” Boyu laughs. “It was a mix of champagne and prosecco, which caused a brief moment of stress. But in true us fashion, we ended up making a tower of bubbly drinks and had a blast! It just added to the memory.”

grooms stand at circle floral arch on Olowalu Plantation House lawn

Budgeting for a destination wedding can be tricky, but Boyu and Dana have some sage advice. “Be honest with each other about what you can afford,” says Boyu. “List your priorities and be flexible because unexpected costs might pop up. A wedding planner can be a lifesaver – ours helped us find amazing vendors and stay on track.”

Their wedding wasn’t just beautiful; it was deeply personal. “As a same-sex couple,” Dana explains, “we walked down the aisle together, symbolizing our equal partnership. And writing our own vows was incredibly special. It allowed us to share our journey with humor and heartfelt promises that meant everything to us.”

grooms smile at each other walking back up the wedding aisle

Maui’s local vendors played a big role in making the day perfect. “We worked with a local team,” says Boyu, “starting with Tina from Food for the Soul. Leveraging a local planner’s expertise was invaluable.” They also embraced virtual meetings and email communication to stay connected.

Creating a sense of inclusivity was important to Boyu and Dana. “We had a special seating chart with pictures of each guest and a handwritten message on the back,” Dana describes. “It was a way to say thank you for making the trip to celebrate our love.”

long white reception table oceanside, table setting with woven charger and blue linen, grooms pouring champagne into glass tower

Looking back, what would they do differently? “Honestly, not much,” says Dana. “Finding a wedding team we trusted made all the difference. Communicate openly with your team, share your initial ideas, and be flexible. That’s how we ended up with a wedding that was even more amazing than we could have imagined.”

grooms hold each other while standing on rocky maui beach, champagne tour, grooms embrace grooms pose next to ocean in Maui couple by ocean at sunset, first dance, grooms laughing at head table

Vendors: Photographer: Matias Ezcurra Photography; Wedding Planner & Catering: Food for the Soul Maui; Venue: Olowalu Plantation House; Florist: Sunya’s Flowers; Dessert Bar: Maui Bakeyard; Grooms’ Attire: Suitsupply; Videography: Hi Focused; Bar: Maui Bars; Music: Marvin Tevaga Music; DJ: DJ Boomshot; Party Favors: Honolulu Cookie Company

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