MJ + Russ

Joy-Filled Destination Wedding at Gather on Maui


May 29, 2024
Words by Kinsley Brown
Photos courtesy of Sarah Heathp Photography

MJ and Russell didn’t just say “I do,” they said “aloha” to a wedding with a breathtaking backdrop of Maui’s finest scenery at Gather on Maui! Let’s dive into their beautiful destination wedding weekend, filled with heartwarming traditions, stunning views, and a whole lot of fun. 

Love bloomed for MJ and Russell where many love stories begin – at work! Their friendship blossomed into something more, and Russell knew MJ was the one thanks to her “unending enthusiasm” (his words!).

With family scattered across the globe, a destination wedding made perfect sense. Maui, with its breathtaking beauty, became their dream location. “We wanted our friends and family to consider it a vacation trip,” MJ shared. Plus, a May wedding meant lower travel costs for their loved ones.

The hunt for the perfect venue had its bumps. They wanted stunning views, easy access for guests, and stress-free planning. Enter their lifesaver, wedding planner and dear friend of the bride, Taryn Stark Wyant. Taryn found a venue, Gather on Maui, with everything on their list, including oceanfront views and real bathrooms (a detail often overlooked but much appreciated by guests!).

"welcome to our new chapter" sign with wall of children's books as the table escort cards

MJ and Russell’s wedding wasn’t just beautiful, it was personal. Handcrafted lanterns from their trip to the Philippines added a special touch, and the seating chart was a bookworm’s dream – books chosen to represent each guest!

Clear skies and breathtaking scenery set the stage for their heartfelt ceremony. MJ’s father honored her heritage by wearing a barong, a traditional Filipino dress shirt. A photo of MJ’s mom, who passed away when she was younger, watched over the ceremony.

MJ and Russell have some golden nuggets of wisdom for couples planning their own weddings:

  • Be realistic about your budget. Prioritize what matters most to you.
  • Find a wedding planner you trust. They’ll be your rock!
  • Delegate! Don’t be afraid to hire vendors to handle the details.
  • Keep it intimate! A smaller guest list allows you to connect with everyone.
  • Enjoy every moment! Don’t sweat the small stuff.

Vendors: Planning + Design: Taryn Stark Wyant Event Planning & Design; Photography: Sarah Heath Photography; Officiant: Josh Wyant of Platinum Beach Weddings; HMU: Love & Beauty Maui; DJ + Production: KCK Entertainment; Floral: Dellables Floral Design; Rentals: Let’s Entertain Maui & Winter’s Events; Venue: Gather on Maui

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