Maui, Hawaii Destination Wedding


January 17, 2018
Words by Lauren Marshall
Photos courtesy of Chris Evans

Shalanda and Samantha are a Washington D.C. duo with wanderlust, so they knew from the beginning they wanted to have a destination wedding. Maui seemed like the perfect location for a day to remember with friends and family.

For the most part, people were excited for their island wedding. For those who questioned the decision, the pair addressed with confidence, saying, “The only people who needed to be there for our big day were the two of us.”

Selecting Sugar Beach Events for their wedding venue was probably the easiest choice to make because it checked off everything on their list: excellent food, a beautiful view for an outdoor ceremony and an indoor reception location.

“Nothing compares to a Maui sunset and Sugar Beach was the perfect venue to take in the view of the sun setting over the water,” Samantha says.

Instead of stressing over the thought of planning a destination wedding, the couple focused on creating an overall unique experience for themselves and their guests. It made it easier for the two to look at the wedding like a vacation, so they planned to take their guests to a luau the day before the wedding and a brunch the day after for some quality time with loved ones.

The couple sent guests any available deals on flights to ease travel logistics. All that needed to be done was to find and share flight deals for guests to travel from most major hubs to Maui. The couple also relied on their thorough wedding website to divulge information about which airport to fly into, the hotel block, how to get around the island and recommendations for things to do.

However, getting their crew to Maui was the easy part. It was staying away from DIY projects which posed a challenge for the creative pair. As fun as DIY projects are for any wedding, the two kept in mind the extra cost and time it would take to ship the pieces to the venue ahead of time. But, they simply couldn’t resist customizing.

“I had an idea to DIY our seating chart and write our guests’ seating arrangements on a full-length mirror,” Samantha says. “With a few last minute guest list surprises and finalizing other aspects of our big day, the seating chart still needed to be made the morning of the wedding. I’m so glad that one of my bridesmaids stepped in to write the seating chart out on the mirror while I was getting my hair and makeup done in the bridal suite.”

Leaning on wedding planner, Denise, was also helpful to coordinate with vendors from thousands of miles away from paradise. They also visited Maui ten months before the wedding to check out the venue and meet with their major vendors.

“This trip really helped to make everything more real and for us to become a bit familiar with the area and our venue,” the newlyweds say.

The reality of the day ended up better than imagined. Samantha and Shalanda took pride in their decision to have a Maui destination wedding because it ended up being cheaper than the majority of options in D.C.. It also helped to keep their guest list at a manageable length.

The two urge couples wishing to have a getaway wedding to “remember that not everyone will be able to attend your destination wedding and that is okay.”

Overall, having a destination wedding is a great way to make your special day uniquely yours!

Vendors: Photographer: Chris Evans, Wedding Planner: Denise Black at Sugar Beach, Ceremony/Reception Site: Sugar Beach Events, Florist: Asa Flowers, Stationery: Designed with Amore & Wedding Paper Diva, Cake: Chef Lee at Sugar Beach Events, Hair & Makeup: Maui Makeup Artistry, Gown Designer: Eve of Milady, Jumpsuit Designer: Galina, Bridesmaids/Bridesmen’s Clothing Designer: Jenny Packham & Michael Kors

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