bride and groom under floral arch

Maui Wedding Inspired by a Love of the Ocean


March 27, 2024
Words by Lauren Ertl
Photos courtesy of Dimitri and Sandra

What do you do when you get engaged and your mom is not only the owner of one of Maui’s longest-running destination wedding planning services, but you also have a seaside property on the island in the family? You get married in Maui – that’s what! Residents of California, Elizabeth and Stephen, had an ocean-inspired destination wedding practically perfect for them.

menus with blue backdrop, ceremony setup with ocean view, bride and bridesmaids walk by the sea

The couple met at a college party whilst attending the University of the Pacific. Stephen, being an avid ocean diver, and Elizabeth, having grown up with Maui’s indigo and turquoise waters as the backdrop to her childhood, the pair were a match made in nautical heaven.

blue and white ceremony arch, groom at altar with son, bride's ring

Thanks to Elizabeth’s mom and sister, Carolee and Kendall, both coordinators at A White Orchid Wedding, the couple scored some of the island’s top talent for a vendor team, including talented photographers, Dmitri and Sandra

couple at altar, signature cocktail menu sign

Having been partners for quite some time, Elizabeth and Stephen desired a celebration that did justice to the years of love they shared and the family they built together. It couldn’t be just one day! The duo decided to extend the festivities over two days, treating their guests to a traditional luau extravaganza. From lei greetings to freshly caught fish and tropical delights, the weekend would be a feast for the senses, Hawaiian style. 

bride and groom walk along rocky beach

Stephen and Elizabeth opted to infuse their ceremony reception with elements inspired by their mutual affection for the ocean, complemented by the serene hues reminiscent of the sea. They curated an elegant and romantic ambiance, set against the picturesque backdrop of the Pacific Ocean.

reception tent, cocktail, table setting with blue napkins

“The florals were organic and free-flowing to match the natural lava and white sandy beach background,” the bride says.

The first day of their festivities centered around a traditional ceremony enriched by personal touches, including the involvement of a close friend officiating the union, and their son Vincent assuming the role of honorary best man.

table number, floral table arrangements, guests cheers to the couple

The next day consisted of a large luau reception, symbolizing their enduring bond and desire to celebrate with all those who have shared in their journey. Elizabeth and her father insisted on honoring tradition with all things “Hawaii,” complete with authentic attire and culinary delights sourced directly from the land and sea. Not to mention, “guests were greeted with leis sewn by [our] friends and family the night before,” the bride says.

aloha sign with leis, cocktail menu, basket lanterns hanging from red and green floral installment

Reflecting on their journey, Stephen and Elizabeth wouldn’t have had it any other way. Their destination wedding not only celebrated their love but also allowed their guests to embark on a memorable vacation of their own. 

garden reception with tent, multi colored half circle of flowers, reception setup

“It was helpful to [guests] that we were able to secure a luxury resort room block and other accommodations to enable them to do so,” the couple adds. “We also hosted a few other optional celebrations such as snorkeling, lei-making, and beach day. It was never really a consideration to have my wedding in California… and it would likely be a much smaller one-day affair!”

thank you favors, cakes, vibrant table decor

Despite unexpected rain showers over the weekend, the couple embraced the belief that rain is, in fact, a wedding blessing, further enriching their celebration with a touch of nature’s whimsy!

couple dance under lanterns at their maui reception

Vendors: Photographers: Dmitri and Sandra; Event Planning: White Orchid Wedding; DJ: Maui DJ Services; Wedding Day Catering: Cafe O’Lei; Wedding Luau Flowers: Dellables; Bar: Maui Bars Are Us; Dress Services: Maui Wedding Gown Pressing; Rentals: Rio Event Design, Set Maui & Signature Rentals; Wedding Day Floral: Teresa Sena Designs; Video: Zeb Films; Live Music: Ka’ena Music & Kason Gomes; Hair and Makeup: LAH Salon; Cakes: Ciana Ruidas; Stationery: Bride & Design Mine Maui; Gown: BHLDN & Made With Love

Couple in Punta Cana doing a destination wedding by the ocean
Destination Weddings at Hyatt Zilara and Hyatt Ziva
Hyatt Ziva and Zilara Destination Weddings
Black couple getting married in Jamaica
Jamaica Destination Weddings
Couple in Cancun doing a gazebo destination wedding
White couple getting married in Punta Cana, DR
destination wedding couple throwing rose petals in costa mujeres

Find a Vendor

Access our list of vendors based on your destination location.