Congratulations, you've entered into a new stage of commitment, romance, and the expectations of "happily ever after". You are engaged and life is brimming with joy and, well let's be honest, planning! The planning phase can easily knock the wind out of any sail if you don't navigate these waters carefully. For Hawaii destination weddings in particular, it can be a huge challenge planning a dream wedding with at least 2500 miles separating you from your wedding locale. As a wedding coordinator, these are the top questions I receive and for good reason too--everything about this one particular day is a BIG DEAL and it is my hope, it would be the BEST DAY of your lives thus far.
SHOULD WE USE A WEDDING COORDINATOR ?
The short answer is, YES. If you are having a destination wedding and are expecting more than 15 people to show up, it is very wise to have someone working on your behalf, using their expertise and experience to coordinate the details of your big day. Let's be honest, destination weddings can be overwhelming; with dinners to plan, activities to schedule, hosting all your closest family and friends, and then the wedding itself! There is A LOT that goes into a seemingly "simple" week in Paradise. A good coordinator will have a wealth of knowledge and resources at their disposal to ensure you are getting the very best: photographer, videographer, makeup-artist, florist, entertainment, food & beverage, officiant etc... they also will have a keen eye for design and ability to bring your dream into fruition.
WHICH HAWAIIAN ISLAND DO WE CHOOSE?
Have you heard the phrase, "Maui no ka oi"? --it translates to "Maui is the best". I would call "bias" on this statement except it seems the rest of the world agrees on this too! Maui has been voted "Best Island" for the last twenty consecutive years, by the savvy readers of Conde Nast Traveler. I repeat TWENTY YEARS! Perhaps it is the vast stretches of white sand beaches, incredible coral reefs, world-class resorts, epic mountains, or lush jungly-waterfalls. Or perhaps it's because they are an island known for Ho'okipa--a Hawaiian word meaning "hospitality." Maui is stunning--she offers incredible venues, activities, and fun for the entire wedding party.
WHAT ABOUT VENUES?
Maui boasts some of the world's most beautiful, exclusive, and picturesque venues. Your challenge will be deciding just which one to chose. Sometimes, the choice is an easy one, as certain venues will book up 12-22 months in advance. Most destination weddings are coming to Maui for one reason, because it's a tropical paradise--an island surrounded by cobalt blue sea lapping up on golden shores. Like most, the allure of a golden sand beach to say your vows, is unbeatable. But you will have to consider, that this sacred day will then be shared by 2-3 other couples, enjoying the same sacred moment. This is because Maui only has a few legal beaches to conduct wedding ceremonies on--if you go this route, research your options and have your planner verify!
If you aren't satisfied with sharing, I'd have you look beyond the shores of Maui and out into the blue. Enjoy Maui's most intimate and exclusive wedding venue--a venue that will never be shared with anyone except who's on your guest list. Welcome aboard, your sailing luxury catamaran venue: Trilogy. Ok, now I know some of you are thinking "obviously she would say this... its a Trilogy blog post!"...but the truth is, I LOVE this venue! I have planned and coordinated and attended many, many, Maui weddings located all over this island and they've all had their unique flair and beauty, but when it comes to wanting to feel whimsical, romantic, and intimate, a sailing boat is near impossible to beat.
WHAT ABOUT WEATHER?
Good question. If you chose a Trilogy venue, you will be outside. There is really no way around that. Like any venue on Maui, you do run a chance that it could rain on your wedding day. If you are on land, your main concern is "do we rent the large expensive tent or not?" If you are on a boat, you have the cabin area to take refuge, if rain should occur, or you could just sail out of it! Luckily Maui remains an island with multiple mirco-climates. This means that it could be raining up in the West Maui mountains, but completely dry down in Lahaina. With that being said, it is always a good idea to have your "plan B" even if poor weather is very rare.
I'M ON A BUDGET!--WHAT CAN I DO WITHOUT?
This is such a personal decision, that it is hard for me to respond. Some brides need flowers, others need fireworks, others need entertainment etc... I recommend people writing up their top 5 "must haves"--this will help prioritize their desires and distinguish between their "needs" vs "wants". With the help of Pinterest and savvy DIY tutorials, many wedding couples opt to do the majority of decorating themselves (which has its many pros and cons not to be discussed here). It does seem however that at the top of everyone's list is the following:
1. Photographer and Videographer: Photos immortalize a moment. A good photographer will capture the emotions of the day/night and make everyone look good at the same time! If you aren't working with a trusted planner, take time to do your research. Ask for samples of a photographers work and if you are like me, ask for references too! A few of our faves: Maui Creative Photography, Aihara Visuals, and Sunlit Films.
2. Looking Good: This is mostly directed at the bride, though groom's don't be shy to want in on this as well! Even if you are a minimalist, a good makeup artist is something to desire. This is your day and night in the spotlight and the last thing you want is for your mascara to keep running or your hair to frizz out. A talented Maui-based makeup artist will know the tricks to keeping your makeup lasting through Hawaiian humidity and varying climates.
3. Food and Drink: Work with your planner on getting a menu that satisfies your favorite tastes! Being in Hawaii, we have an incredible variety of textures, colors, and flavors that fall into the Pacific Rim cuisine category. A great menu will have foods paired tastefully with wines and cocktails to accent your dinning experience and of course, add exponentially to the merriment!
EAT, DRINK, AND BE MAUI'D!
Remember you are loved, in love, and about to embark on an incredible life journey with your #1! Don't get bogged down by the minutia of wedding planning; prioritize and delegate. Preparing for your wedding is a special time and it is my sincere hope that you enjoy every step of the way.
Blog post contributed by: LiAnne Summer with Trilogy Weddings