Weddings abroad are becoming more and more popular. Due to almost guaranteed good weather, less expense of a wedding at home and an album full of amazing photographs. Im sold! And that is exactly what we did. With a love for travel and seeing the world it seemed like the perfect choice.
Rewind 6 years ago, (doesn’t time fly when your having fun) I chose to get married in Maui Hawaii at the Kaanapali Beach Hotel. I didn’t choose this hotel blindly I have to add, as I had enjoyed previous trips to this beautiful island. My reasoning was I couldn’t think of anywhere more perfect than the setting of the Kaanapali Beach and the authenticity of the hotel. The Kaanapali Beach Hotel is named “Hawaii’s Most Hawaiian Hotel” and it lives up to it name perfectly. It offers you a real hawaiian experience, unlike the high rise large american hotel chains next to it, along with a purely relaxing and chilled holiday. The Kaanapali Beach Hotel also happened to be the destination chosen by my parents for their honeymoon 30 years previous.
Planning started a good year before the 6 th of September wedding date. I did all of the organising and pre planning myself, when it came to booking everything I contacted the Kaanapali Beach Hotel myself by email and they confirmed availability pretty quickly. From then I dealt with Madelene, the hotel’ wedding planner. We kept in touch via email mainly, it is much easier, with only a few phone calls needed. People often experience unbelievable stress, especially in planning a UK wedding, however big or small. I felt nothing but excitement and total reassurance by the hotel.
Flight wise I used an independent travel advisor, who booked our flights, transfers and visas. Price wise we managed to get some flights in a sale and saved some money. This was mainly due to having plenty of time to look and wait. As a thank you for the booking, we got free access to the airport lounges, which I thought was a very nice touch.
Nearer the big day, I chose the flowers, wedding cake, finalised the wedding spot, pre ordered the food for the wedding meal, booked the hair and makeup for myself and my bridesmaid all via email through the hotel, it was effortless. The official documents were faxed over to Madelene and she contacted the licence office on our behalf.
We arrived 4 days before we married and after a nights sleep we were up early to go and finalise our wedding licence in person. I worried this would be the hard part, we took a taxi about a twenty minute drive to the licence office. We were early so we got in before our time slot, put two signatures on a form and we were ready to marry, it was a easy as that.
That day we did a walk around with Madelene to finalise the location, I decided whilst walking around the complex I preferred another location nearer the beach, in a more enclosed area. This was not an issue and was changed immediately. One problem we have before we flew in, was two of our wedding party could not make the trip, this was somewhat last minute. Madelene took the cost of their food from the final bill without hesitation. Giving me even more confidence that a destination wedding was definitely the best choice. Can you imagine trying to do that in the UK?
The period in between arriving and the ceremony was relaxing and very enjoyable. Visiting the Whalers Village a short walk from the hotel to eat and drink, enjoying the weather and exploring Lahaina. Lahaina is in West Maui and has a lovely waterfront and a great Front Street with shops, bars and restaurants. Lahaina has been ranked as one of the “Top Ten Greatest Streets” in the USA.
Our wedding day was perfect, there is not one thing I would have changed. It ran smoothly, a relaxing morning in the sun followed by getting dressed late afternoon for a six o clock wedding, the time was suggested by the hotel as its obviously cooler and before sunset which meant fabulous pictures. Madelene came to the room and checked on me, reassuring me all was going to plan, I was provided with a bottle of champagne and chocolate dipped strawberries courtesy of the hotel. Nice touch. The ceremony was amazing, I was walked in by my dad and a conch blower, to signal the start of the wedding. A wedding singer sang me in to Bruno Mars ‘Just the way you are’ and a Hawaiian Minister named Laki Kaahumanu performed the nuptials obviously in a hawaiian style, we were wed! After the ceremony we had pictures took by a chosen photographer, both on the beach and in the hotel grounds, he made us feel at ease and took a good selection of shots. He had also taken pre wedding photos of my husband. Due to living back in the UK, we had the pictures sent to us by email. I liked this as we could choose which photos we wanted to be printed with no pressure. Whilst on honeymoon we were sent a sneak peek of the pictures, due to the beautiful setting they were fabulous. The wedding meal was served on the lawn area where we got married, by the beach and under the stars, a three course meal with champagne and wedding cake ended a perfectly perfect day!
After the wedding a few more days were enjoyed at the Kaanapali and an evening at a local Luau. This is a traditional Hawaiian feast, that is accompanied with entertainment in the form of telling the story of Hawaii, a pig is normally cooked in banana leaves in the ground for hours beforehand and enjoyed at the event. A must whilst in Hawaii. On leaving the hotel you have a leaving ceremony, where you join together in a group and you a given a necklace, repeat visitors get the beads in the necklace changed dependent on how many times they visit. A poem is spoken and you are wished a safe journey. I cannot recommend both a destination wedding or Maui any more than I have already, If you want a stress less and enjoyable wedding with peace of mind you get the perfect day or a chilled holiday then this is your place.
If you have any questions or queries regarding a wedding in Maui don’t hesitate to get in touch.