At the end of every year, I like to take the time to reflect back on my past weddings. The ups, the downs, the complicated shots – what worked and what didn’t. It’s part of being an artist and striving to take my work to the next level.
But another part of that process is thinking about my past couples and what they felt about their wedding! What did they love? Where there elements that surprised them? What Maui wedding advice would they give to future couples?
So this year – I asked them! And here is what they said:
Maui Wedding Advice from Real Brides
I wish I would have had more time between the ceremony and reception to be able to have more photos. We picked our venue on a golf course, which was super beautiful and amazing. However, the earliest that we could have our ceremony was at 4:00 pm, which didn’t leave us as much time as I would have liked between the ceremony and reception for photos, especially because we wanted to leave the golf course site to get sunset and beach photos. I didn’t account for travel time and I felt like we didn’t get to enjoy our cocktail hour quite as much as I would have liked.
I wish I would have talked to Angie BEFORE I had chosen the venue because she knew that we might feel rushed. Angie totally made it work and gave me SO many beautiful photos, but it was definitely something that I wish I would have talked to her about BEFORE I picked my wedding venue. I honestly probably wouldn’t have changed the venue, but I might have talked to them more about timelines before signing the contract. If photos are important to you, which they were for me (and probably for anyone that is looking at hiring this AMAZING photographer), I would definitely check with your venue about timelines to make sure it can accommodate you appropriately.
Jayann + Eric
Venue: Andaz Maui
Guest Count: 75
Don’t go on your honeymoon immediately after your destination wedding weekend wraps – give yourself a day (or two!) to do nothing and decompress. We had to say goodbye to guests, clean our suite, finalize vendor invoices, ship luggage back to California, re-pack for Japan and catch a 7 am flight – wouldn’t recommend!
I have more ‘what I wish I knew:
-Don’t break the bank on a bouquet, be reasonable, and remember that flowers are heavy! While I loved my bouquet, I only carried it for maybe 30 minutes and it was $300 and about 5 lbs haha! My bouquet dominated my small frame, covered the bodice of my dress in pictures, and was heavy to carry around.
-Don’t spend money on flowers in your hair, the Hawaii heat makes them wilt
Emily + Jody
Looking back, I would’ve splurged on flowers. I made my bouquets and that was my biggest regret I had reasons for doing it at the time, but in hindsight I would’ve spent more money on real flowers for my bouquet and made room in the budget elsewhere.
Kat + Jason
Venue: Sugar Beach Events
Guest Count: 80
I created a detailed wedding website with info on the schedule, wedding party, travel/accommodations,Maui and a Q&A (my favorite part of the site).
Use your best judgement with Pinterest/Etsy while keeping your budget in mind (there are tons of amazing ideas to execute; however, each idea adds up to buying several things which can add up and negatively impact your budget).
Splurge on photography and videography (read reviews on several sites such as The Knot, Wedding Wire, Yelp , and view work on Instagram)Have a moment with your partner, away from the wedding guests, to take it all in and appreciate the love/joy of the event. It goes by in a flash.
Be prepared for the amount of extroversion required for a destination wedding – including the days before and days after (this was a lot for me given that I am an extreme introvert)! All of your family and friends will want to spend time with you during the entire trip. I recommend planning several beach days with family and friends – this is an inexpensive way to spend time with a lot of people at the same time.
I would encourage couples to stay a few after ALL your guests have left so that you can recover, rest and have some individual time with your partner.
Kristie + Tagh
Guest Count: 150
I definitely encourage couples that are going to be married soon to remember the wedding is really for them. Try not to make everyone happy. I was constantly making sure the events were perfect and I was taking care of others and their requests, I ended up too exhausted to really enjoy my day. Also, don’t feel bad if you can’t invite everyone. Weddings are expensive and its really hard to please everyone and invite everybody. You have to cut off the list somehow. The seating chart is the next thing that is surprisingly hard to create. You don’t want to sit people who don’t get along and you don’t want to offend people who have to sit in the “back”.
–Budgeting – Be realistic with your budget. Weddings in Hawaii are very expensive.
–Hawaii in general – Gorgeous place to get married. We met on Maui and knew we had to get married here. The lighting for photography is perfect no matter the time of day because the scenery is so beautiful
–Choosing vendors – Maui has a limited number of venues that can accommodate 150 guests and up. Mostly, only the hotels can accommodate this large number of guests, but were really our of our price range. We really liked our venue. It was right on the beach and had AC. They also accommodated our pet, who could attend the reception. Unfortunately, they were pretty expensive and raised some prices on us which we didn’t expect nor appreciate. So I won’t be mentioning this venue to promote.
–Unplugged wedding – Even though you request an unplugged ceremony, you cannot control your guests (unless you have them check in their phones at the entrance haha) so they will most likely not listen and make their own rules and use their phones.
–What you wish you would have splurged on – I’m really glad I hired a professional photographer and videographer to capture the moments we missed out on. We look forward to watching the film and looking through our wedding album on our anniversaryies in the future.
So there it is! Maui wedding advice from real brides! Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg! I’m sure other couples have more tip sand tricks about their Maui weddings!