March 1, 2021 - Our wedding experience was 5 jammed packed days of crazy fun in Maui. Our family and friends stayed on the west side of the island, mostly in Lahaina and Kaanapali area. Something that was really cool about having a destination wedding, that we didn't really think about prior, was the amount of time not only we had with our guests, but that they had with each other! Family and friends from all walks of life had the chance to meet and get to know each other. Many of them even ended up on the same flights in, sending selfies to Zach and I!
Friday, our first day together, we headed straight to Makena State Park for a beach day. We played spike ball, ate flamming hot pickle chips (yum!), and got absolutely demolished by 10ft waves. The island definitely has a way of humbling you (haha). We ended the night with a Welcome Party at my parent's airbnb. It was then that we realized we might need more wedding alcohol than we originally thought... this group cleared the fridge so damn fast!
On Saturday, Zach's birthday, we woke up with the sun and drove an hour towards the mountains. There is this amazing ridge hike I was dying to do, but when we arrived at the location it was already beginning to rain. What's cool is, everyone still wanted to do the hike. So, we started up the trail, hoping and praying and crossing all our toes that the sun would peek out and the rain would go away. But, sadly, it was just the opposite! It absolutely DOWN POURED. Everyone was drenched; and, honestly, a little unsafe on the edge of a mountain (haha). Emma Quinn, our photographer, was there to capture and endure the whole thing! Emma, you're a real one. The experience ended up causing so many laughs and memories, I'm happy we did it.
Wedding planning/design: Bixby and Pine
Florist: Reed and Rye
Photographer: Emma Quinn
Videographer: Jay and Mack
My "getting ready" outfit: Freepeople
Girl's "getting ready" jammies: Freepeople
Zach's suit: Topman
Zach's shoes: Vans
Custom cigars: Gentlemen's Etch
Girl's "aloha" necklaces: James Michelle
Girl's slippers: Amazon
My dress: Theia Couture, Lovely Bride Chicago
My earrings: Grace Loves Lace
Girl's dresses: Freepeople
Saturday night we also booked a private whale watching tour with Gemini Sailing Charters. This was a great way to celebrate Zach's 26th birthday, because being out on boat is his favorite thing!! We surprised him with custom cupcakes, some with surfboards on them and some with tennis balls on them. It was incredible for us, and our guests, to see Maui from a completely different point of view: out on the water. We were lucky enough to see somewhere around 6-8 whales, all while sipping on Maui Brewing Co. Bikini Blonde and other yummy local beers. The charter experience ended up being a highlight of the trip, for sure.
Sunday night, we had our rehearsal dinner with Kiawe Outdoor. And, excuse my language, but holy shit!!! The food, the property, the whole dang thing was unreal. I heard a lot of guests saying that, besides the actual wedding, this was their favorite night of the trip. Kiawe Outdoor prides themselves on preserving Hawaiian Culture and telling the story of "aloha" through their cooking. All local food sources. My brother, Zach's dad, and Zach's sister took turns standing up for a toast during dinner. I was a sobby mess. Very thankful to them for helping make that night so special for us.
Then, it was wedding day...
Zach and I took the morning slow and quite untraditionally. We slept in the same bed the night before, didn't wake up until about 8:30/9am, made a big yummy breakfast together, and took space to write our vows. Writing our vows the day of our wedding, though totally due to procrastination, resulted in so much emotion. It had never been easier to put pen to paper than in that moment.
Around noon, the girl's headed to the airbnb to get ready and start sipping on mimosas. The boys surfed all afternoon. It was perfectly relaxing.
Bixby and Pine really made our dream come to life. They didn't "help" make our dream come to life - no. They actually made it all happen. Truthfully, I would've been a lost cause without them! I thought, because we're in the wedding industry and we've seen tons of weddings, that we could do it on our own. I thought we didn't need a planner. But, after months of trying to plan and design, I realized HOLY CRAP THIS IS NOT MY THING (hahhaha). I think it's important to recognize when something just isn't your forte, and be humble enough to know when to ask for help. When it came to choosing our planner, it wasn't really a question. If it was going to be anyone, it was going to be Bixby and Pine. We've worked with these girls on a workshop in the past, and were blown away by their talent, professionalism, and organization. Hiring a planner was worth the $ for many reasons; but, mainly, it allowed for my mom and I to rest and enjoy this time!
Together, we decided on the theme "tropical boho", and I think they nailed it. In fact, our wedding is going to be featured in Junebug soon! We thought it was awesome, but it's pretty fun to learn that other people did too!
Our ceremony ended up being my favorite part of the day; which, honestly, shocked me! I figured I'd be so excited to party that I'd want to get a move on, but it was just the opposite. I wanted to stand there, holding Zach's hands, for as long as I could. We had our brother-in-law, Adam, officiate the wedding, and he did such an incredible job! Another special part was my mom coming up to recite a bible verse about love. And finally, our "unity moment": placing a haku lei on my head and a maile lai around Zach's neck. It was a really cool way to honor Hawaiian culture, and have time to ourselves to take it all in!
Not to mention Reed and Rye's STUNNING floral installation... I swoon. Take a look below.
After the ceremony ended, Z and I headed out to get some "just married" photos. The view of the venue and the mountains from the pier was unreal. While our guests began to party, we kissed and hugged... and kissed and hugged some more. It's such an incredible feeling to know you're going to love and be loved forever.
We did "grand entrances" with the bridal party, and our friends did not disappoint. They pulled out all the stops - scuba masks, trading outfits, hula dancing, and more! Zach and I only had 6 tables to greet, so we were really able to enjoy the dinner prepared. Food for Soul Catering did such a phenomenal job. For anyone getting married in Maui, I highly recommend.
Appetizers: Lehua Honey Fruit Skewers, Macadamia Nut Baked Brie, and Bacon Wrapped Scallops
Salad: Caesar Salad
Main: Mahi Mahi or Ribeye + roasted veggies
Dessert: Bunt cakes
We did the traditional special dances: daddy-daughter, mother-son, and first dance as a married couple. We also had my maid of honor and his best man do a speech. My maid of honor was my sister, and Zach's best man was a friend; they both did such a great job and made us feel so special. Lots of laughs and tears. They're stuck with us forever.
The next day, Tuesday, we headed towards all the waterfalls on Road to Hana - no matter how hungover we were (haha). We started with a bamboo forest - my personal favorite part. It led to a pretty amazing waterfall, plus some little ones we had absolutely no choice but to swim in!! Up next was a quick stop at Wailua Falls; then, we hiked into Red Sand Beach.
Our wedding experience was better than anything I could've ever planned and anything I could've ever dreamed. That's thank to a lot of people; but, it's mostly thanks to my husband, Zach. Babe, you're the partner I've always prayed for... through life, and on the dance floor. We're going to have so much fun growing old together! I know everyone wants their wedding day to be "the best day of their life", and I feel so lucky and blessed that mine really was.