Destination Weddings/Real Weddings

Tropical Maui Luau Wedding

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A breezy, beachy ceremony and golden-hour photos over lava fields at sunset? Sign us up! This Maui wedding encompasses so much of what we love about destination weddings, thanks to a jet-set couple ready to embrace the local Hawaiian culture.

Hailey and Michael chose White Orchard Beach House likely for its obvious beauty; massive palms lean over waves crashing wildly over lava fields. But anyone can be charmed by the island’s effortless beauty, Haley and Michael took their Maui nuptials to the next level by including Hawaiian tradition into their ceremony (blowing of the conch shell, a lei exchange & Hawaiian prayer) thanks to local officiant Rev. Kimo Kirkman.

The couple also incorporated a newer tradition that may emerge as a new ‘best of both worlds’ wedding-day trend. Wanting to save their first look for when Hailey walked down the aisle, but still wanting a moment together earlier on, the couple did a ‘first handhold’. Around a doorway, the two held hands and read sweet notes to each other whilst still saving the big reveal for their ceremony. So touching and so creative!

The entire day, filled with pastel skies and happy faces, was photographed by a good friend of the couple’s, photographer Marlayna Photography.

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Suit by Generation Tux | Photo by Marlayna Photography via Bridal Musings
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Our Love Story

We met in high school on a blind date at the movie theater, we were fifteen and sixteen years old at the time. Mutual friends set us up – we have been together even since! Growing all through life together has been nothing short of amazing – we feel so blessed to have married our high school sweetheart.

Mike proposed on a long weekend trip to Charleston, South Carolina. It was a perfect weekend, just the two of us. He proposed at The Battery. It’s a memory we will always cherish! From the moment we got engaged, we knew we wanted to have a destination wedding in Hawaii. Mike asked me not to start wedding planning right away and just to enjoy our engagement for a few weeks before cracking down on wedding planning. Well…I couldn’t resist and started wedding planning on the drive home from South Carolina back to Maryland that weekend! Oops!

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The Venue & Wedding Style

Our wedding day was everything we could have dreamed of and more! More than anything, we wanted our wedding day to be intimate, to reflect us as a couple, and to encourage our family and friends to go on a trip of a lifetime. We loved having a small guest list with our closest family and friends – it made our wedding day totally stress free.

We chose White Orchid Wedding because from the moment I spoke to our coordinator Nalani on the phone, I knew we were a perfect match. Nalani is so friendly and detail oriented, she helped me feel completely confident in all of our vendor choices and planning, even though we were planning a wedding from 4,800 miles away!

When choosing our color palette, we wanted to have a fun tropical vibe without being too over the top. We chose soft pinks, champagnes and pops of coral. The color palette accented the dark barn wood tables. Gold accents were found throughout our decor and place setting. Our wedding decor was simple, yet meaningful to us as a couple.

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Favorite Moments

It was really important to us that our wedding reflected us as a couple. Mike wanted to make sure that we stayed traditional and didn’t see each other before the ceremony. We opted to do a first handhold around a doorway instead, we reached around the door frame, held hands and read notes that we each wrote for each other that morning. Holding his hand before the ceremony was so calming (and exciting!) and I wouldn’t trade this moment for the world. It was truly one of the most special moments of my life – I’d live it over and over again a million times if I could!

Something unique? Our grandmothers were the flower girls! Mike’s grandmother, Nancy, and my grandmother, Helen, proudly tossed petals as they marched down the aisle – it was so sweet! We are both really close with our grandmothers, so, incorporating them into our wedding day was really special.

One of our other favorite pieces of the wedding was our minister, Rev. Kimo Kirkman. He did a Hawaiian religious ceremony for us, including a Hawaiian prayer and lei exchange, as well as the blowing of the Pu (conch shell), which is symbolic and deeply rooted in Hawaiian culture. We absolutely loved being able to incorporate Hawaiian traditions into our ceremony along with our handwritten vows for one another.

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The Photography

We met Marlayna a few years ago. Mike and I just started a new chapter of our relationship and moved in together and we also got a puppy. I wanted to get some photos taken of us and our sweet puppy, Vincenzo, so I did a quick Google search for local photographers. Little did I know that Google search would lead us to Marlayna!

Mike and I bonded with her right away – over the years, Marlayna became so much more than our photographer, she became our good friend. As a bride, having Marlayna with me on our wedding day gave me so much comfort. The truth is, your wedding photographer is with you on some of life’s most intimate moments – she was there through nerves, tears, excitement, and every other emotion that day! In my opinion, having a true bond with them is so crucial. Marlayna photographing our wedding is truly one of our favorite pieces of our wedding day.

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The Details & Favors

For our guest book, we had guests sign our guest globe. This guest globe is such a treasure, and it is now proudly displayed in our home.

Mike and I have two dogs, Vincenzo and Mia – they are Italian Mastiffs (Cane Corsos) and they mean the world to us. We knew flying them to Hawaii for our wedding day wasn’t an option (believe us, we would have if we could!) so we wanted to incorporate them into our wedding day as much as possible. Our dogs each had their own signature drink that was posted on our cocktail menu sign. Also, in lieu of favors, we made a donation to a Cane Corso Rescue, an organization near and dear to our hearts.

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Advice to Other Couples

We can’t recommend all our vendors enough! Each and every single one of them are absolutely phenomenal.

My wedding day advice for future brides: enjoy every second of it! The day goes by so fast, take time to soak in every moment! Also, if possible, do something relaxing and fun! The morning of the wedding, Mike went to the beach and wrote his vows while soaking up some Hawaiian sunshine. My Maid of Honor, Danielle, and I grabbed some açaí bowls that morning for breakfast and then lounged by the pool for a few hours. It was so low key and relaxing – exactly what we needed!

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The Honeymoon

We got married in Maui. We had one week in Maui with our family and friends, then two days after our wedding we flew to another Hawaiian island, Kauai. Kauai is absolutely magical! Both Mike and I truly believe Hawaii is the most beautiful place in the world – we can’t recommend it enough!

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