**If you missed the first two posts about our wedding, you can find the first one here and the second one here. Part III is a long one, so thank you if you actually make it through the entire post. All photo credit up until the dinner portion of this post goes to our wonderful wedding photographer, Mariah Milan.
Jason and I are a very non traditional couple. We wanted to have a small wedding that focused on us and did not revolve around trying to make a ton of guests happy. The decision to have our wedding in Hawaii came after we visited Charleston, SC to scope out venues. We loved Charleston and could imagine having our dream wedding in this beautiful city. However, before we even booked anything, the costs were adding up rather quickly (via quotes from vendors, and the venue fee). Since we were paying for everything ourselves, we decided it was just too much to put towards a 4-5 hour event.
So the search began for more intimate “elopement” wedding packages. We didn’t want our wedding to feel cheap or thrown together, and got these vibes from many of the places/packages we researched. Yes we were trying to save money, but no, we were not going to completely skimp on something that was so important to us.
The search was frustrating, so I resorted to google for “elopement wedding” inspiration. Thats when I came across Megan Fox’s wedding pictures from Hawaii and decided to look into the cost of such a wedding. I actually looked into the exact resort, The Four Seasons, and was surprised at how affordable it was (but still out of our budget). It was kind of a silly idea I tossed at Jason, fully knowing how unrealistic it would it would be, and how fast it would be turned down.
To my surprise he was on board. His immediate excitement threw me for a loop. I hand’t bothered letting myself imagine it ever being a realistic option! When I told him, it was done in frustration at the end of the night when I was exhausted from trying to figure out what we should do. I flopped on the bed while he was getting changed from work and said “I just want to get married on a cliff in Hawaii”. Never could I imagine his next words would be “Okay, lets do it. Let’s look into it and see we can do this”. And so that’s what we did. We planned our wedding completely by phone and email!
Mauis Angels Weddings took care of everything! I cannot say enough good things about this company, and the friendly people that work there. Jason and I felt so relaxed during the planning process, and found it so easy from start to finish. They were the coordinator for the wedding, and all vendors for our day. The only thing Jason and I planned outside of them was our dinner because we wanted to do a private event through a hotel, but more on that below.
Our Wedding Day
Jason and I woke up bright and early on the day of our wedding and went out for breakfast almost before the sun rose. We planned to spend the day together until around 2:30 p.m. when my mom and sister would arrive to help me get ready. We relaxed, talked, and then grabbed a quick bite to eat at Dukes before it was time for Jason to get ready. He headed to his moms hotel so we could get ready in private, and spend time with family before the ceremony. My mom and sister arrived right before my hair and makeup artist knocked on the door, and from this point the day progressed so fast!
I gave both mine and Jason’s mom a handkerchief embroidered with a special sentiment, plus included a hand written letter for my mom that I gave her when she got to our room. We chatted throughout the entire time my hair and makeup was being done, and before I knew it the photographer had arrived.
I felt that the arrival of our photographer is when everything started to feel a bit more real. I knew it was my wedding day, but up until this point I didn’t have that “this is it” moment. It was around this time that I started to think about how crazy it was that the day had finally arrived. After 14 months of being engaged and planning, the day we were waiting for had arrived. I was getting married!
After the photographer finished the before photos we headed to the car so we could drive to our ceremony site, Ironwoods Beach. While waiting in the lobby for the car to be pulled up I received so many kind words from passerby’s, which amplified my excitement even more. It suddenly felt so unbelievable that this was my wedding day. I was having those “holly crap this is happening” excited feelings that had sorta been missing the rest of the day. Of course I was excited to marry Jason, but being in my gown, at our ceremony site, really sparked a new anticipation that felt great.
We arrived at the beach just before 6:00 p.m. and while everyone else took their places I stayed back so Jason and I could have our first look.
We were able to walk together down the path that led to the stairs that would take us to the beach where we were to be married. Once we were there, Jason headed down the stairs to take his place while I waited for the signal (the blowing of the conch) to start my walk towards my husband-to-be. During my walk, our musician played the ukulele while singing our wedding song “Over the Rainbow”.
Our vows lasted about 15 minutes, after which we signed our marriage license. This was also the time when we hugged everyone before they headed off to wait for us at our dinner location. We only had four guests, so we opted for a private dinner at the Westin. But first we had to finish up our photography session!
We could not have been more happy with Mariah Milan. She was so kind and had tons of ideas for photo poses, which we loved because we’ve never been photographed before.
After our session ended we headed to our car so we could make our way to dinner at the Westin Maui Resort & Spa.
When we were planning our wedding, the one thing we knew we didn’t want to sacrifice was a special dinner afterwards that would be private and memorable. We found a few places on the west side of the island that offered private options, and ultimately decided the Westin met all of our needs. We sent them our menu selections ahead of time, and were able to order drinks from the menu when we arrived.
Our table was set up outdoors and surrounded by tiki torches. They added a bit of decor to the table, and had a separate table set up for our cake. The dinner was managed by a private waiter that took care of everything we needed from start to finish.
Each course was brought out one at a time, with plenty of time in between for us to feel relaxed and not rushed. We enjoyed every second together, and chatted away throughout the entire dinner.
Towards the end we cut the cake, which was one of the traditional wedding events that I really wanted to incorporate in the day.
We loved our “reception”. I’m so glad we stuck with our decision to have a small wedding in Hawaii with just a few guests. We were told by so many people who had traditional large weddings that they: didn’t even get to spend much time with their spouse, didn’t get to eat, felt rushed the entire time, etc. We both loved being able to focus on each other and enjoy all the little moments throughout the day.