Top Maui Wedding Preparation Tips
#1 Hire a Professional Wedding Planner
Trying to plan every detail of your wedding by yourself might seem like a fun idea at first, but from thousands of miles away, multiple hours of time difference and many unknown variables that often don’t arise until you arrive, you’ll find out quickly why hiring a wedding coordinator is a lifesaver. Hawaii Wedding has many years and countless weddings under their belt, and offer thorough planning services for every budget.
#2 Choose the Right Photographer
It’s important to set time aside to research local photographers who fit your preferred photographic style. At the end of the day, this is one of the most important aspects of your wedding, and good communication and research can help you find the perfect person to make your wedding memories last a lifetime. A photographer whose style compliments yours almost always ensures a successful wedding day shoot.
#3 Be Realistic with your Budget
Maui may be an expensive destination, but that doesn’t mean you need to blow your budget to have the wedding you’ve always dreamed of. Sit down and price out your priorities, whether it’s the wedding venue, the dress, decor or cocktails, and search for cost-saving alternatives for everything else. Wedding coordinators will be able to help you with this, as they typically have vendors that match every type of budget range. Most importantly, don’t stress too much!
#4 Book Early
There are over 65 weddings on Maui every single day, which means the best vendors and venues are likely to be booked up early. Ask your coordinator for help with all of the details, and make sure to read plenty of reviews, as well as get everything in writing, to avoid disappointment or confusion down the line. Even though Maui is generally more relaxed when it comes to business – ever heard of Maui time? – it doesn’t mean you deserve less than what’s promised.
#5 Plan Bachelor & Bachelorette Parties Accordingly
After all of the planning, traveling, coordinating and spending, it may seem like a great idea to go out and celebrate the night before your wedding. However, after all of that work, do you really want to be hungover at your own wedding? Plan your trip and parties accordingly, and give yourself plenty of time to relax and recover in the pool or ocean before your big day. And remember to take it easy on the mai tais!
#6 Remember SPF
The bride, groom and wedding party should be careful to avoid getting sunburned or create red tan lines on any part of their skin that is going to show in the wedding photos. Remember, your photos and video will last a lifetime. Make sure to use sunscreen generously throughout the day, as well as take breaks in the shade to avoid any embarrassing marks that will show on your wedding day.
#7 Coordinate Transportation for Guests
Drinking and driving, just like anywhere else, is a huge no on Maui. There are several companies that offer shuttle services to and from your wedding site and resort for all of your guests, and we highly recommend booking this service to avoid any unwanted complications. On that same note, it’s much easier to plan accommodations for your wedding party and family members near the wedding site, minimizing travel times and avoiding any unforeseen traffic jams and time delays.
#8 Clear your Calendar
Before the wedding, make sure to leave yourself plenty of time to get everything in order. If you have other major events to attend or last minute priorities that come up, it’s good to know you’re still on track. Don’t overcommit to events that drain your budget before the wedding, and be sure to talk to your partner about priorities the week leading up to your departure. The smallest details are often much more time consuming than you think, so don’t stress yourself out by packing your calendar too tight!
#9 Delegate Responsibilities
Don’t do everything yourself! Along with the assistance of your partner and coordinator, don’t be afraid to make lists for members of your wedding party or friends and family members. Explain everything in detail, be appreciative, and things will run much more smoothly on the days leading up to your wedding, not to mention the day itself.
#10 Communication is Key
On this day, perhaps more than any other, your opinion matters! If you have something different in mind than the options presented, don’t be afraid to speak up and communicate those feelings. The same goes for being open, honest and patient with your partner – include them in the decision-making process, and be open-minded to ideas from relatives and friends as well. Remain on the same page throughout the process and you’re likely to avoid any disputes or surprises later on.
#11 Focus on You
While other’s opinions can hold weight to your decisions, remember that this day is all about your happiness. Do what makes sense for the two of you, and forget the rest. Everyone has their own opinions and preferences, and trying to appease all of them will only make you crazy. Focus on the things that bring you joy, and remember that this is supposed to be fun!
#12 Keep Gift Registry in a Reasonable Price Range
Keep in mind that the people coming to Maui for your wedding are already likely doing a lot to get there – flight tickets, accommodation, time off of work, etc. And even for those who can’t make it, it’s better to ask for things that will go a long way towards making your life happier and healthier in the long run. Steer clear of the crystal vase and opt for a donation to a nice dinner during the honeymoon!
#13 Consider Maui Etiquette
Public beaches are one of the most popular places to hold your Maui wedding ceremony. However, this means that weddings are held on a first come, first serve basis. And while Maui has 81 beaches to choose from, the most popular and convenient ones are often just that – popular. Plan accordingly, and remember to clean up any trash created during the ceremony, as well as show respect for local marine life and any surrounding artifacts or landmarks.
#14 Check the Tide Tables
Having your wedding ceremony on the beach? Check the tide tables to know whether the tide is coming in or out during your planned wedding time. This avoids everyone gathering in a spot that is soon to be visited by some crashing waves! Visit that same beach sometime before your wedding day to see what kinds of conditions (and crowds) you can expect to encounter.
#15 Small Children & Babies
Small children and babies can sometimes become very fussy and vocal during a ceremony. Determine ahead of time what your preferences are, and let your wedding guests know of your preferences. This may be a touchy area for some, however, it is the wedding couple’s very special day! It is totally okay to inform your wedding guests that if their babies and small children begin making noise that is disrupting the ceremony, that they should do the polite thing and remove them and take them to an area where they are not causing interference.
#16 Prepare for Wind
Maui is the land of sunshine, but we do have unpredictably windy days every now and then. Always have hair clips handy so that your veil has the option to be clipped back, and keep in mind that long, flowing hair may sound pretty, but is likely to end up wrapped around your face, especially during a ceremony on the beach! The last thing you want is photos of your beautiful wedding kiss with hair covering your entire face.
#17 Do Trial Runs for Hair & Makeup
Keep plenty of photos handy of how you’d like your hair and makeup to look on the wedding day. Have friends or professionals do practice runs while you’re still at home, and arrive to Maui in time for a run through with your stylist before the big day. This will give you a good idea of not only how long the process will take (for you and your bridesmaids), but what you’d like to change in time for the ceremony.
#18 Be on Time
Leave an extra half hour or hour early in order to get to your wedding site on time. If you are extremely late, some of your vendors (photography, video, music) may have other weddings to go to. Most vendors allow for plenty of time between weddings, however, if you are really late, that is less time your wedding professionals may have to spend with you.
#19 Stay Healthy & Mindful
Stress eating is a real thing, and the urge to grab plate after plate of loco moco can be too tempting to pass up when you arrive on Maui. The last thing you want, however, is to have to make last minute alterations to your wedding garments! Make healthy choices a habit, and beware of sun if you’ve spent the last few months in winter clothing!
#20 Wear (or Bring) Comfortable Footwear
You’re on Maui! And while that doesn’t mean you need to trade in every pair of heels for slippahs, it does mean that formal footwear isn’t a necessity here, especially if you plan on spending time in the sand, on lava rocks, or one of the many other unstable surfaces for an evening of photos, dancing and celebrating. Wear comfortable shoes during your wedding and leave the painful wincing for nights out after you return.
#21 Exchanging the Rings
Assign a member of your party to carry some chapstick or lip balm, and just before the ceremony begins, put some on your ring finger, especially the knuckle. The chapstick is invisible, and allows the ring to slip on smoothly with no awkward moments caught on camera or video! A little known trick after watching many interesting exchanges.
#22 Do Proper Introductions
Ideally this will occur before the wedding day, but be sure everyone, especially members of your family, know all the members of your partner’s family. Take time before your departure to go through photos and names of attendees, as well as their relation to you and your family, that way introductions will be easier once you arrive. Polite gestures go a long way, and seating familiar guests at the same table will also make the reception more fun and relaxed for everyone.
#23 Spend Time with Each Guest
Visiting with every wedding guest can seem like an overwhelming task, especially at large weddings. However, dinnertime is usually best for this, since everyone is seated and in one place, making it easy to go from table to table to say your hellos. Save plenty of time for socializing, but also remember to relax and have a good time, all while enjoying the company of everyone you love!
#24 Keep your Spirits High
Things don’t always go exactly as planned, and that’s okay. Be prepared for small changes or mistakes and take everything in stride. There’s nothing worse than a couple who can’t enjoy their own wedding day, simply because the centerpieces don’t look exactly like they did on Pinterest or the wind knocked over a few glasses. Keep your sense of humor handy and your spirits high and enjoy the fact that you’re celebrating your love in paradise!
#25 Show Gratitude
One of the most important points on the list is remembering to say thank you! Chances are many people had a hand in making your day as special as you dreamed it, from your coordinator and photographer to your parents and maid of honor. Show gratitude for all they’ve done, and be sure to make notes of gifts to send out proper thank you cards after the honeymoon.