Maui Travels & Wedding - May 2016
I was in Maui for one reason, and one reason only… to marry my best friend! Dustin and I got married on May 14th, and I am now regarded as Mrs. Jones.
Our first stop on our trip was the Wailea Beach Marriott Resort & Spa. They were under construction (far away from where we stayed) so we scored an incredible nightly rate for our friends and family. Literally more than half-off. If you're ever hosting a destination event I highly encourage you to make everyone stay in one hotel. It removes the headache of transportation. The Marriott was great! The rooms were a little outdated, hence the renovations, but it was a very clean suite. We had our own balcony, living room, dining room, bedroom, and one and a half bathrooms. They provided great service, beach access, and multiple pools. Since we live in Hong Kong and don’t see our family often we knew it would be a little chaotic trying to see everyone the first day. We decided to rent a full service cabana for everyone to use as they please, and it provided a relaxing, no pressure atmosphere for everyone to waltz in when they’d like.
That night my husband’s best man and my father-in-law planned a dinner for everyone at the 5 Palms Restaurant located in the Mana Kai Maui Resort. We had 45 guests this entire weekend. A rather small wedding, but I’d say it was a good turn-out for a destination event. We were able to fit our big group very comfortably. Such a wonderful spot for the most perfect sunset you have ever seen! The place is not super fancy, and the food was great… the view even better. Pictures can’t do this place justice. Make sure you get the Pina Coladas, come at sunset, and are comfortable experiencing your meal over a few hours.
We decided to treat our guests to a local rehearsal dinner with the Te Au Moana Luau at the Marriott. It was held on a rooftop with a buffet, free flow drinks, and coconut bras for all to purchase. Everyone was able to mingle, eat, drink, and listen to some history about the Hawaiian culture. Once we all settled in, and hit the dessert tables 3 plus times, the real show began. Hula girls in grass skirts and guys in tiny cloths paraded the stage with beautiful, traditional music. A few of us were pulled up on stage to do our rendition of a hula dance. My husband killed it. I sucked. Enjoy the embarrassing photo at the end of this blog (if only I were getting judged on my squatting form instead). At sunset the fire dancers performed with music. Totally touristy. Totally fun. Totally worth it. Everyone had a great time, and I recommend booking this luau if you are looking for more than just a sunset and beach dinner.
Dustin and I moved over to the Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort the day before the wedding. Literally right next door to the Marriott. As much as we love our friends and family we wanted to spend the day before, and the night of our wedding away from everyone to really focus on each other. The wedding was held on a Saturday at the Andaz Resort around dusk. It couldn’t have been more perfect. The Andaz provided us with the most competent, organized, and pleasant wedding planner, Melissa. She is the only reason our wedding turned out as wonderful as it did. I can't take any credit here. She communicated with us since day one of planning to ensure everything about our special day was a dream come true. The ceremony was held on the Laule’a Event Lawn adjacent to the beautiful beach, and away from the crowds. We had a musician play the ukulele to perform Cannon in D as I walked down the aisle with my hero of a father. We exchanged our personally written vows, kissed, and walked down the aisle against the sunset as Mr. and Mrs. Jones.
I wore a Pnina Tornai gown from her 2016 line, Wind Upon Water. She is always on the show “Say Yes to the Dress” on TCL due to her unique and beautifully made gowns. My husband and I went to her fashion show in late 2015 to see the debut of her new line. I fell in love with the two-piece gown on the runway and had to have it. Pnina herself fit me and customized my dress to fit my more curvy frame. She is so wonderful, and I HIGHLY recommend her incredibly gorgeous gowns for any bride-to-be! I purchased my Pnina gown from Kleinfeld Bridal in New York City, and paired my dress with the stunning Beloved Patent 120mm Christian Louboutins. My earrings and hair comb are handmade Thomas Knoell Designs. I met Thomas at Kleinfelds the week of my series of dress fittings, and he personally helped pair the hair comb and earrings with my dress. He was wonderful to work with, and went above and beyond to have my pieces made within only a few days due to my tight schedule. I wore the Crystal comb from his Spring/Summer 2016 Collection, and the Livia earrings from his Classic Collection. His pieces are beautiful, and you can purchase his work at trunk shows as well.
We held our reception under bistro lights on a terrace at the Andaz. Fully equipped with a Hawaiian trio, open bar, fire dancer, crab cake station, and my personal favorite… a photo-booth. Pacific Dream Photography did a wonderful job capturing our dream wedding. They do other events as well, so book them if you're in Wailea. You won't regret the sunset pictures! We had a little trickle of rain towards the end of the reception that disappeared as quickly as it came. I know people say it’s good luck for it to rain on your wedding day, but I think that’s what us brides make up to make ourselves feel better about the less-than-ideal weather. The reception ended with me and Dustin getting in the Photo Booth with our bartender, Travis… who has the world’s best mustache. Everything was perfect, and I feel so blessed that our friends and family were able to experience such a magical place with us. If you are ever in Maui you must visit the Andaz, and get the breakfast buffet every morning. Especially the yogurt granola cups. They are deceivingly delicious and taste like breakfast cheesecake.