Our trip to Maui was overall the best time ever. I caught a nasty cold and didn’t want to chance getting Maui2011 sick so we skipped meeting up with her. I feel crappy about that part but knew it was for the better. If you read this Maui2011…I’m soooooo sorry!!! Other than that we kept super busy and I just put my big girl panties on and powered through lol. The airport was pretty relaxed and laid back. Baggage claim was a breeze as was catching the bus to the car rental location. We used Priceline for our car rental and got a smoking deal. Upgrades to SUV’s were fairly cheap if that’s the route you wanted to go. Just an FYI an upgrade from mid-size to small SUV was only $20 per day.
Food for The Soul Catering: Tina out of all the vendors has been my rock during this planning process. She is one of the sweetest people I know and she truly cares about you as a person. Her and Rob along with their daughter were on vacation at the time we were on Maui. Most caterers and cake bakers work out of industrial kitchens. FFTS has a kitchen located about 10 minutes from the airport. I didn’t know what to expect when we arrived but we were greeted by Sandy Jean (waitress and bartender) and Kalen (chef). They had a cute table for two set-up and we had a view of the kitchen and Kalen working his magic. Things are really laid back on the island but our service was prompt and the food kept coming out.
Appetizers: Encrusted baked brie, teriyaki beef sliders with grilled pineapple, and beef satay with spicy peanut sauce. All were EXCELLENT! Our guests will love them, the quality, presentation and flavors were wonderful.
Salad: Maui Waldorf salad and the house salad with creamy Asian dressing. Again both very good, I favored the house salad as I think it would suit our guests tastes but the waldorf was just as good and was my FI’s favorite. The creamy Asian dressing was a creation of the head Chef/owner Rob and was to die for.
Main Entrée: First we tried the Cajon seared Ahi with lemongrass infused rice and stir-fry veggies. Since I don’t eat fish, FI was the taster and he ate every last bit of it. Kalen was proud J Again the presentation was great and the flavor top notch. Not your typical “wedding food”. Second dish was the pan grilled rib-eye steak, garlic mashed potatoes, and stir-fry veggies. Yum!! The steak was sliced and laid over a fantastic sauce. The potatoes were super creamy and the veggies were marinated in something out of this world. Nothing was ever greasy and all the dished were super fresh.
Dessert: Kalen brought out two small scoops of mango & strawberry sorbet for us both. YUM!!! Great for a hot day and refreshing for the mouth. Perfect touch!
Creative Cakes & Maui Wedding Cakes: We tried cake from both Maui Wedding Cakes and Creative Cakes. To my, cake is one of the best parts of the wedding and to be perfectly honest, I was not impressed by either places. I had high hopes for the lilikoi (passion fruit filling) but both the FI and I thought it tasted like dirty socks lol. I guess it’s an acquired taste. We will not be using it at all just for the fact that some guests may have the same reaction as we did. All the fillings (chocolate, raspberry mousse, vanilla, etc) were not really good. The ONLY compliment we have is to Creative Cakes. All her cakes were tasty and fresh (white, chocolate, marble, and banana), her fillings were not really special except for the mango Mousse. This was very light in flavor and added just that hint of fruit we were looking for. Maui Wedding Cakes was dry and tasted like it had been frozen. The frosting (we picked the lightest one) was still too sweet and overpowered all the fillings. We did not like them at all and would not recommend them to anyone. I wish we had tried more places but I seriously didn’t think it would be that hard to find a cake that I liked. Needless to say we will probably be going with Creative Cakes since everything they do is fresh, the cake will never be frozen, and we did really like the mango mousse.
DJ Dan: We contact him along with a few others and he had the best communication. We emailed several times and we met in person while I was getting my hair done at Dan Sanchez’s salon. He really loves his job and we liked his laid back energy. He was recommended my Tanq (thanks girl) and we are so glad to have him be a part of our dream team. Our goal was to find people who really love their job and he is one of those people.
Dan Sanchez: What can I say about Dan! Well for one he was not afraid to dive into my hair. I have hair that scares most stylist. It’s mix of American Indian. Spanish, Portuguese, and African American and it has a mind of its own. Dan took charge, curled the mess out of it, used massive bobby-pins I didn’t even know existed and created a fantastic look for me. He is a truly sweet guy who has a desire to make you look your best. He also gives you sort of a hair evaluation. He gave me suggestions on ways to minimize fly-away, as well as suggestions we dealing with the humidity of Maui. Next year I’m going to have him cut my hair prior to the wedding in a style I’ve been dying to get. We laughed, joked and got to know each other and he made me feel at home. He suits my personality well and if I lived on the island I have no doubt we would be really great friends.
Jessica Waite: Ok this girl is so freakin adorable! My thing about MUA is if they don’t look good how can you have faith that they can make you look good? Well she is the cutest, prettiest thing ever. Stylish and very well prepared. She airbrushed my face and applied my make-up so gently. She looks great and loves her job. I think that anyone who hires her will be pleased! The girl had everything under sun as far as make goes so she can match and blend any color to create a look that fits you. She rocked and I’m so lucky to have her for my wedding!
Kim Aihara: Wow! Kim made our e-shoot fun and enjoyable. It’s a little weird having someone following you around taking pics but she made us feel comfortable in front of the camera. We came to understand a bit more about photography and her eye for shots is amazing. She can take simple things of places and make them seem magical. I love that she found beauty in out-of-the box areas and we both appreciated her sweet personality. We did our photo shoot around Lahaina town, the Banyan tree and then moved to Kapalua Bay were we did our more casual sunset shots. Let me say that on Friday night we counted at least 8 weddings, which means everyone takes turns near the rocks. It really confirmed my need for privacy and I’m so glad we are having our wedding at Olowalu. Anyways….Kim had 15 sneak peek photos for us in 48 hours!!!! We were so excited to see them! Can’t wait for our wedding day and TTD shoot along with the rest of our e-shoot pics!
Kara Byrne from Your Aloha Wedding Co: What a doll! She is a soon to be bride herself and although she is a little thing, you can tell she knows when to take charge and get the job done. She had notes prepared and brought up things to think about and things we need to complete for our wedding at Olowalu. Very organized and professional. We loved being able to tour the grounds with her and get location ideas and sort of a mental picture of how things will look for our day. She even brought our cake samples from Maui Wedding Cakes with her. She had her assistant Regina with her who is also recently engaged and we all had a fantastic time on the Lanai of the Olowalu Estate. I highly recommend her to anyone.
Olowalu Plantation House: This venue is amazing. I cannot say enough about how beautiful it is. Photos do not do it justice. If you cannot make a planning trip, rest assure that if you chose Olowalu, your day will be amazing. The view of the ocean and neighboring islands is breath taking and atmosphere is peaceful. I really can’t put into words how perfect this place it to get married at.
Pia Ailui: We were not able to set-up a meeting time with Pia prior to our trip. These guys are busy with weddings and renewals all the time. So it was Sunday evening, our last night on the island and we were at Kapalua Bay (our fav place). Lots of weddings are held there and in a distance I see him. After he finished we caught him up on the walkway and introduced ourselves. It was like Maui magic that we ended up together at the same place and same time just 1 year to the day of our wedding. He was so happy to meet us and already began going over things we should think about. He is a gentle spirited man and we are so blessed to have met him in person.
Costco/Safeway flowers: If you plan on doing your own flowers, both these places have a big enough variety of things to choose from. I’m not a picky person and I don’t really care what flowers end up in my bouquet or centerpieces. If you are flexible you will be able to save tons on hiring a florist. With our small group we will be just fine in making our own arrangements. They each had a mix of tropical and standard flowers like roses, carnations, etc. Leis (Purple orchids) come in two-packs at Costco for $8.99. Specialty single leis range from $9 - $25 and our more exotic looking.
The sunset was at Kapalua Bay and was amazing. The colors of the sky are out of this world. Here are a few more photos...