Congratulations to all of you who are gearing up for your wedding. I did a lot of reading of reviews on this website and found these community boards to be tremendously helpful. I wanted to provide you with our review of the vendors we used for our Maui destination wedding back in November.
Venue: Olowalu Plantation House - A+++++++++++
My husband and I had never been to this venue until the day before we got married. We actually hadn’t ever even been to Maui together! There is a reason this venue has so many positive reviews. It is simply breathtaking. It was everything we wanted – on the ocean, outside, dance floor, old Maui feel, private. We had the ceremony and reception at Olowalu and we were beyond pleased with how beautiful it was! Even being back home in Canada, people still comment on how stunning it was. Initially, we were a bit concerned about the 10pm curfew, but that was not an issue AT ALL. We have a bunch of friends who like to party, but most people were wiped by 10pm anyway, and those who wanted to stay up later just partied together at their condo. We highly recommend considering this venue. Note that it is pretty much a blank canvas, so you will have to bring in everything (chairs, tables, catering etc), but it is so so so worth it for the views and sunset. A sweet perk is Leoda’s, which is right across the road. After your wedding rehearsal, you can head on over for one (or two or three) of their delicious pies.
Wedding Coordinator: Kelly Miller from A Perfect Paradise Wedding - A++++++++++++++++++++++++
AMAZING! We hired Kelly as our wedding coordinator based on a recommendation from a friend, web reviews, services offered and how friendly she was on the phone. She was everything we hoped for and more!!! She was so professional, yet relaxed and down to earth. We also found her to be highly organized and detail-oriented – traits you obviously want in a coordinator. She was very prompt with communications. If ever I had a question, she would email me back usually within the day. Or if she couldn’t respond to a question right away, she would email to acknowledge receipt of our email and that she would get back to us. Through the planning process, Kelly recommended various vendors that we could freely research and choose. At no time did we feel pressure to choose any one vendor over another and if we wanted to hire a vendor ourselves, instead of through Kelly, that was no issue at all. She periodically updated our wedding proposal to see the progress we had made with planning. My husband and I were not totally enthralled with planning a wedding (I was more into the DIY aspect) so Kelly made sure we were on track the entire time. We were thrilled with how smoothly everything went and we of course have to hand it to Kelly! Kelly and her team set up everything so beautifully. She definitely provides a quality service and she genuinely wants the best for her brides and grooms. It was so nice to have Kelly on our side. We would not have wanted anyone else J
Minister: Laki Ka’ahumanu - A++++++
He was an excellent choice! He wore, from what we could tell, traditional Hawaiian dress and blew a conch! He was appropriately serious and funny at all the right places. He made us feel very comfortable up there, which was what was most important to us. Just know, when you get married in Maui, you have to kiss a lot!!!!
Ceremony Musician: Jamie Lawrence - A++++++
Incredible voice! Just go to his website and you can hear for yourself. We chose a couple of songs we wanted to be played, and he chose the rest, which was great! Unfortunately, being the bride and groom, and getting ready, and being in the moment and nervous, we didn’t hear him as much as we’d like, but our guests really enjoyed him!
Catering: Café O’lei - A+++++++++++
DELICIOUS! People are still talking about how tasty the food was. We had appetizers during cocktail time and for dinner we had a mahimahi, chicken or steak option. Every course was top-notch and the portions were perfect. The service was excellent too! My only regret was that I wore a tight lace-up dress and couldn’t possibly eat any more of my meal. We would recommend them over and over again without hesitation!
Photography: Madelynne and Matthew from Maui Creative Photography - A++++++++++++++++++++++++
These two are absolutely incredible! We loved their fun presence, their exceptional service and our beautiful photos!!!!!
From our initial communication, we were impressed. Instead of a generic “here is what we offer and our price list” response, they sent us a personalized email, commenting on where we were from, how much we will enjoy Maui and other pertinent details of their service. Of course a personalized email is by no means expected from businesses when inquiring about services, but we thought that was just a really nice touch. They were always prompt and professional with communications and were happy to answer any questions. We were offered an engagement photo session with them in order to get to know them before the big day – what a great idea! It was so nice to meet them before the wedding, start feeling comfortable in front of a camera, and discuss preferences for photo ops, etc. The day of the wedding they arrived early and went right to work. They were not afraid to politely round up guests for group photo ops. We felt so calm and relaxed having them there the day of our wedding. They were so positive and truly made us feel comfortable in front of the camera. They were professional and friendly, and of course are incredibly talented.
Our package of photos was sent to us in a VERY timely fashion. We were surprised with how quickly we received our photos. The package was beautifully presented and the photos were beyond spectacular! They blew us away!!!!!! They really captured the right moments and our feelings that day, and of course, capturing the subjects' feelings means the difference between good photographers, and exceptional ones. They truly are EXCEPTIONAL!!!! Even if our photos turned out less than spectacular (which they didn’t – they were INCREDIBLE), it was just such a joy to have them photograph our wedding because they have such a warm presence. We are ever grateful that they were a part of our wedding day and that we have such beautiful photos to look back on. We wish them the very best in their careers as photographers as they are both so talented and such kind people.
Makeup and Hair: Jean Muldoon – A++++++
What a lovely woman! My sister and I had our makeup and hair done by Jean and we both absolutely loved what she did. We both wanted very natural looks and we felt so beautiful when we saw ourselves in the mirror. She came to our condo in the morning and hair and makeup was done right on time. We had a wonderful time getting to know Jean. She can use makeup with SPF in it, which was a plus for us as we are quite fair-skinned. We did not get air-brushed, but the makeup she used stayed put all night!
Cupcakes: Maui Wedding Cakes - A++++++
We got the cupcakes in four or five different flavours. They were tasty! We got to take home our leftovers too.
Bar: Maui Bars Are Us, Stacey and her team - A+++++++++++
Hire them. Excellent service, excellent drinks, prompt communication. We opted to purchase our own liquor from Costco, but she will do all of the shopping for you if you choose. We chose some signature drinks to have served. They also mixed up other fun drinks too, which was nice! Very friendly staff!
DIY. You can do it! We didn’t have a lot of decoration because the venue is pretty enough. The bouquets, boutonnières and floral center pieces were DIY using Costco flowers and they turned out lovely if I do say so myself. My husband made a playlist for cocktail time, dinner and dance and it was hooked up to a rented sound system. For lighting at Olowalu we had two strings of lanterns and also tiki torches, which were awesome!
I hope these reviews will be helpful to all of the brides and grooms reading them. I know wedding planning can be extremely overwhelming, but just remember it is a day for you two and that is all that matters. Good luck and congratulations.
-M & K