HELP! Maui Wedding Budget?

Hi All! 

I am am so happy I found this board! 

I am getting married in Maui in August 2018 but am having some serious issues with our budget. I feel like the amount we are spending keeps increasing daily. 

Initially we planned to have a very small intimate wedding ceremony (less than 10 people) on the beach coordinated by Simple Maui Wedding for $2500. 

After much discussion we decided to invite 65 guests to the wedding. We understood the trek from Texas to Hawaii is not easy or inexpensive and figured we would be lucky if half were able to make it. 

At at this point, we are anticipating roughly 50 guests. Since I had already booked my ceremony with SMW I opted to transfer the wedding to a venue (very slim selection with SMW). We searched and searched, finally deciding on Hotel Wailea’s Sunset Lawn which can accommodate our guests. The cost to have our wedding at a venue now is $4000 plus $300 for a ceremony musician and $400 for a plain bamboo wedding arch, chairs, my bouquet, and photography for 1.5 hours is included. 

I initially intended on doing a small reception/dinner at Hotel Wailea but the cost was astronomical (12k+) and I didn’t like the lack of privacy at their restaurant. 

After more searching, we decided to have our reception at the private dining room at Spago Four Seasons. Initially I really wanted Gannon’s but they were already booked for a wedding on the same day. 

So far the food and beverage minimum is $5000. It is higher than what we wanted to spend, but I was so tired of researching so we proceeded. Since we had slim pickings. 

Now I feel like I cringe at the thought of still having to coordinate flowers and a DJ. My fiancé and I both agreed that we didn’t want to spend more than $10000 on this day. 

Wondering if if anyone has any suggestions on maybe what I should do or what a realistic budget should be with this size group? 

I was quoted $1500 for a DJ plus $450 for a dancefloor (3.5 hour reception). Is this reasonable? 

Bella Blooms quoted $1300 to complete my reception decor and bouquets. I am not against DIY flowers but I get to Maui 2 days before the wedding and am afraid I will be running around like crazy. Should I just do the bridesmaid bouquets, boutonnieres, and  decor myself? 

I would love anyones advice since I am the only person I know who has planned a destination wedding. I’m sorry for the novel, just very stressed 4 months out. 

Thank you for reading and helping! 

Re: HELP! Maui Wedding Budget?

  • Aloha! I live here on Maui and am planning a vow renewal for next year, so I can identify with what you've been going through. We looked at TONS of places and have gathered lots of information and estimates. We also started out hoping to pay between $10k-$15k for about 45 people, and we're now in the low $20s. Everything is just more expensive here. And coordinators add a commission to everything as well, and those fees plus gratuities add a big chunk to the final bill. 

    I will say that with the Hotel Wailea, you've picked a gorgeous venue. We almost went with them for both our ceremony and reception (we were going to do the Anuhea Room) and it was a hard choice. It's a stunning hotel. 

    To address your questions above, you say: "$400 for a plain bamboo wedding arch, chairs, my bouquet." Does the $400 cover all of that? If so, I think that's a good price. The only other thing to consider is NOT doing an arch (if it makes the price cheaper). If you look at photos (via the Hotel Wailea wedding website and other photographers) you'll see some ceremony pictures with no arch, and it's still gorgeous.  The view is so pretty on its own that an arch may not be necessary.

    You mention photograph for 1.5 hours--you may want to consider making that 3 hours. Originally we weren't going to, but after thinking about the timeline of the day as well as how much money and effort we were putting into this, we realized pictures were more important to us than we originally thought, especially since we were gathering so many people who were special to us and who had traveled so far to celebrate.

    I think $1500 for a DJ is good, but $450 for a dance floor seems very high.  $300 for a ceremony musician seems good. 

    $1300 for decor and bouquets isn't bad--I have seen people recommend https://www.mauifloral.com/--they do all the flowers for Costco and you may be able to get a better deal with them if you do the bouquets on your own. I'm not familiar with the private dining room at Spago but it's possible you may not need additional decor if it's already a pretty space? There are definitely some places here that are plain and would benefit from sprucing up but some are fine on their own. I would ask your planner about that and ask for more pictures. 

    I will let you know if I think of more stuff but feel free to ask additional questions! Happy to help, having just gone through this (just signed the paperwork for our venue a few weeks ago).

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