What’s not to love about an island destination wedding? MAUI to be exact. That description alone conjures up so many delightful thoughts of sandy beached nuptials and sunshine, lots of sunshine. Did I mention sunshine?  So to add to that a wedding that is pretty much the best graphically-endowed, whole heartedly fun and modern approach to getting Maui’ed that we’ve ever seen, it is leaving us a bit speechless. But not speechless enough to gush about the photography skills of Encarnacion Photography or the cinemetography skills of ARIA Studios. Alas, we’ll let the pictures and the film do the talking. See it all here!

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From the bride… The beginning of our wedding planning journey started with the search for the perfect location. After all, the location would set the tone for the stationery, the wedding attire, the details and pretty much everything else! There was no question about us joining in holy matrimony on the date of October 7th, the feast day of Our Lady of the Rosary, which holds a special religious significance to us. For fun, we decided to start our search looking for churches that were named after Our Lady of the Rosary in cities and towns where we wouldn’t mind traveling. Our search took us to the town of Lahaina on the island of Maui to a quaint little historic church established in the late 1800s called Maria Lanakila Catholic Church. Maria Lanakila, meaning “Our Lady of Victory” in Hawaiian, is another name for “Our Lady of the Rosary” with the same feast day, so we thought it was providence and decided that this cute, historic church would be it! The interiors of the church were clean and white as well — an added bonus!

We actually found our reception site by chance. On a scouting trip to Maui last summer, we walked by Pacific’O restaurant after a surfing lesson one afternoon and absolutely fell in love with it!  We loved that it had views directly to the ocean and to the neighboring islands of Lana’i and Moloka’i. And what’s more, the outdoor patio of the restaurant was only a few feet from a small sandy beach! The design inspiration for our wedding started with the color gray. We LOVE the color and wanted to tie it in with yellow for a modern feel with laid-back touches. Since I do some graphic design on the side, I designed everything from the wedding stationery and ceremony programs to the reception décor and welcome bags with simple fonts and twine. Maui has a lot of country-like scenery, so we wanted to tie in natural materials like yellow twine and gray linen table runners, while also creating clean lines with white sake bottles and white frames for table décor. While tropical flowers are abundant on the island, we opted for billy buttons and white ranunculus as our accent flowers instead.  All the little details — striped straws and tablecloths, fun cocktail stirrers, and escort buttons (color-coded yellow for bride’s guests and gray for groom’s guests) — just came together after that!

Jason has a thing for singing — he started a singing group in high school and loves to belt out 90s love songs and seasonal Christmas tunes. So he decided that, as part of our first dance, he would gather up his old high school singing group and sing our song, “Bigger than Us,” by Andy Davis, which I found on MySpace years ago when we first started dating. Before the performance, the group started to have “technical difficulties” and “needed someone’s help, maybe someone with a guitar.”  Out of the bushes emerged Andy Davis himself, guitar in hand — I was absolutely floored!  As Jason and Andy took turns singing the verses with the group singing back up, I just sat in awe with a puddle of happy tears. That moment was so surreal and caught me off guard for the surprise I had for Jason later on in the reception! Back in high school, I used to dance hula and hip hop in talent shows and weddings. Jason will occasionally ask me to dance a number for him, and I typically refuse out of embarrassment. Friends and family were encouraging me to dance a hula number for Jason, but I refused, citing a busy schedule in between a full-time job, wedding planning, and stationery design. Two weeks before the wedding, I decided to surprise him with a hula dance to “Lucky” by Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat. He was absolutely in shock! And for weeks before the big day, our poor wedding squad had to sneak around the both of us and our surprises for each other!

Photography: Encarnacion Photography / Ceremony: Maria Lanakila Catholic Church / Reception: Pacific’O Restaurant / Cinematography: ARIA Studios / Flowers: Bella Bloom Floral Boutique / Event Design: The Bride / Day-Of Planning: Malate Events (jennifermalate@sbcglobal.net) / Wedding Stationery, Programs + Welcome Bags: The Bride / Wedding Dress: Allure Bridal / Shoes: Seychelles / Hair: Bridal Hair on Maui