I had somewhat of an unusual wedding when it comes to Maui since I’m a long time resident and this Maui wedding was big. BUT, I experienced many of the same challenges that a groom can have with a small beach wedding.
Below I’ve outlined some personal tips if you’re the groom getting married on Maui:
1 – Cut Down on the Guest List
This is one of the hardest things to do and probably the reason why you’re having a destination wedding. Most people feel that having a wedding thousands of miles away from home will deter most people from coming and in turn save you money. For our wedding, almost everyone we invited, from all over the world (including the East Coast, Europe, and Asia), made it to the wedding. We’d like to think it’s because we’re amazing people worth watching get hitched, but it’s probably largely in part to giving friends and family an excuse to vacation in Maui. Cut the list down. For every person you invite, there’s usually a +1. We could only afford 150 guests (literally, if 151 came, we would have to get another table, a bigger tent, more food, more staff, etc…) A single extra person was going to cost us thousands more. Smaller is better for more than financial reasons. You also get more time to spend with your guests when they’re in their prime: Vacation Mode!
2 – Hire Solid Vendors
There are a few Maui wedding vendors that only survive on the fact that they don’t rely on repeat business. One of our musicians nearly didn’t show because they had a wipeout at Big Beach earlier that day. That same musician didn’t show at all for my friend’s wedding. No call, no show, silent ceremony. Not cool. Then there are some wedding planners that shouldn’t be planning weddings. Organization is the top characteristics you want in a wedding planner, and some are lacking. That being said, find well-recommended vendors. A good example is Natalie Brown of whom supplied us with all the photos on this post. A big mahalo to you, Natalie! You can see some of her work and others at the Maui photographers Organization. We also have heard nothing but good things about Simple Maui Wedding, of whom handle hundreds of weddings across Hawaii annually. They can help plan everything from getting best wedding venues on Maui to securing your Hawaii marriage license.
3 – Wedding Exhaustion
It’s really easy to do too much. My bride planning a million details, and of course I wanted to help. I was tasked with all kinds of things to do, and I tirelessly completed them. Seeing my future wife stressed and overwhelmed made me take on more to help alleviate the burden. The only problem is that for each thing I voluntarily took off her plate, she added something new to her plate. Do yourself and your bride a favor and make it as simple as possible. Keep breathing this mantra into her ear. You need to enjoy your wedding and the time around it, and that’s hard to do when you’re both exhausted.
4 – Make Time for the Boys
I regret not having planned more fun with my groomsmen, father, and father-in-law. I was so overwhelmed with helping make the wedding go smoothly, I forgot to spend quality time with them. Your bride will likely schedule a time to be with her bridesmaids, so you need to do the same with the boys. It’s easily done on Maui. Beach days, surfing, snorkel, hiking to waterfalls, whatever.
5 – Be Comfortable
I wore a suit, which was a little more than most people wear in this hot, humid weather. I did, however, choose a suit that was very light in color. That helped quite a bit. Find something that looks good but keeps you comfortable. Also, choose a time of day that isn’t too hot either. Some people choose mid-day weddings when the sun is highest. It makes for blown-out photos and a sweaty wedding. There’s more than one reason why people get married just before sunset.
6 – Know Your Crowd
We chose to only open the bar after the ceremony. Our friends and family like to party, so we thought giving them a little time before the reception would keep people from passing out early. It kind of backfired though, because the second the ceremony was done, our thirsty guests hit it hard to make up for lost time. I guess what I’m trying to say, it makes sure your guests get what they want. We had plenty of booze, great music, and delicious food. They were thrilled to the point of inebriation.
7 – Stay Longer!
If you leave Hawaii after your wedding night, you blew it. Make sure you have time with your wedding party after the work and stress of the wedding is done. We spent a good week with family and friends after the wedding. It was awesome! We then took a mini-vacation over to Lanai for a weekend along. Blissful. We saved our honeymoon for a year later, which was also a great idea.