Planning your wedding/vow renewal ceremony is definitely the most important part of your big day! At home, this would be rather routine as you go to your place of worship or to the justice of peace and arrange the ceremony. But when you are having a destination ceremony, there is more to think about. This is where a coordinator can be of service to you!
First of all, at Maui Aloha Weddings, we take this part of your day very seriously and will not give you an 8 minute ceremony. If you are pledging to spend the rest of your life with someone, the words and meaning of the ceremony should take longer then eight minutes. You will find that many weddings in Maui are just about that long. Make sure to find out what your ceremony is going to be like. Ask how long it will be and if you can see the ceremony and what the minister is going to say.
If you have complete confidence in your coordinator, you can ask them to book you a minister with the guidelines that you would like. We have many couples asking us for a Hawaiian minister since they will be getting married in Maui. Some request a male and some request a female minister. Please don’t feel that this is something that you shouldn’t do. Since you do not know the minister and he/she hasn’t known you for all of your life, it is important that you will feel comfortable with them. You will find that our ministers will make you comfortable and help you to enjoy the service too. Ask your coordinator if they will put you in touch with your minister so that you may speak to them if that will make you feel easier about this person conducting your ceremony. Be sure to ask if your coordinator is going to send out a confirmation to all of your wedding team so that they will have your phone number and you will have the phone number of someone on the wedding team as well.
In Maui, we do have a few different options for your ceremony. You can have the Hawaiian ceremony with the conch shell blowing and your minister doing some Hawaiian chants. There is also a religious ceremony that you can ask for. Or as most couples like, you may have a mixture of both. You can read these on our web page to see what they are like.
In the Jewish religion they use the Huppah for the couple to stand under. We cannot put arches or chairs on our beaches (we do have special chairs for the elderly or those who must sit). To have a Huppah we would have to have the ceremony in a park or venue so that we may set it up. We do have a few temples on island that we can use. Of course we would ask their Rabbi to conduct the ceremony. If you want to do the traditional Torah readings – it would be necessary to use a temple.
With most Maui weddings the ceremonies are on the beach. You do have choices to make even with the beach sites. If you are on the west side of Maui, we have three beautiful beaches there. We also have many venues that we can introduce you to. The beaches only require a $20 permit. Many couples have told me that they were given quotes for the beach permit for $30 and higher. This is not what we are charged by the state and I would think those wedding companies are trying to make a profit off of the beach permits. The venues where we hold ceremonies will have site fees that we can tell you about right away.
South Maui has many beaches to choose from. Couples will ask us which beach will give them the most privacy. If you would like a morning wedding – that is when you will have the most privacy. All beaches in Maui are public, even the resort beaches. They are not limited to the people staying there. In the morning, as I tell our couples, the beaches are really pristine at that time with few footprints or people! It’s a wonderful time of day to get married and especially good when you want to attend a luau at night. Sunset weddings are also beautiful but we cannot predict when the people will leave to go to dinner. Usually we can find a great spot as the beaches are less populated as the evening goes along. We also have many wonderful venues on the south side as well. Again, the venues will want a site fee.
Venues will usually ask for deposits for their site fee. Your coordinator will work this out with you. At Maui Aloha Weddings, we will ask for $100 Save the Date deposit (which will be deducted from your ceremony balance) and will send you our Weddings/Vow Renewal Agreement for your records. This will lock in your ceremony date with us.
If you are using a venue, you may rent an arch, chairs, sound systems and other equipment. We can help you with all of this. For your beach ceremony, we can have flower circles, hearts and petal aisles to dress up the beach. Couples will sometimes bring small props that we can use as well. To tell you the truth, the beach is just beautiful as it is! We can supply a small table for the beach to hold a guest book, ceremony programs, fans for your guests, water bottles or some other token or favor. Please ask us about this.
Rehearsals aren’t really held on Maui. The ceremony is very casual and beautiful. There is no stress as your on site coordinator will direct everyone if you are having a large party. The minister will usually talk to the couple before the ceremony to see if they have any questions and he/she will walk you through the whole ceremony step by step. It flows well and the couple will feel comfortable throughout. If you do not have an on site coordinator, the photographer and minister can handle things easily as well.
If your wedding is on the beach ceremony flowers usually consist of the petals and circles as mentioned above. Sometimes we are asked to have a few vases of flowers. We cannot however have pedestals with flowers on the beach. Brides may have a bouquet that will be ordered earlier. Leis of course are popular for the couple to exchange as well as offer them to their guests during the ceremony. Many bridal parties will carry their leis as they walk up the aisle for participation in the ceremony. This saves money rather then getting everyone a bouquet. It also keeps with the Hawaiian theme. If you are having a wedding at a venue you can pretty much have whatever you have envisioned. Fresh flowers on your chairs and arches, pedestals with vases of flowers and thick fresh petal aisles too. Please realize that flowers in Hawaii are expensive as most have to be imported into the islands especially roses and calla lilies. Even our beautiful tropical flowers are not inexpensive! We also want to tell you that artificial petals are not allowed on our beaches as they will blow into the ocean and endanger our wild life.
Music is always a beautiful part of the ceremony. We have had many grooms and brides sing to their partners which is beautiful, most of the time! We have wonderful musicians and music does make your ceremony special. We offer ukulele, guitar, harp, violin, flute and bass players for your ceremonies. In Maui Aloha Weddings ceremonies, there are three features songs. One is played in the beginning, another is played during the sand ceremony and the last is played at the end and most times becomes the couple’s first dance. We also rent out an MP3 player so that you can record your favorite songs and play them from your Ipod. If you would like music, we can make it happen.
After the ceremony, the minister will ask for your marriage license (wedding ceremonies only). He will register it for you with the state. Within three weeks, you will receive your marriage license from the state of Hawaii. Your coordinator will help you fill out your marriage license application with all of the necessary information to complete the form even before you come to Maui. Our state charges $65 which is payable right to the state of Hawaii. After you arrive, your coordinator will have a marriage license agent’s appointment set up for you. The agent will want to see a photo ID from each of you and then will charge you $5 cash to notarize your application. This is the paper that you will give to your minister.
Many couples like to write their own vows and we encourage you to do so! We do offer the traditional wedding vows which you can see on our web site. Other couples ask to say their own vows after the traditional vows which is great too. If you have a large wedding party and they are o
n the beach, try not to write pages of vows. Say the most important things to one another and save the other things you want to share with each other for later. It can get very uncomfortable on the beach depending on the time of day for your ceremony.
We do welcome readings by your family and friends. Please look at the ceremony we offer and let us know when you would like the person to do the reading. It makes your ceremony more personal when you have others participate. It also allows some people know that they are special to you and you wanted them to be involved. If you need help with readings, please ask your minister who would be happy to suggest some.
As always, please let me know if I can answer any questions you may have about your ceremony. This applies to anyone reading this blog – my bride or someone else’s. I would be very happy to help! Have a wonderful week.