Permits – An Open Letter to the Residents of Maui

Permits – An Open Letter to the Residents of Maui

Aloha my friends,

It has come to my attention in the last six months, how many wedding and vow renewal ceremonies are on our Maui Beaches without having a permit. It seems our state cannot handle supervising our beaches so this continues to grow with the various wedding companies deciding that they need not bother to apply for a permit. There are many reputable wedding companies on our island that are always doing what is right concerning their clients and our island. But there are many others who are cutting corners. We have called the Department of Land and Resources twice concerning this problem.

As a wedding planner and an owner of a wedding company, this bothers us for many reasons.

  1. I guess the most important reason is that these companies are depriving our island of revenue that can be used for many island improvements especially caring for our beaches.
  2. When companies use our beaches without a permit, our Maui residents who are enjoying the beach may see five or six weddings going on while they at the beach, at the same time. Companies who do get permits have no way of knowing how many ceremonies are taking place at that time if the other companies do not sign up for a permit. We have no way to tell that we should find another beach.
  3. It is not fair to the couples who are visiting our island to get married or have a vow renewal to be at a beach with four or more other weddings without having been told beforehand. These people are staying in our hotels, having receptions or dinners and have invited guests to attend. This all brings revenue to our island and they should be given a courtesy as well.

If you look at the web sites of the wedding companies on our island, most do speak about obtaining a permit and I’m sure most of them started out doing so. It is also interesting to see the prices that some companies are charging for the permits. The state of Hawaii charges $20 for a beach permit, a littleĀ bit more for larger groups! We are not sure what type of permits companies are getting for more than that.

What can we do if the state cannot supervise our beaches? You have the right to ask if the company has a permit. The beaches belong to all of us. Perhaps if more people are aware of this situation, the companies will start playing by the rules. It would be pretty embarrassing if the company is asked for a permit in front of their clients and they didn’t get one especially if the couple thought they paid for one! Every company is told that they must have the permit on the site when doing a ceremony. We all understand the rules.

We can work on this together so that our Maui folks and tourists can enjoy the beaches. All of us love ceremonies but it would be nice to raise awareness and be able plan ahead to keep the number down on any particular site at one time. There are so many beautiful beaches in Maui that this doesn’t have to happen. Please feel free to pass this all around – you have our permission.

ASK – if the company has a beach permit!


Much Aloha,

Peggy – Maui Aloha Weddings