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maui bride and groom signing license
maui bride with friends barefoot in sand
tuxedo laying across maui wedding bed
maui sunset with west maui mountains and ocean

Maui Wedding and Vow Renewal FAQ


Marriage License

image of a quill pen Maui license agents are located in various places around the island, usually within 10 or 15 minutes of wherever you're staying.

image of a quill penYou --cannot-- apply for a license at the state's Dept. of Health on Maui.

image of a quill penApply online before your arrival on Maui. (link provided below)

image of a quill penYou WILL need to finalize your license in person at an agent's office once you arrive. You must make an appointment prior to your arrival to finalize your license. Your wedding consultant will assist with this.

imageBing a valid, current form of official ID (driver's license, passport, etc) to your appointment.

image of a quill penIf you do not apply (and pay) for you license online, you will need to pay by CASH OR MONEY ORDER at your license appointment. No checks or credit cards are accepted.

image of a quill penYou do NOT need documentation in the case of divorce. You DO need to know the date and location (courthouse) of final divorce decree.


The Hawaii State website link for marriage licenses is immediately below:

Hawaii Marriage License
(clicking will open a new window)

Yes. You can change banking, driver's license, insurance etc. using your temporary marriage license.

If you are a foreign national there may be other requirements. Check with local officials for details.

In any event, it is a good idea to take a picture of your license (the long form version) along with your Locator ID (seperately, no one should know the Locator ID but you) before turning it over to your wedding officiant (minister).

According to the State of Hawaii, your permanent record of marriage will arrive (about) 90 days from the date of its processing.

You have the option when you download your -temporary- license to request expedited delivery.

There is an additonal fee for expedited sending.

Usually within 48 to 72-hours after your ceremony. Here are the steps to follow:

image of a quill penLog in to the Hawaii Department of Health website: HERE'S THE LINK
(clicking will open a new window)

image of a quill penAt the top of the page (see below image) select
   a. Couples
   b. Check Status



image of a quill penYou are now at the page which will access your license information. Enter the "Locator ID" and -one- of your last names.  Your license agent gave you a Locator ID at your appointment. The Locator ID is required to log in to the state site to obtain your temporary license.

If the Locator ID is lost, your wedding consultant or officiant cannot provide that information. Call or e-mail your license agent.

Rarely does this occur. If it happens to you, the following steps should be taken.

image of a quill penDid you provide the correct address at the time of your license appointment?

image of a quill penDid you move within that 90 days?
If so, you should contact the Hawaii Health Dept. to see if your license was returned to the state. (This also applies if the address provided was incorrect.)

image of a quill penDid your wedding officiant (minister) complete the online registration after your ceremony?

(You can find out by calling the Department of Health at: (808) 586-4544. They will instruct you in how to resolve the issue.)

image of a quill penIf your officiant forgot to complete the registration of your marriage, then you will need to call the Department of Health personally. Again, the number is:


(808) 586-4544

 

"Stuff Happens" Make sure you have backup (copies or pictures of long-form license and Locator ID, taken separately. No one should know your Locator ID except you.

Wedding Officiants

image of a quill penThere are many officiants on the island with varied backgrounds and styles. Credentials required to perform wedding ceremonies, in Hawaii, are minimal at best.

Most Maui wedding officiants are credentialed through various 'online' licensing entities. The majority of Maui's wedding officiants provide a necessary function and will perform a wonderful ceremony.

If your particular denomination or belief requires a minister, rabbi, imam or other officiant of a specific, religious background, make sure your wedding consultant is made aware of this need.

image of a quill penHawaiian ceremonies are a must for some. There are a few, genuine Hawaiian ministers who can do the job. That said, almost all of the Maui wedding officiants offer a 'Hawiiana' ceremony, many will also blow a conch shell as a part of the ceremony.

Ask you consultant about your options.

image of a quill penWe do customized wedding ceremonies regularly. However, many officiants do not. Some are offended if asked to do so. Your wedding consultant should know which officiants will and which won't.

image of a quill penOften couples want to, at the least, compose their own vows. Or so they think.

Usually it is sentiments they have in mind. Do you mean 'vows' or 'sentiments?' (Words you've prepared, in addition to vows.) Make sure your wedding consultant or minister are clearly informed.

image of a quill penAbout "non-denominational" ceremonies, this term actually describes Christian content in a ceremony not Religious content. By religious I mean, Catholic, Baptist, Episcopalian, in other words, "denominational."

Again, if you desire purely Christian content, you want a "non-denominational" Christian ceremony.

If you want no references to religion, God or other forms of religious expression, the correct term is non-religious.

Absolutely. Your performer will need a temporary commission issued by the state (including your minister or pastor). Contact the Hawaii Department of Health for details. The phone number is:

(808) 586-4544

Ceremony specifics

The most -popular- time is around sunset. But the -best- time for your ceremony depends on a couple of factors.

If planning a luau or dinner cruise, your ceremony should start earlier than sunset, sometime in the late afternoon or better, a morning ceremony.

 

image of a quill penSUNSET CEREMONY: A sunset wedding will change, as far as timing is concerned, depending on the season.
An experienced wedding consultant will advise you as to the best 'start' time. This start depends on the complexity of the ceremony, after-ceremony activity or reservations, location of ceremony (and the location of after-ceremony activity or dinner) and other details.

image of a quill penLATE MORNING/AFTERNOON CEREMONY: Unless absolutely necessary, avoid afternoon and even late morning ceremonies. Particularly if it's on a beach. Crowded and uncomfortably hot.

image of a quill pen MORNING CEREMONY: Morning ceremonies offer many benefits, even for larger groups. But the advantages are realized only if it is EARLY morning, starting at 7:30 to 8:30 a.m.

I KNOW!!! Obscene right? Not really, think about it. What time is it where you live? You and your guests will be waking up a few hours earlier, usually for most of your stay.

A morning event offers:

  • Superior Lighting for Photography
  • Fewer People on the Beach
  • Nicer Temperatures
  • Best for Groups Planning a Luau/Dinner Cruise Later

A final note on timing. It is simply considerate to BE ON TIME. I cannot overstate the importance of this.

Your minister and/or musician may have another commitment following your event. Almost all of your vendors will charge overtime if the ceremony is seriously delayed, you may even find yourself without a minister if he/she has another wedding. And yes, it happens.

Make sure you allow enough time for travel if your Maui beach wedding is held on a different part of the island. Believe it or not, Maui traffic can get gnarly. Check with your coordinator for drive times and make sure EVERYBODY HAS A CELL PHONE turned on and charged (at least the driver). It's not hard to get lost, even on an island.

If your event includes photography, remember, Brother Sol (the sun) never waits. Being late (needlessly) is not 'cute' or the 'bride/groom's prerogative'. It is simply rude.

 

maui rain icon RAIN
Over the years, we have rarely been rained out. Having said that, inclement weather happens.

Options, in the event of rain, are these:
1. Reschedule ceremony

2. Perform ceremony on the lanai (patio essentially) of your room

3. Perform ceremony at another, protected area.

Each of the above presents challenges. To delay effects guests who may be scheduled for departure the following day. Further, your vendors (minister, photographer etc.) may have prior bookings. Florals don't like to 'wait' and may need to be repurchased, and the list goes on.

Options 2 & 3 are more practical, unless you have a larger group (especially for option 2).

Option 3, performing your ceremony in a nice, protected area, perhaps a small church or gazebo on private property is likely the best option but, it --will-- incur added cost for site fees.

Make sure you consult with your wedding coordinator on this issue, especially the likely, additional costs that you may incur (florals, 'kill' fees, etc)

SUN

Skin protection. Use it! Maui is likely much closer to the equator than your home. "So what?" you may ask. Simply put, you are closer to the 'heating element' here than at home.

It is advisable to avoid the sun, if you can resist, until your wedding. At the least cover up or use high SPF sunscreen.

Your photographer will charge for any requested sunburn 'fixes' needed.

WIND

The Hawaiian Islands are known for trade winds. Usually not an issue, but occasionally pesky winds should be taken into account.
First, consider your hair. (We offer amazing hair and makeup stylists that can advise and help with this.) Up-dos' work best, 'Helmet Hair' is a must.

Consider also, the veil, especially during the ceremony. If your wedding is a tad breezy, consider not wearing a veil, at least through the ceremony. You can work it in during your post-ceremony photo shoot.

Also, trade winds are Nature's natural air conditioning. Without them the humidity would exceed Biiloxi, Mississippi. Pacific Island Weddings deals with this issue and sets up each ceremony with these factors in mind.

----------PLEASE READ------------

Weather predictions for Maui remains a sketchy science. If you are checking popular weather sites for conditions on the day of your event, you will likely read about "20% chance of rain." This is standard, don't worry about it.
Also, I have witnessed over the years, weather systems approach, then fall apart just miles off the coast line. More often than not.

For in-depth, truly local information, point your browser to this weather site insteaqd:

Maui Weather Today
(Opens a new window)

Glenn James, the meteorologist who hosts this wonderful weather asset, is a widely respected source for weather information.

We provide clear maps to the location of your ceremony. Make sure any guests are given these prior.
Encourage your guests to 'hui up' or, carpool. Parking can be tricky at some locations. Now...the details:

 

image of a quill penAll guests and groom should arrive about 30-minutes BEFORE- event start time. If you ceremony begins at 5 p.m., guests and groom should arrive at 4:30 p.m.

image of a quill penThe bridal party should arrive --at least-- 15-minutes prior to event start time.

image of a quill pen One of our staff will ensure the guests and groom are at the ceremony location.

image of a quill pen Another staff will direct the staging of the bridal party for the processional.

image of a quill penWhen everything, everyone is ready, the ceremony commences. Usually, we have the groom facing away from the staged, bridal party. When the bride starts her entrance, we have the groom turn to see her for the first time in all her diaphanous splendor.

It's really very cool.

For information on the flow of the actual ceremony, see "Ceremony Flow" in this series.

After guests and groom are assembled at the ceremony location and the bride/bridal party are staged, this is how things will flow (typically):

  • Bridal party (if used) begin procession. This includes bridesmaids, ring-bearer, flower girl etc.
  • Bride processes to ceremony location
  • If escorted by a father, uncle, friend etc. minister will ask who presents (or gives) bride in marriage. (inform minister or consultant if you do or do not want this question asked.)
  • Officiant's commentary on marriage
  • Statement of Intent ("Do you take this...and so forth )
  • Exchange of Vows
  • Commentary on Rings
  • Exchange of Rings
  • Blessing of Marriage (if desired)
  • Pronoucement
  • THE KISS!!
  • Presentation of Bride and Groom
  • Signing of documents

The above represents a typical ceremony. Yours may be entirely different. Hindu ceremonies, Filipino ceremonies, indeed many of our clients have items, readings, songs and other elements not indicated here.

Outdoor ceremonies, especially beach ceremonies are amazing. They are also...outdoors. The secret to a marvelous experience is quite simple, adopt a flexible attitude. Our common 'Mother' is capricious and impossible to control.

 

image of a quill penTHE PROCESSION
Or more to the point, the bridal gown. If your wedding dress is formal, the leading edge tends to 'drag' on sand (or carpet). As you walk, the leading edge of your dress can drag backward. As your foot falls, it lands on the hem.
It's like applying the brakes...to your dress. The solution is simple, simply 'kick' with each step, gently, to push the fabric out of the way.

image of a quill penTHE VEIL AND/OR HAIR
"Veiled Threat" If the trade winds are active, your veil becomes a pesky distraction. Consider leaving the veil off, you can use it during after-ceremony shots. If the veil is a must, have a bride's maid, or the groom, place their hand lightly on your back to hold it in place.
"Hair Raising" Can't mention it enough, hair spray is your friend, go for 'Helmet Hair.' Also, if the trades are present, we'll position you at the ceremony site to favor your hair.

image of a quill penTHE STUFF THAT MAKES MAUI GREEN AND WATERFALLS FALL
Mentioned elswhere in this compendium of wedding wisdom, rain events, and what to do in case...bears repeating. The options are;

  • Postpone the ceremony image based link to more detail on this subject
  • Delay the ceremony image based link to more detail on this subject
  • Move the ceremony image based link to more detail on this subject
Relax and stay flexible. As mentioned, it is a rare occasion that our events have been delayed, much less canceled. Odds are better than great, that your ceremony will be everything you dreamed of and more.

image of a quill penTHE RING-BEARER
Young boys are the usual choice for this role. And therein lies a possible 'interrupt.' In the years that we have been constructing amazing weddings on Maui's amazing shores, one thing can be counted on: The ring-bearer freezing during the processional, casting the pillow aside, then a tearful dash for mom or dad.
Nothing wrong with this, tis simply how it is. So...let adults, or you minister hold the actual rings.

SUGGESTION:

Use the ring pillow or other device as a prop. Rings falling in sand transform rings into clams. Like clams they burrow to amazing depths, sometimes requiring a metal detector to retrieve (and yes, its happened).
If you are requiring the child to wear formal attire (tuxedo, suit), well, good luck with that. The only advice I can offer is...reconsider.

image of a quill penTHE FLOWER GIRL

Young girls are hard-wired for the job. To a point. Sometimes it's simply too overwhelming for boy or girl. But girls usually appreciate this moment and perform their duty with aplomb.
But...not always.

SUGGESTION:

If the flower girl is younger than five 0r six, have an older sister, cousin or friend (even mom or dad) accompany her down the aisle.

Performing in front of strangers is hard for adults, imagine what's going in the imagination of a six-year-old. Whether ring-bearer or flower girl, spend time practising with them. Invite some frients, let them practise if front of others. It works.

If she falls apart on 'the walk' that's OK, be ready to retrieve her (quickly) so the wedding can proceed, or process. The same for your ring-bearer.

image of a quill penTHE LATE GUEST

My previous entry, "What is the best time for my ceremony?" deals with the critical nature of timing.

SUGGESTION:
- Make sure your guests acknowledge the start time (and other critical details such as location and distance).

- Pick a cell phone of one of your guests to pass out as a reliable contact on the day of (in addition to your consultant's). Your consultant will be busy and may not be able to answer a call.

- DONT' LET 'PRINCIPAL' GUESTS drive blind. Make sure they know where they are going.
If some are chronic late arrivers, tell them the ceremony is 1/2 hour earlier. Make sure guests have cell phones charged, turned on AND WITH THEM.

- Set up a car-pool for guests before your Maui arrival. Fewer cars translates into fewer drivers, in turn resulting in fewer opportunities to end up in a lava tube in Hana. image based link to more detail on this subject
Also, fewer cars help if parking at your location is tight.

- Finally...establish a 'drop dead' cutoff for late arrivers, then USE IT. Your minister or musician will likely do so if you don't.

image of a quill penTHE UNINVITED GUEST
In Hawaii, all beaches are public. That includes the beach hosting your ceremony. There will be others present.
There will likely be folks in the water behind you, others may approach and take some pictures from a distance. Get your head around this, it's part of the charm of an outdoor ceremony...on state property.

- State law regarding weddings prohibit your wedding consultant, or anyone for that matter (including guests), from asking beach visitors to move from a location or prohibit folks from walking around your event.

- That said, I can count on one hand, using two fingers, interruptions of a beach wedding. We've been doing these for almost two decades, trust me, this is not a significant issue.image based link to more detail on this subject

Wedding, Vow Renewal beach Locations

The State of Hawaii instituted Beach Permits for all 'commercial' activities, along with specific restrictions, in 2007.

Pacific Island Weddings led the industry in fighting back against the, more onerous, stipulations and won signigicant concessions as a result. The following points highlight the restrictions left in place.

    Not Allowed
  • Chairs (limited exception for elderly and disabled)
  • Canopies (such as a 'chuppa')
  • Arches
  • Bowers
  • Tables (greater than 3 square feet)
  • Tents or tarps
  • Kahilis (ceremonial staffs)
  • Signage or balloons
  • Tiki torches
  • Amplified music
    Allowed
  • Petal Paths
  • Flower circles
  • Unamplified music
  • Butterfly and dove release
  • Limited chairs for elderly, disabled
  • Vendor (photo and video) equipment
  • Non-obtrusive wedding accessories (hand carried)
  • Small cake stand or podium (3' square or under)

A beach permit only allows use of a specific beach for a specific purpose for a specific amount of time. This permit DOES NOT allow the permit holder to 'claim' a space already occupied.

Pacific Island Weddings does not ask anyone to move from a spot and requests our clients not to do so.

We arrive at the predetermined location in advance of the event and secure the best location. If visitors are spread out in one area, the beaches we choose are large enough to move the event with no impact.

For small locations such as 'Secret' Cove, we always choose a backup close by, in the case one location is crowded or has other issues. Click the palm icon to see what I mean by crowded.
The location ----->

The parking ----->

We -know- Maui beaches. More importantly, we know which ones to avoid and which ones will be the perfect match. And "perfect match" is what your vow renewal or wedding is all about.
The following are beaches available for events,(roll over the palm tree for more detail.

 

South Side Beaches image based link to more detail on this subject

  • Makena Cove or 'Secret Cove'
    Gorgeous. But...limited parking, tends to be crowded.
    - No facilities.
  • Poolenalena or 'Chang's Beach'
    Lots of parking, lots of beach. Great location.
    - There are two porta-potties in the parking area. Gas masks not required but advisable (for the restrooms).
  • Paluea or 'White Rock'
    Located just south of the Fairmont Kea Lani, Paluea is a long, wide beach. Parking can be a challenge but is doable.
    - No facilities.
  • Wailea Beach
    Lovely stretch of shoreline fronting the Grand Wailea to the north and the Four Seasons to the south. Usually, but not always, busy with resort guests.
    - Facilities on resort properties or in the public parking area (parking entrance is between the Grand Wailea and Four Seasons resorts).
  • Ulua Beach
    Decent parking in the beach parking lot located just north of the Shops at Wailea . Ulua Beach tends to be crowded but can handle lots of people. image based link to more detail on this subject
    - Pretty decent restrooms (public).

West Side beaches image based link to more detail on this subject

Beaches to the south and north of Lahaina are considered to be on the 'west side' as opposed to the Kihei, Wailea and Makena areas, referred to as the 'south side.'

  • Olowalu
    Heading north from Maalea Harbor and a couple miles south of Lahaina, you'll find (if you are paying attention) a long stretch of sand at about Mile Marker 14. Situated immediately off the roadway, the sand is rocky and the traffic noisy. Keep driving, this stretch, for a wedding or vow renewal, kinda sucks. For surfing, it's kinda great when the swell is pumping.
  • Lahaina - Baby Beach
    One of the most unattractive of all Maui beaches, this narrow stretch of sand, always crowded, appears perpetually dirty. Unless there is a compelling reason, avoid it.
  • Lahaina(ish) - Wahikuli Beach
    Located north of Lahaina but south of Kaanapali, this stretch is OK. On weekends, a bad choice for a wedding. It's a favorite spot for local events, especially 1st birthday celebrations (a major celebration in Hawaii). Nothing exceptional here, there are better places for your vow renewal or wedding.
  • Kaanapali Beach
    North of Lahaina you will discover an expanse of dazzling, white sand stretching for miles. For weddings or vow renewals, the best location on the West Side. But...don't start your plans for this beautiful locale. Weddings and vow renewals need not apply (for a permit). The state, in a fit of bureaucratic blundering, has deemed this gorgeous stretch too good for your event. We can't do it, won't be talked into it (the fines are steep), keep heading north.
  • Napili Bay
    Very cool but limited in size and very crowded. Parking is a challenge in this area. If you are not willing to head south to the Wailea area, this location is one of the few we recommend, with reservations. If your wedding or vow renewal party is a small one, there are some nice areas, some located on smooth lava others on sand, where the event can be held.
  • Kapalua Bay
    There is parking on the road (long walk to beach) or in a public parking area between the entrance to Napili Kai Resort and Merriman's Restaurant. Parking, especially weekends, is still a challenge. As mentioned, car pooling is a great idea, wherever your Maui vow renewal or wedding is held.
    It's gorgeous, it's slammed. The beach is long and -narrow- and at high tide, narrower.
  • Ironwood Beach
    North of Kapalua Bay on the same road, you'll find a small parking area (public), no restrooms. Exiting your auto, you'll find the 'trail head.' I use the term, trail head, because it is one long hike, downhill to the sand. But...the hike down is easy. It's the return that puts the 'wet' in 'sweat.' While the beach is beautiful, it is somewhat stark. To the south, bluffs tipped with condos overlook the sand. To the north, more bluffs and condos. Not a coconut palm to be seen. Because of the walk (and other considerations), Ironwood is not a beach we'd recommend.gif image that displays more info. when you click it.

East Side Beaches question mark icon clik for more information

There are so few beaches where you would want to hold a ceremony that I'm not going to waste time with descriptions. Also, the sun sets on the other side of the island, if you want a sunset ceremony, add 'ish' to 'sunset' then decide.
BUT...if you are a fanatical wind or kite surfer, or an Old School surf-cat, you'd be surrounded with kites, sails and boards, on the sand and in the water. If that's the case, by all means, look at Hookipa or Baldwin Beach. I'll leave it up to you to do the Google thing.

A FINAL WORD ON BEACH LOCATIONS...
Overall, the South Side is our favorite location for a number of reasons. The Lahaina area is simply crowded. Almost all the beaches are in the direct shadow of resorts, condos and shopping centers.
The South Side (in this case, Wailea and Makena, Kihei not so much) looks and feels much more like 'Hawaii.' The beaches are all outstanding. Most are broad and long with an abundance of coconut palms and dramatic lava outcroppings. The sunsets are, likewise, more dramatic and the crowds not so intense.
DISCLAIMER:
We've been on Maui for quite a while and we are, frankly, spoiled.
For our East Coast and Mid-west visitors, you would, at first glance, wonder that any of our beaches could be considered less than incredible.
While we prefer the South Side, we are more than thrilled to assist you wherever* you would like to have your ceremony.

*With one exception. Google 'Maui Little Beach.' I was asked to perform a ceremony at that location. Further, I was requested to do so in the traditional 'attire' of said location.

While most Maui beach weddings and Maui vow renewals take place on better known beaches (as listed in this section), some desire the less known, more exotic areas. Areas such as Hana's Kaihalulu Red Sand Beach (I linked to this site because of the 'local' perspective).

Over the years, Pacific Island Weddings has coordinated many weddings in such places. We still do on occassion but...

Apart from needing the skills of a mountain goat to reach some of these locales, ceremonies held on Maui's outlying areas are all day events. As such, you can count on paying double, triple or more for a wedding or vow renewal in some of these areas.

quill pen unique subject markerKaupo, while windy and prone to trade showers provides dramatic cliffs and ocean views. But it's a 'fur piece' from civilization over some pretty rough, but doable roads.
It's certainly worth the drive, even if it isn't your choice for a wedding, just to experience the 'far side' of Maui. If you do head that way, make sure to stop at the Kaupo General Store. Great store filled with old 'general store' things (old cameras, cans, lots of fun and ancient stuff) the Kaupo General Store is owned and operated by a fabulous, and friendly couple. The link connects you with the FB page, it is not kept current, give 'em a poke, tell them you want more.

Speaking of Facebook, give our FB page a 'like' when you get a chance.

quill pen unique subject markerHana lies on the southern end of Maui. Touted as the last, truly Hawaiian town, it is a pleasure to behold. It is not, a pleasure to drive to (for most). Wedding services on that end are sketchy, most coordination companies in Hana don't seem to survive which is probably due to a shortage of needed vendors. There are amazing, accessible beaches perfect for intimate vow renewals or weddings in Hana. Probably the best bet is to call one of the resorts listed in the Hana link to enquire about current, operational wedding service providers.
Using a Lahaina, Kihei or Kahului based service will cost, again, may double or triple of a similar but more localized ceremony. Unless...the Hana based company disappears, with deposits, between the booking and your event. As with all wedding companies, check out their creds.

Molokai, within Maui County may actually be closer to the "last, truly Hawaiian" description than Hana. It is an island of extreme contrasts and extreme beauty but little to offer in the way of wedding or vow renewal services.

Our company, some time ago, almost purchased a beautiful property for the exclusive purpose of weddings. Located above the only, nice and readily accessible sandy beach, we soon found out that the problem of local vendors made this a poor choice. Plus, other than taking an expensive flight to the island, the only affordable means of transportation was the Molokai ferry, better known as the "Vomit Comet."
If your budget allows, the most spectacular wedding would include helicopter transportation to a remote cliffside venue ('landing' fees apply). If money is no object, Molokai can be a spectacular choice. Like all outliers, special events will incur higher fees for everything, and then some.

quill pen unique subject markerLanai is one of only two private islands in the Hawaiin chain (the other being Niihau at the northern end). Your best bet is to contact the Four Seasons for any such arrangements. They have the management contracts for the two resorts and handle the weddings and vow renewals for most of the Lanai bound visitors.

quill pen unique subject markerThere is a charming boutique hotel named the Hotel Lanai. Built in the 1920s' at the beginning of Hawaii's 'Golden Years,' the Hotel Lanai reflects the rich and gracious decor of that era. They
--may-- be able to assist with your wedding or vow renewal. I was told that inquiries should be addressed to the general manager (didn't get a name).

Private Venues

A private location may be the only logical choice for your event. If your party is large, over 40 to 50 guests, it may be your only one.

Further, beach weddings are limited regarding things that can be done. Since the implementation of state issued permits, even the use of chairs is strictly limited along with amplified sound and numerous other restrictions.

For the majority of Maui-bound lovers, these restrictions are piddly. After all, you can't beat the natural 'props' on Maui and often, such props only serve to diminish its natural splendor.

But others have other plans that may require a private facility.

A lovely site for any wedding or vow renewal, Olowalu can accomodate larger groups with little difficulty.
If your event plans include a tent, you should know that this location has only one location, next to the large, plantation style house. This limits tent size and view.
You can have a tent (of limited size) on the lawn between the house and shoreline, but, that placement will require 50-gallon water barrels to secure the structure.
Also, while the plantation style house is lovely, it is not air conditioned and trust me, you will notice, even during winter months.
Here is the link:

Olowalu Plantation House
(clicking will open a new window)

The Sugarman Estate (formerly the Honua Kai Lani) is a gem. With 3-acres of gorgeous lawn, almost 50 coconut palms and amazing stands of monkey pod and kiawe trees, it is the Hawaii you dream of, when you dream of Hawaii.

Located 5.3 miles south of the Shops at Wailea, this estate can host gatherings of up to 250. Parking is adequate for as many as 100 guests.* More than that number and you will need to hire mini-buses (25 passenger capacity). But it's worth it.

Situated along the 'King's Highway' and just south of Ahihi Cove the Sugarman Estate is not only drop-dead gorgeous, it was once host to Hawaiian royalty.

The main house is not as nice as the Olowalu house, still a charming, bungalow style with lots of room for the bride to get ready. One item seals the deal for many struggling to choose a site, the house at the Sugarman Estate is air conditioned.

Here is the link:

The Sugarman Estate
(clicking will open a new window)

Back 'in the day' when cane was king, the Haiku Mill crushed the sweet stalks into sweet sugar. Today, the remnant walls, red brick and early pieces of mill machinery combine with the lush surroundings to offer a truly unique experience.

If you don't mind the location, far away from any shoreline, it is truly worth considering. The link below will take you to the Haiku Mill website, specifically the page with its history, interesting read.

Here is the link:

Haiku Mill
(clicking will open a new window)

Built by reknowned basketball coach, Don Nelson, Sugar Beach Events is located in North Kihei in the Sugar Beach area.

This is the newest event site on the island. This is a fabulous, although pricey, event location. It is scheduled to open in September of 2013.

This site will offer much but, like any location, has at least one challenge: It is located in one of the windiest parts of the island, in the Sugar Beach area (between Kihei and Maalea Harbor).

The following link will take you to the website of this venue.

Sugar Beach Events
(clicking will open new window)

At the base of the West Maui Mountains*, the Maui Tropical Plantation is a great place to visit, for any reason. The expansive grounds are covered with native plants and replete with artifacts of Hawaii's rich past. There is a charming gazebo, next to an exceptionally blue pond that works great for smaller weddings. There are larger areas for larger weddings as well.

For weddings and vow renewals, it's a little 'touristy' but quite doable, especially if you're on a tight budget. You can arrange for a reception dinner in their large dining area.

This site is not close to the water and, again, somewhat touristy.

Here is the link:

Maui Tropical Plantation
(clicking will open new window)

With a coastal area much like the Sugarman Estate (dramatic, ancient lava) the Kukahiko Estate is a lovely area for a smaller wedding.

Located in the Makena (southside) area of Maui, this is a lovely property.

It is advisable to enquire, closely, about pricing as certain basic facilities may not be included. The link to the website follows.

The Kukahiko Estate

Almost all resorts on Maui will accomodate weddings. This can be a valuable option to consider. Most resorts will have an outdoor location, typically surrounded with beautiful plantings and water features.

Maybe the most important feature is backup. If there is a rain event, most resort properties will have ballrooms or something similar as a fall-back option. This can be an event saver.

One important fact to note is this; if you really want a wedding or vow renewal in the sand, the nicest beach on the West Side (Lanai, Kaanapali), Kaanapali Beach, is off limits to commercial events. A beach wedding --cannot-- be held on its shore. At least not legally.


You will typically pay more for an event hosted on a resort property, especially for food and bar service. Also, your event isn't exactly private. Very few have the space to provide anything close to a 'private' wedding or event. Other events may be happening at the same time as yours and depending on the site, resort guests, and sounds, will be apparent.

Links to resort properties we are familiar with follows. There are more, many more, the following are properties we've worked on and have confidence in.

All clicked links will open a new window.

The sheer number of resort and condominium properties, coupled with the ever-changing ownership of these properties is impossible to keep up with. Check with your property manager or concierge for policies regarding weddings on property.

We will continue to add more information regarding private venues for your Maui wedding or vow renewal.

Keep checking!!!

Also, give our FaceBook page a visit, I think you'll enjoy the 'free form' style of its postings. And, of course, show some Aloha, like our FB page. Here's the link:

Pacific Island Weddings FB

Appropriate Attire and advice

Let's converse about the "advice" part of this section first.

Here it is. Hawaii is typically warm, every day of every year. Being closer to the equator, "warm" can translate to hot with little encouragement.

I've noticed over the years we've been a Maui wedding company, the effects of attire. Basically I'm talking about sweat. Not the presence of sweat, the obvious appearance of sweat.

Very light colors or very dark (almost black) tend to hide this natural function of healthy bodies. So do the very light colors (off-white or lighter).

In-between colors will display every drop. Peach, reds, darker tans, all display this, otherwise, wondrous bodily function with obvious and dark splotches.


Formal attire actually works for beach weddings, even vow renewals. One bride (or wife, we performed her wedding years ago) has booked a vow renewal every year for six or so years. At each renewal she arrived with another child, almost, and wearing her original wedding gown.
Whatever works for you will work for your wedding.

Resort attire is a common choice for men, even if their bride or wife chooses traditional attire. Sports coats or even suits without ties are popular, particularly light colored, linen.

Water wear is rare. Sometimes a bride will don a swim top and wear a sarong or some other wrap around the waist. Depending on the style (tasteful opposed to something more suited for a pole in a cheap bar), this also works for the more casual minded.

Birthday suits may be fine for some, not for us. And yes, it has been requested more than once. There is a beach on Maui famous for its 'clothing optional' reputation. Called "Little Beach" (make up your own joke, I'm not touching this one) it is located in the Makena State Park area of Maui.

Not so long ago, a potential client asked if Pacific Island Weddings could arrange their ceremony at this location. "We would like all vendors to respect our wishes..." the groom stated. Including the minister. And yes, by "wishes" he meant naked.
No offence to our vendors but...the thought of seeing them dressed only with a camera, or worse yet, only the Bible, wasn't a good thought.
Not sure what happened at their wedding, it never got past the "potential" stage with us.