Hana – Maui’s Premier Destination Wedding Location for Beach Weddings at the End of the Road To Hana

Maui is a Destination Wedding and Honeymoon location that attracts many people from all over the world; they all want to come and experience a tropical island. There is something for everybody here from those who come to shop in the “Mega Hoity-Toity” Malls, golf, surf, whale watch, snorkel, stroll on the beach, dine in the trendy but affordable ‘eateries and drinkeries’ in Kihei or the trendy but overpriced resort palaces… to the ones that have a calling to experience a true tropical island experience “far and away” from the hustle and bustle of the crowds back on the touristy parts of the island. Well, they just have to drive a bit further, but then they’ll finally reach the ‘True Tropical Island Paradise’ of Hana. Hana is where the locals like to go for vacation, so take the tip and enjoy the trip!

OK, there really isn’t a bad place on Maui, it all still has a small town personal vibe and the endless white sand beaches on the South Side go on forever and back again. Boating and snorkeling on the island’s leeward side can’t be beat and you very rarely get rained out of an outdoor activity since it only rains a few days a year on the sunny south side. But this is the dry desert like part of the island, not much grows naturally here these days without heaps of piped in water. When one pictures in their mind a tropical island paradise, not only is there typically palm trees in the vision, but also lots of lush ‘rainforesty’ tropical plants.

Being located in the direct path of the trade winds, which bring in moist winds and rainfall accumulated from thousands of ocean miles, Hana is a natural tropical paradise. With year around warm weather and a constant gently misty to a light rain, the plants grow to humongous proportions. Imagine your vine house-plant ‘pothos’ with leaves about 2-3 feet in diameter!! Although the rain is consistent, it often just rains in the wee early morning hours or for a brief period during the day, just like a well programed ‘Rainbird’ lawn system.

So this is already beginning to sound like the perfect Destination Wedding and Honeymoon location, being away from the crowds with all the lush tropical beauty; heck, the fact there is no night life in Hana is a mute point since the Honeymoon couple will be bringing their own fireworks anyway!

Hana’s natural beauty is world famous with its numerous ‘True Tropical Island Attractions’ like the Seven Sacred Pools and the hike from there up the Pipiwai Trail, which passes through lush tropical foliage, amazing vistas, pools, waterfalls (including the 200′ Makahiku Falls), a bamboo forest– culminating at the base of the 400′ high Waimoku Falls. With every step is a refreshing breath of clean reinvigorating mega-plant enhanced (highly charged oxygen) air that tingles the senses and inspires the next step and the next, eager to experience the new vistas around each bend.

The Bamboo forest is nothing like any other walk in the forest. Each bamboo tree grows straight up to unimaginable heights towering way above you and the trail that forms this amazing canopy. Find a spot to lie on your back and day dream to sights and percussive sounds of the bamboo gently clunking together like a huge wind chime; this could become your ‘Happy Place’ to daydream upon for the rest of days.

For wedding couples with a modest budget or those who just have the adventurous inclination to experience camping out at Kipahulu, you will be treated to being conveniently located just a short walk to the 7-Sacred pools and the Pipiwai Trail. The campsite overlooks an endless horizon ocean view that goes on forever and at the same time comes crashing upon the rocky shores below the camp on the cliff; here you will experience a connection to the ground you sleep on that is without words but still empowering in one’s own perceptions, if so inclined. For larger ‘camping weddings’ they have a huge private section that can be reserved.

Camping is not for everybody and perhaps even seasoned campers might want to treat themselves to the next step up the budget, and that would be to seek out certain ‘Rustic Bed and Breakfast’ places. These bare essential places can range from rooms offered by a local family to a low budget rustic cabin; they may seem modest in design and frilly aesthetics, but often boast of astounding natural beauty the upper-scale Mega Palace resorts only attempt to artificially imitate. This arrangement will at least get you off the ground and offer a reasonable shower… Indoors… for the most part.

Moving further up the budget is easy with, well an un-apologetic budget, but considering that the average cost of a ‘mainland’ wedding, excluding the honeymoon, is over $30,000, even the more pricy Hana ‘Havens’ will be just a small percentage of a ‘mainland’ wedding since you can find complete Hana Wedding Ceremony, Flowers, Photography and planning Packages for a lot less than most weddings back on the mainland. The “one stop shop” Mom & Pop coordinators would be your best bet for this magical moment of your lives, being a smaller and more personal wedding team they are more flexible and can offer more cost effective logistics and will work closely with you every step of the way. After reading this article, check out the links below, you will find further factual factoids to fulfill your fantastic fantasies and fully facilitate your fun flowing marital bliss.

I should take this moment to mention the famous Highway to Hana, if you can call a winding road with a speed limit of 20 mph a highway. You won’t get to or from Hana in a big hurry and if you were to attempt to race there and back in one day it would be a shame. Quickly driving the so many scenic vistas and historical sites along the way without stopping to take in the views and feel the rich spirit of the area to “cram it all in” is not the island way, nor the best way to see everything. There are Lava Tubes, waterfall hikes, Bamboo forests — TAKE your TIME! The drive time from Lahaina to Hana is over 3 hours unless traffic is bad or there is road-work or whatnot. You should plan to start first thing in the morning and spend the whole day getting to Hana to arrive a few hours before a relaxing sunset and a toast to its glory. Do your Hana Highway research before you come to Maui so you’ve studied the places you want to stop. You will appreciate the historical events so much more when you are finally standing on such sites and see these places with your own eyes. I do say, there is a strong Spirit here, whether it’s the Islands Mana, the Spirits of Past Legends or just that natural uplifting feeling we get when we experience the wonder and beauty of it all… There is an Enchantment among True Grand Views of Nature all along the Road to Hana.

There are only two ways to get to Hana, the tropical route along the windward lush rainy side and the other “back way” going through Kula. One thing that is far and few in between on ether route are places to eat along the way so when you’re going to Hana the back way through Kula, be sure to stop at Bully’s Burger, they grow their own beef! They use the choicest cuts and the meat’s always fresh, right from the source. After leaving Kula keep an eye out for Molokini Island way down below, once you pass it Bully’s Burgers will soon appear on your left. Coming into Hana this way is best when you want to start your Hana Adventures at the Seven Sacred Pools area. If you are camping you can go right to your campsite after the drive from Bully’s and still be full for many hours. Set up camp at a leisurely pace with plenty of time to pull out the comfy chairs & toast the sunset. In the morning you can begin the enchanting Pipiwai Trail through the Bamboo Forest to the huge waterfall.

If you are staying further up the road towards the central town area of Hana it’s best to get an early start from your hotel, pack plenty of food and drinks, hit the road by 7am and you’ll be starting your hike by 11am. You may be too early for Bully’s but there’s always next time. You should still have plenty of time for the wonderful hike and then check into your Hana Haven down the road before sunset.

You can get married at Kipahulu with a very good chance to get one of the numerous secluded cliff side view spots, the permits to get married at this state park is $100, but this may be your best shot at finding a secluded spot with the least amount of ‘touristy’ foot traffic. For beach wedding permits that only cost the standard $20 just head up the road towards the central town of Hana. The price of the beach wedding permits is normally included in most wedding packages and really shouldn’t be a concern as long as you find your dream spot. Just be wary of planners that inflate that price to pad their profits, but you can expect a reasonable drive fee to help compensate for the 6 hour round trip.

The first beach worth a visit is Hamoa (going from the 7 sacred pools, there is a turnoff to the right with a loop) then a really nice beach–Koki Beach Park–this is one of our favorites for a stunningly beautiful beach wedding setting, with its multi-layered shades of red sandstone straight up the cliffs at the end of the beach. Then there is Kaihalulu which is promising for lower touristy foot traffic. The next beach is the stunningly Red Sand beachit’s really red!

The last beach that can’t be missed is the Black Sand beach at Waianapanapa State Park; this could be your first stop on your way back to the civilized part of the island by taking the famous Hana Highway. Of course the trip can start by taking the Hana Highway first, perhaps my choice because of its amazingly lush and tropical views, I look forward to seeing that first with the hike through the bamboo forest a nice send off to the rugged and desolate shores and vistas along the ‘backway’; be sure to time your return for a nice lunch at Bully’s Burgers-our favorite and only burger hangout/lookout on the Magical ‘backside‘ of the Island of Maui!

Want to Have the Perfect Island Wedding? – Then Remember to KISS

If you want to have the Perfect Island Wedding then just remember to KISS. Not the lip locking thingy, but instead just Keep It Simple Sally. And the magic truly is in the Simplicity.

You see, with a big extravagant wedding back home there are so many things to keep an eye on that you can easily feel like you need a planner for your wedding planner…a recipe that’s guaranteed to turn the sweetest gal into a horrid bridezilla. And we just can’t imagine this of you. Fortunately, most island resorts are truly skilled at delivering beautiful island weddings so you hardly need do more than make a few telephone calls explaining any special requests that you might have. And after this all you need do is check-in to your wedding resort, work on your tan, and show up for your wedding!

I have seen some island resorts with as many as 9 and 11 weddings in a single day so you can rest assured that they have it down to a fine science. Truth be told however, all you probably want from your resort is to be treated like you are uniquely special on your wedding day and not to get caught up in the art of how a resort packs so many weddings into a single day. Gosh, heaven forbid that your wedding is on one of those days. And now imagine that it rains! However there are easy ways to ensure that you don’t have such an experience.

One of the best ways to keep your island wedding really simple is to finalise the details well ahead of time and in person. A pre-wedding scouting trip to your island of choice is a brilliant idea, especially if you are inviting friends and family. One couple recently vacationed in St. Lucia to celebrate their engagement then flew back the following year to get married, having made most of the arrangements during their engagement trip. The beauty of this was that when they arrived the following year for their wedding they felt so relaxed and welcomed by all the staff who remembered them that they said they felt as if they had been given the keys to the kingdom!

For the bride who is very particular about her expectations regarding service and delivery, such a trip can go a long way towards you sleeping well at night.

To keep things simple it helps to know and understand the events that make your island wedding possible. A great place for independent information is the tourist board of your selected island. Here you will discover all of the legal requirements for your wedding, from the required period of residence on your island, down to the legal recognition of your wedding back home. Beyond this there are websites that carry all of the important contact information for the legal authorities of a number of Caribbean islands. Best of all, many islands have divisions of their tourist boards in many of the major metropolitan areas of the world, complete with toll free numbers.

With all of this it is easy enough to see why to get the Perfect Island Wedding all you need to do is KISS!

6 Popular Questions As You Plan Your Island Wedding

1. Do I wear a veil at a beach wedding? If so, when do I take it off?

Veils are symbolic and romantic. For beach weddings, generally the attire is more casual and hair pieces incorporating local island flowers are typical. However, a traditional veil can still be a beautiful compliment. You might select a shorter length to keep it more manageable. As for taking it off, a bride generally removes the veil just after the ceremony, or after the first dance at a reception as everyone is sitting down. You can use your veil to decorate your chair.

2. What about transportation for my wedding party to the reception?

You’re responsible for getting your wedding party from your ceremony to the reception. If you’re going casual, be sure to let them know ahead of time that they can simply drive over. Otherwise, consider renting a limo or use one of the local island open-air taxis for a cultural experience for the whole group.

3. Will my wedding planner be at the reception?

The beauty of hiring a wedding planner is that he or she will plan and coordinate all the parts of your wedding day to ensure the day runs smoothly for you. They may or may not, however, come to the venue on the day of your wedding. Be sure to ask the planner if they will be attending and when they’ll leave. The planner may come to the wedding but not the reception. If the planner doesn’t attend, ask what he or she will handle on the day of the ceremony. Also, ask about after the ceremony: will the planner stay to clean up?

4. What are the traditional wedding reception rituals?

Generally, the first thing to start a reception is the entry of the wedding party. The wedding party is announced and they enter into the reception area.

After this, there’s often the first dance between the bride and groom. This dance is observed by the guests, and then the rest of the wedding party is led in to join them.

Next, there’s the toast by the best man and others: guests remain standing as the best man starts the toasting. Or, the best man may do this after the main course and before the cake cutting. Another tradition is to have the toast just after the wedding party has been announced.

In the midst of the dancing, the bride dances with her father in a farewell dance, and the groom dances with his mother. Later, the bride may also choose to dance with her father-in-law and the groom with his mother-in-law.

Towards the end is the cake cutting and, optionally, the bouquet and garter tosses. The couple may choose to only toss the bouquet or to skip this part.

Be sure to tell your photographer what the plan is for the reception so he knows to stay through everything.

5. Do I feed the band and the wedding professionals?

Some professionals will include in their contracts that they must be fed. However, it’s unnecessary to provide alcohol, as they are on the job. If they do not request a meal to be included, it’s a nice gesture to offer it. You can serve them something lighter than the main entree, like sandwiches, or you can ask the caterer if they offer different pricing for the wedding professionals, band and photographer.

6. What if it rains and I’m having a beach wedding?

If you’re getting married on a beach and the clouds roll in, ask your wedding planner what they do in the cases of rain. The islands generally have rain showers that come and go, especially during their “rainy” season. Your island wedding planner will have a back-up plan for this–either cute umbrellas and a memorable ceremony on the beach with rain drops, or a venue change. Ask in advance what happens in situations when it rains on wedding days.