Hawaii is one of those destination-wedding locales that never disappoint. And when it comes to a Maui destination wedding, you can be certain both you and your guests will have the time of their lives when you say "I do." Why is that? Take a look at the top six reasons to plan your Hawaiian nuptials on the island of Maui—then you decide.
1. It's easy to get to (and in the U.S.).
A number of major airlines offer nonstop flights to Maui from nearly 20 cities in the mainland United States. So whether your guests are coming from midwestern cities like Chicago, southern hubs like Dallas, or West Coast capitals like Los Angeles and San Francisco, they can bank on a direct route into Kahului Airport. If they're coming from the East Coast or smaller second-tier cities, one-stop itineraries can also be arranged by routing through a major mainland hub or booking a quick inter-island flight within Hawaii. (Air travel to Maui is a cinch, with regular service from Oahu, Kauai, and Hawaii Island, a.k.a the Big Island.)
2. The venues are spectacular.
The island of Maui can be divided into a few tourist hot spots, like West Maui (Lahaina, Kaanapali, Napili, Kahana, Kapalua) and South Maui (Maalaea, Kihei, Wailea, Makena), as well as less-traveled areas, like North/Upcountry Maui (Paia, Haiku, Pukalani, Makawao, Kula) and East Maui (Keanae, Hana, Kipahulu). Couples looking for pristine crescent-shaped beaches and full-service, amenity-packed resorts need look no further than Maui's famed Wailea region, home to the gorgeous Four Seasons Maui at Wailea. Here, brides have their pick of stunning venues. The oceanfront lawn, set in a private corner of the resort, offers elevated oceanfront views of the Pacific Ocean and Wailea Beach. (This is the largest space, ideal for hosting both a ceremony and reception.) Or, try the Four Seasons Ballroom & Foyer, which is great for cocktails in the open-air foyer, followed by a formal seated reception and late-night dance party inside the ballroom (where there are no noise restrictions and you can party into the wee hours of the morning!).
3. It's same-sex friendly.
Gay marriage has been legal in Hawaii since 2013—two years before the landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling. Couples of all backgrounds will find friendly and accommodating officiants, planners, photographers, and other vendors who are eager to customize your wedding in a way that highlights your unique love story. There are a number of beautiful religious houses of worship on Maui, but most couples (same-sex or otherwise) choose to host their entire event at a resort or independent venue for the ease—and cost-effectiveness—of working with a no-fee in-house planning team, avoiding costly transportation for guests, and repurposing rented chairs, flowers, and other decor items from the ceremony to the reception.
4. Your guests won't be bored.
One thing a Maui destination wedding guarantees is a plethora of activities, which include helicopter tours of the island, golf on one of three championship-level courses at Wailea Golf Club, drives through mango groves in a 4x4 to Makena Beach, horseback rides on the 20,000-acre Ulupalakua Ranch, hikes to La Perouse Bay (where you might spot spinner dolphins), and surf lessons on nearby Cove Beach Park. In between these heart-pumping activities, be sure to arrange some R&R for your gals: Invite your entire wedding party to the Spa at Four Seasons for facials and mani-pedis. (Also book an oceanside massage for you and your partner as a relaxing way to reconnect before your walk down the aisle.)
5. The food is locally inspired (and delicious).
Mini ahi-tuna poke in sesame cones. Hoisin BBQ short-rib sliders. Mai Tai marinated fish ceviche. The fresh, mouth-watering dishes on offer at a top venue like the Four Seasons Maui at Wailea will be one of the major highlights of your island I do's. When planning a Maui destination wedding, it's important to focus on fresh, sustainable cuisine, which will both showcase the local produce and save you money by avoiding import taxes on food flown in from the mainland U.S. or overseas. Talk to your venue's in-house coordinators to schedule a consultation with the chef as you plan the menu, followed by a tasting a few months before your wedding to nail the exact dishes served at your wedding.
6. You can say "I do"—and then swim in the ocean.
A Maui destination wedding wouldn't be complete without a dip in the calm bay at dawn to celebrate your first day as husband and wife. Be sure to pack a white swimsuit for exactly this purpose!