Making the Trip to Maui

One of the reasons Marnie and I sent out Save the Dates for our wedding was to allow our guests to sort out accommodation, flights, and everything else between in time for the trip. Now sure, you’d think a year is a lot of time but as our wedding is happening during Spring Break AND happens to be at a popular destination, time is of the essence.

How to Get to Maui

You’ve got two choices – boat or plane. Making that assumption that most of you will be flying in to Maui, there are a couple of things to consider.

First of all – Maui doesn’t have a US Customs facility to process inbound international passengers. What this means is you either need to come direct from a US port of call or through Vancouver (YVR), Calgary (YYC) or Edmonton (YEG) airports as they have US pre-clearance available.

Secondly, as most of our guests will be coming from Canada, Marnie and I will be securing a 10% discount code through WestJet shortly for our wedding guests. Having checked out the options through Air Canada, as well as Alaska Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines, we think WestJet provides us the best means to get to where we want to go for good value. So wherever you may be joining us from, we recommend checking out the different fare options available to you as nearly every major airport on the along the west coast can get you to Maui direct or through Honolulu.

Kahului Airport in Maui

Kahului Airport – courtesy of Kris Nelson

Where to Stay

For each of our trips, Marnie and I have booked a condo at the Kamaole Sands Condominium Resort (as seen below) in Kihei – and a location close to our wedding venue – through Vacation Rentals By Owner (VRBO). This particular resort has beautiful lawns and gardens, a great pool and hot tub area, tennis courts and several BBQ areas, so for someone thinking of making it a vacation you’d probably find this place perfect.

Regardless of your choice for location, we do encourage you to use VRBO to search for a place to stay. While the island has many great hotels, our wedding is during the high season and the best rate we could get at a reasonable location was $266/night – and that was the wedding rate!

Kamaole Sands Condominium Resort

Kamaole Sands Condominium Resort – courtesy of Mark Beeson

How to Get Around

Rental cars shouldn’t be an issue for most, though we do recommend looking into booking yours sooner rather than later.

We’ve gone with a mainstream company in the past, this time around we’ve decided to go with Kihei Rent A Car. While their cars are not the latest and greatest, the company is a local, family run business that has excellent reviews – they also provide free airport transfers as well. Making the choice even easier is that we all get a 10% discount off their regular prices (which are already significantly lower than the mainstream companies) should 5 or more of us commit. To get yourself included with that discount, you just have to mention that you are with Marnie Greenfield and they will do the rest once we get enough bookings.

The other option for you is to rely on taxi and/or transit. While Maui Bus is affordable and will get you between most destinations you’ll need to visit, you’re obviously tied to set schedules. And sure taxi can get you wherever you want to go (for the most part), the island of Maui is not the tiniest of places so you’ll find that taxi fares will add up over time – and probably be more expensive than the same cost to rent a car.

Red Rental Car

Red Rental Car – courtesy of torbakhopper

So there you have it. The nitty gritty on what you need to start thinking about if you’re looking to join us. If you still need any help, please reach out to us via the normal channels or the “Contact Us” page above.

Decisions, Decisions!

Well, we are several months into planning this wedding now (or should I say thinking and talking about this wedding up till now).  But now we’ve finally got some official things decided.

The first thing was to get the wedding planner hired, since they would be instrumental in getting everything else in order.  We have decided to go with Lori Lawrence of Tropical Maui Weddings, and I’m excited to work with her!  Her talented musical husband Jamie will do some of the music for the ceremony and reception as well.  The pictures of the weddings she’s done look amazing, and there are plenty of good reviews out there for her.

I already had a pretty good idea of the venues available on Maui since I’ve done a lot of internet research on the subject, but once we had Lori on board she did inquiries for us at the 3 private estates I was considering.  2 of them had openings and the other was already booked.  So we have now decided on Kukahiko Estate in Makena, Hawaii.  It is a smaller venue, which will be fine for us and looks absolutely stunning in all the photos (but then all 3 locations looked stunning, so I’m sure we would have been happy with any of them).  We will have both the ceremony and reception at Kukahiko.  It has the nice green lawn I wanted for the ceremony, and yet is right on the ocean, so we can still feel like we are at the beach (and it does have a little beach there to use for photos, etc.) and I love the dramatic black lava rock in front!  And it is close to “Turtle Town” so there’s a possibility that some of the Green Sea Turtles may show up.  Plus they say that during Humpback whale season (December – April) the whales are often right out in front of the estate.  Those turtles and whales had better make an appearance on March 14, 2014!

Kukahiko Estate

Kukahiko Estate

We’ve also got our photographer booked already, though that was an easy decision, my talented aunt NancyAngermeyer, who just so happens to be a wedding photographer offered to do it for us!   I know she will do a fantastic job and can’t wait to see the images she captures of our special day!  She took this great shot of Chris and I the last time we visited her on Saturna Island, BC.

Chris and Marnie on Saturna Island.  Photo credit Nancy Angermeyer.

Chris and Marnie on Saturna Island. Photo credit Nancy Angermeyer.

Next up in the decision making timeline will be the caterer, officiant, cake baker, florist, hair and makeup person.  And then I guess it will start to be the more detailed decisions for everything.

We’ve also booked a condo at Kamaole Sands, which is the same complex we’ve stayed at during all of our 3 trips there.  Unfortunately when we picked the date, we weren’t exactly thinking about the fact that it is smack in the middle of spring break, so it is a very busy time on Maui (or at least I wasn’t thinking about it, I was just thinking that it was a special date since it was our engagement anniversary).  We’ll post more on accommodation recommendations in the near future for those of you who are planning on attending and want to get a jump on getting organized.