Sherman, set the Wayback machine to August, 2008.  We are madly in love and have decided to get married in Maui, Hawaii.   ๐Ÿ˜Ž 

Of course, the planning begins just a little bit before that…  Normally, we are pretty casual about travel, but this is different.  We want a first-class experience.

Selecting the Island

We started looking ten months before our intended wedding. Each island has something special to offer.  We weighed the pros and cons of each, and eventually selected Maui (which you might have guessed from the name of this article).   ๐Ÿ˜† 

Selecting the Hotel

Fairmont
Wailea
Deluxe Ocean View King Non Smoking
Spectacular full ocean view, spacious, suite with lanai, max occ 4
840 sq ft
Four Seasons Maui
Wailea
Ocean View Room
King Bed
600 sq ft.
Ritz Carlton
Kapalua
Deluxe Ocean View
King Bed or 2 Queens
470 sq ft.
Westin Maui
Kaanapali
Ocean View Non-smoking, Traditional Room, Heavenly Bed And Bath, Armoire Closet, Refrigerator
340 Sq Ft
Sheraton Maui
Kaanapali
Deluxe Ocean View
2 double beds, Private Lanai
419 sq ft,
The Inn at Mama’s Fish House
Beachfront Cottages
Full kitchen
Lanai opens directly to ocean
850 sq ft.

We spent a while reviewing the webpages of the hotels and read what folks on TripAdvisor had to say, and eventually decided to stay four nights at The Inn at Mama’s Fish House and thirteen nights at the Fairmont Kea Lani.  We booked these in November, the year before, which ensured that we could get the suite that we wanted.

Finding the Right Officiant

We began searching online for a Hawaiian officiant who would perform a traditional wedding ceremony, and the name “Reverend Al” kept coming up.  We contacted Reverend Alapaki and his wife, Laurie (makenaweddings.com) and told them of our plans. We had decided to get married on August 08, 2008, because one of us has a particularly bad memory and remembering 08/08/08 would be easy.

“Bad idea,” we were told.  The number 8 is a lucky number in China, and since Hawaii is home to a substantial number of folks from said nation, we’d be better off picking another day.  Well, trust the experts, right?  So we moved it two days forward: August 06, 2008.  Not the best mnemonic, but it would have to suffice.

Reverend Al and his wife also helped us with our other arrangements:  Hawaiian guitarist/singer, a male and female hula dancer, a photographer, the bride’s bouquet, Lei’s for both of us, a flower circle to get married in, and in-room hair and make-up for the bride before the ceremony.  More on all that later in the story….

Booking the Flight

This was a time before we had accumulated a large number of frequent flyer miles, so we paid cash; sad but true. But it didn’t really matter.  ๐Ÿ˜›   We booked two first class tickets on Hawaiian Airlines (HawaiianAirlines.com), and we were ready to go!

Maui!!

It is the day of the flight.  It is noisy and crowded at the airport and we are ready to be off.  Finally they call us and we are seated in large, comfortable seats.  The rest of the travelers board, the plane takes off, and we are in the air. The flight attendant brings the champagne that we asked for, and, after ten months of planning and waiting, it feels like our adventure has finally begun.

Our rental car in Hawaii.

Our rental car in Hawaii.

A few hours later we are in our rental car, driving along Hana Highway, on our way to The Inn at Mama’s Fish House.

The Inn at Mama’s Fish House

Our beachfront suite at The Inn.

Our beachfront suite at The Inn.

We are staying in one-bedroom suite overlooking the ocean. Cozy, and fun.

Our view to the beach.

Our view to the beach.

Although there are, in theory, other travelers at this hotel, we rarely see anyone. This is our own private beach.

Our beach looking north.

Our beach looking north.

There is a small reef perhaps 30 meters out, ensuring that the water near the beach is calm.  It adds serenity to an already tranquil moment.

Our beach looking south.

Our beach looking south.

It’s as if we’ve discovered our own Garden of Eden, a perfect spot to begin our weddingmoon adventure.

A local resident entertains us.

A local resident entertains us.

The Garden even has its own entertainment, a parrot that is comfortable being around people.   ๐Ÿ˜› 

Dinner, Island Style

Cooking burgers for dinner.

Cooking burgers for dinner.

Okay, it’s not exactly “island style”.  But those burgers are looking mighty good!

Getting ready for burgers!

Getting ready for burgers!

The table is set, we have our beer…what are we waiting for??

Yummy!

Yummy!

Notice that my pinkie fingers are slightly raised.  I’m a proper lady.   ๐Ÿ˜ˆ 

There is more to tell — and we will — but for now, we have been at The Inn at Mama’s Fish House for four nights, and it’s time to travel down the coast to the Fairmont Kea Lani and see what adventures are in store for us there.

Fairmont Kea Lani

The Fairmont Kea Lani does not have the same coziness as our last residence, but it is not at all lacking in amenities and pleasures! ๐Ÿ™‚ 

The view from our room at the Fairmont Lea Lani.

The view from our room at the Fairmont Lea Lani.

When we first check in, we discover that our room is directly above the swimming pool; not particularly conducive to a romantic holiday. So we request a new room, and…this is it!

The vast, blue ocean.

The vast, blue ocean.

Wow!  We find ourselves in awe of the beauty.  

A view of the Fairmontโ€™s grounds.

A view of the Fairmontโ€™s grounds.

We explore the hotel’s grounds.  Although not as private as our last place, it is serene and lovely.

A Polynesian bridge connects paths to all the hotels.

A Polynesian bridge connects paths to all the hotels.

We discover that the hotels along the coast are connected by paths such that we can walk for miles along manicured tropical pathways.

Playing in the fountain at the Fairmont.

Playing in the fountain at the Fairmont.

I decide to cool off in the fountain.   ๐Ÿ˜Ž   Notice how I pointe; a gentleman retains his poise, even when messing around.

Soaking in the Jacuzzi โ€“ itโ€™s a bit warmer than the fountain.

Soaking in the Jacuzzi โ€“ itโ€™s a bit warmer than the fountain.

However, the Jacuzzi is more to my tastes.

One of the many lovely alcoves at the Fairmont hotel.

One of the many lovely alcoves at the Fairmont hotel.

The Fairmont’s interior is not neglected, either.  We find simple elegance everywhere we look.

Dessert for dinner.

Dessert for dinner.

No hamburgers for us tonight!  We’re making up for lost time!

We are happy to be in Maui.

We are happy to be in Maui.

We are in Maui, we are together, and we are happy.

But wait!  We still haven’t written about our wedding and all the fun things to do here!!  Oh, well. That must wait until next week’s article.   :mrgreen: 

awa Travels Tip: We made our wedding all about us, and it was more romantic than we imagined. Consider putting yourselves first and see what romantic adventures you can find together.