Our Owners Turned Clients! Our Behind the Scenes Experience of our 15 Year Vow Renewal at The Four Seasons Maui

A beautiful ceremony overlooking the pacific ocean surrounded by our closest friends and family, heartfelt vows, raw emotion and love. All this followed by amazing food and drinks as the sun set into the ocean and a romantic private dinner for two prepared just for us by a private chef under the stars. A dreamy day filled with love, fun and pampering.

This is the kind of day we wish for ALL our clients and we finally got to experience one for ourselves!

Hi! It's Karma, the founder of Karma Hill Photography and Simple Maui Wedding here to tell you all about my experience from a candid and behind the scenes point of view, when my husband Steve and I decided to have a "second wedding" to renew our vows after 15 years of marriage.  It was eye opening and fun to be on the other side of the aisle as the client rather than the photographer or planner.

Our wedding 15 years ago was your typical "just out of college" wedding, big party with all our friends and every distant family member in a 100 mile radius. A giant dress, bigger train, sparkly crown, huge cake, ballroom, you know: "The Show".  Although it was amazing, it was stressful and exhausting as well. Up until that point in my life I had never been so tired as I was the day after my wedding. As we were leaving the next day for our honeymoon my husband and I looked at each other, both so utterly exhausted and decided, we should have eloped!

Fast forward 15 years, we had moved to Maui and started a photography and wedding planning business, our company has coordinated literally hundreds and hundreds of weddings. We specialize in small intimate gatherings, just like the one we had wished we had.  After seeing so many beautiful events, it was only natural that I wanted my own! Our 15 year anniversary was the perfect occasion to have that elopement we wished we had.

We work in all kinds of beautiful places in Maui, but it didn't take much debate on where we wanted to have our event. The Four Seasons Resorts have held a special place in our hearts as a couple. We have had some of the best experiences together at The Four Season's Lana'i when we first moved to Maui, We celebrated our 13 year wedding anniversary at the Four Seasons Hualalai and we had an amazing family staycation at the Four Seasons Maui. It was also perfect that we just started offering weddings at the Four Seasons Maui through Simple Maui Wedding, so we got a chance to work with the amazing staff there on a up close and personal way!  All of our venues are special but the Four Seasons is extra special because of the people there. The experience of the client is SO important and they always go above and beyond.

What I expected:
Having been in the wedding industry for the past 10 years, I expected that the planning process would be super easy and that I would have no nerves about it at all.  I was working with people who I know and trust so it was going to be a breeze! I did not think I would get emotional or nervous about the ceremony, I mean I have seen so many of them! I didn't even cry at my real wedding!

The planning was made easy by the staff at the Four Seasons for our reception and ultimate dinner and our team was totally on it. HOWEVER I found myself second guessing my choices and nervous that something would go sideways! It made me realize the level of trust our clients have to put into us, people they have never met. They have to go on our reputation and our word that we will do our very best to ensure they have an amazing day.  I am so grateful that our clients trust us and I can now understand in such a better way when they contact us just to "check in" even when everything is totally on track!

My husband and I wrote our own vows and we were both crying by the end of them, as were most of our guests! The small and intimate feeling of it added to the emotion, all our guests were engaged and we could truly feel the love coming our way.  We had many of our guests come up to us afterwards to tell us they were crying along with us and they could feel the love of the moment as well. I was really surprised at what a difference that connection between us and our loved ones was versus 100 people staring you down in a church.  That combined with the amazing music and views just took it to another level.

So let's take a walk through our experience in photos, with some behind the scenes and images from our amazing photography team!  I wanted to relax and totally enjoy myself so I left all my pro gear at home and brought only my trusty iPhone to document my side of things.

We have arrived! Greeted with leis and ready for the pool! We got there the morning of our event and had the chance to relax and take it easy before we had to get ready.

Chillin by the pool, the sense of excitement was there, with our kids entertained in the pool we felt like newlyweds again! 
The resort was so sweet to our kids, they were thrilled to have these little guys waiting for them on the bed! WE were thrilled to have champagne and roses waiting for us when we got back to the room after our ceremony!

We got ready in the Ilima Suite. You can rent this on the day of your wedding so you have TONS of space for you and all your attendants. It also has a huge outdoor lanai. It is the perfect place to be before your wedding!

If this was my first wedding the suite would have been full of ladies, but now, it is full of these cute kids. It was awesome to have a nice cool place for them to hang before the wedding as we were all getting ready.

This is the Plumeria Garden Location, we chose this over the more popular Plumeria point because we wanted a more unobstructed ocean view. We were still surrounded by the sweet scent of plumeria and the trees all around this spot offer a little more privacy than the more open plumeria point.

This ceremony set up in included in our Four Seasons Package! I love the rustic wood paired with the tropical flowers.

Yes! I made him cry!! Neither of us cried at our wedding, we were too stressed!

Humor is what keeps our marriage strong. The ability to laugh with and at each other and ourselves. 

After the ceremony we had a cocktail and pupu (appetizer) reception right next to the beach! We enjoyed delicious food and drinks with our guests as we all watched the sunset. It was not only more intimate than a more formal seated dinner it saved us money versus a full reception while still allowing us to spend time with and treat our guests.

Dellables did the flowers and the team at the Four Seasons made the tables look AMAZING. It was beyond my expectations!

If you were only going to choose one add on to your wedding, I would recommend a musician. It adds this amazing vibe to your ceremony and reception and provides a soundtrack to your day. It just takes it to that next level of amazing!

Everyone loved the food, especially the kids!

This is called the Beachfront lawn. They recently replaced the lawn with sand, it is literally steps to the beach so it was a spectacular place for our reception. It made it so easy to pop down to the beach for a few photos without disrupting our chance to visit with our guests too much.

After the cocktail reception, we let our guests relax and enjoy the last of the sunset while we were escorted to our Ultimate dinner! This is something that the Four Seasons offers to everyone, you don't have to be a guest to book one.  It is an 8 course private dinner with your own chef and waiter.  We met with the chef and beverage manager the day before the dinner to talk about our food and beverage preferences and they surprised us with the most amazing customized menu. Each course was amazing and was paired perfectly with a wine that made it even better.  Everything is custom, not one thing on our menu is served at any of the restaurants at the resort. Which is kind of a bummer because I am still dreaming about that big island lobster risotto! I HIGHLY recommend this. It was a once in a lifetime experience. It is perfect for those who are eloping!

Dellables and the Four Seasons worked together to create this dreamy table for us!

Seriously, the most dreamy dinner ever!

We stayed until nearly 10:30 PM eating, drinking and watching the stars.  It was like we were on honeymoon again!
We had such an amazing day we didn't want it to end.  But the fun didn't stop, we stayed at the hotel for one more night to relax and have fun as a family.  We all enjoyed ourselves so much!

The next morning the kids went to Kids For All Seasons kid's club and we enjoyed the serenity pool, what a view! We may or may not have visited the swim up bar. 
We picked up the kids and got pizza to go from the awesome Ferraro's restaurant at the resort. We ate the pizza on our Lanai and watched the gorgeous sunset. You can't get much more relaxing than pizza in your undies LOL.
Our last day at the hotel :( We had an amazing family pool day, lunch by the ocean and even a few naps in the pool chairs before heading home. 

Thanks so very very much to EVERYONE who made our day so special, it was like living in a dream for three straight days, we could not have asked for anything more!!

Ceremony Coordination: Simple Maui Wedding 
Reception and Ultimate Dinner Coordination: Four Seasons Resort Maui
Photographer: Cheynice of Karma Hill Photography
Hair and Makeup: Salon 253 Bride
Floral Design: Dellables
Officiant: Rev. Joe Miles
Musician: Jacob of Manutea Nui E
Dress: BHLDN
Suit: Macy's

1 comment

Oahu Wedding Venues said...

Four Seasons in Maui is truly one of the most beautiful wedding venues in Hawaii. The ceremony looked beautiful and the after vacation looked so fun. What a beautiful ceremony.