While many couples line up on Maui’s beaches to exchange wedding vows, some slip away to waterfalls for their special moment. The Valley Isle, also nicknamed the Romantic Isle by the state of Hawaii, consistently receives accolades for its natural beauty and luxury resorts with their breathtaking landscapes. It’s no surprise that many couples go to Maui to marry, but it might come as a surprise that while waterfalls on Maui are abundant, waterfall wedding sites are not. Nevertheless, the enticing selection makes choosing difficult.
A waterfall on Maui’s Hana Coast cascades into an inviting pool.
In Hawaiian poetry and proverbs, woven with metaphor drawn from nature, the imagery of a waterfall combined with that of a flower often symbolizes passionate love. A song might pay tribute to a particular waterfall, while its kaona, or hidden meaning, speaks of passionate interludes. The sound of the ocean and enchantment of a Maui beach sunset is romantic, too, and the sea and sand also serve as metaphors for lovers. But a waterfall wedding on the Romantic Isle has its own charms, such as the soothing sounds of water flowing into a tranquil pool as the bride, adorned with a flower in her hair or a fragrant lei, unites with her groom.
Most of Maui’s waterfalls remain hidden to those who don’t leave the the sunny resort-dotted side of Maui for the lush Hana Coast, where the daily weather report almost always forecasts “scattered showers.” But with some planning, you needn’t say your “I do’s” in muddy sneakers. Maui’s wedding planners can often arrange for waterfall nuptials at private estates in manicured gardens, and some of the other venues also provide waterfall wedding sites suited to long, flowing gowns – not that formal attire is expected at outdoor Hawaiian weddings, but couples tend to dress up more at waterfall weddings than beach weddings.
Resort Waterfall Weddings
At the Westin Maui Resort & Spa (westinmaui.com) in sunny West Maui, tie the knot in an exquisite tropical garden waterfall setting with an ocean view. The Westin’s Aloha Pavilion provides privacy, creative staging and easy access to the golden sands of Kaanapali. The resort’s wedding planning staff takes care of everything from the flowers and cake to the officiate and photography. Makena Beach and Golf Resort (makenaresortmaui.com) in South Maui, the island’s sunniest region, is ready to help you plan a wedding in its garden and waterfall setting, just a short walk from the ocean.
Adventurous couples might want to have a wedding planner, such as Just Mauied (justmauied.com), arrange for a helicopter to whisk them off to a secret waterfall ceremony. In Iao Valley on the lush, windward side of Maui, Tropical Gardens of Maui (tropicalgardensofmaui.com) offers two waterfall locations in manicured gardens, one with a Victorian gazebo and waterfall and another with a koi pond and three-tiered waterfall.
The ultimate Maui wedding venue for peace and nature-loving couples seeking a beautiful waterfall site might be The Spirit of Aloha Temple and Oceanfront Botanical Gardens (thegardens.org). on the Hana Coast. A stream-side procession path leads the bride to her groom awaiting on the deck that overlooks the ocean and a natural waterfall. The garden accommodates up to 80 wedding guests and has a spacious oceanfront reception terrace with awnings. Tame white doves and other delights share the grounds of this designated wildlife preserve and Hawaiian historic site. Use the contact information on the website or ask a wedding planner, such as Maui Oceanfront Weddings and Events (mauioceanfrontweddings.com) or Maui Me (maui-me.com), to make the arrangements.
Depending on the waterfall and setting, you might feel a gentle mist or splash, or could stay completely dry. Some couples end the ceremony with a playful romp and photo op in the pool beneath the falls. If your wedding is to be videoed, keep in mind that some waterfalls are louder than others, so employ a videographer who can clearly capture your vows. A wedding planner can take care of all the details, or you can take care of some or all on your own, depending on where you want to wed. Many private estates work only with professional coordinators, meaning you will find even more waterfall wedding venues on the coordinators’ websites. As far as obtaining the marriage license, the simple process is detailed on the state of Hawaii’s website (hawaii.gov).
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