Maui Wedding Coordination: Do It Yourself or Hire a Wedding Planner?

May 25, 2020


Last Updated on February 20, 2023 by Karma Hill

There might be a little voice in the back of your head asking if you should just coordinate your Maui wedding yourself while looking for the best possibilities. Maui wedding coordination is all about the easy breezing, right? After all, DIY-ing may be quite fulfilling. However, is it a good idea (and realistic) to move the self-doing out of the craft zone and into the realm of major life events?

In this article, we’ll breakdown what goes into doing your Maui wedding coordination yourself versus hiring a professional planner. 

If you’re amazing at organizing and keeping names, emails, and phone numbers from multiple people straight to make sure they all show up on time for a 1 to 2-hour window — Or are you the type of person who wouldn’t hire a contractor to manage your construction project? Then DIY-ing your wedding coordination might be right up your alley. The outcome you get is all up to how well you manage all the moving pieces. But is it really worth the risk and worry?

Benefits of using a Maui Wedding Coordinator 

  • We Take Care of Everything
    • A Maui wedding coordinator is much like the conductor of an orchestra, everything must be perfectly timed or it all ends in chaos. 
  • Stress-Free!
    • People often tell us they’re surprised by how un-stressed they are, and how nice it feels knowing that everything is taken care of. 
  • Simple Wedding Planning!
    • One call and we’ll do the rest
    • That means you’ll have just ONE point of contact for everything and one person to pay
  • You’ll Have a Trusted Advisor
    • From advice on what to wear to where to stay, we’ve got you covered
  • A Timeline is Created for You
    • We’ll work with all your vendors to create a manageable timeline to ensure everything goes smoothly and includes your “Must-Haves”
  • You Won’t Have to Manage Vendors
    • We’ll be the ones to work out the tweaks if any bumps come up along the road

We are soooo happy we came across Simple Maui Wedding because it was exactly what we needed. They made EVERYTHING well, simple!

~ Taylor ~

Drawbacks to using a Maui wedding Coordinator:

  • Hiring a Maui wedding coordinator costs a little extra… 


Your Time is Money!

Maui wedding coordination is an extremely time-consuming endeavor. It can take as much time as a full-time job. 

That’s not to say it’s impossible to DIY… but planning a wedding on Maui is a lot different than organizing a ceremony back home. You’ll be dealing with vendors you know little about and making important decisions about places you’ve never seen in person. And you on your wedding, wouldn’t you want your focus to be on your partner rather than the minor details?

Even if you are able to complete the paperwork while on vacation in Hawaii, carefully consider whether you really need to take time away from relaxing and enjoying your trip with your loved ones. You’ll have to wait until the very last minute to finalize the details, respond to emails, and locate the numerous items needed to put together your ideal Maui wedding.

Keep in mind that:

  • The average Maui wedding coordination can take up to 150 + emails 
  • The time difference will affect planning with Hawaii businesses (You may need to make calls at 9 PM your time or on your lunch break) 

If you’re set on DIYing your Big Day, then follow along with us as we help you detail out the steps involved in planning your perfect wedding in Hawaii. 

Hawaii Wedding Coordination Steps

Find the Ideal Maui Wedding Venue

This is probably the most important element of DIY wedding planning.

We utilize a wide range of venues to meet and surpass the needs of any destination wedding in Hawaii. Our Maui wedding coordinators have spent years compiling a list of reputable locations and stunning beaches, but it took them hundreds of hours of study and on-site visits. And they have developed solid and trusting relationships with our wedding venues over the years. Booking a destination is probably possible, but bear in mind that web pictures can be outdated. Our excellent Maui wedding coordinator will inform you of any alterations, such as neighboring construction sites, beach closures, or other information. Their years of experience are invaluable!

If you plan on doing it yourself, then the first thing you need to consider is what location type you’d prefer: a venue or a beach?

Rented Venue:

There is one caveat to planning your own wedding; oftentimes venues won’t work with clients if they don’t have a planner. Ceremonies and receptions can turn into total chaos without a conductor at the helm to make sure everything goes to plan. However, there is a handful that will communicate with DIY wedding planners, you’ll just have to spend extra time shopping around as you make note of the following considerations:

Things to consider while finding a Maui venue: 
  • Determine what location you’d like your venue to be at
  • Find a point of contact for the venue and begin email communications
    • Is this venue within your budget after emailing back and forth with them? 
    • Is the venue available on your date?
      • If your date is not available or the location is booked, you’ll have to start at square one. 
  • Is the location near to where you’re staying?
    • What does the traffic look like in that area?
    • What is the vendor’s proximity to your florists? 
    • Confirm with your photographer (more on this soon) that they’ll be able to travel to this location
  • What is included in the venue fee? Will you need to rent chairs, an arch, etc. separately?
    • Who will set everything up?
    • If not, what outside vendors will you use to secure these items?
Beach Venue:

Our Maui wedding coordinators know all the ins-and-outs of Hawaii beach weddings. Almost all beaches in the state are open to the public and that means they’re subject to a long list of regulations and restrictions. If anyone’s a pro on this topic, we are! We know how to ensure an officer isn’t going to tap you on the shoulder as you’re saying “I do’ and ask for your wedding permit. Talk about a wedding crasher!

We also have the ability to make split-second decisions based on factors such as the weather, location, crowd size, wind, and even your guests. There are many details to consider while planning a Maui beach wedding, whether you’re merely eloping or inviting 30 guests. Having said that, if you decide to DIY, start by taking into account are few of the factors listed below:

Things to consider while finding a beach venue:
  • Find out which beach is closest to your hotel – or does that matter to you? 
  • Google beach locations to see where they are and if you would like to get married there
    • What time is best for this beach location?
    • What will the tide and sun be like during these hours? 
    • How popular is this beach?
    • Do you know areas on the shore where it’s more secluded?
  • Find a “backup” beach on a separate part of the island in case you need to relocate at the last minute due to rain or other unforeseen circumstances.
  • Secure a beach wedding permit.
    • This is required for all beach weddings in the state of Hawaii and requires liability insurance to obtain
  • Research the state’s beach wedding laws and regulations
    • Many items are prohibited on Hawaii beaches
  • Find someone to help you make an entrance and signal to begin the ceremony
  • If you don’t have a Maui wedding coordinator, you’ll need to have someone in your group greet guests and show them where to stand without using signs. 

2. Research Maui Ministers

You’ll need to vet all the vendors you’re planning on hiring, including your minister. Research multiple Maui ministers and browse their reviews to see if they’re a good match for you. Do they provide a quality ceremony? Do you know anyone who’s worked with them before? It’s important to figure out who this person is and how they’ll perform the ceremony. We work with many of the same ministers over and over because we know they’re passionate and trustworthy. And they love, love!

Things to consider while looking for a minister
  • Reach out via email or phone to see if they’re available on your selected date
    • If your date isn’t available, then you’ll have to email others
  • Figure out what kind of ceremony they offer
    • Is the minister in line with your religious beliefs or non-religious beliefs
      • Christian, non-religious, Hawaiian?
    • Do they blow the pu’u (conch shell), provide a lei exchange, etc.?
  • Communicate to solidify the final vows and any special touches you want to be included
  • Think about what you want the minister to wear and make requests

3. Research Maui Wedding Photographers

maui wedding coordinator - maui wedding photographer

There’s a reason why they say a picture is worth a thousand words. High-quality Maui wedding photography is irreplaceable. No matter how beautiful your memories are, if they’re not captured behind a lens they’ll eventually fade with time. Getting married is one of life’s biggest moments, you don’t want to miss out on a single second of it. Without a doubt, you will want to relive this moment and share it with those who couldn’t make it. We work exclusively with our highly-reviewed sister company, Karma Hill Photography, which means our coordinators and the KHP photographers work in tandem to seamlessly capture all of the most important moments, from the first-look to the posed portraits. Besides your love, your Maui wedding photography will continue to live on far past your wedding day!

Things to consider with a Maui wedding photographer
  • Email to see if the date is available and ask for a price sheet
  • Be sure to research their RECENT style
    • The images posted on their website might not be up-to-date
    • Will their style withstand the test of time? Or is it highly stylized and will eventually look dated?
  • After you book, email them specific poses you may want
  • Arrange a timeline that will work well for photos then give the timeline to all other vendors
  • Ask if the photographer is familiar with the wedding location
    • There may be special areas and missed opportunities if they aren’t
  • What are their client reviews?
  • How many retouched photos do they offer?
  • What print company will they work with
    • Will you need to research a separate vendor to order prints?

View Hawaii Beach Weddings!

Read our blog to view real Hawaii Destination Weddings! Get inspiration and tips!

View Hawaii Weddings

4. Find a Maui Wedding Florist

Just as everything on this list, finding a Maui florist begins with research. You’ll want to contact at least 3 vendors and ask for images of the bouquets they offer as well as a list of price points. Many of the brides we work with request custom bouquets that our hand-selected florists can artfully match. If you’d like to add this personalized touch, reach out to your florist with photos of your desired bouquet. If it’s possible for them to create, make notes of any upcharges or additional fees. 

Other considerations while finding a florist: 
  • Do you want bridesmaids’ bouquets and how do you want those to look? 
  • Do you need boutonnieres? 
  • Do you want additional florals for a beach or venue wedding?
  • Do you want a flower crown or flower circle?
    • If so, you may need to contact a separate florist to create these. 
  • Does the florist charge a delivery fee, how much is it?

5. Choose a Maui Musician

If you’re not working with a Maui wedding coordinator, then finding a quality musician on the island can be tricky. Many local professionals find work via Facebook or word of mouth, so our advice is to check multiple social media sites as well as Craigslist, refreshing often. Keep in mind that separating talented musicians from those just starting out is crucial. Be sure to request a sample of their LIVE work to ensure quality and only seek out musicians with reviews from previous clients. All of the musicians we hire are well-established and have built a portfolio of quality performances and punctuality. 

Other considerations with finding a musician: 
  • What type of instrument do you prefer? Ukulele, guitar, harp? 
  • Do you want a particular song?
    • If so, do they know it? 
    • Can they learn it? 
    • What is their upcharge to learn new songs? 

6. Pay all the vendors on time 

If you’re not an accountant by day, paying all of your vendors on time/correctly might be difficult to juggle. Especially if you are off galavanting on your honeymoon! Some vendors may require partial payment upfront, others will want it in full, while some might send you an invoice weeks after providing their service. Using a Maui wedding planner means you’ll be able to pay us in your most convenient method, and we’ll pay the vendors. We use a system designed specifically to sort out vendor fees and keep track of any upcharges to ensure you’re not overcharged or hit with unnecessary late fees. If you plan on DIYing your Maui wedding coordination yourself, then consider a quality bookkeeping program that will help you manage the finances, or hopefully, you are good with Excel. It can be quite the process if you’re not good with numbers and tracking invoices… 

Other considerations with payments:
  • Confirm with each vendor in writing on the cost for their services
  • Double-check each bill to confirm that you’ve been charged appropriately
  • Read and reread your vendor’s policies and agreements
  • Some vendors may not take credit cards, so ensure that you have several forms of payment available 

You might be thinking, “This is so much work! Can I do all of this?” Well, if you’re an excellent planner, you might be the rare personality type that CAN pull off a beautiful DIY wedding. To give you an example of what that entails, we combed over our own high standards for our day of wedding coordinators on Maui and composed this checklist from the attributes they have in common.

Skills Required to Be a Good Maui Wedding Coordinator: 
  • Excellent at organizing information, tasks, resources, and people
  • Excellent at project management from start to finish
  • Excellent at dealing with deadlines
  • Excellent at coordination of outside vendors to show up at a specific time
  • Excellent at accountability for what does or does not get done
  • Experienced in planning weddings and knowledgeable about having a wedding in Maui
  • An eye for detail
  • The ability to take responsibility for the outcome of the project good or bad

Why use a Maui Wedding coordinator?

maui wedding coordination

To be honest, coordinating your own Maui wedding isn’t feasible for most people. A Maui wedding planner will help you with the finer details and numbers. We’ll ensure deliveries arrive on time, and handle payments so you can manage them in one easy way. Our coordinators will take care of all the last-minute tasks, so you can just enjoy your vacation and spend time with your guests before the wedding. 

Maui wedding coordination takes a lot of behind-the-scenes work. Most of the time, our clients only know a fraction of what we’re doing because we want their Hawaii wedding experience to be carefree. This gives our couples’ time to relax and indulge with their friends and family. We’re the ones who will break a sweat.

It has taken our company over 13 years to perfect wedding coordination in Maui. Using Simple Maui Wedding gives you instant access to reliable, thoroughly vetted vendors and true professionals. An amazing staff that has completed thousands of weddings and has seen nearly every situation. A vast list of wedding industry contacts on every side of the island, so if something goes sideways behind the scenes, we know who to call and fix it at a minute’s notice. Every one of our staff and vendors thinks on their feet and creates solutions to any situation your special day may throw at us. We love the challenge.

To put it another way, being a Maui wedding coordinator reminds us of this famous anecdote:

A woman approached Picasso in a restaurant, asked him to scribble something on a napkin, and said she would be happy to pay whatever he felt it was worth. Picasso complied and then said, “That will be $10,000.”

“But you did that in thirty seconds,” the astonished woman replied.

“No,” Picasso said. “It has taken me forty years to do that.”

Everyone needs a little help every now and then, and your Maui wedding coordination is no exception! Let us be your trusted advisor. We’ll make an incredibly difficult task look easy and feel stress-free.

Contact Us Today

We’ll handle your Maui wedding planning while you sunbathe by the poolside. Enjoy your trip together, and let us handle the rest.

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Karma Hill is the owner of Karma Hill Photography, Simple Maui Wedding and Simple Oahu wedding. Karma writes about weddings and photography in Hawaii.

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