News and reviews of made on Maui products and Maui-based companies and success stories. Also featuring island shopping guides

Posts tagged ‘Wedding’

Wedding Trends for 2015 – Mandy Grace Designs

2015 wedding trend ideas maui hawaii

Part 2 of our 2015 Wedding Trend Series features an interview with Mandy, floral and event designer with Mandy Grace Designs!  Living walls, mixed metals and dreamy, lacy white weddings are just a few of the trends she is seeing and loving for the fall and coming up in 2015!

“In Hawaii, we really celebrate nature– most of our events are outside whether its a party on an oceanfront lawn or barefoot on the beach by the ocean. That whole idea of bringing the outdoors in when it comes to event decor is kind of flipped on its head here. We like to bring the indoors out (think chandeliers over wooden farm tables and cool furnishings you’d find in some grand hotel lobby). I tend to shy away from “wedding trends” in an effort to be more natural and timeless so I like to look beyond the wedding world. But there are definitely some key floral and wedding design elements that are on my radar for 2015!

Bouquet by Mandy Grace Designs, Photo by Rebecca Arthurs

Bouquet by Mandy Grace Designs, Photo by Rebecca Arthurs

1. Living Walls + Lush Greenery

We have some really interesting ferns here in the islands that add dimension and shape to an arrangement. Whether it’s a “living wall” made up of succulents that is the focal point of the ceremony site or a more simple and sparse installation of greenery on a white canvas backdrop, I love the idea of incorporating greens into the wedding setting. I wouldn’t encourage my brides to eliminate all flowers;) but the possibilities of working with lush greenery are endless.

Green Living Wall

photo by Picotte Photography

Metal Arch Maui Wedding Floral Design

Arch by Mandy Grace Designs – Photography by Anna Kim Photography

2. Mixed Metals

Last year we saw the copper craze take off and I’m still feeling it. You could add more interest with various mixed metals (rose gold, tarnished silver, galvanized tin, brass) to house flower vessels on a table top or lining the ceremony aisle. I love the idea of using copper piping for an arch or overhead lighting. Soften up the look with a monochromatic white color story and you’ve got that mix of feminine and masculine going on– perfect for a wedding!

White Wedding Bouquet Trend 2015 - Wedding White Flowers Ideas Trends

Mandy Grace Designs All White Bouquet – Photography by Rebecca Arthurs



 3. All White

Am I the only designer feeling a pull back to the traditional white wedding? Don’t get me wrong, I’m far from traditional but the look of a line-up of bridesmaids in white floor-length dresses holding super romantic white peonies gets me every time. And when I think of white, I think of lace— always gorgeous. White can be sleek and modern or soft and romantic or vintage and age-old.”

white lace dresses wedding inspiration 2015 wedding trends

White Lace Dresses by Stone Cold Fox

Mahalo to Mandy for sharing your beautiful designs and your insight on wedding trends with us!


PC for top collage: Lauren Scotti (Rose Gold Arch), Rebecca Arthurs (green bouquet), Anna Kim ( arch white flowers)


Maui Wedding Trends for 2015 – Decor & Desserts!

This is the first of a multi-part series of wedding posts, featuring interviews with a pair of Maui wedding professionals, to see what’s trending for the fall and into 2015!   Wanna be featured?  Scroll to the bottom for more info… 

red purple flower bouquet trend

Flowers by Opihi Love, Photography by Jenna Michelle

In this post:  Melissa Padilla, owner and stylist at Opihi Love Wedding and Event Design & Amy Alexander of Baked by Amy.

Opihi Love‘s Melissa shared that “we love that we’ve been seeing requests for more rich, luxurious colors – red, purples and greens!   We also love a fun theme that keeps popping up – upscale hipster with a bit of glam!”

Photo Booth Wedding Styling Trends 2015

Maui Wedding Photo Booth Rental Styling

Maui Dessert Bar Wedding Styling Ideas

Vendors featured in this section (except the top flowers): 

miss b calligraphy maui sign wedding Melissa continued that “right now it’s all about the wedding customization, pulling from Pinterest or Refinery 29– but putting a spin on it to make it your own. Everything from the invitations to the table numbers to the dessert bars have to be one of a kind- and we are not seeing the DIY as much now. Brides are back to hiring the professionals to create events of a lifetime.  Another great option for entertainment is a photo booth, and the new generation photo booth is a slo-mo video booth!”  Click here to view a sample video.

Opihi Love Wedding & Event Design is a boutique wedding planning & design studio. Opihi Love offers clients full service planning, coordination, design and styling, and a one-of-a-kind collection of boutique rentals. 


beet cupcakes natural maui veganAmy of Baked by Amy, which specializes in vegan desserts, states that “Minis are IN! Miniature cupcakes and tarts are rapidly growing in popularity at weddings and other celebrations because they are hand held and bite size giving each guest a few options rather than just a slice of cake.  Also, it seems there is a lot of interest in desserts besides just cake and cupcakes.  I get requests for lemon bars, brownies, cookies, small pies and tarts.”

maui vegan dessert wedding event catering

baked by amy maui vegan dessert bar wedding

Featured Vendors in this section:

According to Amy, she loves it that “there are so many brides and grooms opting for vegan and gluten free options!  They figure that it will cover all of their bases for guests with sensitivities and allergies, plus it’s a little lighter on the waistline because who wants to feel too full when there’s dancing to be done?”

Baked by Amy specializes is delicious and creative vegan sweets, made with high quality local and organic ingredients. Besides special orders, Baked by Amy treats are available at Choice Health Bar, Aina Gourmet Market, Wailuku Coffee Co. and Honokowai Farmers Market.

maui vegan dessert bar vegan


Want to submit YOUR pictures and trend notes?  Find a buddy (or two! a trio is OK too!) and send me a couple great shots for consideration! Current email is mauiliz77 (at) yahoo (dot) com! 

What to Wear for a Wedding in Hawaii – The Maui Made Edition

What to wear wedding hawaii beach island

Our last blog post on weddings was all the unique venues that Maui has to offer.  Today’s post is about trends in bridal attire, and if you thought there were lots of choices for venues- there are even more for bridal gowns- because since we are in Hawaii, the sky is the limit!  And as usual, the below offerings are designed or made right here on the island of Maui!

Maui Made checked in with our go-to stylist, MeiLi Autumn, to see what’s trending with Hawaiian bridal gown styles in 2014:  “Maui brides run the gamut of adhering to a traditional style to having a unique style that is more beachy and casual,” MeiLi shared.  

(Above dresses by Maui-based clothing designer Tamara Catz, hair and makeup by MeiLi Autumn.  Photography by Maui Creative Photography)

“Instead of the fluffy, lacy merengue dresses, I am seeing more elegant and streamline dresses that could almost pass as a simple sun dress. Of course there are special embellishments when you look closely like a perfectly placed crystal, or shell detail. I think Maui is special in that brides can really experiment with their style whether its an all-out Victorian extravaganza at the Haiku Mill or a bohemian beachy soiree on the sand.”

Where to find these beautiful gowns? Tamara Catz offers several different wedding gowns, available online and in their flagship store in Paia.

Beach Wedding Attire Tips: If you are having a beach wedding, there are a few things to keep in mind as you plan your attire.  “Maui tends to be pretty windy, and on an exposed beach, veils and layers of fabric can tend to get caught up in our cooling trade winds,” explained Melissa Padilla of Opihi Love Wedding and Event Design.  “And if you are on the beach, stiletto heals aren’t going to work, so stick with wedges, or some brides will go with slippers (flip-flops) or even barefoot!” she continued.  (Melissa is the designer of some of Maui’s dreamiest weddings, check out her brand-new website here

hawaii wedding what to wear

Bridal Gown by Tamara Catz

And for the bride who is looking to do something completely out of the box, with just a nod to the traditional, Maui Girl has just unveiled its line of Bridal Bikinis– handmade here on Maui!  According to Debbie Wilson, owner and designer of Maui Girl, “we’ve been looking to create a line of bridal inspired suits for a while, it just seems so fitting with all the destination weddings that come to Maui.  We were looking for an alternative to a white t-shirt with lifesavers and puffy paints for a beach or pool-side bachelorette party, plus we loved the idea of doing a bridal inspired photo-shoot!  Now we are just waiting for that island-hip bride to have all her bridesmaids in bikinis, and her in a full gown. How awesome would that be!?”

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(Above Maui Girl Bridal Bikinis are modeled by Jazmin Repollo, photography by Ben Pigao of Empire Green)

Mahalo to all of our contributors for this beautiful post!!!

Maui’s Most Unique Wedding Venues

Maui is full of breathtaking wedding venues – from beautiful churches, white sandy beaches and dramatic cliffs, but the island also offers some really unique options for truly memorable weddings.  We’ve compiled the 5 Most Unique Wedding (and wedding-related) Venues on (and around) Maui.


Haiku Mill – An Abandoned Sugar Mill

In 1861, Haiku Mill began its life as a sugar mill, only to be abandoned twenty years later, where it sat quietly, becoming part of the landscape, for the next one hundred years.  The only remains of the initial structure, the stately stone walls, are now covered with vines and lush vegetation.  The area has been lovingly restored, and entering the property is like stepping back in time. The Haiku Mill blends the stunning natural beauty of Hawaii with the Old World elegance of Europe. Conde Nast listed Haiku Mill as one of the top 25 wedding venues in the WORLD, one of only two listed in the USA. Haiku Mill is available for intimate parties to grand weddings,  private events and photo shoots.  Click here to see more.

Alii Kula Lavender – A Working Lavender Farm

The rolling lavender fields and stunning, bi-coastal views of Ali’i Kula Lavender farm offer unforgettable backdrops for your wedding, rehearsal dinner, bridal shower, or other private event.  Created by Agricultural Artist and Horticultural Master, Ali’i Chang, the thirteen acre farm is home to approximately 55,000 lavender plants and 45 different varieties of lavender.   The farm recently hired Melissa Padilla of Opihi Love Event Rentals to coordinate their private functions, ensuring that each bride and groom will enjoy the event of their dreams. Click here to see more.  (Photos by Tamiz Photography

Maui Ocean Center –  A Tropical Aquarium

From rehearsal dinners, sunset ceremonies, or unique wedding receptions, Maui Ocean Center provides an under-the-sea setting in this central Maui location.   The aquarium even offers underwater weddings in their Open Ocean exhibit, if bride and groom are SCUBA certified.  Guests can witness the event in the comfort (and dryness!) of the 54′ long acrylic tunnel which runs through the exhibit, or the large floor to ceiling viewing window.   Or, if you are looking for an out of-the-box proposal idea, how about an underwater one? One of the aquarium’s staff divers will carry a sign with a message for your special sweetie!  Click here to see more.

Ocean Vodka – Organic Farm and Distillery

Ocean Vodka Farm and Distillery recently opened The Point, a private event space, 22,000 square foot grassy vista with unparalleled views of the north and south shore of Maui, surrounded by fields of organic sugar cane.  Besides weddings and private events, Ocean Vodka offers tours and samplings at its 80 acre farm, located in lower Kula, near Surfing Goat Dairy.  Click here to see more. 

Trilogy – Sailing over the Pacific

Trilogy Weddings captures the essence of romance with their exclusive sailboat venues. Whether it is an intimate rehearsal dinner, private group snorkeling adventure (a pre- or post- destination wedding group activity!) or celebrating your ceremony and reception, a professional planner will ensure every detail of your important day is perfect.  Click here to view more. 

Maui’s Newest Gem: Maui Fruit Jewels

Maui Wedding Party Candy Tray Yesterday’s post was about one of Maui’s oldest sweet treats, Roselani Ice Cream, and today’s post is about one of the newest – Maui Fruit Jewels.  Maui Fruit Jewels is a line of gourmet fruit candies, based on the French confection called “pates de fruits”.  They are produced and distributed by Maui Epicure LLC, a company founded in 2012 by Lin and Chris ter Horst.

Lin ter Horst, who holds both an MBA from New York’s Columbia Business School, and a diploma in pastry arts from London’s Le Cordon Bleu, answered some of our questions about the special confection, and about the birth of this new company.

Maui Made: How are the fruit jewels made?

Ginger Pineapple Candy Made in Hawaii

Ginger Pineapple Fruit Jewels

Lin ter Horst: We make our fruit jewels utilizing the traditional European method in small batches.  We cook all of the ingredients: the respective fruit or vegetable or wine, organic sugar, glucose syrup, pectin, and citric acid together for a long time, then we pour the mixture into a mold to let it set.  Then we cut the candy into individual squares.  Our candies contain no gelatin or carrageenan, no emulsifier, no added flavoring or color, and are gluten-free and vegan.

Hana Collection Made in Hawaii Candy Package

The Hana Collection

MM: What are your most popular products/flavors so far? 

Lin: All of the fruit varieties we use are intensely flavorful, slightly tangy and not too sweet, with some flavors spicy flavors including ginger and jalapeno.  The most popular flavors are lilikoi (passionfruit), ginger pineapple, followed by coconut, beet, guava, jalapeno.  We have a popular assortment called the Hana Collection which contains the six tropical flavors popular with visitors: guava, coconut, mango, pineapple, lilikoi, and papaya.

MM: How are the fruit jewels best enjoyed?

Lin: Our fruit jewels are enjoyed similar to how the best chocolate confections are enjoyed – without guilt, and preferably with a dessert wine and some cheese.  You may also sprinkle a small amount of diced pieces onto yogurt, ice cream or use as garnish on a dessert plate.

MM: Do you offer the fruit jewels for weddings or corporate events?

Heart Shaped Candy Maui Wedding Favors

Custom Wedding and Party Favors

Lin: Yes!  We can even make custom flavors or packaging with enough lead time.

MM: Where can people buy Maui Fruit Jewels? 

Lin: We are at the Upcountry Farmer’s Market in Pukalani most Saturdays, and they can also be found at  Tutu’s Pantry  in Kihei (inside Kihei Kalama Village) and Kula Marketplace, on online on our website.

MM: How did Maui Fruit Jewels get its start? 

Lin: We moved to Maui in July 2012 from China, where we were living for the five years prior, and where Chris and I met and got married.  I got my diploma in pastry arts from Le Cordon Bleu in London in 2008, after the financial downturn ended my short stint as an investment banker in China.

It’s funny how my pastry training at Le Cordon Bleu really changed my life.  One day in class, our chef instructor brought a bucket of cherries to the classroom and passed it around the room for us to sample.  It was the most incredible thing I’d ever tasted.  They were Griottines – Morello cherries soaked in kirsch (cherry liquor) from the moment they were picked from the trees in France.  We were there to make a black forest cake, but these kirsch-laden cherries turned an ordinary confection into something truly spectacular.

The Griottines website would tell the story about how these cherries were harvested and preserved.  In a chocolate confection class a month later, we’d come across these little treasures again, this time with the stalks still attached.  We dipped them in fondant and then dark chocolate, turning them into irresistible  chocolate bonbons.

Back in Beijing, I found a distributor for Griottines and started buying large jars of them,  I even incorporated them into pastry classes I was teaching.  I blogged about my addiction to the cherries on a Chinese microblog site and many curious locals would be turned on to the cherries because of my blog.

It was the Griottines that got me totally obsessed about the potentials of value-added products.  I studied all the value-added products that I came across wherever I went.  We’d be vacationing in southern China and I’d marvel at how people would just drink juice out of coconuts and then throw away the coconuts.  (After moving to Maui I’d learn that there are coconuts good for just drinking.) I’d be thinking, why couldn’t these guys make virgin coconut oil that the Malaysians are trying to import to China. Anyway, you get the picture, I was obsessed.

So after we arrived in Maui, I naturally began to look for all the value-added products.  Aside from the jams, jellies, and syrups, I didn’t find too many other food products that really took advantage of the abundance of fresh fruits, flowers, herbs and vegetables available on Maui.  This of course did not surprise me.  I did not expect to find anywhere outside of Europe where value-added food products would be an important industry.  This meant opportunity.

It took me two months to decide and finally find the courage to tell Chris that I was convinced that it was a good idea to start a company on Maui to make Pates de Fruits using local fruits.  Chris didn’t remember the taste of the confection we bought in Paris a few years ago at a confection store.  Happily, Chris has been very supportive in most things I’ve wanted to do, often with little understanding of what they actually are, so I had to quickly move to capitalize on the asymmetry of information before it was too late.

In September 2012 I started experimenting with making pates de fruits almost everyday.  It was really difficult.  Three months later I finally made a batch that came close to my idea of pates de fruits were suppose to be like.  This was by far the most difficult food product I’d ever made.

MM: You have been all over the world, what brought you to Maui? 

I’d been dreaming about moving to Maui since the first time I visited, about 12 years ago. I was working in financial services in New York City.  In 2006 I seriously considered moving to Maui.  But I was a single mom with a very young child and I didn’t have the guts to do it.  I also didn’t feel like I had much to offer to the community even though I had an MBA from Columbia with years of business experience.  In 2010 I took Chris and Lilah to Hawaii on a vacation, while we were living in China.  They both loved it.  Chris went on a tour to see lava flowing into the ocean on the Big Island.  He likes that kind of stuff.

In 2012, Chris and I decided to leave China, for a multitude of reasons – quality of life, Lilah’s education, career, the usual stuff. Chris wanted to move to a country in southeast Asia, as he is from the Netherlands and loves the tropics.  More importantly Chris was all set on pursuing a career as a professional triathlete and he wanted to be at a place where he could train all year round.   I had enough of third-world country shenanigans, and wanted to return to the US to start a business where I’d be able to leverage my fine pastries/confection-making skills and business experience.  For a long time we couldn’t agree on a place both of us would be happy to call home, until Maui came up as a potential destination.  We are still congratulating ourselves on making such a wise decision, on moving to Maui.

MM: Any tips for others looking to turn a passion into a business? 

Lin: When you are passionate about something, you want to do everything your way, according to your vision.  That’s why you are passionate, because it’s your baby.  When you go into business, you’ll quickly discover that market forces will take over, and your own ideas are less important.

For example, I’m passionate about creating an artisanal product that is free of food coloring and flavoring, that is as natural and authentic as it can be, using the most environmentally sustainable packaging materials.  This means my costs and therefore prices are high.  If there is not enough of a market segment to support our products, then we’d be at a cross-road.

I obviously believe that there will be enough of a market for our products.  But if I’m wrong, then I would have to decide between 1) lowering the quality and price points of our products in order to appeal to a bigger market segment so that I’d still have a business, even if it’s not producing the exact same product I set out to produce, or 2) folding the business.

If you are more passionate about your products than the idea of just having a successful business, and are willing to fold the business if your products are not immediately accepted by the market, you will do your everything in your power to find and even create markets for your products.

If you are more passionate about having a successful business no matter what it takes, you will be less hung-up on your products, and more flexible in adapting your products to the market.

Hopefully you will find the perfect balance between retaining the integrity of your products, and running a successful business.

MM: What’s next for Maui Fruit Jewels? 

Lin: We have so much work to do.  We are planning to place our products in several high-end specialty food-related retail store before the 2013 holiday season.  We also plan to make our products on other online e-commerce sites including

In 2014 We will be expanding our sales and marketing efforts to cover the other islands, the mainland, Europe, and Japan.

Mahalo to Lin and best of luck with this delicious venture!

Looking for more? Follow Maui Fruit Jewels on Facebook

Seven Maui Photographers to Follow on Facebook

If you could use a daily dose of ‘ooooohhh’, ‘awwwww’, or ‘WOW!’, then you need to follow these Maui-based photographers on Facebook:

(I’ve asked them to share their favorite photo, but for a photographer, that’s probably like asking them to pick their favorite child. )

(Here’s a hint: Click on ‘Follow…’ to go directly to their Facebook page)

Todd Kawasaki:

Todd’s vibrant images capture the beauty of the world as he sees it.  He calls it ‘realistic’, we call it ‘amazing!’
Follow if you like: The ethereal glow of Maui’s beaches at sunset

Love it? Todd’s images are available for sale on his website.

Amity Mason Photography:

Amity features a little bit of everything on her page: sunsets, underwater, weddings, fashion and fine art photography.

Follow if you like: Classic Maui beauty with a unique artistic spin.

Love it? Amity Mason is offering wedding packages- check out her portfolio

Kristy Copperfield Photography:

Kristy specializes in newborn and family portraits, and its easy to see why.  She is as magical with children as she is with the camera.

Follow if you like: Cuddly babies, a new spin on family portraits

Love it? Kristy Copperfield would love to photograph your baby and family

Tamiz Photography:

Rebecca and Jonathan capture the romance of weddings unlike any other.

Follow if you like: Real-life fairy tales

Love it? Tamiz Photography will document your special moment – wedding, engagement, anniversary or just because?

Jimmie Hepp:

Jimmie photographs sunsets, landscapes, animals and more, but his true talent lies in capturing Maui’s watermen and women.

Follow if you like: Feeling the wind through your hair and the saltwater on your face – through a picture.

(funny, Jimmie let me pic my favorites from his page, I didn’t realize until now that these two are almost mirror images of each other)

Lehia is a full-time reporter who blogs about, you guessed it, everyday maui events.  Her wonderful photographs give color and insight to those events.

Follow if you like: everyday life on Maui.  and food.

Ray Masters shares the day’s best pics from his backyard, the Pacific Ocean, and we are jealous.

Follow if you like: Surfing Dogs.  And who doesn’t like surfing dogs?

Wanna share all these great pics with your Pinterest followers?  We made it easy for you – here they are all together:

Seven Maui Based Photographers to Follow on Facebook

Maui Made Weddings – A ‘make your own’ Wedding Guide

As a popular location for destination weddings, Maui has no shortage of talented people who can help make your wedding a unique and memorable event.  Once you settle on the big stuff, the venue, caterers, photographers, the groom, here are some of the options available to put the icing on the proverbial wedding cake.

Gown with the Wind {The dress}:  If you arrive on Maui without the perfect dress, fear not, since Maui-based designer Tamara Catz has a beautiful shop in Paia with a selection of bridal gowns that would be ideal for a beach wedding.  The dresses are available online as well.

One of the gorgeous bridal gown options at Tamara Catz

One of the gorgeous bridal gown options at Tamara Catz

From Ear to Eternity {The jewels}: Looking for the perfect earrings, or a one-of-a-kind gift for your bridesmaids?  Jewelry designer Valerie Dunne has just launched a bridal collection and will create custom jewelry for the bride or bridal party, whether you are getting married on Maui, or she offers shipping and gift wrapping if not!   Valerie shared that this line was “inspired by the beach, and designed for brides who love the islands.  They would also make great anniversary gifts.”  These designs would be the perfect compliment for your tropical attire, or bring a touch of aloha to any mainland wedding.

Something borrowed, something old {the props}: Perhaps we have Pinterest to thank for the current popularity of the wedding prop rentals industry. Maui is lucky enough to have Melissa Padilla, a talented event designer who happens to have an impressive collection of furniture and decor rentals for Maui weddings and photo shoots. Melissa’s new company Opihi Love offers a unique blend of Hawaiian, industrial, rustic, and vintage décor, with items ranging from local bottles and skeleton keys to steamer trunks and custom made floral living walls.

{and i know you are going to ask anyway: These amazing photos are by Tamiz Photography}

“All my tables are made on Maui,” stated Melissa, “the vintage items I find are all from estate sales and auctions on Maui, and I have collected a wide selection of Hawaiiana Treasures, including wooden dairy boxes from Puunene Dairy.  I try to bring one element to each wedding that is made on Maui even if I sneak in a Maui Soda bottle with some flowers for the powder room.” With Opihi Love at the helm of your décor, you’ll end up with your own Pinterest-worthy event!

A Touch of Glass {cake toppers, favors and gifts}: With all the ways to personalize a wedding, cake toppers are certainly no exception.  Kai Pua Gallery on Lahaina’s Front Street now offers custom made glass sculpted cake toppers.  Kai Pua also offers a wide variety of glass wine-stoppers, wine charms, and sculptures which would make unique gifts for wedding party, fun wedding décor, or memorable favors for your guests.

{even more amazing photographs courtesy of Natalie Brown Photography}

The glass items can be customized for your wedding, incorporating personalized color options and more: “Let us know your theme and we can create something special for your big day!” shared Anna Keay and John Lindquist of Kai Pua Gallery.

Pretty as a Painting {portrait of your bouquet}: For something a little different than the typical photographs, Anna Keay can also create a custom oil painting of your bridal bouquet, just supply a picture!

Bridal Bouquet Painting, Commisison

A portrait of your bridal bouquet by Maui’s own Anna Keay

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