Janessa & Danny’s Sweet & Simple Maui Elopement

Janessa & Danny planned their sweet Maui sunset beach elopement in just one month* and as you’ll see in the photos it was light hearted, sweet and fit their personalities perfectly.  I wanted to feature their story as an example of a low stress intimate elopement on Maui.   They did their research (and I imagine a lot of time on Instagram) and put together a beautiful day for themselves with just the right amount of classic elegance and fun.

The day of the wedding I arrived at Makena Cove while they were still doing photos.  Janessa saw me and ran up saying “I want a hug” to which I said “I want a hug too!”.  🤗 It’s completely understandable that sometimes part of my job is to be a stress reliever / calmer downer / lightness bringer for a couple before their ceremony.  None of that was needed and I felt like I was part of the family there to join the party.

The photo below tickles me so much because it captures the very moment after I finished blowing the conch shell to conclude their ceremony.  At the time I was just starting to do this for ceremonies and had given them this caveat before we started. I looked over to see them cheering me on.  It captures so much joy and gratitude.

When your couple cheers you on.

Here is my Q&A with Janessa and Danny about their sweet Maui elopement plus all the details that helped make it just right for them. We hope you find inspiration and ideas in their story as well.


Rev Julienne 🤙💞🌴

The Details: Wedding vendors that helped make Janessa & Danny’s Maui elopement dreams come true.

Bride’s dress: JJ’s House
Groom’s suit: Express
Hair & Make up artist: Jaqueline Homan
Flowers: Fukushima Flowers
Accommodation: Aston Mahana at Kaanapali
Photographer: Moorea Thill
Location:  Makena Cove
Officiant:  Me! 😊

Q&A with newlyweds, Janessa and Danny:

Why did you choose Maui for your elopement?

J & D: Originally, we wanted to elope in Vegas since it’s the go-to place for elopements. We wanted pictures taken to document our special day, but decided everything would look too cheesy in Vegas. This is a once in a lifetime event, why not spend a little more money to have everything be the way we wanted to? We decided on Maui since it’s a Hawaiian Island we’ve never been to!

What was the most stressful part of planning your elopement?

J & D: Finding a photographer! There are many photographers that over-edit the photos. Maui is such a naturally beautiful place where adjusting the lighting of the pictures just isn’t necessary. We were so lucky to find Moorea! Our pictures turned out amazing!

Rev J: The photos are fabulous! It was my first time working with Moorea and since then, we’ve become fast friends and collaborators.  Thanks for connecting us!

What was your most special detail from your wedding day?

Personal vows are always my favorite part of a wedding ceremony. Janessa & Danny’s were so sweet and funny.

J & D: Our personal vows to one another was the most important detail on our big day! We take promises pretty seriously in our household, so we knew how special these vows were to one another and the foundation of our marriage.

We were also very excited about our plans to eat afterwards! During our entire ceremony and photography session, all I (Janessa) could think about was shave ice. We decided on Aloha Mixed Plate and Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice in Lahaina to celebrate, and a movie and wine to end our night!

Rev J: I remembered asking what your plans were after the ceremony and you said you weren’t sure exactly but definetly shave ice. Your laid back and happy attitude was so sweet.  It seemed that no matter what you did it would be awesome.

How long were you actively planning your wedding?

J & D: We planned our wedding in the span of 1 month! Days after Christmas, we were discussing how we were going to be celebrating our 9-year anniversary. Eloping was thrown out there, and we decided why not?!

How did you feel after the wedding was over and you were back home?

J & D: Bittersweet. Maui holds such a special place in our hearts now. It was beautiful and more than we imagined, but it was also being able to share the news with our families and to be back home with our pup. It’s nice that we now have a reason to come back to Maui!

Rev J:  We’ll get shave ice. And a vow renewal at some point of course.

What was important to you when choosing an officiant?

J & D: Having an officiant that we felt comfortable with was the most important factor for us. Rev Julienne you are incredible! The back and forth communication made it so there were no gray areas and she really worked with us to make sure our ceremony was customized to reflect our relationship. The online reviews and pictures really helped us to make our decision, not to mention the ridiculously fair price!

Rev J:  Guys – yer making me blush. 😊 I usually send a few ceremonies to a couple after getting to know them and then customize one they like the best.   You had asked for both Traditional and Modern/Casual which can be hard to pull off 😗 but I just went with my intuition and customized an entire ceremony, knowing that if you guys didn’t like it, I’d have to start from scratch with a new one.  I remember the next email from you was “this is perfect!”.

What was most important to you about the actual wedding ceremony?

J & D: With all of the distractions that may come with having our ceremony on a beach, we really just wanted to be able to focus on one another. We wanted for our ceremony to be romantic and somehow intimate, in such a public setting.

Is there anything you wish you would’ve known going into the planning?

J & D: Nope! In the month that we had to plan, we did our research!

What advice would you give brides and grooms who are currently planning their elopement in Hawaii?

J & D: Don’t stress! Elopements are meant to be fun, intimate, and simple! Of course, this is an incredibly special moment and you want everything to go as planned, but from time to time it’s always good to step back and just enjoy the moment. Some of the fondest memories are the moments that were never planned.

Photos from Danny & Janessa’s sweet Maui elopement wedding:

by Moorea Thill

* Planning a destination wedding in peak season (June, September & October) with ample time ahead of the date is recommended to ensure you get all of your first choice vendors. We get pretty busy and often the peak months are booked up 6 mos to a year in advance.

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