By Melissa Sorge
—A Flourishing Maui Venue with Old World Charm
A property that once served as a Hawaiian sugar mill has been restored into an elegant castle as rich in history as it is in beauty and charm. Located off the Road to Hana on the north shore of Maui, Haiku Mill is a Hawaiian landmark dating back over 150 years. A unique blend of Old World European elegance and tropical Hawaiian beauty, Haiku Mill has earned its reputation as one of the world’s premier luxury wedding destinations. In contrast to a typical Hawaiian resort wedding, where guests choose from preset themes, menus, and décor, Haiku Mill enlists an exclusive team of vendors to customize each of the property’s affairs to the individualized style of the client (however they do offer set packages for elopements, ceremonies and cocktail receptions).
For the couple searching for an exotic wedding venue brimming with culture, elegance, and beauty, Haiku Mill is the perfect fit. With features and photoshoots in multiple nationally recognized publications, Haiku Mill is best known for creating unforgettable affairs and providing breathtaking backdrops for photos. Exquisite gardens, ruins covered in vines and flora, and enchanting archways are some of the features that create the captivating aesthetic of Haiku Mill. A truly unique blend of cultures, the property features French-inspired décor complemented by tropical fruit trees, bright greenery, and an eclectic kitchen where their chef partners utilize local ingredients to create farm-to-table feasts.
Planning a wedding at this botanical castle begins with Haiku Mill’s preferred event management firm, Elements by KH & CO., where Founder and Creative Director Kimiko Hosaki takes clients beyond what they might find on someone else’s Pinterest board and helps them bring their own wedding vision to life. A master event planner and designer specializing in luxury affairs, Hosaki and her team at Elements handle every step of the wedding planning process from simply gleaning inspiration for the big day to curating an unforgettable menu, securing first-class entertainment, styling the venue, and ensuring the bride and groom and their guests are relaxed and enjoying their event to the fullest. Leaving no stone unturned, Hosaki takes the stress out of wedding planning by attending to even the smallest details so that her clients’ wedding dreams can become reality.
Even as a child, Hosaki lived in a creative world: “My mother would tell you that I started as a kid because I always wanted to have a new theme for my birthday each year. I wanted to do something different than anyone else was doing.” As an adult, Hosaki began her professional career in fashion and makeup artistry and slowly transitioned into the hospitality industry, working with premium wines and spirits. Management came naturally to Hosaki, so it is not surprising that she soon merged her many talents and moved into the world of high-end wedding planning: “Me planning weddings actually started in a very organic way. I was just trying to help people and I ended up just loving it and loving working with the couples.”
A Haiku Mill bride herself in 2011, Hosaki developed a close relationship with property owner Sylvia Hamilton-Kerr when she aided Hamilton-Kerr in the planning of her own wedding. Hosaki’s organizational and creative instincts were instantly apparent, and Hamilton-Kerr was so impressed with her skills that she asked Hosaki to come on board as a consultant for the property. Hosaki’s creative abilities, as well her own personal experience with destination weddings, made her the perfect person for this role: “Being a destination bride myself before, I saw that sometimes it was hard for the brides themselves to relate with people who haven’t gone through that same experience.” Hosaki knew that many couples coming to Hawaii for their weddings were from fast-paced cities and were used to a high level of service, and she was ready to provide that for them. Hosaki accepted Hamilton-Kerr’s offer and helped to build the world-renowned brand that is now Haiku Mill.
While couples from around the world dream of exotic, coastal weddings, some may fear that the ‘Hawaiian wedding’ has been overdone. Hosaki assures us that, with the right venue, this is not the case at all: “The thing about Haiku Mill, and some people don’t believe me when I tell them, but clients say it time and time again when they see Haiku Mill in person–the pictures actually don’t even do it justice.” Hosaki herself had this experience when she looked at Haiku Mill for her own wedding. It simply stuck with her. After seeing Haiku Mill, nothing else could compare. Hosaki feels that it truly is the premier location for city-based couples to come and infuse their own style and personal expression within the face of Haiku Mill.
With Hosaki and her team from Elements, we know that planning a wedding at Haiku Mill will be seamless; however, the wedding planning process in and of itself can still seem daunting for many of us. With that in mind, we asked Hosaki for some tried and true words of advice to keep us organized (and sane!) throughout the wedding planning process. Here are a few of her favorite wedding planning tips:
This may sound funny at first, as those closest to us play such integral roles in our lives, but Hosaki reminds us not to lose ourselves in other people’s suggestions: “Remember what was most important to the two of you when you first started planning and then decide if you should entertain suggestions.”
2. Information, Information, Information! (Request and Provide)
When sending out RSVP cards, be specific. Ask guests for information such as what they want to eat, where they will be staying and what email address they are most likely to check. Finding out this information in advance prevents you from using precious planning time to track it down later. Additionally, provide your guests with information. Send out a detailed booklet or a website where they can find important details about the wedding, and enlist a professional concierge service to aid guests in their travel arrangements.
3. Schedule Couple Meetings
In the hustle and bustle of wedding planning, it can be easy to lose track of one another as a couple. Aim to schedule meetings twice a month at which you and your fiancé sit down to discuss the wedding. This way, you can ensure that the two of you stay on the same page and carve out time to work on your planning.