Wow…..where do we even begin???
My mother grew up on Oahu, so I have been visiting the islands ever since I was a little boy. When my sister moved to Maui and I started spending more time there, I always thought the Grand Wailea was the place that I would say “I do.”
So I decided to bring my future wife to the Grand Wailea on her first visit to the islands a year and half before I proposed…she instantly fell in love with it, and we knew it was where we would have our dream wedding!!!
My mother handled the initial phone calls and diligently checked into the options that the Grand Wailea offered for the special day. Immediately she fell in love with MaryAnn and she told us that we would love her and that as a wedding coordinator she would be the perfect match for us – and she was absolutely right!!!
I have to admit that my beautiful bride was a bit nervous about planning a destination wedding from our living room in Chicago but it was almost as if we were at the Grand Wailea the entire time or Mary Ann was actually there in our living room with us planning out each and every detail!!!! She spent countless hours on the phone with us…seriously, she would spend so much time just getting to know our likes and dislikes and then she would walk us through each and every detail until we were100% satisfied with our decision. She is so full of energy and enthusiasm and it is infectious…throughout the entire process she was so attentive to our needs, answered every question openly and honestly, and truly cared about what we wanted in our dream wedding.
Let me tell you that Mary Ann absolutely NAILED IT!!!! Everything from the flowers to the food to the guest list to the room block, to the hula dancers, to the sparkler send off, to the welcome party and ultimately the actual wedding and reception we could not have asked for anything more. It was absolutely perfect in every single way and MaryAnn played such a huge role in that. It was such a blessing to have her on our team. In fact with our entire wedding team that day – we say we had the DREAM TEAM”! As we continue to reflect on our day we still say that if we were to write the “perfect script” we would not change anything, it WAS absolutely PERFECT!!!! With Mary Ann at the helm, Scott Drexler & Kimi as the photographers, FishEye as the videographer, and Ron Winkler as the minister it was amazing!!!
One of the things that we are so grateful for is the attention to detail that MaryAnn provided. It was almost as if we were her only bridal party or couple the entire month, she literally made us feel that special. One particular incident stands out…..our glass ornaments that were our parting gifts were shipped and destroyed en route. Of course this added to our stress but Mary Ann said she would handle it and she did. She called the company explained what had happened, they re-shipped them overnight and everything worked out. This was just one of many small things that MaryAnn did for us to make our day truly special and amazing, and stress free.
Tanya & Chris Wirsing
Well before we were engaged yet excitedly talking about getting married, our agreed idea was “let’s go get married on a beach somewhere in Hawaii”.
After one conversation with Ashley Nowakowski and how comfortable she made us feel, we were sold! Ashley never pressured us yet gave us direct, thorough and detailed information. She worked tirelessly for and with us and was always very responsive; patiently answering all of our questions, multiple times if necessary. The vendors the Grand Wailea has relationships with and the services offered to their clients i.e. photographers, musicians, florists, etc. are second to none!
Upon arrival at the Grand Wailea, we knew we had made the right choice. Making sight unseen reservations for such an important event can be very nerve wracking. From the grand entrance to the storybook chapel, the setting is spectacular and magical ~ a true paradise.
Ashley really took the time to get to know us which made our wedding that much more personalized and special. She took great care of our concerns and handled all of the details which made for a very relaxing and enjoyable wedding day and overall experience before and after our wedding. We would recommend Ashley in a heartbeat!
The Grand Wailea and Ashley spoiled us with the attention paid to us and several surprises from the moment we arrived until our departure. We feel very blessed to have spent extra time with Ashley and feel that she was more than just our wedding planner, she became our friend.
Marty & Michele Kopera
November 25, 2015
I will first start by saying that when I was given the daunting task of planning a wedding, I was nervous to say the least, and then when my husband and I decided upon having our wedding at the beautiful Grand Wailea in Maui, I was even more nervous! I kept thinking how am I going to plan this when we live so far away and I cant physically be there to work out all of the details that make a wedding so special. And just when I was thinking this wasn’t a good idea, we were introduced to our magical fairy Godmother (wedding planner), Ashley Nowakowski. She made us instantly feel at ease and absolutely elated to be getting married at our dream location.
Ashley spent countless hours with me on the phone (or email), planning every detail of our wedding; she was always available and very patient with us. She picked up on our style right away, and gave us so many beautiful options to pick from. It was like she read our minds. She went above and beyond, making special accommodations for us as well as my entire family that flew in for the wedding. I can truly say that I had absolutely NO anxiety or stress throughout the planning process, I would recommend Ashley and the Grand Wailea , to ever single bride and groom in the world.
On the day of the wedding we were cool, calm, and collected, because we knew that everything was being handled with care and expertise. Since the wedding was so professionally organized, it allowed my husband and I to really be present and enjoy our moment. It is an understatement to say that Ashley, along with the gorgeous Grand Wailea, provided us with the wedding of our dreams!
-Cole & Paulina Griffis
The Grand Wailea is a very special place for my family and me. We decided to meet with a wedding coordinator while on that vacation because we knew we wanted to get married at the Grand Wailea and didn’t know if we’d have an opportunity to come back before our wedding trip! That was the day that MaryAnn Bowman Blanchard came into our lives. We instantly fell in love with her and began envisioning the unlimited possibilities for our future wedding together.
Throughout our engagement, MaryAnn was readily available to help with our every wedding need. We never felt led astray, confused, or impatient because she always quickly, thoughtfully, and honestly addressed each and every one of our questions. Her efficiency and grace under pressure are admirable, and quickly evident when you interact with her.
Being that it was a relatively large destination wedding (approx. 100 guests), there was a lot of planning to be done and a lot of details we could only hope would come out as we intended. We expected to feel slightly anxious and overwhelmed the day before and day of our wedding, and were pleasantly surprised to realize that we both felt calm, confident, and ecstatic! MaryAnn is so much more than a wedding planner or a catering manager, she’s also one of the most genuinely kind, intelligent, patient, professional, witty, and enthusiastic people we have not only had the pleasure of working with, but have had the pleasure of knowing, and building a close bond with.
On the day of the wedding, everything could not have been any more perfect! We were married in the Seaside Chapel and had our reception in the Grand Dining Room. Our officiant, Ron Winckler, was absolutely incredible! All of the flowers were even more gorgeous than we had imagined them, and the bouquet, in particular, was absolutely stunning. The guests all raved about the food and cocktails, and the servers and bartenders were fantastic as well. Every detail was attended to, and our expectations were surpassed in every possible way.
There will never be enough “mahalos” in the world to do justice to how grateful we feel towards MaryAnn and her exceptional team at the Grand Wailea for helping provide us with the wedding of our dreams!
Ashleigh and Ian Shively
May 15, 2015
Costa Mesa, CA
From the moment we contacted Grand Wailea weddings we had a great experience. We were lucky to get Ashley Nowakowski returning our initial email that expressed our interest in the Grand Wailea as our destination wedding venue. She answered our every question with honesty. She gave clear and concise answers to every one of our questions! The fact that Ashley was clear and honest with us from the moment we contacted her was a big deciding factor for us to have our wedding at the Grand Wailea. Since it was a destination wedding all of our contact was via email and Ashley answered every single question we asked in a very timely matter! We bombarded her with questions and yet we were never disappointed and never detected irritation from her. Our day was absolutely beautiful and there is not one thing we would change! We would highly recommend Ashley in a second without even thinking about it! She did an absolutely fabulous job! The Grand Wailea is a beautiful place to have your wedding and I don’t think anyone would be disappointed having a wedding here with Ashley’s help. Ashely is a true miracle worker!
Victoria and Colin Prior
September 22, 2014
Being our favorite place my husband and I come to Wailea yearly. As such I knew that the Grand Wailea would be the place that we would marry and return to for anniversaries.
Being a type A personality with the normal ration of bridal anxieties having Ashley Nowakowski as wedding coordinator, and her team as made my wedding planning and day stress free. Ashley Nowakowski was always available for questions and has invaluable advice from the venues to vendors and decor etc.
Ashley Nowakowski always had her eye on my vision of a traditional Hawaiian wedding. Ashley made our day so much more than i had envisioned.
The exquisite suggestions from Ashley has me adding additional thanks, such as the gorgeous photography provided by Scott Drexler, the stunning videoaugraphy provided by Stephan Boeker, the personal and very eloquent ceremony by Reverend Alapaki, as said from flowers to vendors to an amazing dinner/reception at ‘HUMU’ restaurant I had my dream wedding from start to finish.
Our wedding was perfect and a lot of the credit goes to Ashley Nowakowski’s impeccable attention to detail. Ashley made the whole process simple, effortless, and relaxing.
Aloha & Mahalo Sincerely ,
Mrs. Sherry Green & Mr. Keith Cameron
September 20, 2014
British Columbia, Canada
My husband and I truly had the wedding of our dreams at the Grand Wailea last month. Everything was perfect from the ceremony to the food to the hotel rooms. That is attributable to the entire staff at the Grand Wailea who worked seamlessly together, but mostly to our amazing wedding coordinator, Ashley Nowakowski. Ashley was so organized and professional, guiding us through the entire process. She coordinated with all of the vendors and staff so well that we literally didn’t have to worry about a thing on our big day. We were so touched by how hard she worked to make sure we had a wonderful wedding and all of our guests commented on what a great job she did and how lucky we were to have her. We would highly recommend Ashley and the Grand Wailea to anyone planning a Maui wedding, even from the other side of the country like we were!
Jennifer & Ian Same
July 26, 2014
Hoboken, New Jersey
When my fiancé proposed on a beautiful fall day in Calgary we immediately called our family. When they went to the Grand Wailea and saw the quaint chapel next to ocean they were sold and it didn’t take much convincing for us to agree.
I immediately contacted the Grand Wailea and was amazed at how quickly they responded to my messages. Within a few days I was in contact with a wedding planner who wanted to get to know our story, get to know us and begin a beautiful journey together. I have to admit, I was quite apprehensive about planning a wedding from so far away but my many questions and fears were always put to rest. Unfortunately for us, our original wedding planner decided to move and left the Grand Wailea about half way through the planning. I was left with a feeling of anxiety with the thought of having someone new take over the details. All my anxiety quickly disappeared when I received a phone call from our new wedding planner the bubbly, energetic and friendly MaryAnn Bowman. She had reviewed all the e-mails and decisions that I had previously made and found a way to make our wedding even better than I had imagined. The venue was breathtaking and MaryAnn made us feel like family.
The day of the wedding was a dream. Every aspect of the day was what my fiancé and I had envisioned and more. MaryAnn’s extreme attention to detail made the day flawless. Everything ran smoothly and if there was anything that didn’t go perfectly I would never know because I felt like I was on a cloud all day. Our photographers, Michael Andrews and Jessica, made us feel comfortable and they understood our vision. Our guests described the day as romantic, magical and the best wedding they have ever been to. The food was incredible and the presentation was flawless and they were very careful when it came to accommodating my sister’s severe nut allergy. The day really was a fairy tale come to life!
Christa & Jim Chapelle
July 24, 2014
Ashley from the start was very positive and eager to help. My wife and I have both used words like magical, incredible, and “everything we could have ever asked for” to describe our wedding. I heard some of our guests say it was the best wedding they have ever been to. I know, from personal experience, that even the best plan never goes as planned for the simple fact that Murphy Law is always in effect. What was even better was that Cara and I never felt it and the guests never saw it. In my opinion, that was a direct result of Ashley’s abilities as a professional. She handled everything with decisive action, a calm presence of mind, and showed outstanding leadership. She made us feel like we were the most important people in the world and made our entire stay very enjoyable. Of note, I particularly enjoyed Ashley’s ability to connect and collaborate with other entities within The Grand Wailea such as reservations, Ho’olei, Humu management, spa staff, membership, concierge and probably many more that I did not know were taking place. The team approach was evident and was appreciated. I would enthusiastically recommend Ashley as a catering manager to anyone that had a special event that needed specific attention to detail and outstanding customer service. Thanks Ashley!
Cara & Ed Rapisarda
June 21, 2014
We can’t believe how perfect Our Wedding Day was. First, the resort was amazing; we were spoiled rotten for the entire 9 nights that we were there, but particularly on our wedding day. Our friends and family who made the trip are still raving about how wonderful everything was, how great the resort was, and how sad we all are that it is over and we are no longer in Maui. We owe all of the perfection to our wedding coordinator, Ashley Nowakowski. She was PHENOMENAL. We planned the entire wedding from afar, and we had never been to Maui or the Grand Wailea so the planning was done sight unseen. But, Ashley made the planning a breeze. She was prompt with responses, made sure we talked as frequently as we needed to nail down the details. And, when we ran into a bind, she found ways to help us make decisions. For instance, when we couldn’t decide on a cake flavor, she set up a cake tasting for us on our first day there so we could make a decision for us (passion fruit won, it was amazing). We could keep listing all of the little and wonderful things she did to make planning a breeze and make sure our day was as special as it could be. But, the best part of working with Ashley was, well, Ashley. By the time we got to Maui, we felt like she knew us and we knew her. She went above and beyond to make sure that our wedding day and our entire stay at the Grand Wailea was perfect. She even had milk and cookies delivered to the room the night of our wedding because she knew that we do not drink alcohol. We left the Grand Wailea “maui-ed”, spoiled, and eternally grateful Ashley. If we could do it all over again, we would, in a heartbeat.
Jeanine & Casey McHugh
June 14, 2014
I first fell in love with the chapel at the Grand Wailea nine years ago. I remember telling my sister that if I were to ever get married it would be at the Chapel at Grand Wailea. I’ve dreamed about the perfect wedding for nine years and then I found the perfect groom! I knew exactly what I needed to do! I contacted Mary Ann Blanchard at the Grand Wailea right away she knew exactly how to make my dreams come true.
From the flowers, to the cake, to the ceremony she got every detail exactly right – but she didn’t stop there! She went above and beyond for us. MaryAnn allowed Adam’s pastor father to perform our ceremony (which meant extra work and emails for her) and helped coordinate our special Seattle Seahawks themed wedding picture. There were little touches that she added that made us feel like we were the most important guests at the Grand Wailea; morning coffee, special touches to the room, and just taking the time to get to know us personally were things that meant more than she will ever know. Her hospitality wasn’t just for us though. She made our entire wedding party and our guests feel this way too. Actually she made us feel like family and we will consider her part of our family forever. I am a person who worries about every detail, but the day of the ceremony I had no worries. I knew MaryAnn had everything under control and I was able to relax and be pampered by the amazing people at Spa Grande. We’re convinced that Mary Ann even arranged for our incredible wedding sunset.
Thanks again to the entire staff at the Grand Wailea, you guys are the best!
Debbie Carlson and Adam Grim
March 8, 2014
When my husband and I decided to have a destination wedding in Hawaii, it just so happened that one of my best friends was in Maui and she volunteered to do site visits for me. When she called me with the details of each resort her comment was “every resort is absolutely gorgeous and you can’t really go wrong with your decision, but I will tell you that the wedding coordinator at the Grand Wailea will become a dear friend if you chose to have your wedding there. She has that charisma and magic about her and you just want to be her friend.” That comment sold me. I contacted MaryAnn Bowman and we began to plan the wedding of my dreams. I am one of the last of my friends to get married and have witnessed the chaos first hand but I can honestly say that having MaryAnn by my side made everything so simple and stress free. I sent her pictures and ideas I liked off of Pinterest and she made it all happen with elegance and grace. Dan and I got married on August 31st, 2013 at the Seaside Chapel with the reception at the Chapel Overlook. The flowers looked like they were out of a magazine spread and the food was mouth watering. Our day was pure magic and I still get giddy just thinking about it. MaryAnn and I continue to check-in with each other via texts and emails and I truly do consider her a dear friend. I felt like royalty the entire time I was at the resort and would recommend the Grand Wailea as a wedding venue to everyone.
Kristine and Dan Wilson
It is not often that you find everything you are looking for in a person especially in a planner. Professionalism, charm, wit, zest, a good attitude and energy that is contagious was my first impression of MaryAnn Bowman. From the first time I met her I was addicted to her energy. She had the most positive demeanor and I am pretty sure “no” wasn’t a part of her vocabulary. She was a “make it happen” kind of person and that she did.
My husband Colt and I got married on August 25, 2012 at the Seaside Chapel and later held our reception at the Ballroom. We had 60 guests and even with that many people MaryAnn still made it FLAWLESS from start to finish. During the 9 month process MaryAnn was our best friend, our cheerleader, our mentor but most of all our stress relief. She went above and beyond and turned our dream wedding into reality (she actually made it better than we could have ever even imagined). She was there for us 7 days a week all hours of the day and night and always with a smile on her face. She never once complained about meeting us on her days off and she always turned any request we made into a reality. She not only accommodated Colt & I 110% but she also took great care of our families who had traveled to Maui for our wedding. When we did have some problems with reservations MaryAnn quickly stepped in and took over to ensure everything went smoothly. As a bride you expect that something is going to go wrong or that something isn’t going to get done but not when you are working with MaryAnn. There was not one thing on our wedding day that wasn’t perfect. Working with MaryAnn has been one of the best experiences we have had and it’s one we will never forget. The Grand Wailea was our favorite place in Maui before we got married but now it’s our favorite place ever! We wish we could get married every day!
Thank you Maryann for being our number one fan and turning our dream wedding into reality. There are no words that will ever be enough for the gratitude and appreciation that we feel towards you and the Grand Wailea. Girl you know you are the BEST!
Jennifer and Colt Stewart
August 25, 2012
My wedding at the Grand Wailea was everything I hoped it would be and so much more. The resort was beautiful and the food was fantastic but the best thing that the Grand Wailea had to offer was my wedding planner, MaryAnn Bowman. I can honestly say that my wedding was stress free, drama free and accident free and it is all because of her. MaryAnn had the perfect balance of knowing when to come to me for guidance and also when to make decisions on her own to make sure I was not too overwhelmed. I planned my entire wedding with her from my home in Virginia and she was able to bring everything I had imagined to life through only phone calls and emails – she even went the extra mile to give me a call or shoot me an email just to let me know how excited she was for me. I felt like I had one of my best girlfriends planning my wedding for me because she was so sweet and she truly cares. I did not have to do anything on my wedding day except enjoy it. I had the perfect wedding day and that’s all thanks to MaryAnn!
Brittany & Jonathan Etsey
March 12, 2012