From the Montage Magazine:
A Kapalua Bay Romance
Though most of their friends and family were experiencing the romantic Hawaiian islands for the first time, Natalie Cortes and Houston Duncan had fallen in love with the magical shores of Maui and Montage Kapalua Bay years before. During a trip with friends for Houston’s 30th birthday eight months prior to the maui wedding, this pair with Southern roots agreed they couldn’t imagine exchanging vows anywhere else.
Surrounded by 65 guests from across the U.S., the couple exchanged vows on the lush Namalu Lawn overlooking the vast Pacific. A modest-sized wedding party of Houston’s dad as best man and four bridesmaids for Natalie added to the intimate feel. Traditional Hawaiian rituals, performed by three individuals including two Montage staff members, of whom the couple has grown fond, complemented a reverend’s officiating.
Natalie says the chants were “blessing the land and ocean around us and paying tribute to the sacred ground we were getting married on. We knew no one [at the wedding] had experienced that before, including us.” Houston adds that they believed it was important to incorporate Hawaiian traditions and to let the staff know they were sharing their wedding with them and honoring their land. “We couldn’t have replicated that anywhere else,” he says.
Most guests planned a mini vacation around the wedding, ranging from five to 10 days of tropical bliss. “Some of them described it to me that it was as though they were in a movie,” Houston says. “Most people haven’t had that kind of wedding experience before.”