This fall, I had the chance to visit Haiku Mill, one of the most magical event spaces on Maui (and just about anywhere, for that matter). If you're considering a Maui wedding and the typical resort beach wedding set-up just isn't cutting it, do yourself a favor and make Haiku Mill the first stop on your list - I promise you won't regret it! As soon as you turn off the main road and walk up the stone path where the space comes into view, you immediately understand why the space is called Pua Le'a in Hawaiian, or 'Blossoming Passion'.
Built in the mid-1850's as a sugar plantation, the mill carried the distinction of being the first in Hawaii to use steam power to grind the sugar cane. As if getting married in an old sugar mill on Maui doesn't sound romantic enough, after 20 years of use, the mill was abandoned and slowly reclaimed by the Maui elements. Over time, the salt air and humidity caused much of the stone foundation to crumble. With plentiful rain, rich soil, and Maui's famous sunshine, flora and fauna must have quickly overtaken the space.
100 years later, the mill was purchased and slowly awakened from its tropical slumber. The stone foundation of the mill creates the main structure of the space, which seems to be plucked straight from the pages of The Secret Garden. Near the foundation, a chandelier hangs from the bough of an enormous tree, illuminating an intimate cove below perfect for a cocktail hour, or a private rendez-vous. Creeping vines stretch across the old foundation and spill onto the brick walkways. A delicate, perfectly weathered wrought-iron fence lines the upper level of the foundation, creating a perfect vantage point from which to view a ceremony or dinner party below.
One of my favorite places on the property is the small cottage which is often used as the bride's boudoir. As you step through the door, you almost feel as though you've been transported to some fairy tale town in the South of France. French antiques hand picked by the Mill's owner perfectly complement stark white-washed walls and a simple interior. It would be a lovely spot for a glass of champagne or a tea party. Or some shave ice, for that matter! Like I said, you almost feel as though you've been transported to France....but as soon as you look out the window at the tropical surroundings you are whisked back to the dreamy reality that is Maui's North Shore.
Are you drooling yet?! Here are a few photos from my visit. Whip up a tiki cocktail (more on that soon) and enjoy!