Archives for May 2021

Maui Wedding Creatives!

We are so excited to share that we have joined the Maui Wedding Creatives! For those of you who haven’t heard of them, they are a group of like-minded creatives aiming to elevate the Maui wedding industry through community, education, transparent business ethics, and client-centered practices. Though Maui is an intimate island, the wedding industry is abundant! You can easily become overwhelmed and lost in the many vendors that specialize in wedding planning, floral design, make-up, photography, videography, catering, bridal attire, and more. There are just so many talented creatives working across this island–how lucky are we?!

We are incredibly grateful to be a part of a collective that supports and uplifts one another in this wonderfully abundant industry on Maui. At JOA we are big supporters of building a community with creatives that share similar values. We have a small yet mighty island and supporting one another in their creative and respective practices is so important. 

Maui Wedding Creatives also offers an incredible resource for future couples in understanding the wedding industry and all it entails, particularly on Maui. We love seeing their blog filled with so much valuable information from creatives across different fields. Discover all you wish to know, didn’t know you should know, and more prior to planning your wedding. 

If you haven’t already, be sure to check out Maui Wedding Creatives at or via Instagram @mauiweddingcreatives_ ❤️ Have a look at the numerous talented creatives a part of this collective. And stay tuned for our Instagram takeover on their account in June! We will share more about what we do at JOA and some of our tips for finding your dream wedding dress!

Creating a Sketch of Your Wedding Dress

Brides deciding to go the custom wedding dress route might be entering unfamiliar territory into the creative process. Have no fear though! It is an invigorating and thrilling experience, and your dressmaker will guide you through the entire process. Sometimes brides like to come in with a sketch or design of their ideas before beginning the creative process. It doesn’t matter if you are an incredible drawer, the goal is simply to just get a rough idea of what you are envisioning. If you would like to start creating some dress designs, then here are some tips to help you build your wedding dress sketches:

  • Use a pencil so you can easily make edits + adjustments to your sketch
  • Use a real sized croquis as your base. A croquis is a body template that designers use to sketch over. The traditional croquis are 9-heads long which gives an unrealistic elongated form, if you search for ‘real size croquis’ on google you can find some more realistic body templates. Print out one of these body templates and then use tracing paper to lay over the printed croquis and start creating your dress design on the tracing paper. This will help you get a more realistic and accurate design.
  • Don’t be afraid to get messy and just let your ideas pour out onto the paper
  • If you’re stuck, start simple, decide the silhouette of your dress first (A-line, mermaid, ballgown, sheath, trumpet, etc.), then go towards cut designs, larger details, shape of the bodice, length of train, and more
  • Leave the intricate details for the end
  • Create multiple different sketches, then go back to them and see where ideas overlap, and where you can add in new ideas
  • Once you’ve arrived at a base sketch that you love, make and print multiple copies of this sketch or use another sheet of tracing paper to lay over this sketch. Now you can play with layering the different details; selecting colors, adding embellishments, and more. Giving yourself multiple options and versions is always helpful in creating your dress design
  • Having an idea of fabrics is never a bad idea, but meeting your dressmaker in person and getting to see and feel fabrics will make the decision making process much easier
  • Lastly, don’t worry if your dress sketch isn’t perfect, your dressmaker will help you realize your dream dress and before you know it the design and details will be perfect!

Enjoy creating your sketches and maybe for some brides this is your very first go at creating designs–how exciting!! We hope these tips help you find your creative flow and help you create your dress design. And if this seems completely daunting and intimidating for you, no worries, your dressmaker will collaborate with you to co-create the dress that best suits your aesthetic, personality, and style!

5 Things to Know Before Investing in Your Wedding Gown

Upon being engaged, one of the first things Brides want to do is choose their wedding gown! It is such an exciting and thrilling time–and the time surely moves quickly in the months moving forward to your wedding day. In all the excitement and joy, decisions can happen spontaneously and quickly. So before you invest in your wedding gown, we wanted to share some of our tips to make sure you are making the right choice for you and your wedding day!

    • BUDGET – always # 1, but really consider your budget before jumping into that gorgeous gown that might be far off of your budget. Often Brides account for the cost of the wedding dress but they forget to budget in bridal alterations. At minimum you will likely need a hem and a bustle added. Bridal alterations can range from $200 to $800, depending how complex your alteration needs are. It could be that you end up wanting to restyle part of your gown or embellish it with more details. Our advice is to give yourself some cushion room in your budget (including dress and alterations) so you don’t end up exceeding your budget.
    • Designer, Custom, Vintage, or Hybrid – There are numerous options when choosing your wedding dress. You can buy a brand new designer wedding gown, you can get a custom made wedding dress, you can get a vintage wedding gown, OR you can have a mix of these. Don’t limit yourself to just buying from a boutique, consider what makes sense for your context. Maybe using your mother’s vintage gown and layering new details onto this gown is what will give your gown the meaning it deserves stitched between each thread. 
    • LOCATION + Seasons – this one is a big one, if you’re considering having an outdoor wedding in the summer then your dress will surely be different from a bride having a wedding on a snowy winter day. Perhaps you will want to go more towards lighter fabrics and sleeveless dresses, or maybe you will need the reverse.
    • Time – give yourself time to find the right wedding dress or to create your own custom dress. Do not save your wedding gown shopping to the last minute. Even if you purchase a wedding dress from a boutique, it is likely that you will need some alterations, and if you have a long train you will likely need an Alterations Specialist to create a bustle for you. Allowing for plenty of time will make the wedding dress process all the more enjoyable!
    • Trust your gut – There is so much our bodies are able to tell us. Listen to your gut and trust what your body is signaling to you. Working with honest and trustworthy vendors is so important! You don’t want to feel like you are being tricked, you want to be able to trust that the people you are working with have your best interest at heart. Trust your gut when you are making the final decisions on your wedding gown. You will know when you have found the right dress!

This is such a wonderfully exciting time in the wedding process. Happy wedding dress shopping Brides! We hope you find exactly what you are looking for. JOA is available for any custom wedding dress requests, bridal alterations, or wedding dresses that need some extra embellishments. We would love to assist you through this exciting journey and time in your life!

A New Wave of Elopers

The pandemic has brought on a new wave of eloping couples. Many brides and grooms with large weddings decided to go forward with elopements. Prior to the pandemic, adventure and destination elopements were becoming more and more popular. Now, frankly they are the safest option with the unpredictability of the pandemic, and they might have always been the most romantic. 

Though having family and friends to celebrate these milestones in our lives is always so special, for this particular moment, sometimes it is even more important to truly devote this day solely to your partner for life. Your wedding day is a rite of passage into this next chapter of your life alongside your partner. Elopements offer a total immersion into the deep, unconditional love of you and your partner on your wedding day. 

For local brides and destination brides, Maui is an awe-inspiring island filled with the most beautiful and magical places. There are so many gorgeous spots waiting to be explored! In the chaos of the wedding day, prepping, planning, following the day(s) of events, there isn’t much time to truly indulge in the moment and take in all that Maui has to offer. When you choose to elope on Maui, the island becomes your oyster and there is much more space to enjoy Maui’s beauty in your own rhythm and time. 

Why elope?

  • It is usually much more affordable (depending on your destination of choice)
  • It is significantly more romantic and intimate
  • Your love is united with a day truly devoted to your love for each other
  • Your elopement will most certainly be a day long remembered
  • There is more flexibility in terms of dates, planning, and locations
  • It is a thrilling adventure 

Why elope on Maui?

  • There is endless beauty in every corner of this island
  • There are numerous professional elopement planners 
  • You will find incredible elopement photographers ready to capture your special moments
  • Being a hot-spot for destination weddings, Maui has a surplus of wedding vendors ready to assist with wedding attire, floral arrangements, hair, and more. (Check out for various vendors)
  • It will be a true and unforgettable adventure
  • People don’t say Maui is magic for nothing
  • Maui offers the opportunity to elope and honeymoon all in one place

This past year we have had the opportunity to work with several Brides that had planned elopements. Below is a picture of Bride Hayden with her husband and Bride Priscilla with her husband on their elopement adventures. Local and destination brides, send us a message if you are in need of an Alterations Specialist or Dressmaker for your wedding attire. Email Happy eloping!