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By Julie Moir Messervy


Photo by Aihara Visuals Photography.

On July 16th at 7:45 a.m., my son Max married Jessica Western on beautiful Mokapu Beach in Maui. Just twenty of their closest family and friends gathered, each with traditional lei—men in ti leaves; women in orchids. What a glorious morning—the calmest and coolest time of the day before the winds and temperatures picked up. Jessica wore a lovely lace wedding dress and carried a floral parasol. She joined Max in a circle of tropical flowers.

L: Dendrobium orchids in my lei, ti leaves in Steve’s. C: Jessica’s orchid parasol. R: The floral circle on Mokapu Beach, inside which the ceremony took place. All three photos by Charlotte Messervy.

During the ceremony, written by the wedding couple, Max and Jessica stood inside a glorious floral circle and we twenty surrounded them in support and joy. After a twenty minute ceremony, they were pronounced husband and wife and are now Max and Jessica Messern, (a combination of Messervy and Western, with an emphasis on the second syllable). We are so happy for them!

While the newlyweds honeymooned on the “Garden Island” of Kauai, my husband Steve, daughters Lindsey and Charlotte, and I all had a wonderful time on Maui, visiting Haleakala, the 10,000 foot volcano, where temperatures plunged from 85 degrees to 35 degrees in a 1.5 hour drive.

L: Haleakala Volcano. Photo by Charlotte Messervy. C: Silversword plant growing above the clouds. Photo by Julie Moir Messervy. R: Rock formation off the coast of Hana. Photo by Julie Moir Messervy.

Steve and I then traveled the famed Road to Hana, which is quite an intense driving experience.  Three hours of hairpin turns, often on roads with stretches of one-car width, sitting astride vertiginous cliff faces all made for white-knuckled concentration. We stopped at the Garden of Eden Botanical Garden and hiked its twenty-six acres of winding trails past a 100 year old mango tree, stands of timber bamboo, and the mottled trunks of eucalyptus trees, and enjoyed breathtaking views of waterfalls and the ocean beyond.

L: Maui waterfall. R: Banyan Tree Park in Lahaina. Both photos by Charlotte Messervy.
The day after we arrived, our whole group drove along the shoreline of West Maui, along sheer cliffs, bad roads, and breathtaking views.  We stopped to visit the Nakalele Blowhole which spews water 50 feet in the air every few minutes, depending upon the strength of the tides.  Alas, just the day before a California tourist had gotten too close to the hole, was hit by a wave, and dragged in, a sobering thought for us onlookers.  We were happy to walk the main drag of Lahaina and enjoy the largest banyan tree (Ficus benghalensis).  Figs drop roots from their branches, and this one, planted in 1873, now measures 60 feet high and 200  square feet, shading a handsome park that covers 2/3 of an acre.   After Mai Tai’s at the Pioneer Inn Grill and Bar, it was time to watch the sunset.

Our trip also included some time relaxing on Maui’s beautiful beaches, building sandcastles with my kids’ half brothers, getting a pedicure with the girls, and getting to know Jessica’s mother Lani, brother Jake, and friends—Garrett and John, vegan bakers extraordinaire, Maid of Honor Liz with her sassy voice, and Natalie with her blues vocals.

L: Julie with her daughters, Lindsey and Charlotte Messervy. Photo by Steve Jonas. C: A rainbow of happy toes! Photo by Charlotte Messervy. R: Building a sandcastle. Photo by Charlotte Messervy.

We’re continuing the celebration at our house in Vermont in August with more friends and family when we’ll toast the bridal couple once more!


Photo by Aihara Visuals Photography.




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