Laura Hooper Calligraphy has some Tropical Fun with a Pointed-Pen at this Island Style Distillery
Hawaiian festivities don’t always need to play out at big beachy hotels. In Maui’s countryside, among the pineapple and sugarcane fields, events are less crowded, more personal, and downright spectacular. That’s why...
by Jake Kilroy

Hawaiian festivities don’t always need to play out at big beachy hotels. In Maui’s countryside, among the pineapple and sugarcane fields, events are less crowded, more personal, and downright spectacular. That’s why the LeVecke family, well-known around Makawao for their warmth and rum brands for 30 years, invite you and yours to celebrate life’s many marvels at Hali'imaile Distilling Company. With a 70-person capacity, the family distillery and tasting room inevitably lands as a favorite destination for all who visit, a special spot your friends back on the mainland might not know.



In fact, Laura Hooper Calligraphy, a notably stylish wedding vendor, is bringing her popular calligraphy workshop back to the islands in 2016 after falling in love with Hawaii last year. It’s not hard to see why. In 2015, Laura Hooper Calligraphy hosted a beginner’s workshop of modern pointed-pen calligraphy at Hali'imaile Distilling Company and nobody left uninspired. To learn more about the beloved venue’s magic, we talked to the ladies at Opihi Love, Laura Hooper’s trusted event planners in Hawaii. To sign up for 2016's Laura Hooper Calligraphy workshop in Maui click here!

Words by Ophi Love | Images by Alisandra Photography

Tell us some of the highlights of your experience at the venue. 

The venue is a working distillery, that uses locally grown pineapple, and sugar cane for its liquors. It's large vats of vodka, rum, and whiskey are brilliantly displayed in vintage wooden barrels, with adorable mustaches stenciled on the fronts.



Tell us a little bit about the venue

The Hali'imaile Distilling Company is located in the quaint town of Hali' Maile {Upcountry Maui}.  The capacity is less than 70 people.

What kind of gathering did you host at Hali'imaile Distilling Company?

The Laura Hooper Calligraphy workshop made its first stop to the Hawaiian Islands and landed at the Disitillery.  It was a full room of wedding planners, tattoo artist, and island creatives.  A beginners course, everyone had a great time, and walked away with some great tips on learning calligraphy. 

Why did you choose this venue?

Character. Nestled amongst sugar cane fields, with an industrial vintage vibe- it was the perfect place to hold our class.  The ambiance allowed for relaxation, and comfort. 



What made this venue an ideal location for the event?

The overall space, and function of the room. Laura needed the layout to represent a classroom setting, the room we held our workshop was perfect for that structure. 




What do you think makes it a great venue in general?

It's a beautiful location for a creative + design savvy bride. It's not ocean front, however has views of Haleakala and is very private.  It's a great option for a bride who does not necessarily want  a beach wedding, but would like her wedding to be representative of a destination wedding. Meaning, the location is still representative of Old Hawaii.  On top of the fact, that the staff is incredible.  They are helpful, attentive and super fun {plus they provide a cocktail tasting for all your guests}



Why did you make the design decisions you did? 

We felt with the industrial vats, the wooden barrels, and the plantation feel- we really wanted to add in some color and hints of the tropic.  We had handmade Tommy Bahama table runners, and paired them with incredible Kate Spade inspired Black & White polka dot fabric. Brought in school house tables, some comfortable chivari chairs, and amazing florals be Wildheart Flowers.  

Christina from Wildheart Flowers, farms her own flowers on her family property in Kula. It was very special to have local flowers right from Upcountry Maui. Farm to vessel flowers, was the special touch. We also tasked EmmaLee from Cakefanatics to create a custom cake with our Tommy Bahama banana leaf print. 

Any tips for hosting events here based on your experience?

The rooms are long & narrow {think subway studio}, so you need to make sure the tables are as such. We brought in our own lighting from Target, had assistance hanging the lighting, and done- the room was perfect. 



What additional types of events do you think it's ideal for?

Perfect for Rehearsal Dinner, Wedding, Brunch, Reception, Retreat, Private Dinner Party etc. 

Favorite existing design elements of the venue?

Barrels with mustaches! 




Is there anything existing on the property or the town that you incorporated into the event?

Sure- Hali'maile General Store is adjacent to the distillery.  Bev Gannon {owner + founder} is a world renowned Chef, and provides exquisite menu's for all catering needs. Bringing her in to the caterer your event is a must! 

Any special drinks or eats you had here or in the surrounding area?

Hali'imaile General Store, Makai Glass Blowing {incredible artist demonstrate the essence of glass blowing.  There is a viewing room to watch the artist create. 



Did you meet anyone at the venue that you connected with or made a lasting impression?

The owner, Mark Nigbur.  Mark is the Master Distiller and Creative Genius behind the distilling company.  He's friendly, and has a great sense of humor- but can tell you to the decimal what goes into his products.  His quality control is impeccable, and his desire to keep Maui country- is evident.  As it puts it he wants to create, "Hawaii in a bottle".  

What makes both the area + the venue a good destination for an event?

It's a quaint town, with incredible talent.  It's not your typical Maui experience, it's better!  



Any inside tips? 

Do the tour- take a walk through the science of our cocktails.  It makes you appreciate them so much more!  Our favorite- the Paniolo Whiskey- if there is one thing you have to try it's the Whiskey! 

To sign up for 2016's Laura Hooper Calligraphy workshop in Maui click here!


Venue: Hali'imaile Distilling Company | Calligraphy: Laura Hooper Calligraphy | Event Design: Opihi Love Wedding & Event Design | Floral Design: Wildheart |Photography: Alisandra Photography | Cake: Cake Fanatics

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about the correspondent
Laura Hooper Calligraphy
Alexandria, Virginia, USA
For the past twelve years, Laura has worked with countless couples to create the most elegant calligraphy for their invitations and wedding stationery. She also designs custom hand drawn maps, unique place cards and other chic items for the most discerning couples. Laura has worked with high profile celebrities and corporate clients, and her work has been published in numerous magazines, including The Knot, Inside Weddings, Martha Stewart Weddings and Town & Country Weddings, among others. - Website

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