Manhattan Beach Pitches In To Save Canceled Maui WeddingAug 18, 2023 11:07PM ● By Jeanne Fratello
Shea Satterfield and Aimee Kirby at their wedding dinner at Tin Roof Bistro.
Manhattan Beach residents Aimee Kirby and Shea Satterfield had been planning their destination wedding on Maui for the past year and a half - until the overwhelming devastation of last week's Lahaina wildfires forced them to cancel.
While sharing in the pain and sadness that Maui was experiencing, the couple opted instead for a small celebration with family in their hometown.
But planning such an event at the last minute - especially in the summertime on a popular weekend in Manhattan Beach - was bound to be difficult. Nevertheless, local businesses and residents jumped in to save the day.
Kirby began last week by seeking flowers - and when she initially walked into Growing Wild, she described herself as being in "a pool of tears."
Growing Wild's Lisa Gallien concurred that Kirby "very upset" when she came into the store, but the staff listened to Kirby's situation with compassion ("and they gave me a big hug," added Kirby).
The Growing Wild team designed the flowers in "soft blushes and whites," according to Gallien.
"We added beautiful shells to her bouquets since she was getting married at the beach," said Gallien. "We created bright centerpieces for the reception so it felt festive and joyous. We gave her the boutonnieres and just put extra into everything else. She was very sweet and appreciative."
Next Kirby put out a plea on NextDoor for help with a location - and Shade Hotel was able to come through.
The couple rented Shade's courtyard (for which Shade gave them a deep discount) for their ceremony and pictures on Thursday, as well as a suite at the hotel for the night. Shade also provided champagne and appetizers at no cost, according to Mimi Fischer, Shade's senior sales manager.
(Photo courtesy of Aimee Kirby)
At the ceremony, a "mystery stranger" also presented Kirby and Satterfield with ornate leis, which the stranger said was in honor of his wife Paige.
Then, escorted by Manhattan Beach Mayor Pro Tem Joe Franklin, the Satterfield-Kirby party headed down to the Manhattan Beach Pier in Franklin's robin's-egg blue 1955 T-Bird convertible.
Franklin also shared with the newlyweds a photo of himself and his wife Nancy, when they rode in the same car after their wedding 33 years ago.
(Satterfield and Kirby head down to the beach with their photographers)
After taking photos on the beach, the family headed to mbWINEco, where they enjoyed a special wine tasting, and then to Tin Roof Bistro, where the staff had helped her plan a last-minute dinner for their party of 12.
And even after the wedding, community members on her NextDoor thread have continued to offer her food, decor, and blessings.
Kirby, a lifelong Manhattan Beach resident and Mira Costa grad, expressed gratitude for the outpouring of support, while acknowledging the searing pain of those directly affected by the wildfires.
"It is horrific what Lahaina is enduring," she said. "There is no electricity for most of the west side of the island and no cell or phone lines. The major hotels are using satellite phones to communicate and belong with those displaced. People where burned alive in their cars and homes due to how fast this fire went. My wedding planner was at a wedding venue one day and it was gone the next in Lahaina. Many won’t get answers to where their loved ones are until the National Guard goes through with the cadaver dogs, sadly. The island and its people need time to heal and rebuild."
But Kirby expressed joy for the day - and for the town - and asked others to continue to support Manhattan Beach businesses. "I’m humbled and honored to work, live and serve in this community," she said.