This bohemian, Woodstock-inspired Maui wedding was the last ceremony peformed by the late Ram Dass
Ram Dass said, I’m not interested in being a ‘lover.’ I’m interested in only being love. The sweet photos Wendy Laurel sent our way recap the last wedding he performed before his death in December 2019, between Ananda, founder of Google’s Empathy Lab and one of his closest caretakers, Govinda. Having met at one of Dass’ Maui retreats, it was only fitting to host the wedding “love fest” at his home in Haiku, drawing on his teachings in an intimate, lush backyard setting.
Jill of La Fleur Weddings helped A + G create a simple, sacred 1960s Woodstock-esque bohemian vibe with a romantic, relaxed atmosphere.
Mismatched rugs, quilts, and pillows circled the pool full of floating petals by Bella Bloom to create a laidback lounge setting for guests to enjoy the couple’s fave foods buffet-style, including seafood and veggie dishes by Cutting Edge Catering and Indian bites from the local farmer’s market chef, Uma Dugied.
Jill of La Fleur Weddings tells us, Ram Dass is known for teaching unconditional love and helping people to find divine love. Through his teachings in his book, Be Here Now, he also helps teach us how to live joyously in the present. What was accomplished on this special day was the feeling of unconditional, divine love and the day seemed to move slowly and meaningfully, allowing guests (and me!) to feel truly joyous in the moment! It was such an honor to be in the presence of this amazing man, at his incredible home, and to be a part of helping put together this beautiful love fest for Ananda and Govinda!
Guests gathered on handcrafted wooden benches toward an altar draped in marigolds, where A + G sat at the feet of Ram Dass.
Having lived on Maui for many years, I consider it my second home. So when I am approached to plan and design a destination wedding there, I am just thrilled! But this wedding was something very special and unique and Ananda and Govinda are an incredible special couple. They met through their love and following of the spiritual leader and teacher, Ram Dass. Govinda was his caretaker until recently as Ram Dass sadly passed away this past December, just after officiating this beautiful wedding at his incredible Haiku, Maui estate. This estate was a second home and very special to them and to their guests as they often took part in his retreats and spiritual practices over the years here.
Such sweet little spots for guests to hang!
After the sunset ceremony and reception, everyone gathered inside for Kirtan, a beautiful, spiritual session of chanting and singing, complete with cake and chai tea.
What a special experience to be part of. Congrats, you two!
Unconditional love really exists in each of us. It is part of our deep inner being. It is not so much an active emotion as a state of being. It’s not ‘I love you’ for this or that reason, not ‘I love you if you love me.’ It’s love for no reason, love without an object.
Photography: Wendy Laurel / Planning & Design: La Fleur Weddings / Floral: Bella Bloom / Hair & Makeup: Meili Autumn / Drinks: Maui Kombucha / Catering: Cutting Edge Catering & Uma’s Cuisine / Cakes: Lady M Cake Boutique / Tabletop & Place Settings: Set Maui / Linen Rentals: La Tavola / Rentals: Tropical Boheme, Rio Event Design, & Artisan Events / Kirtan Music: Krishna Prem / Ceremony music: Krishna Dass, Noah Hofeld (Cellist)