We wanted to give you a review of all of our vendors as feedback for any other couple needing help with this difficult decision. With me being from Australia, my husband being from Florida and us living in Dallas, we really needed help choosing our vendors. It’s so difficult not living in the same location as your wedding, but we were 100% satisfied with every vendor we chose.
Our venue: https://www.halekulani.com/events/weddings
We chose the Hau Terrace at the Halekulani Hotel because it was stunning, but the food and service was what made it the perfect place. We had guests from all over the world with very different tastes and everyone found the Halekulani faultless. My father who was also not keen for us to get married in Hawaii was made speechless by the quality of staff at our wedding. In particular, Tom Nguyen made our parents feel part of the day and the decisions with his speedy communication and presence at every event. This venue went with our theme of sophistication meets relaxed ensuring ourselves, family and guests felt they had VIP treatment in one of the best venues in Hawaii.
Our photographer: http://www.davemiyamoto.com/
Dave Miyamoto, what a guy! We struggled with choosing this vendor because having good photos was so important to us.
To have a mix between a photographer that has the ability to capture emotions, whilst remaining calm, poised and present is unbelievable. Not only did Dave manage to do this time and time again, he helped keep the theme of our wedding going… calmness.
For anyone looking for a quality photographer who is kind, calm and an organized shooter look no further. Dave simply asked us what photos we wanted and he shot everything we asked for. He has the ability to take photos quickly and efficiently while keeping you from feeling rushed. I can honestly say we didn’t miss out on a photo opportunity with any guests. Another plus about Dave is that he gives you all the photos he takes. That meant we have 1600 photos on disc to be able to print ourselves…. this is a rarity amongst photographers.
Hair and make-up: http://www.lesliefair.com/
Hands down I think Leslie Fair is the queen of hair and beauty in Oahu. Not only is she the sweetest person, she is extremely creative and experienced and actually listens to what you want. I would definitely recommend a hair and make-up trial as this helped me have faith that on the day Leslie would be able to make me feel like the confident bride I wanted to be. When Leslie arrived on our wedding day she took one look at my dress and was able to adjust my hair and make-up from my trial to ensure I looked the part on the day showing she really is an artist. Leslie did hair and make up for myself, my maid of honor and bridesmaid with our ages ranging from 24-27 along with my mother, family friend and mother-in-law whose ages range from 50-60. She did everyone’s make up differently to highlight each woman’s best features and did it all tastefully. This ensured the older women did not feel ‘overly made up’ and the younger girls felt made up enough that they fit the part.
This was a struggle for us, we would sit down for hours and hours trying to decide on songs and in the end threw our hands up and left it in the hands of our DJ Tony So. He has a real knack of picking up the mood in the room and adjusting the music to fit this. There was never any awkward silences. He made sure things moved smoothly from one part of the reception to the next. He is also a wonderfully kind and gentle man.
Flowers and design: http://www.jadorefloral.net/
J’Adore. Chantelle and her team designed our reception to look like a dream wedding. Her cost effective designs meant that we got more for our money and ensured the ‘wow’ effect. Her design proposal was extremely professional and she doesn’t charge for candles and vases which saved us tons. She also created urns for us, with stick trees draped in crystals to be married infront of. The way the sun hit the crystals was amazing.
Debbie Hemingway did our linens and cushions: http://designsbyhemingway.com/bride/
If you want quality, she is the woman to go for and extremely quick and responsive in her communication. She ensured our linens tied into our wedding colors and added to the ‘wow’ effect when you walked into the room.
Anyone looking to get a fake tan: http://www.spraytanwaikiki.com/
Abby at Pacific Sun Spray Tanning Waikiki is the best. I did a lot of research into this as anyone who has had a fake tan knows how careful you have to be. I am super pale as is my husband so I needed a tan that was light, looked natural and didn’t make the groom look sickly pale in contrast for the photos. She comes to your hotel room, is very generous with her time and advice and does free touch ups up to 48 hours after the tan. She also has a super fast tanning solution which means you shower after 2 hours of application. This meant we could shower and get out and about quicker. We also had a blast in our hotel room as it was ‘girl time’ we ordered lunch and chilled to music until we could all shower!
It was so easy for us to pick up our marriage from the Sheraton Hotel. We dealt with a girl named Olga who was very organized. Simply call them, leave a voicemail and she will either call or text you back if you are living out of the country. It’s by appointment only but she made it so easy, we didn’t have to worry about getting into a car we just walked to the Sheraton and were walking out 15 minutes later.
In terms of a minister. We wanted a very personal ceremony, one we wrote our selves…. we also wanted someone good looking and male. Gordon Noice was great for us. He was happy to read the ceremony we had written whilst adding his own lines which gave the ceremony some humor. He is such a relaxed personality and helped put my husband and I at ease. He has a vibrant presence about him that really added to the mood of the ceremony.
Lastly, the most important reason our wedding day was such a success, Laura Ann Lewis.
If you want a planner that takes the time to understand her clients, who is motivated to find vendors that not only fit with your price range but fit with your personality then this is your woman. Her attention to detail is remarkable and her knowledge about vendors on the island is limitless. Every guest we spoke to said they loved the flow of our wedding. Laura is the reason our day went without a hitch, or even if there was a hitch we never knew about it as that’s how Laura is. She ensures your wedding party knows your wedding day is meant to be enjoyed and their job on your wedding day is to do the heavy lifting to ensure you are not bothered with anything. She motivated our wedding party and they all did everything in their power to ensure we enjoyed our day. My maid-of-honor had my cell and my husbands best man had his. This literally meant all we had to do was turn up and enjoy our day.
I can honestly say my husband and I enjoyed not only working with Laura but having her there on our special day. We never felt stressed and I didn’t turn into Bridezilla. Laura is worth her money time and time again, she’s an investment to ensure your day will be perfect and gives you the feeling that you are planning your wedding with one of your closest friends.
We cannot thank our vendors enough for their time and dedication to our wedding. A special thanks to Laura who made the wedding of our dreams happen in real life. It was better than we could have ever expected!
Mr. and Mrs. Bobby Watson
Bride and Groom, May 29, 2014
The Halekulani Hotel and Resort
Full Wedding Planning