It’s been almost 5 months since the wedding and it’s safe to say pretty much everything has settled down. We went on our mini moon, are in the middle of planning our honeymoon, sent out our thank you cards, are preparing to order our wedding album, visited the bank, did the major name changes (social security, license & passport) – so now, I would really like to take some time to thank our vendors, whom without them our day basically wouldn’t have happened!
Situated on the beautiful and serene east coast of Oahu, Kualoa Ranch is the perfect area to get the best of both worlds – lush greenery and gorgeous ocean views. They have 4 different locations you can get married at: Paliku Gardens, Moli’i Gardens, Hale Moli’i and Secret Island. We went with Moli’i Gardens and it was absolutely gorgeous – the selling point being the grand entrance stairwell. However, I must warn you – it is quite difficult to walk gracefully down those long winding stairs in a wedding dress, in heels and holding your bouquet, especially if you’re clumsy like me. I told my daddy, “if I go down, you go down too!” Thankfully we both reached the end in one piece and I was able to marry the man of my dreams after being given away by my daddy.
STATIONARY / ENTERTAINMENT: Digital Life Hawaii
I am one lucky girl because my sister married a very talented, do-it-all kind of man. My brother-in-law, recently started up his own company, Digital Life Hawaii – and they take care of all your design needs. Not only did he create this wonderful website for us, he also designed our invitations, RSVP cards, map, wine labels for our centerpieces, table numbers and seating cards, slide show and AND if that wasn’t enough, him and his buddy were our entertainment for the night. If you need a DJ check out – Signature Audio Hawaii (website still under renovation, but highly recommended). He is easy to work with, a creative master mind and strictly adheres to due dates (and I promise, I’m not just saying that because he is my brother-in-law. He really is great to work with). Thanks B!
PHOTOGRAPHY: Love Story Weddings, Vince Shin
Well, I have already raved about the next two topics, but I will indulge even more. Vince Shin is such an awesome photographer. He has a great eye and really works with you to create just what you’re looking for. What mattered the most for me is that he captured a lot of Kodak moments that were not “staged.” I enjoy the natural, light-hearted style of his. I was beyond satisfied with our engagement and wedding photos. Next up is our wedding album that we wish to order through him as our Christmas gift to ourselves! I still stand by my belief, that after all is said and done, what you have left are the photos and videos (those were top priority). Of course you have the memories too, but honestly that may fade after a while or at least with old age. I’m already forgetful and I’m not even thirty yet! Thanks Vince!
VIDEOGRAPHY: Video 21 Productions, Janice & Davis Lauderdale
Love love love their work. I already wrote about the same day edit and the wedding video in previous posts; both were complete works of art! It was so amazing to see the replay of the same day edit and the moments they captured were ones that I probably would have missed if not caught on tape. A smile to my big sister as I stand at the altar, a tear from Matt as my dad and I walk down the aisle, our grandparents and parents smiling as we exchange vows and so forth. All these tiny things you miss during the heat of the moment, but when you look back, these captured moments will last forever. The wedding video will be cherished for a lifetime. Thanks Janice and Davis!
Matt and I are such foodies! We love to eat eat and well, eat! Delicious food was among my top three priorities. I wanted our guests to have a good time and have satisfied tummies. Julia at Off-Menu catering was a joy to work with and she helped plan just what we were looking for down to a T. We linked up with Chef Peter of Memoirs who makes impeccable dishes! While we did hit some bumps on the day, overall it was not the end of the world. Guests enjoyed their food and raved about it to us afterwards. That made us delighted because all we wanted was our guests to be happy. Thanks Julia and Chef Peter!
Blasphemy – I am looking through all my photos and cannot find one of the food! Instead, here is a shot of me seeing Julia at the wedding! I was so excited to see her and look how TALL she is, even with my heels!
FLORIST: Spinning Web, Wendy Balidoy
There are many many florists to choose from and all are very talented, but I must say that I am so happy I went with Spinning Web Florist. Wendy listens to your ideas, offers her own input, creates amazing bouquets and all the while still works within your budget. Flowers were a small anxiety for me because you really don’t know how the end product will look until it arrives that day. You can show photos of what you want and mock-up exactly how you want it to look but really it is out of your control. I was relieved when the flowers were delivered and it was just as expected – perfect! The yellow billy balls made me smile! Thanks Wendy!
DAY OF COORDINATOR: Vows in Paradise, Merryl
I was very adamant about planning and coordinating this whole shebang on my own. I couldn’t allow myself to spend extra on a wedding planner because let me tell you they cost anywhere from $4,000 and up! Blasphemy! When you’re a girl on a budget you take on the role as a do-it-all-gal. However, the more and more I thought about it (with 3 months to spare), I didn’t want to be running around on the day, keeping track of time, making sure all goes smoothly – no no, I didn’t want to work on my wedding day! I gave in and hired a day of coordinator and thank the heavens that I did because it was THE BEST decision I made. We didn’t have to worry about a thing. Merryl tied up all the loose ends with vendors, arranged everything for our big day and basically kept feeding us drinks so that we were floating high above cloud 9! She was hands down the best. Thanks Merryl!
TENT VENDOR: Royal Party Rentals
When you are deciding where to have your wedding – there are many things to think about such as: indoor/outdoor, daytime/nighttime, plated style/buffet style and so forth and so forth. I already knew I wanted it outdoors but I didn’t fully know what I was getting myself into. The one good thing about having it at a hotel is that majority of things are already there for your disposal. For instance, tables, chairs, linens, archway are all there for your use. However, I’m sure that comes with limitations. Having it outdoors you need to bring everything in on your own and of course, things are all ala carte. But, Royal Party Rentals made ordering everything a breeze. They were on time, set everything up accordingly and in the end, if I had to do it all over again, I would still choose an outdoor venue! It gives you free will to make your wedding just as you imagined. Thanks Lenni at Royal Party Rentals!
ATTIRE: Party Dress by Claudette
Finding a dress reminded me of prom dress shopping. You go all over, shop for hours and hours until your feet and back hurt and this goes on for days until you find THE dress. For someone who is as indecisive as me, finding a dress was quite a task. Not to toot my own horn, but a lot of the dresses – all different styles – looked okay on me. I promise that’s what the store person said! Then again, maybe she tells that to everyone so they buy any dress! Either way, the first time, I narrowed it down to a couple of dresses, but showed too many people whose opinions were flying all around my brain and I couldn’t make a decision. That’s when I “Just Did It” and went on my own – with the help of Claudette, we narrowed it down to two dresses and finally down to MY DRESS. Without her help I would have been lost. Thanks Claudette!
PHOTOBOOTH: Greenscreen Hawaii, Andrew
A photobooth was not on our priority list, but it was definitely something we wanted to have if we had extra funds. It just adds life to the party. People pick their props, take photos, keep the photos and we secretly get a USB that has all the photos dun dun dun! I’m so glad we got the photobooth, even though we didn’t really have the extra funds, because it was so FUN. Andrew was easy to work with and what I liked best was he customized the layouts to match our theme and was very well priced. Thanks Andrew (you also photo bombed one of the guests photos!)
CAKE: Anniecakes Hawaii, LLC
Annie is my good friend from high school and she is so talented, a true artist. She can paint, she can crochet, she can bake and decorate, she can do anything and everything fancy! I am so lucky to have such an awesome friend. Although, she almost forgot one of our consultations, she ended up making our wedding cake just the way I imagined. Light fluffy ruffles, intricate bead design with one simple yellow flower! Oh and the flavor was lemon to go with our teal and yellow color theme!!! I hope it tastes just as good one year later. Thanks Annie Bear!
OFFICIANT: Kathy Kawana
Of course you cannot be legally married without an officiant. Originally we wanted our friend, Ryan, to get ordained and marry us. That was a far-fetched idea, which he would have gone for if we had enough time. We looked into getting a judge from the courts and funny story – a man actually showed up on the day to marry us, but maybe he didn’t get the memo that we didn’t need one. In the end, after searching and searching, we found a unique officiant with an awesome name (same as me), Kathy Kawana. Her style of conducting a wedding was different and it really matched Matt and I and how we’ve grown these past 12 years and will continue to grow together towards infinity and beyond. Thanks Kathy!
HAIR & MAKE UP: Hair & Makeup by Bev
I never brush my hair. What I know of make up is how to curl my lashes and put on foundation. On special occasions, I do brush my hair and try to put on eye liner, eye shadow and mascara. Due to my short comings as a hair and make up guru – I really had trouble deciding what I wanted or what would be best for me. There were many things that I thought looked nice, but didn’t know if it would work with my hair since it’s so thick. I did my research but mostly went based on referrals. Hair & Makeup by Bev was my final decision. All my girls looked beautiful and I was happy with the results! I even got to wear fake eyelashes! Thanks Bev!
Thank you to all our wonderful vendors! We were truly blessed to work with each and every one of you. You really made our big day glorious! Much Mahalo!