Destination Weddings

DW in Hawaii

edited June 5 in Destination Weddings
Thinking about having a DW in Hawaii. 20 guests @ the ceremony (that's all they allow) then either a) take everyone to a luau or b) take everyone to dinner. Both would be @ our expense. We are leaning more toward the luau but since we're paying for it for the guests, there's no problem with that etiquette-wise, right? We just don't have the $$ for a fancy-type party, but thought a luau would be an authentic and fun thing for everyone to do together.
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Re: DW in Hawaii

  • CMGragainCMGragain
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    A wedding does not need to be a "fancy-type party".  My sister was married in a city park, and served barbecue, coleslaw and potato salad.  Yum!

    Think carefully before deciding on an expensive destination wedding.  Unless your relatives live in Hawaii, this will be expensive for them to attend.  You have the right idea about keeping it small.  Be sure that your VIP guests are OK with the travel expense and time or you may be disappointed.
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  • edited June 5
    Thanks. FI's family is from CA so it shouldn't be too bad. My family is all east-coast based but there's just 5 of us and my family has enough $$ for it. Ultimately I wasn't sure if there was an issue with doing a luau over a dinner but as long as we're paying for it, I didn't see a problem. Thanks for your response.
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  • When I picture a DW wedding, it's usually a private event - as in, I would think it odd if someone bought me a ticket to a luau and we just had a table alongside a bunch of other people we didn't know. If you do the luau, I would make it a private event. 

    Any destination wedding I've been to has a welcome dinner to thank people for traveling. You could do the luau for your welcome dinner the night before the wedding. It'd be a great way for people to meet up and have fun before the real festivities begin.
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    charlotte989875sparklepants41thisismynickname2InLoveInQueens


  • When I picture a DW wedding, it's usually a private event - as in, I would think it odd if someone bought me a ticket to a luau and we just had a table alongside a bunch of other people we didn't know. If you do the luau, I would make it a private event. 

    Any destination wedding I've been to has a welcome dinner to thank people for traveling. You could do the luau for your welcome dinner the night before the wedding. It'd be a great way for people to meet up and have fun before the real festivities begin.



    True. Maybe the dinner is better then. Hmmm. My FI did not want to host anything. I told him we must host (AKA pay) b/c people are traveling & staying in hotels, renting cars & such. I did not feel it right to be like 'thanks for coming to our ceremony... fend for yourself for dinner'... so I finally got him to agree to hosting... now just have to figure out what we're going to host... being a luau or a dinner.. or maybe both?

    Personally I just wanted it to be he & I but he thinks his family would be offended if they weren't invited.

    What else is good to host that won't cost too much, but isn't like an actual reception-type-fancy-party?

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  • I would vote for the private dinner. It's a thank you to your guests for attending and you'll likely want to spend time with your guests who travelled all that way to be with you. I agree with PPs who have said for a DW you need to step it up a bit. You're family is spending time and money to travel all that way you absolutely need to host them properly. 
    CMGragainInLoveInQueensSP29MairePoppy
  • thisismynickname2thisismynickname2 City By The Lake
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    Thanks. FI's family is from CA so it shouldn't be too bad. My family is all east-coast based but there's just 5 of us and my family has enough $$ for it. Ultimately I wasn't sure if there was an issue with doing a luau over a dinner but as long as we're paying for it, I didn't see a problem. Thanks for your response.


    To the bolded- I'm just checking, but make sure you ASKED them if they're willing and not just assuming they can afford things or even want to go there. 

    I'm from Chicago and would sooner go to Mexico or the Caribbean for a wedding than to Hawaii. It's a long, expensive trip. 

    My sister wanted to get married in England because that's where our extended family is. She didn't ask us, she told us to save our money for an England trip. I was pissed. Just because I was 24 and working a full time professional job didn't mean I wanted to drop several grand on having her wedding in England. Thank goodness she and her now-husband changed their minds on that. 
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    charlotte989875InLoveInQueensDrillSergeantCat
  • edited June 5










    Thanks. FI's family is from CA so it shouldn't be too bad. My family is all east-coast based but there's just 5 of us and my family has enough $$ for it. Ultimately I wasn't sure if there was an issue with doing a luau over a dinner but as long as we're paying for it, I didn't see a problem. Thanks for your response.






    To the bolded- I'm just checking, but make sure you ASKED them if they're willing and not just assuming they can afford things or even want to go there. 

    I'm from Chicago and would sooner go to Mexico or the Caribbean for a wedding than to Hawaii. It's a long, expensive trip. 

    My sister wanted to get married in England because that's where our extended family is. She didn't ask us, she told us to save our money for an England trip. I was pissed. Just because I was 24 and working a full time professional job didn't mean I wanted to drop several grand on having her wedding in England. Thank goodness she and her now-husband changed their minds on that. 





    Gave all families heads up but I do know my family's money situation. They're well off.

    People can have their wedding wherever they want. You can't please everyone. We want to try of course but if one person can't make it, we're not moving the destination because of one person.

    2 years is plenty of time to save. Other people's money situations are not our problem. We are trying our best to make it affordable, if someone refuses to work for a living (his step bro) that's not our problem.

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  • I think for a destination wedding you need to provide a reception. It can be at a luau, but will you be able to have any private space? Any room for people to mingle and mix and celebrate you?

    A private room in a restaurant might be a better bet?
    MairePoppy
  • CMGragainCMGragain
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    edited June 6
    If you invite guests to your wedding ceremony, you MUST host them for a reception afterwards, which includes food and drink.  Destination weddings are a step up, and dinner is a MUST.

    My daughter's rehearsal dinner was at a large venue with no private room.  It wasn't well planned, and we couldn't talk or hear anything with all the noise.  (MOG planned it.)  Your reception needs to be in a private space. 

    If your budget is a big concern, please forget about the destination wedding and put your money into a local wedding done right!  Destination weddings are not cheap for anyone, especially the guests.  You can always honeymoon in Hawaii.


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  • CMGragainCMGragain
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    edited June 6
    What do you mean by "reception type fancy party"?  Receptions do not need to be formal, but there has to be chairs for everyone, and plenty of food and drink.
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  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs
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    You have to host people that are going to Hawaii. It's a must. Whether it's a luau or a private dinner, there has to be something. It would be incredibly rude to ask these people to fly to Hawaii and then not even host any type of reception. Give them drinks and food, and chairs. 

  • edited June 7












    -SNIP-













    Gave all families heads up but I do know my family's money situation. They're well off.

    People can have their wedding wherever they want. You can't please everyone. We want to try of course but if one person can't make it, we're not moving the destination because of one person.

    2 years is plenty of time to save. Other people's money situations are not our problem. We are trying our best to make it affordable, if someone refuses to work for a living (his step bro) that's not our problem.











    But that's not the same thing as asking them if it's okay. In general it's best to run wedding dates/locations by any VIPs ( the closest most important people you can't imagine your wedding without) to make sure it's fine. Yes, you can plan whatever you want but it's not cool to spend people's money for them. I think it's best to Actually ask them them if the Hawaii plans are okay rather than assuming they'll be okay with spending that money. 








    THIS. My sister is having a DW. She did not ask us about the cost/dates/location, or even TELL us approximately what it cost (or even the name, so we could look it up). We found out the cost when we called the travel agent to book. I can afford to go, but it's still the most I have ever spent on a vacation (per day), and not a location I would choose myself. Plus, we just got married & bought a house, so there are other things I'd rather spend money on right now. Our other sister is in grad school and poor as crap. She had "plenty of time to save," but on a grad student budget....no time really would be long enough. Please don't assume you know how your guests would like to spend their money.



    Our guest list is very small. Just parents and siblings. The only person with an issue financially is his step brother who refuses to work. Not catering to him when he is a lazy bum.

    We haven't booked anything but might change the location to CA then just fly to out to HI alone for our honeymoon from there.

    The ceremony would be at a park and then we would host a dinner not a reception.

    & yes I just think my fiancés is clueless about planning wedding. (This is my 2nd).


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  • CMGragainCMGragain
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    "The ceremony would be at a park and then we would host a dinner not a reception."

    A wedding reception is when the couple greets their guests, thanks them for coming to the ceremony, and offers them food and drink (dinner).  What did you think it was?
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    DrillSergeantCatInLoveInQueens
  • thisismynickname2thisismynickname2 City By The Lake
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    The ceremony would be at a park and then we would host a dinner not a reception.





    "Reception" just means an event where you "receive" your wedding guests and thank them for attending the ceremony. You don't have to have dancing or anything else. Whether you host a dinner, cake and punch, brunch, lunch, appetizers...it doesn't matter as long as you host appropriate food and drink for the time of day (meal if meal time, etc.). 

    So dinner IS your reception. 


    +1 for this. My sister (after she scrapped the England idea, and no, just because I'm family does not mean I wouldn't have minded blowing money on a forced vacation/wedding) ended up having roughly 20 people attend their wedding in a church with a "reception"-- dinner-- in a private dining room of a nice restaurant. They hosted dinner and open bar. The only traditional wedding reception element was a cake cutting (because cake is awesome!). We sat, we socialized, we drank like fish, and life was grand. 
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    charlotte989875SP29

  • CMGragain said:

    "The ceremony would be at a park and then we would host a dinner not a reception."

    A wedding reception is when the couple greets their guests, thanks them for coming to the ceremony, and offers them food and drink (dinner).  What did you think it was?



    A reception is the works with a DJ/photographer/dances/bouquet/garter... all that traditional big wedding stuff. etc etc. A dinner is just dinner.
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  • A reception is the works with a DJ/photographer/dances/bouquet/garter... all that traditional big wedding stuff. etc etc. A dinner is just dinner.




    No. A reception is a thank you to your guests that provides food and drink. That other stuff is extra. Just because someone doesn't have a DJ doesn't make it not a reception.



    Sorry the place says it isn't a reception, they are calling it a dinner.

    Anyhoo I think we will go the dinner/drinks route and some music on an iphone or something.

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  • CMGragainCMGragain
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    edited June 8
    The venue can call it a "Dinner", but if it follows your wedding ceremony and is for your guests, then it is, by definition, a Wedding Reception.  Do restaurants in Hawaii accept reservations TWO YEARS in advance?

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    DrillSergeantCatSTARMOON44InLoveInQueens
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