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Newbie with MANY questions...Please help!

Hello,I have been lurking on here for awhile but have just recently started planning.  My fiancee and I are getting married at Lani next June (I realize I am WAY behind).  We will be in Oahu in two weeks to finalize the venue and meet with caterers, etc.  The wedding will be a complete destination wedding, as all of our guests will be from out of town.  I have so many questions and hope you wonderful ladies will be able to help.  Please bear with me :0)We have decided to hire a day of coordinator and narrowed it down to two: KathE Garcia of Gayle Weddings or Dianna Shitanishi of Hawaii Weddings and Events.  Their rates are comparable but I can't figure if one provides any more service than the other.  Can anyone who used either of these coordinators please give me your opinions abouth them?We would also like to meet with some caterers while in Oahu next month.  We like the style of Indigo but have not been able to reach Greg to arrange a tasting.  For anyone who used Indigo, how did you arrange for a tasting?  Also, generally, how much did Indigo charge you per person for catering?  We would like a buffet with some action stations (would love a sushi station).  We are also considering the Catering Connection and Creations in Catering.  Can anyone who has used these two caterers provide an opinion and per person charge?  Was it also easy to set up a tasting with them?Next, I am wondering how many of you ladies did a trial run with your hair and makeup person before you hired them?  I will be in Oahu on vacation in October and don't want to spend my time doing only wedding-related stuff, especially since I will have other family members with me.  Do you think I should do a trial run or just hire someone reputable and do a trial run the week of the wedding?  Can anyone recommend a hair and makeup person?Finally, do I also need to do a cake-tasting and meet with potential florists or can I trust that Dianna or KathE will make good suggestions? I am struggling because next month's trip was planned as a family vacation and not a scouting trip so I am hoping to spend my time in Oahu meeting only with the vendors I definitely should meet with.Your bios and posts have been so helpful in narrowing down my vendors selections.  I just need a bit more help!  Thank you in advance!- MrsBlevs2010

Re: Newbie with MANY questions...Please help!

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    LilSwtAzynLilSwtAzyn member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Hi welcome to the board!!! I just wanted to give you my two cents on KathE! I LOVE HER! She is so great. I just got married at the end of augest and my day wouldn't not have been the same without her. She is only day-of but she helped me the whole entire planning process for 1.5 years. I emailed her almost monthy sometimes weekly and she gave me all her opinions free of charge! She also ran our rehearsal and helped us find our officiant. On our wedding day KathE was with me from 8am until 11:30pm. She stayed until everyone left and was just a doll!!! You will not regret her if you hire her. In terms of florist. You don't have to meet with them. Many of them will send you samples of their work and price online. I emailed sooooooo many florist and I fell on TGIS flowers who are amazing. I worked with Tammy and gave her a budget ($1800) and got a trellis for my arch, flower chair decorations, petal aisle, 4 bridesmaid bouquets, two bridal bouquets, 7 bouteneers, and 20 centerpieces. And they were gorgeous!  Hopefully these pics work. [img]http://tinyurl.com/yclyv4q[/img][img]http://tinyurl.com/y8lw97z[/img]As far as makeup. You don't need to do a trial before you hire them. I think as long as you go with a makeup artist recommended on the board you'll be safe. You may want to do one before the wedding though and after you pick the artist.Anyways, hope this helps. If you have any questions feel free to ask. The girls here are great!
    Planning BIO! / Halekulani / Aug 29 2009
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    edited December 2011
    I can't help you on the Ohau specific stuff, but as for the Hair and Make-up, I don't think you need a trial. I am not doing one and I know a lot of brides didn't/aren't either. I think if you go with someone reputable (which I'm sure you can find one on here), you should have no problem, just be sure you have exact pictures and examples of what you want as for make-up and hair! I am not sure if my lady goes to Ohau, as I am a Maui bride but you could check, her name is Jean Muldoon, her website is www.jeanmuldoon.com, she is great! I hope this helps you out a tiny bit!
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    edited December 2011
    i have to second Kathe!! she is amazing and i could not have had my day go so perfect without her! she was amazing through the WHOLE process! i just LOVE LOVE LOVE her!!! i would also highly recommend catering connection. lei is so awesome and so great to work with! bruce the owner goes way out of his way to assist in every way!
    ryan and jennifer |august 10, 2009| lanikuhonua phase II
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    edited December 2011
    Welcome to the boards!
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    edited December 2011
    Welcome to the board! Yay for another Lani destination bride. I don't think you're behind at all. There is still plenty of time to plan a beautiful wedding.I have heard a lot of brides rave about KathE. I've also heard good things about all three of the caterers you listed. Pete and I (and our moms) are going to Oahu at the end of October. I left it to my coordinator to set up a food tasting. I think it's easier to get things set up that way. I don't plan on doing a hair or makeup trial while I'm in Oahu. I'll probably just rely on recommendations. We are doing a cake-tasting, mostly because I wanted our moms to feel a part of picking things out. And Pete likes cake. :) Otherwise, it probably wouldn't have been a priority. I'm meeting with the florist, but only because I've completely changed my decor idea since she gave me my estimate. I want to go over all the changes. Again--not a necessity if you can't fit it in. Good luck with the planning and feel free to keep posting your questions.
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    edited December 2011
    I would think that a florist can come up with arrangements by speaking with you and seeing sample photos of what you like. Because all faces and hair are different it will be most helpful to do a trial. If you do not do a trial, budget extra time on your wedding day to get this done. You do not have to taste cake IMHO, because as long as a baker has good reviews its going to be tasty no matter what. If you have a complex design you may want to talk to them about this beforehand.
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    bulinbulin member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Hi-Welcome!!!!I hired Dianna and I love her!!! She is THE most hard working vendor.  I am a local bride and I send her emails all the time for my DIY stuff and she helps by giving me input, sends me pictures from her client's weddings so that I get some ideas.  She has also been super helpful with booking my vendors.  My wedding isn't till next year but my friend hired her when she got married at Lani.  My friend said she was awesome and took care of everything!!!!  I'm sure that KathE is great too so you can't go wrong with either one.  As far as makeup and hair, I hired Christine Gardner from Flaunt.  She seems super nice and has a good reputation.For tastings, I think you can trust the coordinators to take care of that for you. 
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    bruce & ivybruce & ivy member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Welcome!! :) I would also highly recommend working with the Catering Connection. As mentioned in PP, Lei and Bruce are so wonderful to work with. Bruce has a lot of experience and has so many amazing suggestions to stay true to your vision and more importantly, your budget. All of our guests were so impressed with their service and with the food. We were constantly being asked, "Who is your caterer? Where did you find them?" We did food stations, including a sushi bar, a desert bar and beverage service for approximately $45 per person. They allowed us to purchase our own beverages and alcohol and served it for us to help keep our cost down. Our guests ate til their hearts content and we still had food left over, which CC kindly wrapped up for our family and friends to take home. They were awesome!
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    destiny1108destiny1108 member
    First Anniversary First Comment
    edited December 2011
    We also used Dianna from Hawaii Weddings and Events, she was amazing!  She's been used by many other knotties and does alot of events at Lani.      There were so many things that hadn't even thought about for the wedding day, she saved us both time and money.   Good luck and happy planning!
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    edited December 2011
    I am using KathE for my Day-of and just like Tya and Jen....I adore her!! She met up with me and my fiancee during our scouting trip last month...and she's a huge help as far as vendor suggestions go!!During our scouting trip, we were only able to do a tasting at Catering Connection, but we also went to Keneke's to try out their plate lunches! As far as Indigo is concernced...it was unfortunate that we couldn't go to Indigo's lunch buffet...but it's def recommended if you wanna see their food presentation and obviously taste their food.  KathE says its similar to what they serve at weddings! It's $16 per person for lunch, I think! Greg is the HARDEST HARDEST person to get a hold of! No joke!! I emailed him in April when we first got engaged...and no response.  I emailed him last month and still no response..it was KathE's incessant phone calls to him that finally got him to respond to my emails!! Actually, he did more than that...he called me personally, he apologized for the delayed response, but he was the first caterer that I contacted that asked us personal questions (fave food...fave restaurants) so that they could incorporate it into the menu.  If you want a copy of the menu he sent me, email me and I'll be glad to share! I also have copies of menus from Elite Catering, Catering Connections, and Cater To me! emptybee83 at yahoo dot com
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    edited December 2011
    I'm a Maui bride so I can't help with recommendations, but I wanted to say hello and welcome you to the board!
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    edited December 2011
    Thanks to all of you for your help! You are amazing!!!  Please keep the suggestions and opinions coming!
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    edited December 2011
    Welcome MrsBlevs2010!  I am also a Lani bride, and our wedding was 100% destination too! We hired KathE, and she was really great.  Could not have done it without her.  She was there the entire day of the event with her assistant, and made sure everything went as planned.  She took over everything the week of our wedding.  Like Tya said above, she does answer all email questions for free, and that was very helpful.  I too debated a long time between Dianna & KathE.  In the end, it was price that convinved me. (KathE was slightly less).  But overall, I think I may have been better off with Dianna.  Although KathE was great, I feel that Dianna does a lot of "extras" for her brides.  While I was in the planning process, I was in contact with another knottie who used Dianna for her Lani wedding, and Dianna really did a lot for her in the planning process that KathE did not. Either way, you will be in good hands.As for catering, Indigo was our first choice, but they were booked for our day.  We also considered Catering Connection.  In the end, we went with Elite catering, who was highly reccommended by Dianna.  They worked with us to come up with a great menu at the price we were looking for.  The food and service were GREAT!  We went with their action stations.  They can also do a sushi station.I did a trial with Dorys Foltin and Im glad I did.  It really just gave me piece of mind.I have more vendor reviews & details in my bio.  HTH! 
    Lanikuhonua, Phase II, Oahu Hawaii | April 24, 2009 http://iluvhawaii.weebly.com
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    edited December 2011
    Sorry for the late reply, I was trying to find out which knottie had used Indigo for full service catering... If you ask on the Hawaii Nestie board, she may pop up.  I remember it being a regular on the board. Well, I used Indigo, but it was for food that they would just drop off.  Greg was hard to get a hold of sometimes; have you tried emailing him?  I have this email somewhere if you need it. Greg told me that they don't do tastings, and that I should come in and eat the lunch buffet to taste most of the foods offered through catering... idk if he told me this because we were a cheap client for them (u know, no full service at the reception) or if that's true for everyone.I really liked the food they prepared for us.
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