Hawaii

Aloha and venue help?

HI everyone, 

I've been reading up on many of the past posts and wanted to say hello and thanks for all of the ideas already! 

Me and my fiance got engaged in September and are beginning to plan for an Oahu wedding in September next year. We decided to hire a wedding coordinator, Katy Castillo, because we've never been to Hawaii.

Right now we're working on our budget and deciding on venues. Our top choices are halekulani, lanikuhonua, and moana surfrider. It seems like the hardest decision. Halekulani seems to have amazing food and service reviews, more affordable but it's not really a great venue for dancing. Lanikuhonua and Moana Surfrider are more expensive and we'll have to plan for a tent or other rain option, but have stunning views and are beautiful venues.

Any suggestions?
Christine & Bryant
planning bio
september 17, 2011 - moana surfrider
For Sale
Married! What's next!

Re: Aloha and venue help?

  • edited December 2011
    congrats and welcome to the board!

    there are a bunch of us who used lani -- and it can be inexpensive depending on what you want. we had a budget of ~$28K for 200 people at lani.

    the surfrider was initially our first choice, but between 2009 and 2010 their prices for a saturday night went from something like $64 to $77 or something outrageous like that. i tried to bargain with them, but they didn't budge. so we went with lani instead, and the surfrider called us about 3 weeks later saying they'd be willing to negotiate... but it was too late. we were in love with lani! best decision ever.

    halekulani was also a contender, but if we did have it there we wanted it on the hau terrace. which doesn't allow for amplified music.... and i didn't want a ballroom with no view, so it was out :( but the food and service there is amazing.

    personally, i don't think you could go wrong with any of your choices :)
    let me know if you have any questions. you can email me and candc dot oneill at yahoo dot com.

    :)
  • edited December 2011
    Welcome to the boards! I'm madly in love with Lani. If I could do it all over again and was going to do it on Oahu, I'd definitely do it there. That place is just magically gorgeous!
  • edited December 2011
    I just had my wedding at Halekulani. We loved it! You are spot on in saying excellent food and great service, also I felt the package offered a lot more than some other venues (ceremony site, cake, cake cutting, parking, 1 night in junior suite were all included if we met a food minimum). Although I would say that the Moana and Lani are probably better for pictures (Moana has beautiful columns and beach view, Lani with beach/railroads/greenery). I didn't like how Moana up'ed their price since becoming a Westin and Lani was just too difficult to plan as I was a destination bride and a hotel was just logistically easier. My only complain for Halekulani is lack of beach access and I didn't get to do any pictures on the beach (I might do a trash the dress session to make up for it, haha). Let me know if you have questions specific to Halekulani.
  • JburggrafJburggraf
    10 Comments
    member
    edited December 2011
    I got married at the Halekulani as well and have no regrets!  I was like Sandy, and would have totally went with Lani, had I lived in Hawaii, plus I wouldn't have wanted my guests to drive and a bus would have been pricey as well.  Depending I think on the number of people you have, I loved the Halekulani because it was very intimate.  I don't think anyone missed the dancing, and the view, top notch service, and food all made up for it.  The night flew by and we didn't even have time to dance! 

    Sandy, you didn't take any on the little beach right next to the Halekulani?  My photographer took us out there and got a bunch of beach sunset shots.  =( 
  • edited December 2011

    Yeah I had my wedding in the morning...on the day of, I ran late getting ready and by the time I was ready to take pictures the little beach area was filled with people :( totally my fault though, I underestimated the time I needed to get into my dress (forgot that I had a lace up plus buttons in the back AND I had to tape myself in for extra security on the top). Anyways, at Lani or Moana it would probably have been easier to take pictures on the beach. But I guess it's not that big of a deal since I took a couple of beach pictures for engagement and might make up for it with a TTD session :) Overall, I have no regrets at all with Halekulani.

  • edited December 2011
    My husband and I got married at Ke Iki Beach Bungalows on Oahu.  We were beyond happy with the location -- especially since all of our guests could stay on site.  We took up the entire location.  They are VERY affordable, and you can pretty much do whatever you want with the location while you are there.  Check our planning blog for more info/pictures.  Their website is helpful as well, but the pictures just don't do it justice.  Our entire family and wedding party is planning on heading back in the next two years to stay there again because of how picture perfect it is.  And one of my dear friends who is an event coordinator for a company that works directly with LIfetime Television, VH1 and MTV is now looking at using it for her events as well as some of her other friends weddings. 
    image
    Our Blog
    My Planning Blog updated 8/2009
  • edited December 2011
    This is great stuff to work with! Thank you all so much for your replies. All your weddings look and sound amazing. 
    Cai - I sent you an e-mail. Thank you! 
    Alyson - Your wedding is beautiful
    Sandy - Seriously the Moana seems like there's some additional fee for everything. Sorry to hear about no beach pictures though. Do you have pictures of your ceremony?
    J - Do you by chance have pictures?
    Leah - Sounds like a great option so that your guests can stay so nearby. Do you have pictures of your ceremony and reception?
    Christine & Bryant
    planning bio
    september 17, 2011 - moana surfrider
    For Sale
    Married! What's next!
  • JburggrafJburggraf
    10 Comments
    member
    edited December 2011
    I do have some pictures from the ceremony, but none from the little beach area yet.....my photographer hasn't gotten them back to me yet.  I can email you the unprofessional ceremony pictures.
  • edited December 2011
    tin2ca - sent you a private msg with links to some pix.
  • edited December 2011
    replied to your email! :)
  • 2012 Wedding2012 Wedding
    First Comment
    member
    edited December 2011
    Hi ldanzr,

    Thanks for suggesting the bungalows.  Can you tell me how you decided to dcorate the property to reflect your wedding colors and theme.  How many guests did you have? 

    Thanks,

    Kim
  • knichols23knichols23
    First Comment
    member
    edited December 2011
    I have been working with Katy and she is awesome! She has great recommendations and ideas. Well worth the money! We are doing a super small wedding at Turtle Bay in May. The package included the facilities and the food, but I had to arrange everything else myself. It has been a lot of work, but really fun at the same time. Good luck!
    image
  • edited December 2011
    Thanks everyone for all the suggestions. We decided on the Moana Surfrider - September 17, 2011! Yay! Ceremony on the terrace and reception in the lani kai room!

    Knichols - I love Katy. Already it's been such a relief to have someone that understands what we want, keeps us realistic and on track for our budget, and has great ideas! Best decision I've made for the wedding - other than the saying yes part :)


    Christine & Bryant
    planning bio
    september 17, 2011 - moana surfrider
    For Sale
    Married! What's next!
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