I already reviewed the wedding coordinator, Tropical Maui Weddings, who I would NOT suggest using. However, I am finally getting to my other reviews. We had a small wedding of 12 on the beach. Here goes!
TAD CRAIG PHOTOGRAPHY A+++++
Tad was wonderful to work with. We got married on a beach, and he explained the pros and cons of the beaches I was considering. He then suggested White Rock Beach (Palauea) based on what I told him we were looking for (lava rocks, greenery, palm trees). It was a perfect beach for our wedding and provided some beautiful backdrops! The day of the wedding was a mess thanks to my coordinator not booking the makeup artist. But, when Tad got there, he kept the replacement makeup artist on time. He was taking pictures from the moment that he arrived in my hotel room until the end of the night. From what I've heard, when he arrived at the beach, he's the one who 'directed' the guests on the beach and kept everything in order. I paid him for an extra half hour to come to the restaurant to get us cutting our cake. Well, the cake wasn't ready, and he stayed anyway until they got it finished. (More on the cake with restaurant review). After the wedding, he had sneak peeks of pictures emailed to me within 5 days. The wedding was 11/23, and we already have our CD with all our wedding pictures. Even with Christmastime and 12/12/12 weddings, he got it to us in less than a month! I can't say enough fabulous things about Tad!! The pictures are beautiful, he was wonderful, and his assistant, Marie-Claude is fabulous as well! I'm amazed that my wedding planner tried to talk me out of using him. Thank goodness I stuck to my guns!! I can't recommend Tad enough!!!
Live Maui Webcasts A+++
We are very happy with Stephan Boecker! We paid for one of his smaller packages, because we wanted a video of the actual wedding and not a music video type dvd. He does those as well. It's just not what we wanted. We did a live webcast, and all our friends and family back home were able to watch. We had about 60 people watching, and everyone has had great things to say about Stephan's process for sending out reminder emails, etc. We are still waiting for the video to arrive, but it shipped on Saturday, so we should be receiving it soon. We have watched the video on his website over and over again, and if the dvd is anything like what he did during the actual wedding, we'll be thrilled!
Lois Hiranaga Floral Designs A+++++
We wanted everyone at the wedding to have a unique lei. I had a triple strand triple crown heart lei. My husband had a ti leaf lei with triple crown heart flowers woven into it. My 12 year old son was the best man, and he had the coolest lei...a cigar lei! My sister-in-law was my matron of honor and wore a double green orchid lei. Our mothers each got a ginger lei. My dad and brother had kukui nuts with greenery. My nephews each wore rainbow plumeria leis, and our friends wore a kukui nut lei and a single orchid lei. I had a beautiful bouquet with orchids, mokara, mini calla lilies and pin cushion proteas. It was the most gorgeous bouquet I've ever seen! My sister-in-law's bouquet complimented mine and was beautiful as well! The flowers were one of our highest expenditures, but it was totally worth it! Lois was so patient talking with me helping me to decide on each lei. I spoke with her on the phone for about an hour and a half, and I knew I didn't need to talk to her again because I totally trusted her to have everything completed. I was right!! She's wonderful!!
Hair and makeup - Pam Jensen C
I think Pam is a very nice person, and I think she tried very hard, but we didn't have the same vision. I took her a picture of how I wanted my hair 2 days before the wedding. I looked like I had a shower cap on, only it was my hair. And my makeup didn't stay. I was sweaty before I even got to the beach for the ceremony, and by the end of the ceremony, my lipstick was gone. I got to the restaurant for the reception and was horrified to see in the mirror that I had black smudged all under my eyes. This was NOT to have a smoky eye, either! My makeup rubbed off under my eyes! I had seen pictures of her work and told the wedding planner I didn't want her, but since she 'accidentally' forgot to book the makeup artist I wanted, I was stuck. Needless to say, my initial instincts were right. I wish I'd had the artist I wanted. Thanks a lot, Lori Lawrence. I wasn't the beautiful bride I wanted to be, and it's because of you. I think Pam is better suited to do older ladies' hair. She ratted my sister-in-law's hair and aged her by about 15 years. It was crazy!
Pastor Ron Winckler - A+++++
We saw Pastor Ron officiate a wedding on one of the sample videos on Maui Live Webcasts website, and we immediately knew we wanted him to marry us. We wanted a Christian ceremony, and he was just the man to give it to us! We were emailed ceremony examples, and we took different parts from a couple of the examples and put them together. We spoke with Pastor Ron a couple of weeks before the wedding, and he was more than helpful and so wonderful to talk with!! He just makes everything seem so easy!! He is fabulous! He even pronounced my name correctly, and NOBODY pronounces my name right!!
Capische? - reception C
We had some problems working out the menu ahead of time. For some reason, they made it really difficult for us to have 2 types of salads for our guests to choose from, but in the end, they accomodated us. We had wanted to have our reception at a place that would be fun. We had 3 kids with us. But my wedding planner talked me into Capische saying how "fabulous" it was. So, I agreed. However, it was much more romantic than fun. If you want to go somewhere fancy and romantic, this is the place. However, it was not our cup of tea. The food was wonderful! The service during the reception was wonderful! However, I made one mistake. I decided to use them to make our wedding cake. It wasn't ready when we got there. It was 2 tiers, and it looked like the top tier was melting into the bottom tier. I'd sent them a picture of the cake we wanted several months ago. It had fondant done in squiggly tubes around the cake with some roses on it. I told them I did not want the roses, but could they do the squiggly tubes? They said they could do it. The tubes were not squiggly, and there were roses on it. The fondant had the consistency of licorice and was not good. The cake was extremely dry. I've paid $30 for birthday cakes that were better than this, and they charged me $322 for the cake. Just catastrophic! What a shame that our once in a lifetime wedding cake was not only ugly, but didn't even taste good. The kids didn't even eat theirs!! If kids don't eat their cake, you know it's gotta be bad!!
Old Lahaina Luau - Rehearsal Dinner A+++++
We had a wonderful time at the luau! It was everything I'd read!! They did not disappoint! Just know that their tables seat 8. We had to break up our party into 2 tables and weren't able to all be together. So, if this is important, keep it in mind. The food was excellent! We were there on Thanksgiving, and they also had turkey!! The dancers were great, and our waiter was so upbeat and kept our tables happy! We had a wonderful time!! I'd suggest this luau in a heartbeat!
Guess that's it. Sorry it was so long, but I want anybody who's looking for vendors to actually get a feel for who these people are.