So we got back from our wedding a few weeks ago and it was so incredible. Very happy with how everything turned out and all our vendors were amazing.
Venue - Olowalu Plantation House - A+
Both my husband and I loved this venue. We didn't want to get married at a resort and we wanted to be by the ocean so this was definitely the best place for us. We had 70 guests and it was a good size for that. I dealt with the property manager directly - Donna - and she was so lovely to work with.
Coordinator - Lori, Tropical Maui Weddings - A+
We booked Lori pretty early on in the process and she is such a lovely person. We were able to meet her in person on our scouting trip and then again in the week before the wedding. She did an amazing job in the lead up to the wedding and again on the day - it was so good not having to worry about anything on the day or the timing of everything. She made everything as stressfree as possible. Also I definitely had moments of indecisiveness all the way through the planning and she was really accommodating and never irritated with me for all the changes which was pretty impressive because there were moments when I was annoying myself! She also coordinates lots and lots of weddings at Olowalu so she has lots of suggestions for set-ups etc. Strongly recommended.
Florist - Della, Dellables - A+
Della is lovely and she did an absolutely amazing job on our flowers - bouquets and centrepieces. She really went above and beyond my expectations for the centrepieces which were stunning. I wanted something unstructured with driftwood, shells, coral and orchids, roses, etc and what she delivered was just incredible - check out her blog for some images. She also managed to source a flower for the bridesmaids bouquet for me that I really didn't think would be possible on Maui - coral peonies - and I could not have been happier with their bouquets or mine.
Photographer - Joanna Tano - A+
Joanna is completely lovely and did a fantastic job. My husband and I met with her the week before our wedding for an engagement session in Paia and she is a very calm, lovely person who was lovely to have around on the day as we never felt hurried or stressed at all. We have received both the engagement photos and the wedding ones and are overjoyed with both. We love her style - feels very natural and candid and she also did a great job of getting lots of detail shots as well. And very quick turnaround - we only got married three weeks ago.
Videographer - 10th Letter Media - A+
These guys were awesome. We booked them after checking out their blog and website and completely loving their style - very fun and upbeat and not corny or sentimental like we find some wedding videos to be. We have only seen our highlights and not the full video but am very confident in their work and we love the highlights. Technically speaking, their angles/lighting etc is perfect as well. As with Joanna, really fun and chilled out guys to have around on the day. Only wish we had paid for the package that would have them stay for longer as in retrospect it would have been nice to have the speeches etc recorded. We also paid for them to fly over from Oahu - they are that good.
Caterers - Cafe O'Lei - A+
Loved the food. Love, love, loved the food. We did a tasting with these guys during our scouting trip so already knew they were really good, but our guests confirmed it. The appetisers are easily some of the best I've ever had - wedding or not - all three were really popular with our guests (crab cakes, coconut-crusted shrimp and manoa chicken wraps). Really, really good. Mains were great as well (we paid extra so everyone could have a duo option of steak and cajun mahi-mahi) and the desserts are amazing - alternating passionfruit cheesecake and coffee creme brulee. Want to eat it all over again. Presentation was also impeccable as was service, and the staff were also really helpful setting up before the ceremony.
Alcohol service - Stacey, Maui Bars'R'Us - A+
The bar staff were awesome - really nice people and really quick on the service. We paid a little bit extra to have them buy and deliver the alcohol for us (after we spent a few nights wine and champagne-tasting on our hotel balcony of course!) and was definitely worth it to remove the headache of having to get it all there ourselves (we had quite a lot of alcohol....!). We actually increased a lot of the estimated bottles needed as were panicky that a lot of our guests are big drinkers (mainly Aussies and Brits) and a young crowd on the whole and we were glad we upped the estimates. We did have some leftover but were able to knock that back with some friends the day after and give a few people a bottle of wine here or there. We also kept some for our honeymoon in Kauai so worked out well. I personally didn't get to taste the cocktails (don't know how that happened - the whole day went by in such a blur!) but reliable sources tell me they were great.
Rentals - Mike - A+
Not sure who our rental company was as we dealt through Lori on this but they did an amazing job. We had eight canopies, the dancefloor, two sets of lounge furniture, and cocktail/cake etc tables and all looked great. I also panicked at the rain forecast the night before (although it very rarely rains at Olowalu) and put up our emergency marquee as well (it didn't rain). But these guys were great with the set-up and everything looked in pristine condition as well.
Flowers - Maureen, Maui Floral (Costco) - A+
We used flowers from Maureen for our aisle, hair, and some small lounge table arrangements to save money so we could put more towards our amazing, amazing centrepieces. I can't remember our exact quantities but we definitely got really good value for money and was much cheaper doing it ourselves. All the flowers looked great and Maureen was really nice and helpful in discussing different orchid types etc with me before ordering.
Cake and Cookie Village - Maui Wedding Cakes - A+
We ordered a three-tier cake and a cookie village (consisting of gingerbread hula dancers, surfer boys and girls, dolphins, shells, sand, surfboards etc) through Maui Wedding Cakes. Both were slighly last minute additions as we were unsure what we wanted to do as favours. But the cookie village was really great - looked very cool all set-up and our DJ provided some lights to put around it so people would know it was up on the porch to go take a look. The caterers disassembled it at the end of the night and put each cookie in a cellophane bag (provided by me) along with some 'sand' (sugar) to give to guests as they boarded the shuttle bus back. The cake was also just what we asked for - with some simple sugar paste flowers on it and looked and tasted good (we served it the day after on our farewell boat trip as everyone already had desserts with cafe o'lei and was still good then as well).
DJ - Randy - A+
Randy was great. I'm afraid we didn't give him much freedom with the playlist as we were both so excited about getting to choose the music all night we came up with a huge playlist for him. He did a great job though and the floor was packed all night (I worried that it being an early event compared to normal UK/Oz weddings which gone on until 2am that no one would really dance but I was definitely wrong). I also spoke to him a few times to play certain songs and he willingly obliged. All songs were well-mixed and sound level was perfect (something else I worried about as I knew there were some restrictions with the property). All good!
Ceremony musician - Jamie Lawrence - A+
Jamie is a star! Unfortunately I didn't get to hear much of Jamie as I was in the house getting ready while he played for the guests as they arrived but what I heard was really fantastic and everyone has since raved about him to me. I also remember listening to the music I walked down to (sea of love) and it was a very beautiful rendition. He has an amazing voice and hearing it made the ceremony much more special.
Cocktail hour musician - Marty Dread - A+
Marty was awesome! We didn't really give him any idea of what we wanted other than what Lori might have passed on to him, but he did a great job. Again we didn't hear a lot of him as we were off doing pictures for a lot of the cocktail hour but we heard him a bit during the dinner (before Randy took over) and he definitely created a fun, beachy vibe which is exactly what we were looking for.
Hair and Make-Up - Mira - A+
Mira did a great job on my hair and make-up and the hair for my bridesmaids and mum (her assistant did the make-up for the bridesmaids and my mum). I was really pleased with how everyone's look turned out - all the make-up was soft and natural and the skin flawless and even by the end of the night (and after lots and lots of champagne) everyone looked great and in tact. Also the make-up looks fantastic in all the photos as well. I had done a trial with Mira the week before so that also helped in deciding what to do on the day and I'm really glad she recommended some small false eyelashes as although I was sceptical they did make a big difference and weren't obvious like I'd feared.
We also had a few wedding week events as well -
Welcome Drinks - Kimo's - A+
We reserved an area during happy hour for our guests in advance and then just picked up the tab at the end. Was a really great way for everyone to mingle and meet at the beginning of the week and a really nice setting on the water and in the middle of Lahaina. All the staff were great to work with and had a good mix of standing/table and chair space with a few umbrellas we well to protect from the heat. Very glad we chose Kimo's for this event as was perfect. A big group of us then went on to Cool Cat Diner for dinner and more drinks and they were great in accommodating us (we had called that morning).
Luau - Old Lahaina Luau - A+
About 45 of us went to this luau and had a great time. The service is great and they got us good tables at the front altogether. Food and drink is great. Show really good and professional. I would prefer some fire-dancers etc even if it's not strictly culturally accurate but everyone still had a great time.
Rehearsal Dinner - Merriman's - A+
We love, love, love Merriman's at Kapalua. Were so close to hosting our wedding there was well as such a beautiful setting on the water and definitely one of the more elegant restaurants on Maui. Food is outstanding as well. We ended up having a small dinner there the night before the wedding with 14 of us and it was great. We had a private lanai and the service was perfect as was the food. Sunsets also always seem to be good from there as well. We have also eaten there a few times - always great.
Farewell Boat Trip - Four Winds II, Maui Classic Charters - A+
We did an afternoon boat trip out to Molokini the day after the wedding which was great as we were fully able to relax at this point with the wedding done. Knew it was unlikely we would get to Molokini in the afternoon because of wind and rougher seas but were very luckily and managed it. Very glad we did as the snorkelling was great. Had about an hour of snorkelling then back on the boat for a BBQ of burgers which was perfect for day after food. Some guests even managed to knock back a few drinks as well which was good as that was all included in our package. Crew were great, really relaxed and just played some music over the speakers (we had a playlist organised on our iphones but both were stolen the week before on Waikiki beach). Had a great time.
Hotel accommodations - Royal Lahaina Resort - A+
Not as fancy as the hotels in Wailea, we chose the Royal Lahaina as it offered a really good mix of price points and accom options for our guests. As 99% of our guests were international we wanted them to be able to stay somewhere affordable that was still in a great position on the beach in Kaanapali. We loved it there - had an oceanfront tower room first of all with a great view (and inside, the rooms are at least as nice if not nicer than the Sheraton), and then upgraded to an oceanfront suite which was stunning. All our guests were happy with their rooms as well (all in cottages or tower rooms) and a few got upgrades. It was also really nice that although the hotel was busy, we could still wander down to the bar or restaurant and find some of our guests. Also that end of the beach is our favourite as nowhere near as crowded as in front of the Sheraton, but a beautiful stretch of beach. Would definitely stay here again as great value.
Ok, sorry that is so long and that everyone was an A+!!! But we honestly felt that all our vendors did a super job and we couldn't be happier with how any of it turned out. Also we felt like we got great value from everyone we booked and that they were all also really nice people to deal with so would definitely book all the same people again!