Aloha, wahines! After 2 amazing weeks on Maui, we are back. Everything was great! Not everything went according to plan, but it still all ended up perfect. Hurricane Daniel really wreaked havoc the morning of our wedding. Yes, our morning wedding. But, just as the ceremony was about to start, the clouds cleared, the sun came out and a rainbow appeared. It stayed clear and sunny through the whole ceremony and long enough for us to get some pictures on the beach before the rain returned.
For all of you Maui brides, I wanted to give reviews for all the vendors we worked with. They were all great! We were so happy with how everything came together and how easy it was to work with everyone. Everyone get's A++++++++++++. Well, except for our very last vendor.
Mama's Fish House- Everything about Mama's Fish House was wonderful. We stayed at their Inn for 10 days, had our wedding ceremony on their beach, had our lunch reception at their restaurant and they even made our wedding cake. We couldn't have asked for a more perfect location for us if we had built it ourselves. Everything was just perfect.
Because we stayed at their Inn, we got 15% off all of our meals we ate at the restaurant. Yes, even our reception lunch. It was nice having that discount. The $200 deposit we paid to have our wedding and reception at Mama's was also applied to our check. I had forgotten about that so it was nice to have that surprise of $200 taken off of our bill.
They set up everything for us at the restaurant including our favors, place seatings, bride and groom signs on the chairs and so much more. They even created custom menus for us that everyone got to take home at the end. Everything looked so nice and everyone kept remarking how great everything looked and how much they liked all of the little details. I was really glad Mama's was able to help us set all of that up.
The food was amazing. By far, the best meal we had one the island. We pre-selected wasabi crusted calamari to come out as an appetizer. The calamari was so light and fresh. My daughter couldn't get enough of it. The chef also sent out the Polynesian beef as a free appetizer for us and our guests. It was such a nice surprise and amazingly tasting. The best part is that after you have it a coconut water lilikoi sorbet is served to cleanse your palette. All of our guests were really impressed with all of the courses from the bread to the bisque to the appetizers to their entrees that were served. They are still talking about it.
Our cake was exactly what we wanted. It was a sweet little cake decorated with fresh tropical flowers from the grounds at Mama's, lillikoi and our hand-carved tiki cake toppers. The cake toppers were a little heavy so they were put to the side of the cake. We were so happy with how it looked. The cake was light and not too sweet. There was a layer of lilikoi cake with raspberry fruit mousse and another layer of coconut cake with mango fruit mousse all covered in an Italian butter cream meringue. When the cake was cut and came out from the kitchen each slice was presented so beautifully with lilikoi and vanilla bean sauce on the side. It was all so tasty. I wish I had more of it to eat right now.
Really, I can't say enough good stuff about Mama's Fish House. I could go on and on about how happy we were with them, how much they helped us and how much they went above and beyond. Staying there made everything so convenient, too. I planned this whole wedding without a coordinator and they really made it easy. They said I made it easy not being a demanding bride, but if they hadn't have been so easy to work with I wouldn't have been so easy going. hehe
They also helped us out in other ways such as providing champagne glasses to all of our guests for our tropical mimosa morning cocktail hour we had for our guests while we had our pictures taken on the beach. Our MOH also stayed at Mama's Fish House and we had the cocktail hour and welcome party at her cottage. They didn't have any problem with this and helped us out in anyway they could.
Reverend Pia Aluli- This man is wonderful! His service was just what we wanted and we had many guests remark that it was the best wedding ceremony that they'd ever been to. He has a really peaceful nature to him that really comes through during the ceremony. I highly recommend him.
It was taking longer than planned to get me ready and he entertained everyone while they waited. It was pouring crazy during that time and we weren't able to use our iPod music we had to walk to. He stepped right in saying he knew all of the songs we were planning on using and he could play them on his guitar and sing them. Yes, he just jumped right in and offered to do that free of charge. BTW, Mama's provided huge umbrellas to everyone to use while it was raining.
Ha'awina Farms- MaryAnn is great and I'm so glad I got to work with her. She's a local who really knows her Hawaii flowers and was so easy to work with. Again, she said it was because I was so easy to work with, but it makes for a great vendor to have that easy experience. I highly recommend her. She even just made leis for the Maui Film festival and many of her leis were seen in the newspaper and other media on many of the actors that attended the event.
If you decide to work with MaryAnn there are a few things that you should keep in mind. She knows her flowers and what she's talking about, trust her with that. She likes to work with local Hawaiian flowers, not have to have flowers flown in from places like Thailand. Those purple orchid leis that you get at Costco and at the Old Lahaina Luau are not local flowers. She has to fly them in from Thailand and needs the time to be able to do that. She's on any island and needs time for supplies to get to her. She's on island time not because she's slow, but because she has to wait for non-local supplies to get to her. She's actually really fast in corresponding. If you are going to want to use flowers that aren't local, she needs at least a month's notice to be able to order everything and have it get there on time.
Again, trust her and her knowledge of flowers. I thought I wanted to order some other flowers and she advised me to order others. The ones I was going to order looked pretty, but didn't have any scent. The ones she recommended were amazing and the people they went to loved them. Actually, every person loved their leis.
I highly recommend ordering local flowers, not ones from other countries. You are on a beautiful tropical island and you picked Hawaii for a reason. Use Hawaii flowers and they will be fresher, smell better and last longer. Also, be flexible with what color your flowers are. The week of your wedding yellow plumerias might not be blooming enough for all of your leis, but the rainbow ones are. Don't stress about it, they will be beautiful no matter what the color is. Our flowers were all different colors and they all looked great. We loved all of them!
As a sweet surprise, MaryAnn made special leis for us that were waiting for us our last night at Mama's Fish House. We had a nice dinner just the two of us before we left for Hana for 3 days. It was such a nice touch and we loved getting to wear her leis one more time.
Jessica Waite Make-up- Jessica is a splurge, but worth every penny. She's super sweet and makes you feel really relaxed all while making you look fabulous. The airbrush make-up is amazing. I have really oily skin and that stuff stayed on and I didn't get oil through-out the day. We are talking from 7am to 10pm shine-free!
I also got her groom's package for my husband. He burned the very top of his forehead two days before because he didn't go all the way up to his hairline with sunscreen. Jessica said guys do that all the time and was able to cover up the red with the airbrushing. You couldn't tell he had anything on and he looked great.
I know Jessica isn't cheap, but she's really worth it. I promise you won't be disappointed hiring her. Your make-up will be amazing and it will stay on all day. This is one splurge you should go for.
Hair by Shelly- Shelly is a character! She's loud and over the top, but it works for her. She actually reminded me a lot of my hairdresser at home. Everyone's hair came out great and she made these really pretty plummeria petal flowers to put in everyone who had their hair done, but my hair. I really liked how those looked on everyone, too.
Her prices were great. I had originally booked Dan, but his prices were so high I couldn't bring myself to stick with him. Shelly's prices were less than half of what Dan charged and she was just as good.
T. Komoda Bakery- We picked up stick doughnuts, cream puffs and Hawaiian doughnuts to have at our morning cocktail hour. DH was a trooper and got picked these up the morning of our wedding. These were great and a fun local treat to serve with the tropical mimosas. The stick doughnuts were the best!
Old Lahaina Luau- We went here for the after party after the wedding and it was a lot of fun. It was nice not having to do anything for it except show up. All of our guests (who had been to a luau before) said it was the best luau that they had ever been to and really enjoyed it. Those who hadn't been to one before all said it was great and they didn't expect it to be so good. There was tons of food and drinks for everyone. We had front row traditional mat seating and it was great.
Pride of Maui- We had our c*ck n hen party on their boat for the sunset dinner cruise. There was plenty of room on the boat even though it was sold-out, tons of food and drinks flowing the whole time. It was well worth the cost. The only drawback was the night we happened to go was really windy. This was due to Hurricane Daniel and they didn't have any control over it. Even though it made for hair flying in our faces and our dresses wanting to fly up, it was still a nice night.
Da Kitchen- We got catered food trays from them for our welcome party and then went there for lunch before all the ladies went to get their nails done. All of the food was yummy and really big portions. The prices were great for catering. Everyone enjoyed the food and many went back there at other times that they were on Maui.
Nail Care Center- This place was your basic nail salon. It was close to us and they were able to fit us all in at the same time. There was 11 of us and everyone was happy with the service. Almost everyone got either nail art done on their toes or nails. After one person got it done almost everyone else followed. They all came out really good.
Sara Sanger Photography- Sara is a friend of ours and did our engagement pictures. We flew her to Maui and paid for her trip to do all of our wedding photos. she took photos for us for all the events leading up to the wedding and the wedding. It was great not having to take pictures during that whole time. We are very happy with the pictures. Now we just have to sort through 1882 of them....
Nichoel Holmes Graphic Design- Our MOH and my best friend helped me with all of the graphic design. I would come up with the wording, ideas and what kind of graphics I wanted to use and she put it all together. I threw so many ideas at her I can't believe she was able to sort it all out. She also helped me assemble and put everything together. Her skills are fantastic and she is available for hire. I highly recommender her services. You can see lots of pictures of her work on my blog and planning bio.
Hali'imaile General Store- We had our rehearsal dinner here and it wasn't as good as it's been in the past. We had a large party and they stuck us right in the middle of the front room with the front door right next to us even though we told them is was for our rehearsal dinner. The waitress thought we were there for my birthday. The food wasn't as good when we'd eaten there before and my fish was really dried out. No one raved about their food. We had planned on going back for dinner another night after the wedding just the two of us, but decided against it since our rehearsal dinner fell so flat. This is the one vendor we are given a less than an A+ to. They get a B-.
I can't get the pictures to work! To see the pictures that go along with our reviews, click over to my planning bio and go under vendors. The link is in my siggy below. Or you can go here: http://planningofourmauiwedding.weebly.com/