Hawaii

Private Venue vs Resort --- how did you decide??

So we went to visit 3 venues yesterday. FI really wants a resort wedding... Plus this resort has a sand area not considered a part of 'Hawaii public beach' so we can get married in the sand with the arch and guests can sit in chairs, etc facing the ocean. We originally thought you couldn't set up arches and chairs on any sand property so we decided ocean front would be okay.
Well looking outside the resorts... I found private places (lanikuhonua Kualoa, sunset ranch) where you can figure out every aspect of your wedding... And I got excited!!
So now that fiancé found out we can get married in the sand and still have our aisle and 60 guests sitting comfortably he absolutely loves the idea of a resort wedding.
How did you choose between a private venue vs a resort??!! I like the privacy of the private venues... no shirtless old men walking next to you in your wedding dress.. Or a resort... Convenience for your guests.

Re: Private Venue vs Resort --- how did you decide??

  • edited December 2011

    I was debating between the two, and then I saw a Olowalu plantation house wedding pictures, and I was sold. It had the intimate feeling that I was looking for, and it worked out perfect for our wedding


  • edited December 2011
    Well, the beach at Lani is still public, and I'm pretty sure you can't set up on the sand, but the estate is gorgeous! If we'd chosen to get married on Oahu, I'm pretty sure we would have gone with Lani. We went private estate (Olowalu) because we wanted it to be exactly that - private. Even with the public beaches in front of them, you'll have far fewer people wandering around out there.
  • edited December 2011
    I was debating between the Honualai Estate on Kona and one of the resorts.  I loved Honualai, but ended up picking the Fairmont.  For a smaller wedding of 40 people, the resort ended up being a better deal for the following reasons:

     - no need for guest transportation (I did not want guests driving themselves)
     - no need for liability insurance
     - rentals included
     - later event end time
     - coordinator fees included in the package price

    The resort also gave us a great rate on rooms which was important with everyone coming from Canada.  While I'm sure we could have still negotiated a good group rate even had we chosen the private estate, the deal was better having the wedding at the resort and they have given us an amazing room for the rate! 

    The biggest downside to the resort is the cost of the alcohol.  It is expensive at $7 - $12 drink plus tax.  As we are only 40 people with about 5 non-drinkers and not many heavy drinkers, I am fine with those costs.  However, with a bigger group this could be a much more significant expense.

    We'll see how it turns out next month!
  • edited December 2011
    Have to agree with LS Orchid. My "dream wedding" would be at Lani...BUT...we did not want people to feel stuck. Everyone is staying in Waikiki and I want them to feel free to walk to their hotel at the end of the night instead of drive. We chose a resort wedding because it was easier on the guests and didn't seem as much of hassle. HOWEVER, for your dream wedding, hassle is okay =) I wanted Lani because I wanted a full outdoor affair. We chose to have the best of both worlds and went with an outdoor ceremony in Ko'Olina followed by an outdoor reception at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki. Good luck with planning!
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  • AKWinterBrideAKWinterBride member
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Comment
    edited December 2011
    We went with a private estate because of how many beach weddings I have seen people rudely run right through.  You would think that people would be considerate as it's obvious what is going on, but they sure aren't!  I have seen at least 4 weddings taking place on the beach in front of the Grand Wailea have people run through them.  Unbelievable. 

    Plus, I love Olowalu, I've loved it for years and when we had the opportunity to book it, we jumped right on it!  I don't want people watching our wedding from afar, this is our moment and I only want the people who are coming to our wedding to experience it with us.  It's a very private moment to me, and we like to keep it that way. 
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  • edited December 2011

    I'm not sure about Oahu or Maui, but many of the Big Island resorts, which are generally quite large, can ensure your privacy.  Its an important point and something to discuss with the resort before you book.  Good luck with your decision!

  • icode4foodicode4food member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I originally planned on having my wedding at the Paul Mitchell Estate in Lanikai however it would have been a logistical nightmare. When you have a wedding a private estate you really need to hire a planner to deal with all the vendors the day of. You have to bring in all the chairs, glasses, plates, utensils,linens, tents, cooking equipment. Hire wait staff. Find a caterer with edible food. The real nail in the coffin was having to hire valet attendants. Lanikai does not allow massive amounts of cars to be parked on the street.

    Another factor to keep in mind is convenience and travel for your guests. If you are looking at having your wedding on Oahu, Honolulu has horrible rush hour traffic which most people don't realize. Make sure your guests know to budget enough time to travel. Do you have guests with medical conditions? The elderly and obese cannot walk far nor be exposed to the heat for extended periods of time. 

    My fiance and I opted for Hau Terrace at the Halekulani. It will give us the intimate setting we want without the fuss. Most resort venues are terrible with screaming kids and the public watching you. Hau Terrace is the only outdoor venue location at a resort which is not accessible by the public and there are guards provided as well. It also has the option of enclosing part of the terrace which is air conditioned so my fiances family members with medical issues can escape the heat.

    Its a good fit for us but isn't for everyone. Best of luck finding the perfect location for you and your fiance

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