I didn't go on a planning trip and really relied so much on the reviews here to make all my decisions. Needless to say, everything was way beyond my expectations and so much more than anything I could have ever imagined. It was also nice to have so many pleasant surprises. (I didn't even see the venue until the day of!) Here's a very detailed, long review of both my wedding and honeymoon and hopefully it will provide some help to future brides.
Mulligans on the Blue - Welcome dinner A+
Everyone I worked with before and during for this event was fantastic. We had the front lanai which is outdoors and has great views of the lawn and ocean. There is a golf course next to the restaurant so everything is kept very well maintained and beautiful and the drive up is great. The coordinator asked me many questions to ensure that everything was perfect, often things I didn’t even think of. They were also very flexible with the dinner options. We were looking for a lower costing option, so they offered us the lunch buffet option at a slightly higher price for dinner. We went to Gannon’s for brunch with our wedding party, and I was very impressed with them. We also went to Five Palms for dinner with a bunch of friends and the service and décor was pretty disappointing for me there. These were 2 other options we were considering for our welcome dinner, but Mulligans had the right price point for us.
Jackie and Lori from Tropical Maui Weddings A+
Jackie was the planning coordinator and Lori was the day of coordinator and we had the bonus of having her husband around to help out too! They were great. So much of their value was recommending really fantastic vendors and knowing so much about weddings that the entire planning process was so painless and effortless for me. Also on the day of, having someone there from beginning to end that kept us on track was a relief.
Lois Hiranaga, Floral Design A+
I think I spent over an hour on the phone with Lois at one point because I really wanted to have flowers, flowers, flowers everywhere but it’s expensive in Hawaii. So she and I worked out a way to achieve that look within the budget I wanted. Also I only told her the general look and feel and colors that I wanted, and she totally delivered exactly what I wanted based on that. There was one thing that I wanted that she had never done before (flowers in little jars as escort cards), and she totally went about gathering 50+ jars to help me get what I wanted.
Kaua, Photographer A+
We only have a small sample of photos so far (attached below), but we love the ones he sent over and can’t wait to see the rest. He was really great on the day of, seeming to really know his stuff. He also has a great personality.
Ceremony Music B
We used a harpist, violinist, and cellist for our ceremony music. Apparently, the violinist messed up twice when I walked down the aisle to JS Bach - Air on G string which is a very common song. I don’t know the name of the violinist, but I’m going to tell our WC about that.
Hula Entertainment B+
They were a great value considering for what we paid for, we got a drummer, guitarist, and 4 hula dances who changed into several different outfits. It was hysterical when our guests went up to dance with them as well. I have to say, though, it wasn’t as tight as what you may see at the luau shows, but it was good for wedding entertainment.
Sugarman’s Estate A++
What a beautiful venue! And a great, large house with air conditioning to get ready in. I think there were about 5 rooms with a few bathrooms, so there’s no wait and people with kids can take a break in one of the bedrooms. I was a bit worried that the grass would be brown in August, but it was very green and in perfect condition.
We ended up getting a clear top tent which I’m grateful for. It sprinkled a little which wasn’t a big deal, but it helped calm me to know we had the tent in case it got worse.
Island Flipbooks A++
We used flipbooks instead of a photo book and it was so popular, our dance floor was kinda empty at pints since everyone was gathered around the flipbook. They printed out the flipbooks right away for people and also accepted numerous orders so that everyone got a flipbook. People were getting pretty creative near the end of the night, putting on sophisticated skits!
Stella Blues Café A
They were very good but nothing out of this world. We knew this going in since we decided to not splurge on food.
Joann, Cakes B
I was kinda frustrated with her since she didn’t get me a quote of the cakes I wanted until after I arrived in Hawaii even though I put in the order months before. She was definitely the slowest getting back to us with price quotes, answers, etc. Her cake tasted fine, but we have a cake decorator in NY that we use and I, personally, like her cakes so much more. Like I can’t stop after one slice with her cakes. I don’t know if there are a lot of other options, though, on Maui.
DJ Del A+
DJ Del was so sweet and checked in with me a few times to see if I wanted anything played. Other guest also told us that he was good and that we really followed well the loose playlist we sent him.
Pam from Four Seasons, Hair and Makeup A+
She’s expensive but totally worth it. I didn’t feel like a bride until after I saw what she did. Also with all the wind and activity it stayed well for the entire day and night. She also used air brushing on my back (for a scar) and shoulder for a birthmark. I would have never have thought to do that. She also worked on the mothers who are very picky about this sort of stuff and she handled them very well.
Katira, Hair A-
She did the hair for all the bridesmaids and was very good with all different styles as you can see from the photos. I think her styles didn’t stay in as well as Pam’s did, though.
Stacey, Bartender A+
Stacey has an amazing personality and worked with us on specialty cocktails (I really like watermelon and ginger, so she found ways to work them in) and generally chipped in throughout the night on this and that, I noticed.
Maui Classic Charters, Day After Snorkeling A
We took the 1pm snorkel trip which was great. Everyone had a lot of fun and they also served an easy BBQ lunch. We opted for not going with a private tour to save money and it wasn’t awkward at all.
Spa Grande at the Grand Wailea hotel A++
This is the best spa I’ve ever been to. There’s 5 different salt baths for each of the 5 Hawaiian Islands and a lot of other baths and rooms too. The décor is very grandiose and the service is excellent as well. I found out it’s a Ritz Carlton hotel which makes sense. I went after the wedding, but kinda wish I went before to distress as well. I took advantage of the Hawaiian Airline promotion that may still be going on.
St Regis Hotel A++
Best hotel I ever went to, had our own personal butler- enough said.
The spa though was just ok, restaurants were fantastic. I would have liked an adults only pool, but the beach off the hotel is great.
Mauna Loa Helicopters A++
We did the tour with no doors and we were the only ones there. After we saw the island by land and by sea, it was completely different and breathtaking to see it by air. It was a bit scary to see with no doors, but I really wanted to, because who knows when we’ll have another chance.
Fathom Five Diving A+
We went shore diving at Tunnel Beach and I had never gone through tunnels before which was amazing. Our guide really explained everything to us and I feel much more knowledgeable now. Also she took care of all our equipment which was amazing.
Napali Sea Breeze Boat Tour A
Nice tour along the coast line with great photo taking opportunities. At our end point, we went snorkeling and it was the best snorkeling I ever went on. We saw a small shark, a family of rays, and bunch of other stuff too.
GENERAL WORDS OF ADVICE
I got some good pieces of advice from others, but some things I would add, that may just apply to me, are the following:
· Do anything you can to conserve your energy. I got really tired mid-evening. I think I would have worn flats or gotten something relaxing before like a massage.
· Tie your veil down. It was pretty windy during our ceremony and I had worn my hair up as a result but forgot about securing the veil so it was really blowing all over the place.
· Talk to your vendors. I sent lists to our vendors through our WC, but think I should have spoken to them over the phone as well to walk them through it. It would have made me feel much more confident that they were doing everything I wanted.
· Leave for another island for your honeymoon. We kept on meeting other people for meals, etc which was great, but I didn’t feel like we were really on our honeymoon until we went to Kauai.