Well like the previous brides postings, I can't say enough about Olowalu. The raw setting is suberb and add in some flowers, and lighting and you have magic. Fortunately it was a picture perfect day as well, sunny, clear skies and little wind.
For those who don't know my story, I am the mother of the groom and love to plan and organize events and travel. Son and fiance are the opposite, can't be bothered with details, have strong opinions but don't want to do the work. So I stepped in as the wedding planner, trying to create their dream wedding.
Food is important to them so after choosing Olowalu as the site, we chose Celebrations Catering the brainchild of hawaiian fusion chef Bev Gannon (she owns Halliimale General Store, Joe's and now Gannon's in the former Seawattch.
The food was superb. Menu was Hoisin short ribs, macadamia encrusted fish with lilikoi beurre blanc, lemongrass chicken, vegetable/pineapple paella, goat cheese potato gratin, wok seared sugar snap peas and a nice mixed greens salad. hors d'oeuvres were passed crab cakes, kalua pot stickers, ahi on a rice cracker, and tomato mozarella skewers. Dessert was small pick up sweets also fabulous. (wish I had grabbed some and put them in my purse!)
Service was professional and friendly.
I used Val Spalding for flowers who does the flowers for the restaurant. Val is just fun to work with and totally got my vision ( and I think she is just that kind of person), She used to do umpteen weddings a day at the Grand Wailea and now works out of her home. We had green runners, bamboo placemats and bamboo chairs for an island look. Rebecca from Celebrations helped pull it together with twisted iron flatware and crackled glass plates. Then the wow factor with the mango and fuschia colored mokara ochids from Val. She also wrapped the votives with bear grass and lined the vases with ti leaves. Pomanders and sprinkled orchids adorned the aisles, The bouquets were gorgeous as well, The word Martha Stewart was thrown out by multiple guests.
Pia Aluli was the officiant and he is the warmest and calming guy (plus all us older gals thought he was pretty good looking as well, lol). Would recommend him totally.
Kalani Smythe played before, during and after the ceremony and he was everything we could want. Beautiful voice and talented musician. Plus a really nice laid back guy.
Lighting was done by Celebrations guy Henry and he is so nice and accomodating. Everyone loved the uplit trees and ocean spot light, plus the tiki torches added atmosphere.
Billy Arbour was a perfect DJ, a true professional and kept it low key for the kids who didn't want the whole emceee thing, but needed one nonetheless.
Maui Executive Shuttle was great, the driver was on time and very friendly. To save money, we hired one 25 passenger minibus. There were 49 guests so it required some careful planning. We also had two large vehicles. The girls went out early by car, I came shortly after with the van and all the liquor and decorations and the shuttle started with the family and groom and groomsmen about 2 hours early. Went back and got remaining guests. Then we had two runs back at night, sent the older folks home first and the younger crowd last. It worked out fine. They have a two hour minimum, so it was 4 hours total around $160 an hour. This was the cheapest option as they are located near Kaanapali so you don't have to add in a lot of barn time.
The majority of us stayed at Kaanapali Alii condos. They have a great beach/oceanfront pavillion that we used for our welcome barbecue. I made Hawaiian barbecue chicken, hawaiinan slaw, fruit, vegetable kabobs and served mini cheescake bites from Costco and Hawaiina cookie company cookies. It was a gorgeous setting and we had a lot of freedom to move around, unlike a restaurant. Other guests were quite happy with the Maui Eldorado for more reasonably priced accomodations.
Our photographer was a friend of my sisters from Oahu. She gave us a great rate and I am anxious to see the pictures. Laura Aguon and her assistant Bob were the most pleasant and easy going people. And it wasn't easy for them because the bride and groom thought that pictures were a bother and interfered with their celebration time. Well I think they won't regret it in the future when they have the pictures. So kudos to Laura for her patience and skill.
I'll try to add a few pics and maybe get a bio together if I can figure it out. I had sooo much help from all you Hawaii knotties so I hope I can pay it forward.