Hawaii

Back from Olowalu, vendor and wedding report







Aloha!
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.

mahalo nui!






karen

Re: Back from Olowalu, vendor and wedding report

  • edited December 2011
    Ahh! LOVE it Karen! I'm so glad everything turned out so beautifully. I also love that we had a lot of similar menu items. =) Congrats on pulling off a beautiful day!
  • carrieoz_76carrieoz_76 member
    2500 Comments Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    Gorgeous!  Congrats on putting together such a nice wedding, and on the marriage of your son.  :)

    I have a few follow-up questions re Pia Aluli, if you don't mind - what type of ceremony did he do for your son and daughter-in-law?  Was it non-religious?  Did he meet with them at all beforehand?  Did they personalize the ceremony at all, and if so, how?

    Thanks in advance!
  • lindskalindska member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    seriously gorgeous, your hard work and dedication really paid off!  congratulations!!!
    image
    lindsay and kaata - june 21, 2010 - lani phase II my planning bio
  • pbkmompbkmom member
    Ninth Anniversary 100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Thanks all!

    Carrie, Pia came over to the Alii and met with us three days before the wedding. It was a non religious service. He asked the couple how they wanted their vows, and he consulted with me on several issues the day of the wedding. He will personalize it any way you like. This is how their ceremony worked:
    family entered. Then groom and groomsmen came up to the canopy. Bridesmaids then flower girl, then Pia blew the conch shell as the bride and her father entered. She chose to have Pia ask her dad who gives this woman. Pia had the couple face the guests. He welcomed guests, talked about the ocean and nature giving life, etc, don't remember exact words, did a chant and the couple exchanged leis and then did so with the parents. Vows and rings, which he prompted line by line, reading, song, introduction of couple and recessional. Signed wedding certificate right after.Hope this helps!
    Karen
  • carrieoz_76carrieoz_76 member
    2500 Comments Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    Thanks, that's SUPER helpful!  We're trying to decide if we want a more Hawaiian ceremony or not, and trying to think through what the difference would be, so this is great.
  • ETweetETweet member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Karen you did a wonderful job!!! Your son and daughter-in-law were so lucky to have you help them out. I am so glad everything turned out beautifully. My mouth was drooling a bit reading about your menu. Yummy! Beautiful arrangement all together. Congratulations to you and your family!
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  • edited December 2011
    Absolutely beautiful wedding!  You're a great Mom!!
  • machan2010machan2010 member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Looks great!  I love the table setup and the colors!  And that menu...yum!  Congrats!!
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  • pbkmompbkmom member
    Ninth Anniversary 100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Thanks everyone, you are the best!!!
    Got a sneak peek of our pictures.. if you want to check out Laura's work here is the link: http://shootmelaura.smugmug.com/Weddings/ben-and-natalie-highlights-1/11065232_P29bN#775510836_JyPJ9
  • MissP.MissP. member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    WOW what beautiful pictures!! i love love love the centerpieces! Thanks for posting! You are such a great mom and MIL =)
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