Imagine spending 10 months and tens of thousands of dollars to plan your dream wedding in Hawaii, only to have the officiant forget to show up. For anyone planning on using Lauren King as their officiant, please don’t.
We began planning a February wedding last April and chose Lauren from three officiants recommended to us by the Hanalei Colony Resort – the beautiful north shore resort we selected as our wedding venue. My fiancé and I spoke with Lauren on the phone early on in the planning process and confirmed her for a February 9 wedding. After trading several e-mails with Lauren over the course of the winter we finally decided on the style of the ceremony, the script and the vows. Then, several weeks before the wedding, we spoke with Lauren on the phone one more time to reconfirm all the details. We invited her to our rehearsal, which was scheduled for the day before our wedding, but she declined. We thought nothing of it at the time and assumed that we would touch base with her when she arrived before the ceremony to go over any last minute details.
We flew to Kauai five days before our wedding and 40 of our closest friends and family made the trip from all over the mainland to attend our special day. We had a 4:30pm wedding and every detail was planned out meticulously by my fiancé and me. Ninety minutes before our ceremony was to start, I began getting a little nervous that Lauren had not yet arrived. It was unusual to me that she wasn’t there to touch base with the bride, groom and the Hanalei Colony Resort’s wedding coordinator in person so soon before the ceremony. If fact, we were assured by our on-site wedding coordinator that she had spoken to Lauren on the phone a couple of days prior to again reconfirm everything.
Assuming it was a part of the laid back Hawaii lifestyle, we thought nothing of it and proceeded as planned, starting the prelude music 30 minutes before the ceremony. At 4:20, with 40 guests seated, prelude music playing, our photographer in position, our families and wedding party lined up for the processional and the bride and groom ten minutes away from the most memorable and special moment of our lives, the wedding coordinator found me and said “I am so sorry, I have the most terrible news. Lauren FORGOT about your wedding”. And there was no way she could be at the resort on the north shore anytime soon.
Imagine the embarrassment at having to tell your guests who had traveled so far and spent so much to be a part of this experience, that there might not be a wedding after all.
Our wedding coordinator scrambled to find a back up officiant to step in, but they wouldn’t have any idea of the script, the vows, the flow of the ceremony, or any of the details we had been communicating with Lauren for nearly a year. While we waited and waited for a new officiant to arrive, we decided we couldn’t trust for that to happen, so when one of our guests offered to perform the ceremony, we proceeded. (There is also a curfew on the island, so the more the ceremony got pushed back, the shorter and shorter our reception got since it had to be over by 9:30pm).
We ended up having the most beautiful ceremony and it was special and memorable because one of our closest friends acted as the officiant, and that is what we will always remember. But of course it wasn’t legal, so now, after our wedding we have to go and get married.
And what’s even worse, is that we never heard from Lauren King. Not a single phone call or e-mail with an apology. After displaying incompetence of epic proportions, Lauren never had the common courtesy to call us to explain the situation, offer to perform the ceremony later, or simply say I’m sorry. There is no other way to explain it. Seriously, how does a wedding officiant, who helped you plan the ceremony, just forget to show up?
Please don’t make the same mistake we did. If you’re researching and looking for an officiant to perform your wedding in Kauai, there are a ton of others to choose from. Just don’t choose Lauren King. In fact, our wedding coordinator at the Hanalei Colony Resort already told us that they would never use her again, so that should tell you something.