Hawaii Destination Wedding Etiquette Tips

January 29, 2016 by

hawaii destination wedding

Planning a Hawaii destination wedding.  When you’re tying the knot at a faraway location, it’s hard to know what’s the proper thing to do as far as etiquette is concerned. What about the kids, your budget, invitations – and even your spouse? There are lots of issues to address. We have etiquette tips you’ll appreciate below.

Even if you know certain guests can’t attend, send an invitation anyway. It’s important to make your closest friends and family feel included, even if they can’t attend because of work, budget, or other reasons. Considering today’s advanced technology, no one will feel left out if you create a video or photographs and share them via social media or your own wedding website.

Give potential guests plenty of time to plan. When you’re getting married in Hawaii or any other far-off destination, it’s important to let everyone know well in advance. Send out invites 8 to 12 months before your wedding day if possible, so guests have plenty of time to save up and plan for the trip.

Don’t neglect your spouse-to-be! It’s easy to get caught up in all of the excitement, especially when you’re getting “hitched” in an exotic or tropical location. Keep your soon-to-be spouse first and foremost! Take a walk on the beach at sunrise or sunset, go together to get pampered at a spa, enjoy a long and leisurely breakfast in bed. Take the time to pamper your soulmate!

If kids are invited, make sure they’re entertained. Does the destination have access to water parks or camps? Find out what there is for the kiddos to do, and have board games available. You might also want to plan a scavenger hunt, or have a member of your group (or a babysitter in the area) take care of the kids during critical times.

Only invite guests to pre-wedding parties and events who will be invited to the actual wedding. Mixing guests is a recipe for hurt feelings. Don’t do it!

Know what your budget is, and plan accordingly. Going way over budget will leave you stressed after the wedding, when you should be enjoying your role as a newlywed.

If it’s within your means, guests will be thrilled with the gift of an all-inclusive (lodging, transportation, airfare, etc.). If it’s not within your budget, don’t stress about it. Do make sure to have a block of rooms reserved for your guests, and find out about all of the transportation options so guests won’t feel completely lost when they arrive.

Planning a Hawaii destination wedding? If getting married on the beach, at sunset, or even at sea is your idea of a dream wedding, Hawaii Weddings offers all this and more, along with wedding packages suitable for every desire and budget.

Hidden Wedding Costs You May Not Have Considered

January 23, 2016 by

wedding costs

As providers of Hawaii wedding packages that make it possible for couples to enjoy their dream beach or waterfall wedding, we know there are lots of “hidden” wedding costs you may not have considered when planning your special day. Most brides and grooms (and their parents) don’t have a bottomless budget, and it’s important to be frugal. We’ve included a few hidden costs you should be aware of, so that you don’t experience “sticker shock” when determining the total cost of your wedding.

Postage for sending out invites. Most stationers don’t make the shipping costs of sending out wedding invitations readily available. The fact is, extra large or bulky invitations could cost you substantially more to mail – in fact, as much as $2 each! You may want to go with simpler (cheaper) invitations.

Overtime costs. Maybe you’ve decided to hire a DJ or band, a photographer, caterer, or other professional for your wedding and/or reception. Overtime costs can be hidden, and if you’ve blocked off a specific time limit for services and things go a little later than you anticipated, you will likely face overtime charged by the hour. Get overtime rates in writing, and do what you can to be ready before the time starts ticking for the wedding photographer or videographer.

Gratuities and taxes. Nearly everything is taxed today, and rates vary from one state to the next. Taxes on hotel accommodations, gratuities for limo or taxi drivers, servers at your reception, taxes on equipment rental (tables, chairs, etc.) – all of this can add up to a great deal more than you think. Consider this when planning the budget for your wedding; you could be spending hundreds more in taxes and gratuities alone!

Cleanup and breakdown. Have you ever considered the costs of cleaning up after a wedding – breaking down of decorations, garbage removal, etc.? Most couples don’t. Full service venues don’t typically charge for cleaning, removing trash, etc., however if you’re only renting a space without the full-service benefits, be prepared to pay extra for these services unless you’re willing to do it yourself.

These are just a few of the hidden costs you may not have considered – there are also costs if your wedding dress needs to be altered, transportation for rentals, even costs for cutting the cake, supplying your guests with wine, and cleaning all the dishes if you choose to use services outside those provided by your reception site. Be smart, and think of every little detail so you won’t be unpleasantly surprised when you tally up the total cost of your wedding.

At Hawaii Weddings, we offer wedding packages for every budget and preference, helping you save a bundle while still enjoying a spectacular wedding day!

Planning an Eco-Friendly Hawaii Destination Wedding

January 15, 2016 by

hawaii destination wedding

For many brides-to-be and their grooms, having a beach wedding in Hawaii or getting married at sea is a dream – but you want every aspect of your special day to be as eco-friendly as possible. Today, most people are very aware of the condition of our environment – and the fact that each and every one of us must take steps to reduce our carbon footprint for the future of our young loved ones. So, how can you plan a destination wedding that’s eco-friendly? We have a few suggestions.

When it comes to centerpieces and your bouquet, think local. Buying local or even foraging the roadside or fields are a great way to get natural flowers and greenery – and you’ll save a bundle! If you have to purchase flowers, get them from local farms or the farmers’ markets.

Avoid renting decor, and buy items you’ll use again yourself or give to friends. From candlesticks to napkins you make yourself, think of ways you can decorate with items you’ll use after you’re married, or those you can gift to friends and family.

What’s on the menu? When it comes to your wedding or rehearsal dinner, why not choose foods that are sourced locally? Farm-to-table has become extremely popular; local caterers can create a menu using vendors or farms that have foods that are grown or raised locally. A delicious meal that’s in season!

Why use paper? Given that it’s so easy to create a website today, you can make all of the information pertaining to your wedding available online, rather than sending out registry information, maps, etc. If you must send out maps and other paper items, be sure to use 100% post-consumer recycled options. Instead of handing out a program to every person who attends your wedding, why not create a large menu everyone can easily view at the reception? This keeps everyone “in the know” without the need for hundreds of pieces of paper.

Buy a dress for your wedding shower/rehearsal you’ll wear in the future. Why spend hundreds on a dress you’ll wear only once? Choose a dress for your shower and/or rehearsal you’ll wear in the future to holiday parties or other events.

There are lots of ways you can make your Hawaii destination wedding more friendly for the environment, without sacrificing your special day. Pick a beautiful dinner centerpiece you can plant after the wedding, have a catering company who will agree to compost and recycle waste. At Hawaii Weddings, we want to make the most memorable day of your life even more special! Contact us for all of your Hawaii wedding package and planning needs.

Planning a Hawaii Destination Wedding? A Few Do’s & Don’ts

December 22, 2015 by

hawaii destination wedding

If you’re planning a Hawaii destination wedding and intend to tie the knot on the beach, at sea, at sunset, or even under a romantic waterfall, there are a few do’s and don’ts you’ll need to be aware of to make sure everything turns out perfect for your dream wedding.

First of all, the Do’s

DO choose a wedding package or a planner. Planning a wedding from a distance isn’t easy; choosing a package or hiring a planner with experience in the area who can work with vendors on your behalf makes it much easier.

Mail invitations well in advance. When your wedding will be held at a remote location, guests need time to book flights and accommodations. Send out your “Save the Date” cards or invitations three months in advance, so your guests will have ample time to make plans.

Make plans for guests for the weekend. Many Hawaii beach weddings take place over a long weekend, and you don’t want your guests to get bored – after all, if it’s their first time to the locale, they won’t be familiar with the area. Plan a fun event or two so your guests are entertained and have a good time.

Leave a unique welcome at the hotel. Sunscreen and bug spray are two good ideas for a beach wedding and warm weather – but ditch the Evian bottled water, as the hotel will likely have water in the rooms. Or, simply leave a personally hand-written note for each guest to enjoy as he/she arrives, it will make your guests feel welcome.

Now for the Don’ts

Invite hundreds of people. One of the things that makes a Hawaii destination wedding so special is the intimacy; the fewer people you invite, the more everyone who DOES come can enjoy excursions and other events. Most couples simply can’t afford to entertain 200 or 300 people, and having a smaller group of 30 or 40 makes it possible for everyone to mingle, engage in conversation, and generally have a good time.

Spend a small fortune on flowers. The beach is a natural setting, providing its own beauty. While a small bouquet of native flowers or leis are fine, leave the elaborate floral arrangements for more formal or fancy church weddings.

Leave guests to figure out how to get around. You wouldn’t want to be left in an unfamiliar city without transportation; left to your own devices to figure out where the celebrations and events are. Don’t do that to your guests, either. Whether they’ll get around via shuttle or car, create a schedule of events and give it to the hotel to hand out to your guests, along with transportation (shuttle, bus, car, etc.) pick-up and drop-off times.

Ignore an indoor location if the weather’s volatile. When getting married on the beach, you never know what the weather might bring. Have a backup plan for an indoor venue so your special day won’t be spoiled should the weather not cooperate.

At Hawaii Weddings, we offer a wide array of wedding packages for those who dream of a Hawaii beach, sunset, or waterfall wedding. Make your life easier, and enjoy the wedding of your dreams! Contact us today.

Having a Hawaii Beach Wedding? Tropical Drink Ideas

December 5, 2015 by

hawaii beach wedding

Many couples who choose a beach wedding in Hawaii look forward to treating their guests to a great time; after all, what could be better than tropical weather, a gorgeous beach, and a casual, relaxed environment? If you intend to serve “adult” beverages to your guests, we have a few tropical drink recipes we think everyone will find refreshing – and delicious.

Who doesn’t love a Hurricane? Made using fresh fruit juices and rum, here’s an easy recipe:

1 oz. each of light and dark rum
1 1/2 oz. each of fresh orange juice and pineapple juice
1/2 oz. each of fresh lime juice and passion fruit syrup
A dash of bitters

Just throw all of the ingredients along with cracked ice into a cocktail shaker, then strain into chilled wine glasses. Use fresh fruit as a garnish, if desired.

Here’s a great drink recipe that’s truly Hawaiian – the Passionate Mai Tai!

In a shaker glass with ice, include all ingredients listed below except the dark rum. Shake one time, then pour drink into a 14 oz. glass. Float the dark rum, then garnish with bamboo orchid and a maraschino cherry.

1/2 oz. each of simple syrup, amaretto, orange Curacao, and dark rum
2 oz. of fresh lilikoi juice
1 oz. lemon juice
1 1/2 oz. of gold rum

Delicious and refreshing!

Since you’re having a Hawaii beach wedding, the Beachcomber makes perfect sense, right? Here’s how you make it:

4 oz. each of pear nectar and banana liqueur
8 oz. of vodka
1/2 oz. lemon juice
thinly sliced and peeled fresh ginger, for garnish

Mix all ingredients listed above in a pitcher or cocktail shaker; pour over crushed ice, and enjoy. Serves four.

Of course you can always serve wine, champagne, or even beer, but these fruity drinks are the ideal complement to a tropical beach wedding!

Whether you intend to have a small wedding with only close family and friends, or a huge blow-out to celebrate your union, count on Hawaii Weddings for planning, budget-friendly packages, and all of the help you need making your Hawaii destination wedding exactly as you’ve always dreamed.

Planning Your Hawaii Wedding Without Stress

November 21, 2015 by

hawaii wedding

If you’ve just become engaged, that’s the exciting part – now comes all of the planning and details. If you don’t go about it in an organized fashion, planning your wedding can become a huge headache and extremely stressful. Whether you’re planning a beach, waterfall, or sunset wedding in Hawaii, we have a few ideas to help you stay organized and avoid becoming overwhelmed.

First of all, focus on staying organized. You may want to consider purchasing an organizer where you can keep ideas, dates, locations, receipts, contracts – literally everything having to do with your wedding.

Begin a checklist. Once the wedding date has been set, it’s time to start making a checklist. This list will include all of your “to-dos” on a month-by-month basis. It’s best to start your checklist early on and check off those to-dos, so they’re not all stacked up those last two or three months prior to the wedding date. This will prevent things from becoming too hectic as the wedding date gets closer.

Set aside some time each week to plan – and include the groom. Whether it’s a couple of hours two evenings each week, or a few minutes every day, planning your wedding together is key. You don’t want yourself and the groom duplicating tasks, and it’s a good way to communicate what each of you want to include in the wedding. During these weekly sessions, plan the venue, reception, menus, where the wedding party and guests will stay, music, photography, where you will honeymoon, every little detail you can think of.

Divide your “to-do” list. The easiest way to eliminate stress is to divide and conquer! While you take care of some of the details, your partner can take care of others. Be sure you clearly communicate, so that each of you know what tasks to tackle. For instance, as the bride you may want to take care of the flowers, what the bridesmaids will wear, and other details; the groom can take care of tuxedos, catering, or other items on the list. Of course there are things you’ll want to do together, just make sure you each know what the other is doing.

Spell it all out, and get a contract. Whether you’re dealing with the florist, photographer, caterer, or a wedding planner, be sure that all of the details are spelled out specifically such as dates, times, locations, etc. – and get it in writing! The last thing you want is for something to go wrong at the last minute, such as the photographer having the wrong date/time in his or her calendar.

Planning a wedding can be very involved, so you want to begin sooner rather than later. Good organization and getting an early start will ensure the weeks before your wedding are relaxed and filled with anticipation of your big day!

Is a Hawaii beach wedding your heart’s desire? At Hawaii Weddings, we specialize in not only beach weddings, but sunset and waterfall weddings, even romantic weddings at sea! Make your special day one you’ll reflect on fondly for years to come.

Hawaii Destination Wedding Skin & Hair Care Tips

October 23, 2015 by

hawaii destination wedding

If you’ll soon be headed to Hawaii for a beach or waterfall wedding, it’s important to think about your hair and skin – after all, you want to be the most beautiful bride ever! Flying can dehydrate your skin, and the tropical weather in our magnificent state can be quite a change from what you’re used to, depending on where you’re from. Warm temperatures, lots of sun, wind, humidity – how can you make sure that your skin and hair are perfect despite the elements? The experts at Hawaii Weddings have a few tips.

First of all, prepare in advance. If your hair needs trimming or deep-conditioning, take care of it prior to departing for your destination. Invest in quality products designed to hydrate and fight frizz, particularly if your hair is curly or coarse. Use these products for a week or so before your wedding, and consider going to the salon for a professional treatment designed for your particular hair type.

Have curly hair? Don’t fight it, work with it. When you blow dry or flat iron your hair straight, it may look fantastic – for a while. However, if the weather is warm or even hot and humid on your wedding day, those first beads of sweat will have your hair kinking back up. To avoid the frustration and worry, let curly hair do its thing. You may want to wear it up if your hair is longer, allowing a few delicate tendrils to fall around neck and ears for a romantic look.

Fine, limp hair can be given new life in warm climates by using a volumizing mousse; look for one that offers strong hold.

Regardless of what type of hair you have, remember to pack travel size minis in the shampoo, conditioner, and hairspray that work best for you!

Now for a few gorgeous skin tips!

Be sure to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate in the days and weeks prior to your wedding! Drinking lots of water helps hydrate skin so it looks luminous. We know that planning a Hawaii destination wedding can be stressful – not to mention a long flight, exposure to heat and sun, etc. What you don’t want is blotchy, broken out, or sunburned skin.

Consider using a protective primer under your foundation to protect from the sun’s harsh rays. Primers also help makeup go on flawlessly, and last longer.

If you’re coming to the islands a day or two prior to the actual wedding day, be sure to wear sunscreen or sun block every time you will be exposed to the sun! Nothing is worse than lobster-red skin on your wedding day. If you do get sunburned, drink lots of water to hydrate your skin, and apply calming products to help alleviate the redness quicker such as aloe vera, apple cider vinegar, or other products specifically designed for this purpose.

Have skin that’s oily or prone to breakouts? Use sunscreen products and lotions designed specifically for your type of skin. You may want to consider a relaxing mask at the salon in the days before your wedding, one designed for your skin type. Again, water is important as it keeps you hydrated and helps flush out toxins. If worse comes to worse and you have blemishes/splotches on your face on your wedding day, use a concealer and foundation to give your skin a beautiful finish – you may want to use those that are long-lasting and sweat proof.

Now you know what it takes to prepare your hair and skin for your special day! If you’re thinking of a Hawaii beach or waterfall wedding or even a wedding at sea, contact Hawaii Weddings today to learn about all of the wonderful packages we have to offer.

Destination Weddings in Hawaii for Same-sex Couples

September 28, 2015 by

destination weddings in hawaii

Gay marriage has been a hot topic of debate around the U.S. for several years now. At Hawaii Weddings, we’re happy to say that while same-sex marriages are legal in all 50 states now, Hawaii was one of the original few to legalize weddings between gay partners when the bill was signed into law in November of 2013.

While marriage has traditionally been between a man and woman up until the last few years, much of society has come to accept the fact that many couples who are deeply in love and want to share their lives “until death do us part” are of the same gender. The Supreme Court ruled in June of this year that same-sex marriage is legal in all 50 states, quite a victory for men and women who are life partners with someone of their same gender!

Just as any traditional couple would, same-sex couples desire a fabulous wedding and have all of the same decisions to makes, such as where to tie the knot, which guests to invite, theme, what to serve at the reception, etc. If your dream is to marry your partner on the beach at sunrise or sunset, under a waterfall, or in an elegant garden setting, we are a destination weddings provider specializing in making your special day one you will never forget!

We offer a wide array of Hawaii wedding packages for every budget, and make it possible for you to customize your ceremony by adding on a’la carte items such as limousine service, music, flowers and leis, videography, and other services if you wish to add one or more of these to a basic wedding package.

Weddings at sea, beautiful ceremonies at Queen Emma Summer Palace, a Pukalani Falls Garden ceremony – we offer the best Hawaii wedding locations you will find! At Hawaii Weddings, our destination weddings in Hawaii are designed for ALL who are deeply in love and want to make a life commitment, including same-sex couples.

Considering an Adults-Only Hawaii Wedding? Inform Guests

September 20, 2015 by

hawaii wedding

Whether you’re having a beach or waterfall wedding in Hawaii or tying the knot onboard a boat or any other venue, many couples choose not to invite children – but how do you accomplish a child-free wedding without stepping on any toes? As Hawaii destination wedding professionals, we have a few ideas we think you’ll appreciate.

What you want to avoid. Never put “adults only” on wedding invitations! Kids are a sensitive subject, understandably. You don’t want to hurt friends’ and family members’ feelings by putting “adults only” on invitations, however you can take a more subtle approach by having your co-workers, friends, and family spread the word that you’re planning an adults-only affair so that those who intend to come to your wedding and reception will have ample time to get a babysitter.

Make sure you address the wedding invitation to only those who are invited. Some guests naturally assume the entire family is invited to the wedding – and putting “adults only” on the invitation may be insulting, or hurt feelings of close friends or family members. Address invitations to exactly those who are invited, and include their names on the response cards. Include only the names of those invited on the “will” or “will not attend” check boxes. In approaching your invitations this way, you make it clear who is invited so all your invitees have to do is check the box.

Don’t include “special” children in the wedding ceremony if kids are included in your wedding party. You may be including a small child who is a ring-bearer or who will scatter flowers down the isle, but this doesn’t mean you have to include children at the ceremony. What you really want to avoid is inviting certain close friends’ or family members’ children, as this won’t appear fair to others who attend your wedding. It will look as though you’re partial to certain people’s children.

Expect some unhappy feedback. Some family members won’t be happy that you haven’t included nieces, nephews, or young cousins to attend, however it IS your wedding. Stand firm on your decision to have an adults-only wedding, and don’t back down. You can explain to those who may be offended that children aren’t invited due to budget limits, or for any reason you choose.

Your wedding is YOUR special day, one that should be exactly as you prefer. Some may be offended, but most will not. Hopefully the suggestions above will help you enjoy an adults-only Hawaii wedding that is just as you envisioned, a day you and your spouse will remember fondly for the rest of your lives.

Hawaii Destination Weddings – Wedding Inspiration Boards

September 12, 2015 by

hawaii destination weddings

Nothing is more romantic than Hawaii destination weddings; many couples choose to wed on the beach, near a waterfall, or in any of the other dozens of beautiful locations in our state. While you can choose a wedding package with most planners according to your desires and budget, you may also want to consider creating an inspiration board online, a place where you can keep all of your ideas, thoughts, and inspirations before your special day, and bring them to life.

There are many online inspiration boards where you can organize your ideas, whether you want to create a separate board for receptions ideas, honeymoon ideas, even ideas for creating your own invitations, wedding favors, flowers, and every other aspect of your wedding. Ultimately, the goal here is to have a place where you can actually bring your inspiration, thoughts, and creativity together, whether you find inspiration in wedding magazines, photos you find on the Internet, photos you take yourself of fabric, laces, crystals, and other “bling” or any other source of inspiration.

With all of the tools available today online, it’s fun to create your own inspiration board, filling it with everything that will make your wedding the event you dream of it being from wedding gowns, invitations, shoes, color swatches, fabrics, and other notions. A few of the places you can find inspiration for creating your own online inspiration board include Pinterest, The Knot, Wedding Wire, Modern Bride, and other magazines you come across either online, or in print.

Everything you need is available at your fingertips when you use an online board maker, most of which offer lots of photos, but also allow you to drag images saved on your computer to the board and resize them so they fit perfectly in a jiffy. With all of the useful tools and gorgeous images within your reach in seconds, why not create a board that will inspire you – and perhaps even others as you share on Pinterest, Facebook, or other social sites?

At Hawaii Weddings, we know you want your special day to be perfect. Months before your destination Hawaii wedding, create your own board and be inspired by all of the wonderful things you include! It’s also great fun, something you need in those stressful and anxious weeks and months prior to your wedding day.