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 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.

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 Weddings – Make it Truly Hawaiian with These Tips!

July 21, 2015 by

hawaii weddings

If you’re planning a destination wedding in Hawaii, you may intend on having a reception if you’ve invited several guests. While people love weddings, they also love any excuse to visit the beautiful islands of Hawaii! A reception with a Hawaiian theme will make your special day a memorable and fun occasion for all who attend.

Whether you’re getting hitched on the beach, near a waterfall, or even at sea, the reception afterward should be a fun, special time for you and your guests. Here are a few tips that will help you throw a Hawaiian reception.

Have everyone dress in Hawaiian attire for the reception (and the ceremony, too, if you want)! Khaki shorts and Hawaiian shirts for the men, cotton or linen tropical print sundresses for the women. Attire should be cool, colorful, and fun! It’s all about casual and comfortable considering the warm tropical weather.

Make sure everyone has a lei. Hawaii wouldn’t be the same without leis, which are a symbol of love, appreciation, and respect. Leis can be crafted of fresh flowers, silk flowers, or even strung kukui nuts for any men who would rather not wear flowers. Whether you choose silk or fresh flower leis may depend on your budget.

What are your guests’ names in Hawaiian? You can easily find out online, then have place cards or tags printed up with each guest’s ‘Hawaiian’ name on it. This is really a fun way to strike up conversation among your guests.

Having your reception outdoors during evening hours? Tiki torches provide ambient light and are a festive way to celebrate your marriage.

Don’t forget the centerpieces for tables. Float tropical flowers such as orchids or plumeria in water in large glass bowls, or make arrangements using tropical fruit to place strategically on table tops.

Tables designed for guests to serve themselves finger foods, nuts, appetizers, etc. will take on a Hawaiian flair simply by wrapping grass skirts around the edges!

What food to have at the reception? Hawaiian luau foods, of course! Fresh papaya and pineapple, poi, teriyaki beef, mahi-mahi – there are countless local favorites. If you don’t want to go to the trouble to provide Hawaiian cuisine, there are plenty of caterers who will take care of the fare for your wedding reception.

A destination Hawaii wedding on the beach, near the magnificent waterfalls, or in the gorgeous botanical gardens should be a memorable, fun occasion. At Hawaii Weddings, we offer a wide array of wedding packages designed for any budget, and tips to help make yours the perfect day (or evening) you’ve always dreamed of!

Hawaii Destination Wedding in Your Future? Do’s and Don’ts

June 27, 2015 by

hawaii destination wedding

Whether yours will be a Hawaii beach or sunset wedding, a wedding at sea, or at Pukalani Falls Garden or the Queen Emma Summer Palace, there are a few things you will need to know about Hawaii prior to your arrival and the arrival of your guests. At Hawaii Weddings, we want to make your wedding day and your stay as memorable and pleasant as possible! We’ve compiled a list of a few “do’s and don’ts” you may want to keep in mind.

Do’s

Slow down and enjoy Hawaii. Hawaii is a state that isn’t as rushed as many other states in the mainland, one that moves at a bit of a slower place. Take it easy and enjoy yourself!

Learn simple Hawaiian words such as ‘Mahalo’ (thank you) and ‘Aloha’ (hello or goodbye).

Book flights between the islands ahead of time. If you decide you want to go to another island to shop, dine, or for entertainment, it isn’t as simple as jumping on a plane. Book inter-island flights ahead of time, and you’ll also enjoy cheaper rates.

Rent a car ahead of time for good rates, and to ensure you have a way to get around the island. Rent your car in a travel package, or discuss it with your travel agent.

Have children attending the wedding? Find calm, ‘kid friendly’ beaches such as Kamaole Beach in Kihei or Baby Beach in Lahaina.

Participate in some of the culture and activities in Hawaii. If you’re in Oahu, visit the Iolani Palace or Bishop Museum. Consider a trip to the top of Mauna Kea, try Hawaii regional cuisine, go SNUBA diving (no certification required).

Don’ts

See a red flag? Don’t go in the water; strong undertows and high waves are extremely dangerous.

Plan your wedding around a holiday, as Hawaii is generally crowded during these times. If you must come on a holiday, try to book a flight on the actual holiday, rather than on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, as weekdays are the best for flying.

Assume that public transportation is available on all of the islands. While there is a bus you can take almost anywhere in Oahu, the neighboring islands do not always provide public transportation. To ensure you can go anywhere you like, rent a car.

Forget to apply sunscreen! The last thing you want is a painful sunburn on your wedding day, or to be forced to stay out of the sun because of a severe burn. Apply a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, preferably 50. The Hawaii sun is much stronger than on the mainland, and you may find yourself with a bad burn in half the time or less you would normally burn.

Leave your golf clubs behind. If you’re a golf enthusiast, you’ll want to enjoy some of the beautiful championship golf courses around the islands.

Assume you’ll spend your time laying on the beach. There is so much to take in and enjoy in Hawaii, laying on the beach may be what you do least. Make the most of your time on our gorgeous islands!

Bring bad driving habits with you. While honking may be a normal, everyday occurrence in the mainland, it’s considered rude in Hawaii. However, during a wedding procession honking is not frowned upon.

At Hawaii Weddings, we want to help you make the most of your Hawaii destination wedding. If you’re getting married in our gorgeous state, take a look at the wonderful wedding packages we have to offer!