Wedding Questions

Reception venue in Waikiki for approx 80 guests

Posted in Honolulu, HI, USA
Emptyprofileicon Cass Mac

Hi all
I am from Sydney Australia and have just started planning my wedding in Waikiki for May 2013.
I would love to be married in a chapel on the beach (am thinking one of the ones from the Hilton) and I am yet to find a reception venue.
I will be for approximately 80 guests and I am after the traditional style reception with a bridal table, dj and plated dinner if possible.
I have no idea how much it will cost me and would like to stay in a budget of $20,000 maximum for the ceremony and reception all up, inclusive of photographer and videographer. These are two things I also have no idea how to find. I am after ones of high quality who can capture every moment.
Can anyone help me?

Many thanks from Sydney Australia!

16 Replies

138437 Tony So

There's are many ways you can choose to have your ceremony and reception. If you choose to go with the chapel at the Hilton and use one of their function rooms at the Hilton Hawaiian Village they will most likely offer the rainbow suits, depending on how many guest you have. There can be advantages for packages, but always remember... they're not always the best vendors put together... you can have a really awesome minister packaged with a really inexperienced photographer. It will show after the fact when you receive your pictures. I would highly recommend you type in the name listed and/or company name... read reviews and see the pattern of the the reviews. Never leave your photo to chance. Ask for the specific name of the photographer so you can check out his or her pictures online. If they are that good, they should have a bunch of images online. If their reviews are glowing you should consider investing on that talent. Here is the key to ensuring your guest have an awesome experience in Hawaii... Good Food, Lots of Cold Drinks and good fun mix of Music to ensure your guest are dancing the night away. It's so important. I know a Bride who is from Australia... She is getting married today. Let me ask her permission to pass along her email. She has an ear full of great advice. I can help you make this process much easier for you by sharing my experience and advice. No strings attached. Just want to make sure your experience coming to Hawaii is simply perfect. Best Wishes! Tony So

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218637 Jose Roces

Aloha...
I couldn't agree more with Tony So about the vendors.
In case you don't know, there's different style of wedding photography. There's photojournalist (candid shots), artistic, traditional poses...etc. My advise is to carefully review each photographer's blog that you will find. That should give you an idea what style you're looking for.
Another amazing chapel that is close to the beach is at the Koolina Resort (http://www.koolina.com/). It's about 45 minutes drive from Waikiki.
I hope that helps.
Let me know if you need more advise or help.
Don't forget, you will need Hawaii Wedding License to get married here. Please read this: https://marriage.ehawaii.gov/emrs/public/home.html
Aloha,
Jose Roces
http://joserocesphotography.com/

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Emptyprofileicon barry lefkowitz Honolulu, HI, USA

I think I can be of some help here. We married our daughter off a year ago October here on Oahu and have also been to other weddings on the island.

One was catered by a young chef that has a very good reputation here. His name is Ryan Covert and hs e-mail address is [email protected]
His internet site is www.covertaffairs.com

You can certainly have a beautiful affiar here for 80 people with entertainment for $20,000. Instead of using the Hilton, or other hotels; that mark up everything a lot; i would suggest that you speak with Ryan . there are many private homes and estates on the island where you can have a beautiful wedding and get a lot more for your money and still have a Hawaiian style venue.

I can also give you the name of a lovely Hawaiian women who married off out daughter and did a spriritual typew ceremonly. However, she could do any denomionational type wedding if you like. In our case, she even arranged for hula dancers and a "hawaiian" chanter....

But , I do suggest you look to Ryan Covert first! he is a pro..

Barry Lefkowitz
[email protected]

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Emptyprofileicon Dominic and Shannon

NO WAY... Dominic and I are from Sydney too!!! That’s so cool.

I’d be thrilled to help and I totally understand how difficult it is trying to plan from a distance. The good news is it was relatively easy after we found the important things. Location and the photographers where biggest priority for us, and although we had several problems with our location choices, we totally got lucky with our photo/video team. Our first pick venue had a couple preferred photographers that they wanted us to use, but it felt like a ‘buddy system’ scam and I wasn’t very impressed with anything that they tried pushing us into. (They really made it feel like they were taking control and bringing in their buddies, and I wasn’t really needed in the planning, and that got very frustrating.) In the end we moved our location to Paradise Cove and loved it there.

Our photography team was 'About The Day' and they were so awesome and we loved Stephen and Sonia! I don’t know if you read our reviews online, but they surprised us tremendously. My sister loved them too, and last year they flew to Melbourne to do her wedding.

Stephen and Sonia don’t live in Hawaii and I sort of think that was part of their charm. They do destination weddings all over the world and their work and personalities are awesome! Plus, they weren’t distracted with all the other vendors and really were attentive to us. (Most of the vendors there all knew each other and I felt almost like I wasn’t part of their ‘click’ and it seemed almost rude in a few instances.) Stephen and Sonia were helpful, easy to work with, and even ended up talking with us over the phone many times to clarify all the details – both before and after the wedding. (I think that was probably what sold me in the beginning. They were very smart about details and planning options that we hadn’t even considered and I liked having someone who’d done this a lot – in many locations – to help me out.)

I would certainly check them out! They have a great website with great info too. www.AboutTheDay.com ...And maybe mention that I sent you if you like what you see? They gave my sister a great deal and I’d bet they’d be happy to know we sent you too! :)
Please feel free to contact me again if you have other questions too. Good luck and I hope everything is magical.

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Emptyprofileicon Anonymous

Aloha!

All great advice above. Yes, there are a variety of options but to keep within your budget it will be important to get the right vendors in place, understand "minimums" should you go with a hotel, etc.

We have a few Australian couples who are getting married at oceanfront Lanikuhonua which is close to Paradise Crystal Chapel. Although you bring everything in, the perk is you may bring any vendor in and complete freedom on layout as you're not confirmed to ballroom space.

You can do both ceremony and reception at Lanikuhonua (in the event you don't need chapel). I do have a wedding that is at Ocean Crystal Chapel later this year and all of the "chapels" pricing is higher as they are marking up the pricing to you, whereas, we just help you get the right vendors in place based on style, budget, personalities and you pay each vendor directly.

Good luck with your planning!
Dianna Shitanishi, Hawaii Weddings and Events
www.hawaiiweddingsandevents.com

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Emptyprofileicon Cass Mac

I appreciate all your advise thank you so much for taking the time to get back to me. I completely agree with you about the vendors and this is what im worried about.
I dont mind paying a little extra to go with the Hilton as im after the convenience of having the chapel and the reception venue in the same vacinity.
The rainbow suites is exactly the venue im after it looks perfect for the event we invisioned. Im not sure its big enough for a dj and a dancefloor though?
Do you have any idea which website would be the best for comparing Waikiki vendors? I am after a great photographer, videographer and dj that arent ridiculously overpriced.

Thank you again, if your friends have any advise please send it my way i need all the help i can get!

Many many thanks!

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Emptyprofileicon Anonymous

Depends on your configuration, the Rainbow Suite is a long narrow room that is 99.6 long x 23.7 feet wide with 8' to 9' ceilings, we have a wedding there in November. Many of our clients find us through
www.weddingwire.com as there is a reviews section.
Keep in mind that there are also some great vendors that don't have big advertising budgets and work strictly from referrals....those you will only find through a wedding planner.

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218637 Jose Roces

Yes, The Rainbow Suite should be able to accommodate DJ & dance floor. For 80 guests, I don't think it will be a problem.
Aloha,
Jose
www.JoseRocesPhotography.com

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138437 Tony So

Choose wisely and know where you want to spend your money on... A ridiculously under priced vendor can be costly as well. Reviews will be very important for You. Don't always take anyones word for it unless the signs are confirmed by reviews and others talking about the vendor online. If they don't have reviews online... you should dig a little deeper and ask the hard questions. I'll be working the wedding tonight in the exact venue. The Bride and Groom will be also getting married at the Chapel on property. What a beautiful setting for a ceremony. The combination is perfect to ensure a hassle free ceremony and reception. Transition will not be met by a traffic JAM!! You don't want to drive from one end of the Island to the other for a ceremony or reception. Traffic in Hawaii dictates the end result of your planning and wedding experience. Keeping the logistics within the area will save you so much time, effort and maybe some MONEY:) I hope you called the Hotel and Reserved your date? The rainbow suit books up really fast. I imagine in the next few months leading up to Summer that room will be booked for next year... 2013. Seems like 2013 is going to be an awesome year for weddings? I was forced to purchase my 2013 wall calendar at the beginning of the year, but it was not in production yet... just received word that it's on it way to me now. 2013 bookings are already happening as we type away... Warmest Aloha and Mahalo! Gotta Run Now!! Tony So

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138437 Tony So
Emptyprofileicon Anonymous

Tony is right about 2013, we have many more bookings than we normally would have at this time of year.

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Emptyprofileicon Cass Mac

Thank you so much guys!
I am wondering if anyone could recommend a wedding planner who wont charge huge rates I would love a little bit of help from someone reliable.

I love the look of the Rainbow suites although I have had feedback this morning advising it may be too small and squashy for 80 guests and room for a dancefloor. Has anyone seen this space?

Thank you guys for all your feedback truely appreciated.

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Emptyprofileicon kortney tambara Honolulu, HI, USA

Hi,
I got married in April, 2010 and used Dave Miyamoto for my photographer. Check out his website: http://www.davemiyamoto.com/main.php He's super laid back, very professional, and his prices were reasonable.

HTH!

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Emptyprofileicon Becca and Adam Honolulu, HI, USA

Cassie,

It is definitely not too small for a dance floor and 80 guests. We had 75guests plus the vendors and had an entire huge section for the dance floor. In fact all but 4 people who didn't dance at all were on that floor most of the night! The room is actually 3 rooms put together and one entire room was open for the dance floor, at the other end we had a candy bar, the table for the guests to get their table numbers and another table with favors and still plenty of room to mill around. In addition you have a patio at both ends. We served appetizers on one patio and set up the bar on the other. If you have your wedding on a Friday evening you even get Fireworks at your reception! Every Friday 7:45pm. It's a great venue and very reasonable regardless of what some people have said. They have some minimums, but with 80 people you'll easily meet them and it's not a concern. I sent you a message with my email, sorry it took so many days for me to reply to you, the message you sent went to my Spam folder and I hadn't noticed. Email me directly and we can talk more! (I attached a pic of the dance floor here)

Debbie

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Emptyprofileicon Becca and Adam Honolulu, HI, USA

Here's one more with just the groom and his mom, a little better view maybe. It's still cutting off everything behind the photographer.

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Emptyprofileicon Helena Chung Honolulu, HI, USA

Hi. I got married and did pretty much what you want to do in Waikiki. I had 50 guests from Sydney, Korea and u.s. I would highly recommend using a wedding planner, they'll end up saving you a bucket load and they'll pay for the,selves after all the discounts. I had an incredible wedding planner who did absolutely everything for me in my desired budget. I'm more than happy to help with any advice or options. My wedding planner was Lissa and she has a website weddingswithlissa.com. I also used a baker, who was amazing and affordable. Love at first bite! Beautiful and soooooo delicious!

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