Travel fees are necessary for locations outside of the immediate Honolulu/Waikiki area.
A flat rate fee per vendor is required for each "on-site" vendor i.e. minister, photographer, musician, videographer as shown on the order form. For hair & make-up, fees are less.
Honolulu/Waikiki locations have no fee. East Oahu and Windward locations have a minimal fee. West Oahu - Ko Olina and North Shore have the highest fees.
We use top wedding professionals. They're good and they're in demand. Besides for us, they perform weddings for hotels, wedding churches, other companies, and for their own clients.
Why travel fees? Simply, it takes a lot of time and some expense and because of that, vendors got to be paid extra.
The longer it takes to get there and back, the more gas, the more traffic, aggravation, and everything that comes driving on Oahu, the more it's going to cost. FYI: Though some fees may seem high, there is no fee that we charge which equals the real time and effort required i.e. it's lower than what it really is.
East Honolulu and Windward locations are a acceptable amount of time and distance consequently, fees low and reasonable.
If you want our guys to drive out to West Oahu - Ko Olina or the North Shore for your "simple wedding" it's far higher. Just look at the map below :) FYI: The time necessary to be out there on-time (gotta leave way earlier) is equal to 2-3+ jobs or more!
For example, an afternoon wedding at Ko Olina or the North Shore, vendors have to leave by 3:00 pm just to "beat the traffic" and will get home as late as 8 pm. That's 5 hours for a simple beach wedding. If it's earlier, they still have to wait till after 6-7 pm for the traffic to subside. Pretty ridiculous! FYI: We do charge less for mid-day times where travel is easier.
Because of this, our suggestion always to our clients who are staying at Ko Olina or the North Shore is to come to us. And the truth is, none of our vendors wants to drive all the way out to West Oahu or the North Shore. It just is what it is and it's simply not worth our vendors time to do a wedding for any less than what we charge.
Remember, we charge simple beach wedding prices. You don't want to pay travel fees, hire a minister for $500, a photographer for $2k-$5k (ditto video), etc. and you won't have to pay travel fees!
Knowing all of this, we do understand that for couples whose weddings have 20-30+ participants with a reception dinner to immediately follow, it might make sense to have their ceremony in the area. With that said, they could have also planned better. We often times have had clients plan differently after speaking with us, even with that many participants.
Look, you'll maybe find websites with lesser fees but, keep in mind, we use full-time, top professionals who are busy. We're not a website who uses people who just feel lucky just to be working or are trying to get started, and will happily to drive all over the island for peanuts!
What we suggest, if you're staying at West Oahu - Ko Olina or the North Shore, spend your money on more services and products that will enhance your ceremony, drive to us, and use one of our listed locations. Spend the day or evening in "town" if you want. Or simply save your money.
Finally, there simply is no location on West Oahu or the North Shore, given the geography and orientation of the island, or for the other parameters we consider for choosing a proper location, which is better or more scenic than the locations we list. That's just the way it is LOL.
These are approximate one-way travel times from Waikiki for an average day. Time of day, traffic, and other factors increase the travel to and from times significantly.
Portlock Beach: 30-40 minutes.
Makapuu Beach: 35-45 minutes.
Waimanalo Beach: 35-45 minutes.
Kualoa: 60-90 minutes.
Ko Olina: 45-60 minutes.
West Oahu: 60-120+ minutes.
North Shore: 60-120+ minutes.
If you're driving on your own, we suggest doing a "drive-by" before the wedding day at about the same time as your ceremony. If you are using our transportation, no worries.
FYI: Hawaii or Los Angeles trade the top ranking for the worst traffic in the U.S. every year.
IMPORTANT: Hawaii is a safe place. With that said, if you drive yourself, please do not leave any valuables (passports, purses, money, cameras, etc.) in your car at any time!