Wedding Alerts & Other Ramblings
01/2020: We saw a report about a couple who hired a "professional" photographer who was actually an aspiring professional who used stock wedding photos off the Internet and other website to attract clients. As expected, their photos didn't come out as advertized.
You already know that we are a small "boutique" company that only uses our "ohana" of select top individual professionals for each vendor service. We don't hire multiple "crews" of ministers, photographers, videographers, etc., and because of this, you're guaranteed that, what we describe and what you see on our website, is what you'll get.
So we ask this. Is it better to be flexible in your date and time to accommodate our vendors schedule OR better to accept which ever "crew" you're assigned, not really knowing what level or performance and quality you're going to get?
01/2020: Wow. Just scrolled down and didn't realize that we created this particular information page in 2001. That was just after destination weddings started to become popular in Hawaii and the U.S. and the Internet and the tourist wedding industry was like the "Wild West". All kinds of things going on LOL.
12/2019: We wanted to share this as another example of changes among websites and owner/operators.
Received from the owner of "Maui'd Forever" website. "My desire to sell and go onto the next phase of my life is paramount...", "I am willing to sell...", "I have been running it from the mainland since 2010. It does make more sense for someone who lives in the islands."
We had not visited this website since 2010 when we were alerted that they were using a bunch of our photos and had even copied verbatim, our text and descriptions. For all we know, they could have been using them from the start! We had to send a "cease and desist" demand letter.
We knew that they offered ceremonies on all islands and it now makes sense that they've been offering Santa Barbara as a location. They've been doing it from California all these years! Could have easily been Iowa, Canada, or China! LOL.
As you may have read, our experience has been that, trying to do weddings on different islands is not the best way to provide services and can be difficult to manage and clients should beware.
You may be talking to or corresponding with someone not even on the island! Not so bad we suppose when planning but, definitely a problem when the unexpected happens at the last minute as can happen with events at public locations out in the open.
We suppose that, checking that the contact phone is a (808) Hawaii prefix and avoiding (1-800) numbers is a way to see if a company and owners are even in Hawaii but, they could still be on another island. And you'd know that because, you can't be on all islands at once.
We don't know what's going to happen with "Maui'd Forever" but, from what we've seen, when websites are sold to new owners (who knows where they live or what experience they have), there's usually no substantive changes made to reflect this. Simply, you can be presented with a story and it's something totally different from the reality.
09/2019: We are saddened to learn that long-time tourist wedding videographer and photographer, owner and operator of "A Wedding in Hawaii" and "Wedaloha" websites recently passed away. His wife has no desire to continue the business and instead, has transferred the website business to another person to operate.
08/2019 - Air B&B: The City recently passed a law which prohibits and makes illegal, all short term vacation rentals under 30 days. The fine is $10,000 per day and enforcement letters have been sent out to the first 500 of 6000 illegal vacation rentals. Rental properties are being identified from the Air B&B and other websites advertising rentals... and upset neighbors LOL.
If you have not been cancelled already, we suggest you check that your rental in properly licensed.
This month, our client from Sweden, rented two homes in Kaaawa for a couple weeks for 20 people and were told they are canceled and to find other accommodations. Fortunately, because the law just took effect and the owner had not received a letter from the City yet, they were able to talk the owner into letting them keep the rental.
FYI: See our post below from 2005. Government sure moves slowly. What the State hasn't done, the City has done, 14 years later LOL.
06/2019 - Changes: Big changes in the last year. Two recognizable websites have been taken over by the same person. They now own 3 separate and totally different websites. Consequently, while a website may portray a history, that history doesn't belong to the new owners.
05/2019 - El Nena: The Pacific Ocean has cooled down again (called El Nena and versus El Nino which is a warmer ocean). A cooler Pacific means less hurricanes and less severe storms when they do happen. Yet, they're saying we're suppose to have a more active hurricane season and people should make ready? Nothing really so far except two storms which took the normal path past the islands i.e. no where near us. We suppose we'll see.
10/2018 - Dry Weather: The forecast is that our normal rainy season from October to April will be drier than normal. That's means less rain for all of you who worry about the weather.
06/2017 - Limo for Windward beaches: OK, so we've been monitoring the situation (below). We see just as many limos out there as before! Looks like "nobody got the memo" LOL and things are the same. We actually don't think anything will happen. It's a ridiculous law.
04/2017 - City Council Bill #5: This law prohibits all commercial transportation including buses, shuttle and coach vans, limousines, and even taxi and Uber from dropping-off clients at beach locations from Makapuu though Waimanalo. As yet, we have not heard much, nor of any enforcement, or what the fines may be. We don't think it's ever going to be enforced.
02/2014 - No permits: We frequently get calls from worried people asking about whether or not we get the DNLR permit for their wedding. Seems like many websites don't think the same way as we do and it's becoming epidemic.
06/2013 - "Loss leader" cheap prices: The trend among a few top position Google ranked websites is to have packages with the cheapest prices. What we've seen when companies have done this in the past is that, these businesses end up in serious trouble, disappear, or change their name with a new website, vendors get overworked and performance suffers, or they just start using the cheapest vendors.
02/2013 - State allows marriage license certification at Sheraton Waikiki: You can now pick up your license at an agency office at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel, lobby level, Monday – Friday, except State holidays, 9:00 – 5:00.
01/2013 - Beach wedding permits: The State of Hawaii DNLR will step-up enforcement of beach wedding permit rules and citing companies and couples who have their weddings on the beach without a permit or in disregard of permit rules by using illegal set-ups and decoration, which can carry a fine up to $5000.
01/2013 - Honolulu 4th most congested roads: Navigation device "TomTom" ranks Honolulu as the 4th most congested traffic in all of North America. #1 Los Angeles, #2 Vancouver, Canada, #3 San Francisco, #4 Honolulu, #5 Seattle.
01/2013 - Civil Unions legal: Licenses for civil unions between gay and lesbian couples are now being processed by the State of Hawaii Health Dept. The law to legalize civil unions between same-sex partners was passed in early 2012, but was unable to be fully implemented until the start of 2013.
05/2012 - National study puts Honolulu as worst traffic in nation: That's right, we have the worst traffic among ALL cities in the U.S. followed by Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York! Front page story from Star-Advertiser (our daily newspaper) on 5/23/12.
12/2010 - Judge slaps $800 ruling on Kahala Hotel: A jury determined that the resort improperly charged customers services fees for the past 5 years because it did not disclose to them that the money is used to pay costs and expenses rather than tips and wages for employees as required by law.
08/2010 - Don't plan your wedding on Oahu for Nov 12-20-2011: One of our event planners is involved with the pre-planning for the APEC conference which will be held from November 12-20 in 2011. It's a conference which President Obama and will include 19-21 Heads of State of the Pacific region. Imagine that? Those of us who can, will be leaving the island for that week. Seriously, our island is not that big, when a President comes to stay, they close down the highway and streets he travels on, imagine having 21 of these guys going here and there. It's going to be a nightmare. Google APEC, you can read all about it.
04/2010 - Maui'd Forever: We suppose it's a compliment, but we don't really appreciate it. Another website "Maui'd Forever" has been using our photos on their website to promote their services. Many of their descriptions also sound familiar. We anticipate that there are probably other websites doing the same. In fact, it wouldn't surprise us that other material have been appropriated from our website. Everything on our website was created by us, words, thoughts, descriptions, photos. If you happen to see anything on another website that looks familiar, please let us know. Mahalo.
10/2008 - State Does It Again: In another blow to the wedding industry, the State Health Dept. has decided that they will only be open from 7 am to 5 pm, Monday to Thursday. They will be closed on Friday.
07/2008 - Permits Required For All Beach Weddings: The State of Hawaii will begin enforcement of a law requiring a State issued use permit for free beach locations used for wedding ceremonies starting 8/1/08. Proof of liability insurance listing the State of Hawaii as additionally insured will be required to apply for a permit.
08/2007 - Hotels Cashing-In: Some hotels have already been raising their ceremony site fees and rates to ridiculous levels (including room rates). So much so that we can no longer recommend them. The latest is that, couples can no longer use the hotels ceremony site without first booking one of their packages using hotel "approved" vendors. Basically, the have set prices for services and everything is paid to the hotel directly and the hotel marks up the price to hotel rates.
07/2007 - Anybody Doing Weddings: We received a call from a woman who recently got a license to marry people. She's booked a wedding and she's looking for help and really doesn't know what she is doing.
05/2007 - Hotels Charging Premium Rates: According to one of our friends who works at a top hotel, they had a meeting recently and decided that because, weddings and catering are such a small percentage of their gross revenues (their room rates are ridiculously high) and because they contract out all the best weekday times to Japanese wedding companies anyway, that they no longer desired to offer weddings at their two sites.
05/2007 - Watch Out For This Website: We've heard from a bunch of people calling us, about a website which is in the top positions of just about every search engine. While we don't like to mention the practices of other websites, we heard so many negative experiences that, we would be remiss if we did not alert people to this. Apparently, besides a "we don't care, we get a lot of inquiries" attitude, this particular person/website has cancelled weddings last minute after months of contact, pressured people to reserve with continual phone calls, has posted client's full names and personal information on the Internet, and has gone so far as to make unauthorized non-wedding related charges on clients's credit cards!
10/2006 - El Nino: It's back! The last time it was here was in 2004 (see alert below). What this means is that we will experience "perfect tourist weather" i.e. mostly sunny except for a few afternoon rain showers. Characteristically, it causes a very dry winter with drought-like conditions and possibly a wetter than normal summer (which are usually very dry so this is not necessarily bad). This is good news if you are planning your wedding in the winter months and you shouldn't worry about the summer.
01/2006 - El Nena: The Pacific Ocean is starting to cool down again and is creating the El Nena weather pattern which will last at least until July. Climatologists cannot agree on wether this will lead to more wet weather than normal (what's normal nowadays?) or not because some areas are receiving less rain than normal but what they can agree upon is that, it's harder to predict how the weather is affected versus the effects caused by El Nino (see below).
06/2005 - Hotel On Strike: The union for the hotel workers for the North Shore hotel, Turtle Bay Hilton and Resort have been waging a bitter strike for the last 2 years. The hotel has been struggling to maintain adequate staff levels in recent months when walk-outs occur. More importantly, frequent strike initiated picket lines at the entrance to the hotel have been disrupting the ingress and egress of couples, guests, and vendors (some of whom refuse to cross).
04/2005 - Certified Professional Photographers: A Certified Professional Photographer or CPP is a trademark designation awarded by the Professional Photographers of America. There are more than a few websites which say they use CPP photographers and it's just no so. There are only a handful of photographers in Hawaii who have earned this designation from the PPA and none of them work for these websites (except ours).
03/2005 - Bed & Breakfast and Vacation Rentals: It has been recently reported in the news about the Governor's desire through the State Tax Director going to start going after taxes owed by illegal Bed & Breakfast and vacation home rentals. They have initiated their investigations by using the Internet to find all the rentals that are being advertised and probably the same sites you may have visited. The great majority of these operations have been operating for many years even though it is technically illegal. Most of these "businesses" exist, the North Shore, Windward Coast, Kailua, Lanikai, and Kahala. If you are thinking of or have rented one of these homes, it would be best for you to ask about their status and how it will affect you and your agreed upon rate should they be hit with years of back taxes and fines.
03/2005 - Permits Required: All beaches, parks, and free sites require a special use permit for weddings from the State of Hawaii or City and County of Honolulu, whether it's just two people on the beach or a whole group. Enforcement of this requirement has been non-existent in the last couple of years and consequently, many new wedding companies are unaware of this requirement. Recently, in anticipation of new rules and regulations, enforcement has picked up significantly. We've heard that recently, couples and/or their wedding planners have been asked for their permits and not having any, have had their events cut short.
02/2005 - Diamond Head Beach Park: There is a small group of homeless people who live there and while the worst thing they do is bum for cigarettes, this is something people should be aware of if considering this site. FYI: Homeless people do move around and they may not be there in the future.
10/2004 - El Nino: According to the National Weather Service, the Pacific Ocean is starting to warm up again and is changing from the El Nena to the El Nino weather pattern (it changes every few years). What this means is that we will experience "perfect tourist weather" i.e. no clouds, no rain, always sunny except for a few afternoon thunderstorms. Characteristically, a very dry winter with drought-like conditions and possibly a wetter than normal summer (which are usually very dry). This is good news if you are planning your wedding in the winter months though it doesn't necessarily mean summer will be rainy in the summer (it's always nice in Hawaii, even with a little rain).
09/2004 - You're not married: According to the State marriage licensing division, there has been a rash of marriages being performed by unlicensed individuals and ministers with expired licenses causing couples to have their licenses rejected and consequently being not legally married. Licensing personnel request that you be aware of who you are using.
08/2004 - More permits may soon be required to get married in a public location: The State of Hawaii is in the process of instituting restrictions which will make it harder for couples to get married on the beach in Hawaii. On places like Maui where beaches are so small and even Kauai, this has been a problem with wedding couples literally side by side exchanging vows at their "private" beach location. This will not affect private paid locations. Check here for updates.
08/2001 - Created this new page for our website.