Monday, January 27, 2014

Destination Wedding ~ Hawaii Island

The destination wedding - a popular choice for couples who have been through the wedding experience already, just not with each other. It is not necessarily that they prefer not to deal with the inevitable friends and family issues, but more that they want the experience to belong to them. And more first timers are joining in the far away wedding trend. What is it about a destination wedding that appeals?

It has everything to do with the focus of the celebration. With a large wedding, meaning one with family and friends, not only the planning centers upon the guests, but also the sequence of the events. As you plan a wedding, extravagance is encouraged. The more energy you put into it, the less it becomes about you and the more it is a production designed to impress others.

We find the question of "is the standard thing really the way you want to get married" worth asking, because we know you can toss a very very nice party for 50 people for about $500, at your own place. You can bring in a private chef for maybe triple that, and do something amazing, if you rent a house with great seating. That is very much the spirit we bring to your Hawaii Island wedding. If you don't live here, and the prospect of putting something as off the beaten path as a non-resort wedding party at a private house may seem very far fetched, but that's what we do.With the private house, you are not sharing a resort and therefore your personal wedding with hundreds of other people who happen to be resort guests too. Private house, private venue. You will sometimes have the option of renting the house strictly as the wedding venue or take it for several days and use it as the place friends and family stay on afterwards.

Have you browsed photographs of weddings? They are so beautifully, heartbreakingly romantic. The couple are pictured getting dressed, arriving at the ceremony. There are kiss pictures, usually not the one during the ceremony. There are shoes. You will see a selection of lovely photos incorporating the picturesque venue. Sometimes you see the wedding party. But most of the shots are of the couple only. Most of these pictures are not reflecting the actuality of the hustle and pizzazz of the wedding. Here is the separating facotr: with the intimate destination wedding, your wedding really will be just like the photos.

Destination weddings with friends and family tend to be smaller than at-home weddings. But they are not necessarily the weddings of the rich and famous.  Cost is a relevant factor. Consider this. Along the Kona coast in Hawaii, your guests can stay in a rental house with a pool for about $100 a couple per night, staying a full week. A comparable room in a resort would be $275 a night. Want something classier? Always possible. If you are able to travel on Hawaiian Airlines, the wedding couple and guests can travel at a discounted price and the couple may qualify for a free first class upgrade.  This is something to think on - what is better than a trip to Hawaii where your best friends are getting married, at a price about half what you would otherwise pay for the vacation?

We recently put together a wedding and reception in Kona for 24. The venue is absolute oceanfront, and completely private. Catering is onsite. We arranged transportation via limo for the wedding couple from their resort up the coast. Organza streamed from the sails set overhead for shade. Table centerpieces were orchids and plumeria. There was a guitar player.  Ceremony late in the day, sunset following for photos. Professional photography. The food, locally sourced and presented with panache. Drinks, wine and beer bar, with a champagne cocktail for the toast. Cost, below $5000 for the wedding and reception. Can you do this at home? Not sure the ocean, plumeria scented air, and 82 degree weather will come along at your command.

Huff Post recently published a blog asking if destination weddings are really stress free. The main message there was not everyone wants to spend the time and money to come to your wedding, and maybe buy a bride's maid gown too. The beauty of the destination wedding is not actually the culling factor, separating those who will do anything for you from the rest. It is about setting aside very precious time in an optimum way for what is really one of the most intimate times of your life. If your friends are adventurous and take vacations anyway, it can work to invite them. If you'd prefer something more intimate and a party at home afterwards, on this island that gives you the latitude to stay in a cottage on the sand, get married in the rainforest or on an isolated spit of land where the waves break below you, spend a couple of nights in a treehouse, and relax into leisurely afternoons letting someone else bring you food and drink while you watch the ocean change moods. We know, you can make it your honeymoon. But we're here to tell you it can be the wedding too.

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