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ThatsRanunculus

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About ThatsRanunculus

  1. Just got back into wedding planning after moving cities to start my first job after grad school. FYI - I found Deanna Schaeffer from I Do Weddings to be extremely rude. I've started interviewing wedding coordinators by phone and found her to be very condescending. I gave her the times I was available to speak, and she called me anyway at a time when I couldn't talk to her - while I was at work. When I called her back after work, he constantly interrupted me while I was trying to ask questions and at one point told me that she "only works with brides who are professionals and are very busy". Apparently after I mentioned grad school, she figured she couldn't make enough money off me. She told me that she'd have someone else contact me to handle my "little" wedding since she already had a 200-guest wedding to do on my day. She said despite my "skinny budget" she'll still have her "associate" contact me. It was such a horrible experience speaking to her, I will not be dealing with her company. Dianna Gardner from Alohana Weddings was nice. But I found that she didn't follow through with the initial contact I had with her, where she said she'd forward a copy of the contract for me to review. So it looks like other reviews of her on the site in terms of being bad at keeping in touch was true. Kaye from Maile Weddings has been great. She's very organized and just gives off a very warm, friendly vibe.
  2. Thanks for the support everyone! We have a lot of complications in terms of planning this wedding: I'm Canadian, my fiance is American. We're currently going through the K1 Fiance(e) Visa process for me to move to the United States and it places restrictions on us - we have to be married in the United States and we have to be married within 90 days of me arriving in the US. Since we have family all over the place (Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Colorado, St. Louis, Chicago, Hawaii and California), everyone has to travel to go to our wedding anyway. Our legal marriage has to happen so quickly, my fiance and I thought of just having the civil ceremony in Minnesota, then having a proper wedding later on in May once I'm settled in. As a compromise, we thought it would be ideal if we had family and friends who can't come to Hawaii to see the civil ceremony instead. However, because it has to happen so quickly, and we don't know when it would be (we have no preset date as to when I'll get the Visa) it's difficult to plan to have people come to this. We chose Hawaii because we both have some family there, it'd be a nice place in the US to get married that's warm and lovely (instead of cold and wintry Minnesota), we'll have time to plan it properly, and we can have a wedding and reception that would cost a lot less than in Minneapolis. I appreciate the issues you all have raised in terms of family but I definitely agree with greysgirl on this one - we're adults. And we should be able to start our life together the way we want to.
  3. Neither my fiance's parents nor mine are contributing to the wedding. We just wanted close friends and family to come with us on our destination wedding to Kauai. Yesterday, my mother and I spoke on the phone where she interrogated me about our budget and told us me to consider how much she, my father and my sister will have to pay to come to our wedding. My fiance and I had considered the costs for our guests, but figured that those who could afford it would come, and those who can't won't. He couldn't celebrate after law school, and I can't celebrate after grad school - and so we wanted to have our wedding someplace special as our reward. My mother's words were pointed and hurtful and now I feel like I've been given the ultimatum that either we have our wedding closer to where they are or no one from my family will come.
  4. Just wanted to add 2 more restaurant venues: North Shore: Lighthouse Bistro Coconut Coast: The Eastside Gotta love Chowhound!
  5. On to beaches! Before discussing locations, my family in Kauai informed me that chairs and arches weren't allowed on beaches for wedding ceremonies. This sounded extremely odd and so I looked it up. Sure enough, much of the information I've summarized below can be found in detail here in the State of Hawaii's Department of Land and Natural Resources permit application. DLNR has also provided a FAQ sheet here. The rules apply to all Hawaiian beaches. Check out the dates at the bottom of the forms - both were created in 2008. I haven't come across anything that contradicts the information found in these documents thus far. If you're a recent Kauai / Hawaiian beach bride and you've heard otherwise, please let me know! The Rules: Essentially, the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) requires anyone engaging in commercial activities of any kind on unencumbered state lands to have a permit to do so. Weddings are considered as a commercial activity. All public beaches in Hawaii are considered unencumbered state lands. The cost of the permit is $0.10 / square foot, with a minimum of a $20.00 charge per event - according to the FAQ listed above. This price may have changed since 2008. Typically, this permit is obtained for you by your wedding coordinator, but it's good to know the price of the permit just to gauge how fair you're being charged. Whoever applies for the permit is required to have liability insurance. Photographers generally have their own permits. Your officiant would have to have to apply for a permit as well. The wording on the FAQ sounds like they have to have their own, separate from yours. The permit allows you to have your wedding on the beach of your choice. You cannot "reserve" a spot on the beach ahead of time and ask people who are already there to vacate the area. You show up on the day of your event, pick an open spot, and that area (as specified by the square footage on your permit) is yours exclusively for 2 hours for that day. Those 2 hours must include the set-up, ceremony, and clean up. Here's the brutal part: you cannot have any wedding props. I'll copy this verbatim from the application: "No accessories, structures, devices, amplified instruments, appliances, apparatus or equipment of any type whatsoever shall be placed on or within the right-of-entry area or premises, including but not limited to the following: arches; bowers; altars; tables; chairs; kahilis; tents and or tarps; event signage of any type including banners, sandwich boards; kiosks or carts; stanchions, posts, ropes or similar equipment for the purpose of demarcation of the right-of-entry area; and surfboards, windsurf boards, kayaks or other ocean recreation equipment; with the exception of the following: loose flowers, leis, bouquets, corsages or boutonnieres; unamplified musical instruments, including a conch shell; doves or butterflies for releases; a limited number of chairs as strictly necessary for the support of the elderly, infirm, or disabled persons attending the event(s); cameras and camera equipment; other non-obtrusive hand-carried wedding accessories; small podium or cake stand, not to exceed three feet square in size; and ocean vessels/equipment used exclusively for the purpose of scattering ashes during authorized funeral services." Beaches: The list below provides recommendations by wedding officiant, Julie Wirtz. It came directly from her website, Kauai Officiant. (*Gushing moment: Julie's website has been a godsend in terms of finding recommendations for vendors. I'm regurgitating her information here and I'm giving her full credit to her for it. So please, check out her site for more info.*) Though she includes links to photos for each, they seem to have been disabled. If you've got the time, enter the beach names into Flickr and see the images there. Julie can also be found in TripAdvisor as hula4me - and her forum posts there give more insights in terms of accommodations and locations. The major considerations in terms of reviews are crowds, parking, and accessibility issues for mobility challenged guests. They are arranged according to location on the island in alphabetical order. You may want to refer to my post re: restaurant / hotel venues just to gauge how far the beach is from a reception venue. "North Shore Anahola Beach This is a beautiful ribbon of sand along the bay. Best for early morning weddings, at low tide, watching the sunrise. Very easy to park 10 ft away from the ceremony spot. Anini Beach Beautiful and convenient, with parking roadside, just walk across the grassy field down to the beach. Restrooms, shelter, play area for kids, safe swimming for an after wedding picnic. Past the public park, there are more private picturesque and tranquil spots just perfect for a quiet intimate ceremony. Haena Beach Park - Cannons Reef (Surf Spot) Spectacular views via a short trail off Kuhio Hwy for very small intimate beach ceremonies. Nice for morning or evening. Haena Beach Park - Tunnels (Makua) Beach Drive right up to Haena Beach Park or walk toward Tunnels for stunning backdrop for your wedding. Early morning offers the best views of the mountains, and fewer visitors on the beach, for an amazing scenic wedding spot. Hanalei Beach or on the Pier Beautiful location for wedding just after dawn or just before sunset, especially if there is a promise of a full Hanalei Moon. The pier is often our rainy day back up for photos, if it's raining too hard for the photographers to shoot on the beach. Hideaways Beach (Pali Ke Kua) The beach alongside the Pali Ke Kua Condominiums has a very private feel with an awesome view of the Bali Hai mountains and Hanalei Bay. Similar view as Kamani Cove, but more spacious beach. Best Pick for guests of Pali Ke Kua Condominiums. Ke'e Beach At the base of Mt Makana (Bali Hai) this is an exquisite wedding location in early morning or sunset. This location is often crowded except very early and very late in the day. It's also a long drive back to your lodging. A short walk east on the beach, takes you to the point pictured, with a nice view of Na Pali coastline. An 8am wedding would treat you to a gorgeous view of the Napali Coastline, with very few if any visitors on the beach. Larsens Beach Good for pre-sunset weddings or post sunrise weddings! Large beach, lots of privacy. Lumahai Beach NOTE: This location is only available for weddings Memorial Day - Labor Day Drive right up to the far west end or hike down to the more famous east end of this picturesque beach. Beautiful anytime, but especially in early morning. Available summer months only (June, July, August) Moloa'a Beach Very handy if you are staying in one of the vacation rentals in the area. Uncrowded beach most of the day. Princeville Beach (Pu'u Poa Beach) The beach below the Princeville St. Regis Hotel and the Hanalei Bay Resort offers a picturesque view of "Bali Hai." Secret Beach There is a steep trail leading to this gorgeous beach. Suitable for athletic couples, casual beach wedding early morning or pre-sunset. This beach offers a view of the Kilauea Lighthouse. Coconut Coast Kalapaki Beach The beach in front of the Marriott is a convenient wedding location for couples staying there. We usually go to the East side of the beach for more privacy. Lydgate Park Convenient for guests at Aloha Beach Resort and Kaha Lani. Restrooms, walking trail, playground. Great location for Sunrise or Twilight weddings. Nukolii Beach Convenient for those staying at Kauai Beach Resort or drive up and park on the sand at this usually secluded beach. Photographs can include the Anahola Mountains in the background. Papaloa Cove Picturesque setting on the Coconut Coast at the northern edge of Wailua Beach, below Wailua Bay View condominiums or Hale Awapuhi. Drive right up to the beach or use the beach access trail. South Shore Baby Beach Tucked between some oceanfront homes, Baby Beach offers a somewhat private setting with a beautiful view of the ocean, palm trees, and a hint of sunset. Being close to the Beach House Restaurant, it's a popular wedding spot. Kiahuna Beach at Poipu This is the beach that fronts the Sheraton Hotel and Kiahuna Plantation. Crowded at times, but very nice at sunset. If you are staying there, it is very convenient. Also near the Plantation Gardens Restaurant, if you're dining there. Lawai Beach Also near the Beach House Restaurant, the beach in front of the Lawai Beach Resorts, makes a beautiful and intimate setting for watching the sun set. Because crowds often gather at sunset at this location, you might consider watching the sunset together, then having a small intimate ceremony just after dark, in the twilight hour. Mahaulepu Beaches (Gillins Beach Kawailoa Beach, Haula Beach, Craggy Cliffs overlooking the Sea , tiny cove) If you don't mind a bumpy dirt road ending in a dirt parking lot, then a short flat trail to the beach, this is a gorgeous private setting on the South side for a morning or sunset wedding. If you are slightly adventurous and want a beautiful, uncrowded spot, there are are many spots to choose from.. high on a lithified cliff overlooking the ocean or on a secluded beach. Poipu Beach fronting the Sheraton & Kiahuna Plantation While this is a crowded well populated beach most of the day, there are some spots that afford some privacy and a beautiful setting. For parties staying in the condos or hotels along the Poipu Beach Strip, this is a convenient spot, especially if eating at Plantation Gardens afterwards. (Might be less crowded early in the morning, but if you don't mind a few people around, sunset is also very nice!) Poipu Beach Park Grassy area, golden sand, picnic shelters, tables, restrooms. Too crowded in afternoon, evening. Less crowded early morning. How about a wedding just after dawn? Shipwreck Beach Located near Poipu Kai Resort and Hyatt Regency Kauai Resort, this is a convenient and popular beach wedding location. Besides the main beach, there is a little pocket of sand above the beach that I like. West Side Polihale Beach This is as far as the road can take you on the west side of Kauai. If Polihale Beach has special significance for you, this is an uncrowded beach for a sunset wedding. Very long bumpy road to get to it. It's a dark ride back, so a morning or pre-sunset wedding is best."
  6. The Kauai forum is pretty quiet on this subject - I haven't seen a new post in a while. So I thought I'd share some of the information I've found so far. Kauai is known as the "Garden Isle," the oldest and northernmost of all the Hawaiian islands. It's the least commercially developed, thus preserving a lot of its national landscape. The island seems to be broken down into five parts as seen in this map: North Shore (Anini Beach, Haena, Hanalei, Kalihiwai, Kilauea, Moloaa Bay, Princeville, Wainiha) Coconut Coast (Aliomanu Bay, Anahola, Kapaa, Kapahi, Kealia, Wailua, Waipouli) Lihue / Kalapaki (Lihue, Nawiliwili) South Shore (Kalaheo, Koloa, Lawai, Omao, Poipu) West Side (Eleele, Hanapepe, Kekaha, Makaweli, Waimea) North Shore Princeville contains the more upscale resorts (e.g. St. Regis Princeville). Princeville and Hanalei seem to be the more popular sites for wedding ceremonies as they have the best views of Makana Mountain, made famous as Bali Hai mountain from the film South Pacific. I've seen pictures and advertisements for weddings at Hanalei Colony Resort, Hanalei Bay Resort, St. Regis Princeville, and Na' aina Kai Botanical Garden. Be warned: this area is likely the most expensive. The North Shore has quite possibly the best views on the island - perpetual rainbows, breathtaking sunsets, and romantic mountain views. However, it rains nearly everyday - more often mists and droplets, with occasional downpours. So keep this in mind when planning your ceremony. Coconut Coast Kauai's East Side is called the "Coconut Coast" because of the coconut palms that grow in its resort areas. This area is the most populated on the island - so it's likely your vendor is based out of this area. Most residents live in the Wailua / Kapaa area. Should you decide to have your wedding in the area, your guests will have plenty to do: shopping in Kapaa Town, kayaking in the Wailua River, boat ride to the Fern Grotto, and hiking up Nounou Mountains. It's generally recommended that you rent a car if you want to explore the island, but if you were counting on public transit, the Wailua / Kapaa area may be your best bet since most residents live there. Some popular wedding sites: Kauai Coast Resort at the Beachboy (right next door to the property is Hukilau Lanai, revered as one of the best restaurants on the island. There seems to be a partnership between the two establishments for weddings), Smith's Kauai (Fern Grotto is located within this establishment. Smith's is famous for their luaus). Lihue Lihue is the first place you'll see in Kauai: it's where the airport is located The only wedding site I've seen in this area thus far is the Kauai Marriott Resort. South Shore Famous for Poipu Beach (at one point named one of the best beaches in the United States), the South Shore is packed with places to have your wedding at and serves as a great home base for folks who want to explore Kauai's West Side. You'll have plenty of venues to choose from: The Beach House Restaurant (gorgeous views and consistently rated as having excellent cuisine. However, some have complained that the service is snooty, with the servers less than gracious - this info is from yelp, Tripadvisor, and this bride), Plantation Gardens Restaurant (they are located in the Outrigger Kiahuna Plantation. You have the option of using a grassy knoll overlooking the ocean if you stay at the Outrigger Kiahuna Plantation for $100 - there are limitations on wedding arches: you can't put stakes into their lawn), Grand Hyatt Kauai, Sheraton Kauai Resort (they are currently undergoing revitalization from January - Summer 2011), Marriott's Waiohai Beach Club, Southshore Visitors Center Garden and McBryde Garden (National Tropical Botanical Garden). West Side The West Side is home to the stunning Waimea Canyon, dubbed by Mark Twain as "the Grand Canyon of the Pacific". There are two main towns here: Waimea and Hanapepe. I've only found one place so far to have your wedding at: Waimea Plantation Cottages. I recently received recent (March, 2011) pricing information from the Plantation Gardens, and am waiting for Hukilau Lanai's quote. If anyone's interested, PM me. Stay tuned! I'm compiling information about beaches and private estates, as well as photography, hair/makeup/nails and florists.
  7. ThatsRanunculus

    May 2012 Hawaii Bride

    Thanks for the warm welcome everyone!
  8. ThatsRanunculus

    May 2012 Hawaii Bride

    Hi everyone, My name is Jen and I recently got engaged. We've set our date for May 19, 2012 and we're hoping to get married either in Kauai or Maui. I'd love to hear from recent brides who have gotten married and from other brides who are similarly planning a wedding at either of these islands. Happy wedding planning everyone! Jen
  9. ThatsRanunculus

    2012 Hawaii Bride

    Hi everyone, My name is Jen and I'm recently engaged. My fiance and I have narrowed down our choice to Kauai or Maui and I'd love to hear suggestions for venues. On Kauai, the Plantation Gardens and Hukilau Lanai have been recommended, and on Maui, Gannons. I'd love to hear from recent Kauai / Maui brides on their experiences and their recommendations.
  10. Hi there. Just tried to post a new thread under Newbies and Kauai forums - got the same error, "No data found." I've tried it on my laptop under different browsers: Firefox, IE and Chrome. Same error message each time. I've also tried it on my iPod touch (Safari) - still the same error.
  11. Same problem here: tried to post a new thread in the Newbies forum and Kauai weddings forum - got the message "No Data Found." Thought it was my browser first, tried it on Google Chrome, Firefox, and IE. No go. Tried all of that on my laptop. Switched to my iPod touch, still the same error. Hope this gets resolved soon.
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