Maui Wedding Planner: 10 Tips for Selecting the Right Hawaii Coordinator
Posted 08 October 2006 - 04:36 PM
Maui Wedding Planner: 10 Tips for Selecting the Right Hawaiian Wedding Coordinator
by Rev. John Souter
Maui has been voted "best island in the world" many times over. But perhaps you didn't know that Maui just happens to be the most popular wedding destination in the entire Pacific Ocean. Half of all the Hawaiian weddings taking place in the islands of aloha, are performed on Maui. It beats out Hawaii, Kauai and even much more populated Oahu (where Honolulu is located).
There are many reasons for this, including the great beaches, the awesome sunsets, the uncrowded conditions, and the romantic atmosphere like no other island in the world. But before you run off and book your own Maui dream wedding, it might be a wise idea to select a top-of-the-line Maui wedding planner. This article will give you just the information you need to make the best selection of your Hawaiian wedding planning company.
1. Find a Maui wedding planner who has a decent website. It is virtually impossible for any company to do wedding planning on the island of Maui without a website. The competition is too keen to be without one. Therefore, an attractive well thought out website will give you a good clue as to just how busy and professional the Maui wedding company really is. Of course you can be fooled by a company who hires a great web designer, but this is probably the first place to start your search. A good website should make sense. It should give you enough information so that you can make an intelligent decision about their service BEFORE you call the company. It should be well organized, because you won't want a disorganized company coordinating your wedding. And the website should give you a good sense of the philosophy and outlook of those who run the company.
2. Choose a Hawaii wedding planner who gives you their names and address and phone numbers right on their website. In every wedding market, there are always a number of companies who seem to like hiding behind their website. In some cases, they just make their identity hard to find (so that you have to look hard to find it). They will cloak their identity, giving no personal information. They may even cloak their business name and address so that you don't really know who you're dealing with. Some go so far as to eliminate their phone number so that you can only reach them through e-mail. Any of these signs could indicate that you are dealing with a fly-by-night company with no real experience.
3. Pay attention to the way a Maui wedding planner treats you on the telephone. You will want to do business with a coordinator who treats you with with respect. If someone is rude or quick, do you really want them organizing your wedding? How you are handled on the phone is a good indication of how you will be treated on your wedding day. If a wedding planner doesn't have the time to get back to you in the beginning, before you have even booked, how will it be once you've given her your deposit.
4. Select a Hawaiian coordinator who answers their phone. Now this may seem like a silly point. Doesn't everyone in business answer their telephone? Many coordinating companies like to hide behind their answering phone, and call back their clients at their own convenience. If you call them on different days and you can't get through to a real person, or worse, they don't call you back in a timely manner, this could be a sign that they do their wedding planning service on the side, part time. Do you really want a part time Maui wedding planner?
5. Find a Maui wedding planner who has experience. We constantly have young women tell us that they would love to be a wedding planner. Because this is a "dream job" for many, there are many who throw up a website or tell their friends that they are now a Maui wedding planner. Do you really want to be someone's first (or second) wedding? Experience is important, especially on Maui where their are so many different things to know, from wedding locations, to types of flowers, to the differences between ministers, etc., etc. A company who has a track record of having planned and coordinating many different Maui wedding is likely to be good, or they wouldn't still be in business.
6. Choose a Hawaii Coordinator who has planned and overseen a variety of different weddings. If You want a wedding planner who has the kind of experience which matches your needs. For instance, if you are planning a larger wedding with catering and entertainment and lots of details, you don't want to hire a Maui wedding coordinator who has planned few or no larger weddings. Make sure to ask that they have the right kind of experience for you specialized ceremony.
7. Select a wedding planning company located on Maui. There are actually wedding coordinating companies who are trying to coordinate wedding on Maui from Oahu or even the mainland. These companies, inevitably, will have to "farm out" the onsite coordination of your wedding to someone here on Maui. That means they act like a middle-man, and generally have to charge higher prices. But most importantly, they will not be able to effectively follow-up with your wedding if anything goes wrong. The larger your wedding, the more likely this will be true. Can you imagine them solving a large problem long distance? Make certain, before you book, that your Maui wedding planner is indeed, on Maui.
8. Make certain your Maui wedding planner will actually be at your wedding. There are cut-rate Maui wedding companies who only perform front office services. They book a minister, a photographer and maybe a videographer to do you wedding, but they don't send a coordinator to oversee everything (because that would cut into their competitive edge). If no on-site wedding coordinator will be showing up, who will make certain that everyone knows what they're doing? And if for some reason, one vendor (like the minister) is late or heaven forbid, does not show up at all, who will pull everything together by getting a backup? Unless your wedding only involves a Maui minister, and no one else, you want to be certain that a Maui wedding planner will be in attendance when your ceremony is performed.
9. Choose a Maui Wedding Planner with the "Aloha Spirit." "Aloha" means love in Hawaiian. Those of us who live in Hawaii enjoy the attitude that is here and which comes, first and foremost from the native Hawaiians. But all of us who live on Maui and who enjoy the incredible job of planning weddings for all our couples, want to practice the spirit of Aloha. We want to treat you like your family (or ohana, as we say here). It is wise to look for a Maui wedding coordinator who truly treats you like your part of the family.
10. Choose a Maui Wedding Planner who is a member of the Better Business Bureau. This final, and very important tip is so important. In any industry there are always companies who do not treat their clients well. On Maui there are wedding planners who have a long list of unhappy or semi-happy couples. The easiest way to avoid such companies is to check up on them with the Hawaii Chapter of the Better Business Bureau. You can be sure that a company with a number of black marks will rise to the attention of the BBB. A member company offers you one last guarantee that you will go home happily "Maui'd."
About the Author
John Souter is a wedding photographer who owns Maui Me, Inc., a full service Maui wedding company located online at http://www.maui-me.com. His company has coordinated over 1200 weddings in Hawaii over the last eight years.
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