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White Orchid Weddings Maui feedback

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#1 bren_uk

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    Posted 04 January 2010 - 08:55 PM

    Hi, I'm from the UK so perhaps this is common practice, but I wanted to check whether this is standard practice in the US and for all wedding planners. We looked at hiring the White Orchid Beach House in Maui for our ceremony and were trying to keep costs including the photography under $6000, totally doable (or so I thought) as we were having a pretty simple ceremony with less than 20 guests. The coordinator from White Orchid however tried to charge us 20% of the photographer's fee despite us doing all the legwork to find the photographer, contact them, check their availability, book them, and arrange most the photography to be taken off site ie not on White Orchid's property. I find it very inappropriate to be charged a fee for this as no service was provided by the coordinator, and baffled at why we should be penalised ie charged more, the more we decided to spend on the photography. WOW were also charging us $200 for a coordinator to be onsite for an hour or so, and we were happy to pay them 20% for services they were actually going to help us organise. However White Orchid refused to negotiate their fee despite us advising them that most the photography would be done off site (and off their watch) so we cancelled our reservation. Very disappointed and now looking for another venue and coordinator. Is this a major cultural difference between the UK and US or what appeared to us as being a rather unsavoury practice of profiteering? It's really given me a negative impression of wedding planners and of Maui which I'm hoping the next coordinator I encounter will dispel!

    #2 Brenna

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    • 40 posts

      Posted 04 January 2010 - 11:53 PM

      I'm so sorry that this happened. I'm not entirely sure if this is normal or not but I have not come across it. That being said I would be just as upset as you are. Why should they charge you if their not providing a service?? Did you sign any kind of agreement with them? If so, was there a clause that mentioned charging fees for services they didn't help coordinate?
      On a brighter note I can telly ou that I am working with A Paradise Dream Wedding on Maui and have had absolutely no problems so far. Jayanne is my coordinator and has been great. I really like that they don't charge the additional 20% fee for services that you choose to add to their packages. The fees are probably already included in their flat rates but at least you don't feel like you're nickel and dimed to death. Anyway, that's my opinion. If I can be of any help please let me know. Good luck!

      #3 litl_april

      • Jr. Member
      • 351 posts

        Posted 05 January 2010 - 02:53 PM

        Hey there. I do have to say, what they tried doing does not seem right to me at all.
        My husband and I were married June of this year in Maui. We used Deanne Nakamura of Precious Maui Weddings and were beyond pleased with her services.
        We were able to put together our own package (so to speak) and only needed to use what we wanted. We did bring in our own photographer and that worked just fine...their were no weird charges associated with that. We also set up the reception primarily on our own. She gave us some suggestions and that was all, and she did not charge a fee for that assistance. Deanne arranged to have the cake delivered for the reception and that was all for that.
        Our coordinator fees were 18% and again, this was figured into our final amount on the services we did have her arrange. The only extra fee other than that 18% we had to pay was to have her come do a rehearsal with us. I think it was $100 or so for that. Deanne was there for the wedding, set up in advance and all, and there was no extra charge for this. It is just part of what she provides for you in her services.
        In case you want to look into her company, the website is Maui Weddings Hawaii Wedding Packages Hawaiian Weddings Planner

        To give you an idea of how comfortable I was with Deanne, I am a worrier at heart. I am prone to anxiety attacks. The day of our wedding, was probably the calmest I've felt in a very long time. I don't remember feeling that carefree except maybe in childhood! However, I knew from talking on the phone with Deanne, and from finally meeting her on the day of the rehearsal, that she was going to take care of everything and make sure it was a beautiful day. Even my sister and other 2 bridesmaids (my 2 very best friends) were convinced I was just putting on a very good facade and was truly churning inside from nerves. But there was nothing but happiness!! And the day did run beautifully and smoothly!!

        #4 litl_april

        • Jr. Member
        • 351 posts

          Posted 05 January 2010 - 02:54 PM

          Double post somehow! :P

          #5 Vaneska

          • Newbie
          • 123 posts

            Posted 08 November 2010 - 09:57 PM

            wow i was really considering using this location...but  now i am a little put off! They seem very expensive but the location is to die for!

            #6 karyan

            • Jr. Member
            • 184 posts

              Posted 11 November 2010 - 02:53 AM

              I think the minute it's a "private location" they can almost do what they want. When I looked into it, the hotel's were very similar to WOW in the sense that everything has to be approved by their coordinator and they charge 20% for everything. 


              Very disappointing for you though! I've been working with Lori from Tropical Maui weddings and she's been very good and upfront about everything. She charges a higher flat rate but doesn't charge a % for anything she coordinates. Make sure you call around, and I checked multiple reviews on anyone/anything I was considering to use before confirming.


              It seems to me that Maui is beautiful, so I'm sure you'll find something just as nice.


              Good luck!

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