I'd be happy to help you navigate the treacherous wedding vendor waters. I didn't have anyone to help me when I was planning- so now that I've done tons and tons and tons or research AND had a very successful wedding I'd be happy to help you as much as I can. I seriously feel like I had the Maui Wedding Dream Team working for me. Everyone was beyond incredible. You can message me with your email address and we can communicate that way too. I've helped several Maui brides from these boards and it's worked quite well that way.
To (quickly) answer your questions:
1. Congrats on your engagement!!! <I know that's not an answer, but wanted to put it out there>
2. Food for the Soul is, in a word, Ah-mazing. Their food, presentation, communication, and heart... is just top notch. I honestly feel like they made my wedding more special because they were part of it. I know they are "just caterers" .... but with this company, you get a husband and wife team that are in the industry because they love it. Tell Tina I say hi... I just adore her!
3. After a lot of thought, I decided to have Food for the Soul do the full bar for us instead of us doing our own through Costco, etc. At first, I wasn't sure if this was the right call (we were on a tight budget). But in hindsight, I'm so glad we went this route. When you are out on the island for your wedding, expect to be 100% busier and more frazzled than you think you will be. We would have had zero time to go and get all the additional items such as garnishes, ice!!!, containers for ice, mixers, stirrers, etc. etc. etc. And even if we had time- just setting it up and "making it all work" would have been next to impossible. Also- you don't want to put this job on one of your guests bc. it's a lot of work. In the end, we didn't have to worry about a thing and everything went perfectly. FFTS's presentation was awesome too. They set everything up and tore it down- and, I didn't need to know about any of it. When you add up all the costs, I really think it's worth while. Oh- and Tina was so accommodating with special requests on wine and beer types and also had some fabulous suggestions of her own (esp. when it came to pairing the wine with the food, etc).
4. We did order our cake through FFTS. There are certain things that I really cared about- and cake wasn't one of them. That said- I sent a few "inspiration" photos to Tina and she shopped around the best price for me. We picked our flavors and then I just sent them the ribbon I wanted to use, and brought my cake toppers. I didn't really think of anything beyond that. But I have to say, I start to salivate a bit when I think back to it. It was the most scrumptious cake ever!! Everyone was raving about it and wanted the left overs I'm still not sure who Tina went through for the cake- but ask her who she used for my (Tami) wedding and I'm sure she'll be able to look it up. Oh- and it was so nice not having to worry about yet another vendor. FFTS took care of EVERYTHING. All I know is it was there when we needed it and it was perfect! Again, in hindsight, I'm so glad it was such a hit. I consider myself lucky for it turning out so wonderfully and not putting too much thought into it.
5. FFTS provided linens (I upgraded to ivory) and I worked pretty closely with Della on the table decor design (I bought some items and had them shipped over and Della provided some of the items as well). As to who set everything up- to be honest, I don't know if it was FFTS, Della, or my coordinator Cherise (I was upstairs getting ready) I have a feeling it was all of them working together on it though. They are all good friends (which made it even more fun). Della is OUT OF THIS WORLD too. If you are thinking of going with her- DO IT!! (tell her I say hi too) She just oozes creativity and is SO fun to work with. Her energy is contagious and... I just fell in love with her.
I made some wedding slide shows recently and just popped them on my blog yesterday. Feel free to take a gander: http://tami-licious-life.blogspot.com/ (click on the "At the Alter" page on the top navigation bar).
Again, I'm happy to help you if you need anything! I love this stuff