Destination I Do
Friday, May 4, 2012

Destination Wedding Hawaii: A Honolulu Dream Come True!

Words by Courtney Kellar
Photos courtesy of Nightingale Photography
It’s each couple’s backstory and history which help to make these Real Wedding posts interesting. Ironically, it’s often the same story which determines where the couple says “I do.” Such is the case with Mei and Jesse, who had a very specific reason for picking Honolulu, Hawaii for their destination wedding locale.

“We chose Hawaii as the location for two reasons: First and foremost, Mei grew up in Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands,” says the couple. “The island way of life, gentle ocean breeze and warm sands is a special part of her life and will always be near and dear to her heart. The second reason was for logistics since Mei’s parents traveled from Hong Kong.”

Speaking of travel logistics, the couple did run into a few speed bumps along the way. “We had relatives that wanted to fly together or sit next to each other on the plane,” recalls the couple. “To make it more interesting, they wanted rooms which were next to each other and on particular floors. We resolved this by acting as the broker for all of the family. We coordinated their flights and seats, specials flight accommodations and the hotel rooms by creating a spreadsheet to help us manage everything. We also created vacation itineraries for them so they could maximize their experience based on their various lengths of stay.”

While Mei and Jesse clearly went above and beyond to satisfy their guests, it doesn’t always have to be the case. Priorities vary between every destination wedding. In order to stay on track, most couples recommend a wedding coordinator. Mei and Jesse say they couldn’t have pulled off their dream wedding without the help of their coordinator. “For a more exotic location, be sure the wedding planner is familiar, if not well versed, in the culture and language of the wedding location,” say Mei and Jesse.

There’s no doubt this couple’s wedding would have been drastically different if held in their hometown. Luckily, they have no reservations about their decision to host a destination wedding. “Our guest list would have swelled by a factor of five or six,” says the couple. “This would have taken our guest list to about 250 or 300. Consequently, we would have had to make more compromises because of the size of the guest list. Also, we feel that the wedding could not have been as memorable as it could be since there are only so many local venues, most of which friends and family have already used.”

An interesting point as this couple stuck to their vision in order to have an original and special wedding. When it comes to advice, the couple has just one more piece to give. It may not be an obvious idea, but it’s certainly sound! “It’s important to not only have your primary options for vendors, but to also have alternatives!”

Photographer: Nightingale Photography
Wedding Coordinator: Aileen Styczyski of Prestigious Planning
Ceremony/Reception Site: Hilton Hawaiian Village Resort
Florist: Estonami Floral Design
Stationary: Marizette Paperie
Makeup/Hair: Makeup by Beverly
DJ: DownLow DJs
Gown Designer: David’s Bridal
Groom’s Clothing Designer: Celebrity Tuxedos
Bridesmaids/Groomsmen’s Clothing Designer: David’s Bridal/Celebrity Tuxedos

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