To Be or Not To Be Heard – That Is The Question

As the pastor recites the wedding vows, the exuberant couple peers lovingly into each other’s eyes to publicly express their love for each other. It’s a picture perfect setting…except for one thing – everyone sees the couple move their lips and nod their heads, but can’t hear a single word they’re saying.

Note to self: If you’re having more than 20 guests at your wedding, especially one outdoors, order a sound system. Your guests will be glad you did.

Don’t Be Afraid To Put All Your Eggs In One Basket

When planning an event, it makes good sense to work with a one-stop event company that offers a comprehensive array of services.

It  saves you the time and energy required to manage and coordinate the many suppliers it takes to put on an event.

It helps you effectively manage your budget.  You avoid the perils of competing vendors vying for the same dollar which often results in duplicative costs and over-spending in certain areas.

And, the synergy that an event company has developed with their entertainers, technicians, scenic crew, florist, event managers and suppliers  from years of working closely together is priceless.

Fulton Tashombe: Featured Artist of the Week

Fulton Tashombe has been performing as a professional musician on Maui for over 29 years.  Born in San Francisco, California, he began his career as a child prodigy under the guidance of the late Earle Blew, Professor of Music at Stanford University. Fulton’s dynamic sound has been featured on numerous recordings and has inspired countless audiences in dance, night club, and concert settings.

I’ve had the opportunity to work with Fulton over the past 10 years and consider him family. He along with Kelly Covington and Lenny Castellanos sang What A Wonderful World at my wedding. A special song I danced with my father and a moment that is forever etched in my heart.

Fulton’s next Big gig “Why Can’t We All Just Get A Lung” is a Fundraiser to help him with expenses for a lung transplant. He’s been battling this disease ever since I’ve known him. The fundraiser will be held at Iao Theater on Saturday, JULY 14, 2012 from 2:00-4:00 p.m.

Tickets are $20 at the Door or in advance at Sir Wilfred’s in Lahaina. Fulton is a well-connected musician here on Maui and his friends will be coming out of the woodwork to perform in support of our dear friend. This concert will be one to remember. If you are unable to attend but would like to send a heartfelt donation, please contact us at 874-1000 for further information.


Joel Katz, Featured Artist of the Week

Joel Katz is a man with many musical talents. For the past 23 years he’s performed on keyboards with Jimmy Mac and the Kool Kats, one of Hawaii’s most popular convention bands.  Lately Joel has been delighting listeners with his accomplished performances on Hawaiian Lap Steel Guitar. His playing style and song selection captures the essence of the nostalgic sound of Hawaiian Steel Guitar.  A popular request by wedding couples is to have Joel on Acoustic guitar for the wedding ceremony followed by cocktail reception and a dinner set on his Hawaiian Lap Steel Guitar.

Joel will take your guests on a musical adventure touching on genres from Traditional and Contemporary Hawaiian to Jazz and American Standards and even some Top 40.

Somewhere Over the Rainbow    In My Life

Don’t Miss the Forest for the Trees When Setting Up an Event

Green Elegance green drapes fiber optic curtains

While it is important to pay attention to the focal elements of your party, always take the time to step back and look at the big picture with an eye and ear for detail. Are unsightly cables, lighting and speaker stands, and drape base-plates properly concealed? Is there clear line-of-sight to the stage from fringe tables? Are speakers far enough from the tables in the front, yet strategically positioned so guests in the back can hear clearly?

If you miss this fundamental step, your client’s event experience may be less than wonderful. It reminds me of bad lighting, dusty ceiling fans, or water spots on wine glasses at a restaurant.  The food may be delicious, but these subtle but important oversights can ruin your dining experience.

Who said you can’t walk down the aisle to your favorite Bruno Mars song?

Photo courtesy of Bill Westerhoff

Photo courtesy of Bill Westerhoff

The only rule to remember when planning your wedding is “There Are No Rules”!  You’ve heard the “Borrowed, Blue and New” thing that have been going around since the dawn of time, or the traditional Bridal March (Hawaiian Wedding Song if you’re in Hawaii) being played as you walk down the aisle.  More and more modern brides are moving away from conventional practices and putting their own creative twist on their wedding day.  Do it like Burger King and Have It Your Way!

5 Myths When Planning a Hawaii Wedding

Myth #1:  The Weather is Always Perfect in Hawaii

Yes, I have to admit the weather here in Hawaii is perfect for an outdoor ceremony and reception however, we are in the tropics and on any given day it’s raining somewhere on the island.  It could be a passing shower as is the case on a weekly basis in the Makena/Wailea area in the late afternoon or almost every day in the Haiku and Hana areas.  What this means for you is to 1) Have a backup plan to celebrate indoors or 2) Get a tent if your heart is set on staying outdoors.  Nothing can ruin a wedding day faster than not having a rain backup plan.

The DIY Wedding Couple

Myth #2:  It’s Easy to Plan Your Own Wedding

I am a wedding and event planner, live on Maui, got married here and even I needed help with the planning.  Albeit was my best friend who is also a wedding planner but hey, why stress unnecessarily especially when planning one of the biggest days of your life?  All I’m saying is that everyone needs help when planning a wedding, especially a destination wedding.  If you’re not familiar with the islands, the venue where your nuptials will be held or entertainment, etc, etc. you need someone on your side to supply you with the details.

Yes, on some occasions you will need to pay a little extra for this service however in the long run it will save you time and maybe some heartache.  There is nothing worse than working with a vendor you found online only to find out minutes before your ceremony that the person you thought you hired isn’t going to show up.  Do your research and hire legitimate companies that have solid reputations with local and mainland clients and also those that carry insurance policies in case something unforeseen should happen.

Myth #3: Musicians are a Dime-A-Dozen in Hawaii  

Hawaii has a strong draw to musically artistic people and it seems like everytime you turn your back someone new is crooning Somewhere Over the Rainbow made popular by the late Israel Kamakawiwo’ole.  Hawaii boasts an amazing wealth of entertainers performing in all genres of music from Traditional and Contemporary Hawaiian to Reggae infused Jawaiian to Top 40 Country to Classical.  Some musicians don’t stray far from their genre and some very talented ones dabble in a few genres. The key is to finding the right musician that will make your heart soar even higher as you dance your first dance.

For starters I recommend deciding on the genre of music you’d like to hear and asking your wedding planner to find a few musicians that will fit the bill and are available on your wedding date.  Once they find this person/s have them supply you with a song list to help narrow your choices. It is always the best idea to hire entertainment through legitimate sources that work with a number of entertainers.  By doing this you will know that you are getting top of the line choices from a reputable source.

Beach Kiss

Photo by Bill Westerhoff

Myth #4:  Getting Married on the Beach is Free

Having a beach wedding used to be Free but because of the explosion of beach weddings the City and County of Maui is now requiring a permit and small fee to say your I Do’s on the beach.  The government found it necessary to regulate this growing trend to avoid excessive commercial use and exploitation of this free natural resource available to residents and visitors.

Can you imagine trying to relax and enjoy your day-off or vacation at the beach only to have a line of wedding couples, photographers, ministers, florists, etc. etc tramping over your beach towel to get to their favorite spot?  These permits are a hindrance to some but also a blessing to those that have travelled hundreds of miles to enjoy the uncrowded beaches and beautiful blue ocean.  Do it right by planning ahead to get your permit well in advance of your arrival on Maui.

Myth #5:  Flowers Bloom Year Round In Hawaii

Photo by Bill Westerhoff

Ok, this is actually true. Flowers bloom all year round in Hawaii BUT not necessarily the type of flower you may want at your wedding.  If you have a specific type of flower in mind you may need to choose your wedding date according to the season your flower blooms.  A bouquet filled with white peonies means an April-June wedding.  If your heart is set on winter nuptials I recommend speaking with your wedding coordinator and florist about what flowers are in season and grown in Hawaii during your wedding month.  By trusting the local businesses you’ll be pleasantly surprised with what they are able to come up with to keep in line with your budget.