Guest Author - Beth Helmstetter
“Where do we stay?” “What are the plans?” "How much will it cost?" These, among others, are likely to be the questions on your guest’s minds as you plan your destination wedding. No worries though. If you have chosen the isles of Hawaii for your nuptials, let the natural beauty of the islands and the Polynesian culture guide your plans. Here are some suggestions for a Hawaiian style weeklong celebration that are sure to get your guests ready for the big day.
Welcoming your guests to the islands is a must. The perfect introduction is a simple cocktail party overlooking the Pacific Ocean. A relaxing oceanfront get together is the best way to ensure your guests experience at least one Hawaiian sunset during their visit. Consider a wine tasting highlighting wines of the Pacific. Or if you want to keep the event truly tropical, host a foo-foo drink party serving Lava Flows and Mai Tais, garnished with an orchid and umbrella, of course. Don’t forget to offer samplings of Pacific Rim fare. The Hawaiian Islands have some of the best Ahi and Coconut Shrimp you’ll ever try.
In Hawaii, don't just have a typical rehearsal dinner...invite your guests to experience Polynesian culture with a traditional Hawaiian luau. Most luaus on the islands are open to the public, however there are also many companies that will produce a private show complete with an Imu ceremony and fire and knife finale. With prices ranging from $75 per person for a public luau and private luaus starting at $3000 and up, let your budget be the guide when determining the best atmosphere for your party. For more details, check out Tihati Productions, a provider of Polynesian entertainment in Hawaii since 1969. www.tihati.com.
The morning after brunch is your final opportunity to say thanks to the guests who have traveled so far. What better send off than a morning sail? There are many companies that offer private charters for sailing and snorkeling on the Pacific. Most will even prepare a light brunch, including Hawaiian Sweet Bread French Toast and Mango Mimosas. If on Maui, try the Ali’i Nui, a 60 foot sailboat offering private charters, full service staff and free ocean views. Get more information at www.aliinuimaui.com.
OTHER ACTIVITIES TO CONSIDER:
Instead of a Bridal Luncheon, consider a day at the Spa. No bridesmaid should leave without getting a Lomi Lomi massage, a technique developed by the natives.
Instead of a Bachelor Party, consider a golf tournament. Views of the Pacific Ocean, island breezes and championship courses…the perfect end to bachelorhood.
Instead of babysitting services for the kids, consider lei making and hula classes. Your guests will be thrilled that you took the time to personalize activities for their keiki (aka children).
No matter how you plan your wedding week, keep in mind that your guests are on vacation too; plan events that will make them part of your celebration, while also allowing them to experience the wonders of Hawaii. In the end, everyone will understand the true spirit of Aloha and the reason you choose such a remarkable location for your union.