Corinne
Beginner August 2021

Oahu Budget Brides?

Corinne, on November 19, 2018 at 9:41 PM Posted in Hawaii Planning 4 20
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Hello,

Anyone here planning a wedding on Oahu for under $15k? I'd love to share ideas about money saving tips on the island. I have barely begun to plan but will update this thread as I learn of affordable options and ideas. Please chime in. Smiley smile

20 Comments

Latest activity by Vanessa, on June 25, 2021 at 1:14 AM
  • Corinne
    Beginner August 2021
    Corinne ·
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    I'm searching hard for a vacation rental that allows small weddings for a reasonable event fee. What I've found so far is that most don't allow them, and the ones that do are charging upwards of $3k just to hold an event, in addition to the multiple night booking, taxes, cleaning fee, booking fee, and that includes no tables, chairs or anything. If anyone knows of a vacation rental charging less than $3k additional event fee, please post.

    As for reasonably priced reception venue options:

    Atherton Hall at YWCA Kokokahi in Kanehoe seems promising https://www.ywcaoahu.org/kokokahi/

    Queen Emma's Summer Palace (I've attended a wedding reception here and it was nice): http://daughtersofhawaii.org/facility-rentals/



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  • Asia
    Dedicated December 2018
    Asia ·
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    Oahu bride here, having my wedding next month! DH gave me 3 budget pricings: $5000 would be great, $8000 is good but no more then $10,000. Our budget right now is $8,000–friends/family paying for things and him and I have spilt costs on things as well.

    For venues, I’d take in to consideration as to where your guests will be staying. For me, we’re getting married at Cafe Julia as most of our friends/family live/staying in town. And it was the cheapest venue I could find in town that offers catering, cleanup/break down, tables/linens/silverware/tables.

    How I managed to be on budget was starting with the number one things I wanted the most which was photography. I just kept going down and listing everything to the things that didn’t matter the most and wasn’t worth purchasing.

    Even with weddigg wire recommending vendors, I went on Instagram looking up other photographers/DJ’s/makeup artists and found very experienced people with decent pricing.

    I would say florists are really going to make or break your budget depending on what you want. I struggled with this a lot because of the pricing was just extreme and kept having to change my centerpiece ideas to accommodate our budget.
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  • Corinne
    Beginner August 2021
    Corinne ·
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    Cafe Julia is beautiful! I wanted a more outdoorsy location myself but if I was going for urban, it would be my first choice.


    I was thinking for reception flowers I would buy potted orchids or anthuriums and then I could give them to some people as thank you gifts. I was also thinking of cutting ti leaves, monstera, and other favorite leaves from some places I know and storing them in the fridge. Using fresh plumeria for the flower girls from my workplace and future mother in law’s condo. (Or course I would need to coordinate prior on gathering this) And then just buying some bulk flowers from a china town florist to do my own hand tied bouquet. I haven’t decided on whether I’m having bridesmaids yet, but if so, i know the flower budget could get pretty steep for bouquets. I was thinking leis and haku from china town, but I’ve seen some really beautiful hakus on IG and Pinterest that make me think about venturing out of china town into one of the more creative artists I’ve seen. But maybe making it all that complicated—sourcing flowers from too many locations—will end up causing me trouble on the big day.
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  • Maren
    Champion October 2021
    Maren ·
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    Corinne, your flower vision sounds absolutely lovely!

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  • Corinne
    Beginner August 2021
    Corinne ·
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    Thanks Maren.


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  • Corinne
    Beginner August 2021
    Corinne ·
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    Another way to save money is to have the wedding on a Friday or Sunday. I was hoping for a date for this Summer, but on short notice, it seems many venues I like are booked on Saturday. But being forced to hold my wedding Friday could be a decent budget saver. Of course it's inconvenient for local guests who work a 9-5 job as well as anyone who planned to fly in for a quick weekend, but honestly, most of my friends and family, if they are going to fork over the money for airfare to Hawaii, they would make an entire vacation of it and stay at least 4 or 5 days. And with enough notice, most of my local friends and family can request a day off to enjoy my wedding. So I'm thinking about Friday...

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  • Megan
    Just Said Yes May 2019
    Megan ·
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    Corinne, have you looked into the Tiki Moon Villas? I thought that was cute and their max venue rental was $2200 (less for smaller events).

    I second the idea of going to Chinatown to get leis and/or kukui nut leis. I'm trying to find other ways to save money on flowers ... I was quoted about $2K by Watanabe for 10 centerpieces, 4 bridesmaid bouquets, 1 bridal bouquet, an arch piece, and maile leis for groom/groomsmen, and some leis for parents/grandparents. I considered making my own centerpieces but have zero floral talent!

    A few other areas to save money ... we're buying alcohol at Costco because we're hosting at a venue where you can bring your own (but then you can get slammed with equipment rental fees - be careful!). We also are considering buying Bubbies ice cream from Costco to supplement the cake for dessert! I think it's about $12 for 18 pieces.

    Another thing - if you need/want a day of coordinator, budget about $2500 for that. My venue is making me have one that is not a wedding guest. I couldn't find ANYONE for much less than $2000 and most were in the $**** range. CRAZY!

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  • Corinne
    Beginner August 2021
    Corinne ·
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    I love the Tiki Moon place but the reason I've been hesitant is that I find the accommodations aspect of it confusing to plan and organize. I won't know who is coming until some time after I book, and at that point I'll have to ask them if they want a room on the property or not, and then if so, charge them some price that's commensurate with what they're getting, but each room is different and each house is different. Someone might be sleeping on a futon in the living room while another is in a twin bed and another is in a king, and then some of the houses are nicer than the others. I have to pay for the deposit for all units up front, but feel like I'd have to come up with some immensely complicated formula to know what to charge each of the guests who wants accommodations--and then they would be paying me and then I'd have to pay the venue. And what if some people want to stay 5 days while others only want to stay 1 or 2? It just gets so confusing. If I could just book and pay for the venue, then block off a chunk of rooms and let individual guests make arrangements directly with the hotel, then I'd be all in. Or if there were merely 2 types of uniform accommodations which I could price easily, that'd work too. But my past experience in vacation planning with my large family leads me to believe that this would be a logistical nightmare. Last thing I want is someone coming to me and whining that they thought they paid for a king room and why are they having to share a room, etc.

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  • Corinne
    Beginner August 2021
    Corinne ·
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    The flower and wedding coordinator prices do sound much higher than I was expecting. Thanks for the heads up!

    Regarding bar service, I'm definitely planning to do my own alcohol from Costco. I don't think I'll need too many rentals for that because I figured I'd just have a keg delivered, buy wine and champagne from Costco, and provide one or two pre-mixed alcoholic drinks from a glass beverage dispenser such as spiked pog or mai tai, and probably disposable glasses. The venues on my short list all provide more tables than I need, and I've personally bartended at weddings using regular tables, not bar height tables, and it worked just fine so I can do that. I'll either hire a bartender or recruit my siblings to bartend in shifts.

    If I use disposable cups, the only rentals I can think of for the bar would be glass beverage dispensers for my spiked pog, a tablecloth, and maybe a couple of ice chests to keep white wine and champagne cold, and another for ice for guests. I can pick up a menu sign on amazon or at the craft store. Am I forgetting something?

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  • Jamielyn
    Just Said Yes August 2019
    Jamielyn ·
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    Hi Asia!

    Oahu Bride here as well. I am also having my wedding at Café Julia! I would love to hear what vendors you have chosen just as reference. I am still searching for vendors, and would love to hear from you as my fiancé and I have the same budget.

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  • Asia
    Dedicated December 2018
    Asia ·
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    Oh yes of course! I’d love to help Smiley smile

    cake/cupcakes: Cake Works
    Flavors were fantastic even without a cake tasting, very fair in pricing.

    hair & makeup: Grace Nicole
    She is on WeddingWire but mainly does her business inquires on Instagram which is where I found her. She’s very talented and popular makeup/hairstylist, super sweet and outgoing.

    coordinators: Cherished In Hawaii
    There are 3 ladies that work together (Leah,JV and Mina), they all have different jobs. Leah does the timeline, JV is the decorator and Mina handles the vendors. They did an AMAZING job at my wedding this Thursday, I couldn’t believe how perfectly they brought our vision decor wise to life. I would highly suggest these ladies if you’re thinking about hiring a coordinator or not, they really took our stress away on our wedding day and were always making sure we were okay and updating us on what was going on timeline wise.

    dj: DJ Neekz (Dominic)
    I was referred to him by DJ Troy (we were going to go with Troy but budget wise couldn’t make it work). Dominic is very knowledgeable and experienced with gauging the dance floor on what song to play. We gave him a list of songs we like which he incorporated into the playlist while throwing his songs in their. Everyone loved the music he was playing. He also provided various other rentals he can include for a package.

    Photographer: MomentsbyMoriel
    I found her on Instagram as well randomly one night. Her pricing was within our budget than the other company we were going to go with. She’s very sweet, outgoing and her work is gorgeous.

    Roy Nuesca is an amazing photographer, I really wanted to hire him but wasn’t able to. He’s very popular for weddings, he is on Instagram.

    We couldn’t work a videographer in our budget but Seeking Films does photography and video. They’re a popular pick as well for weddings. Red Ring Studio is a popular videographer company as well.

    florists: Watanabe Floral & Spinning Web
    Watanbe did our bouquet/boutonnières/corsages. They are quite pricey depending on what centerpieces you want and such.

    Spinning Web was a last minute hire due to our centerpieces from an Etsy floral company not turning out the way we wanted. They were so understanding and did an amazing job, honestly the centerpieces they did looked way better than the Etsy one we ordered and had shipped to Hawaii. I would highly suggest them, prices are fair and a great company.

    rentals: The Wedding Linen Company
    We rented table cloths, overall process was easy for pick up and drop off. They have various colors and cloth textures.

    limo: Top Limousine
    Pick Up and drop off was on time. We had various times we needed pick up/drop off and they were very accommodating, their pricing was fair we believe.

    If you you have any questions or need help, let me know! Good luck with planning & congratulations!
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  • Jamielyn
    Just Said Yes August 2019
    Jamielyn ·
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    Asia you're awesome!!! Thank you so much for the detailed vendor list. I really appreciate it. I am emailing with cherished in Hawaii Smiley smile
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  • D
    Just Said Yes March 2020
    Deanna ·
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    Omg! This is the thread I’ve been searching for. Most on this site are for destination weddings.
    We’ve been hunting for venues for our reception but everything is priced high. We’re getting married at kamehameha school’s chapel so we gotta stay in town.
    Cafe Julia was awesome and right next to Iolani palace but I thought it was a little difficult for our older guests.
    Hale Koa is nice but $10k is still kinda high.

    We just went to the Queen Kapiolani hotel for their open house after their renovation and it was beautiful. It’s really cheap for weddings this year b/c they just reopened. $4k minimum for food AND drink!! Omg!!
    I haven’t seen the menu yet tho so I’m not sure exactly how expensive it’s going to be.
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  • Alyssia
    Just Said Yes July 2017
    Alyssia ·
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    Following the post
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  • J
    Just Said Yes July 2020
    Joy ·
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    Hi! I’m getting married in 2020 on Oahu (I live in California). Did you already do your wedding? I’d love to chat.
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  • Stephanie
    Just Said Yes May 2022
    Stephanie ·
    • Flag

    Hello Smiley laugh Budget Bride here. Were any of you able to stick to your 15k budget on Oahu? Please share your experiences and the vendors, ceremony space and reception space that you used to stick to your budget Smiley shame Smiley heart

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  • Belle
    VIP August 2022
    Belle ·
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    I am still looking for restaurant with ambience but not the one with itty bitty portions 🤣 for my wedding dinner. It’s a party of 6, including a minor. We are all none drinker.What would you suggest?
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  • A
    Just Said Yes September 2022
    Aannnnaa ·
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    Can you also share how much did you pay each vendor?


    Im having a hard time figuring out how you managed a total of 8,000 only.
    And I guess you needed officiant and probably no videographer?
    I am planning with 10K budget and I am literally going crazy...lol
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  • Krystal
    Just Said Yes May 2022
    Krystal ·
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    Following along, best one yet. Thanks ladies Smiley heart

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  • Vanessa
    Just Said Yes December 2021
    Vanessa ·
    • Flag
    Hi Ladies!


    I’m getting married in Oahu in December at Turtle Bay. I did a lot of research to make sure I found good vendors for the right price. It is looking like it will be about $18k for 35 guests. The resort is a bit more expensive (5k venue rental and 5k food/drink minimum) but it comes with tables, chairs, linens, lights, dance floor, archway etc. plus no transportation needed!
    I also booked:For the Good Events - Partial wedding planningJeff Alancastre - Beautiful florals Jamie Lee Noguchi - Photographer Mark Kurnow - Officiant Akahi Productions - DJ/live music Hair/Makeup - Reveal
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