Hawaii Destination Wedding...on a budget!
Being Filipino AND Pennsylvania Dutch, I come from a very financially conservative family. -aka- Frugal… cheap… ehh, whatever you want to call it. I am known as the coupon queen at work. Seriously, I have coupons for EVERYTHING. Our wedding really wasn’t any different.
Date: March 05, 2009
City, State: Kaneohe, Hawaii
# of Guests: 21
Ceremony Site/Type of Venue: $738. Byodo-In Temple. $700 for the use of the temple grounds for 2 hours (this also included a photography fee to photograph on their grounds). We spent about $38 in ribbon and paper lanterns to decorate the aisle. We figured that the temple grounds were so beautiful, there was no need to spend too much money on decor. I’m glad we went this route; the temple is BEAU.TI.FUL. We also supplied bottles of water (I DIY'd custom labels on the water bottles) and had palm fans (a family friend picked them up for us while she was in the Philippines...SUPER cheap!).
Reception Site/Type of Venue: $795 (about $37.85 per person). Germaine’s Luau. My wondrous folks were generous to gift this to us. Most of our guests were first time Hawaii visitors and since we’re pretty laid back, we decided to forgo a traditional dinner and take them to a luau instead. This is open to the public, so the general public was at the luau with us. We got a great deal using a military discount. The luau included a yummy Hawaiian buffet (with cake!), a few adult beverages, and 3 hours of entertainment.
Caterer/Food/Drink (per person if available): $0, included with luau.
Bridal Gown & Alterations: $373. $320 for my dress, which was purchased off of eBay. $53 for alterations, by Karen Chow, a godsend!
Bridal Accessories (Veil, Undergarments, Shoes, Jewelry): $120.94. Includes hair fascinator, 2 pairs of shoes (pair for the ceremony, pair for the luau), earrings and undies. This also includes the $12 I spent on our flower girl’s dress and her parasol.
Groom’s Attire: $492. His suit was custom made by Island Importer, $300. Shoes were also custom made Nike sneaks, $107. Shirt from Express, $35. Minor suit alterations, $50.
Photography: $2094.24. Frank Amodo is wondrous and totally worth it! ‘Nuff said.
No, but seriously, we hired him for as long as we could afford to (which was 4 hours) and it really was totally worth it. I wish we could have been able to have him ALL day, but our budget couldn’t cut it. I would rather have had an AWESOME photographer for half the day, then a so-so photographer for the full day.
Ceremony Music: $150. I ended up hiring an ukulele player off of craigslist. I really did get an awesome deal, but the guy changed his prices on me 3 times. THREE. I really would have paid his top price to begin with, but it was more of the principle that you don’t change your prices 3 times in a 30 day period (this was even after I talked to him on the phone). I would have went another route, but I waited ’til the last minute and really didn’t have any other options. In all honesty, I don’t even remember him playing. At all. I’m sure he did… I was just too busy trying not to trip down the aisle to notice.
Flowers: $50. We really didn’t have flowers; there were no bouquets or bouts. We literally waited ’til the last minute to pick up leis for our lei ceremony. Literally, as in the morning of our wedding day. I really wish I would have bought better (and prettier) leis for our family members. That’s what happens when you wait until the last minute.
Officiant: $250. Alice Inoue. ::love.her:: I could have gone through the temple and used their officiant for $50 less, but I really liked how organized Alice was and it was totally worth it for my peace of mind. She really spoke from the heart and our ceremony didn’t feel scripted at all.
Coordinator: $0. I really relied on friends and family to help out here. Bestie Lauren and her husband, Kirk, really came through for me. Kirk has done TONS of events at the JW Marriott Ihilani Resort (where he works as an event coordinator) and helped out by providing me ceremony chairs, setting up, and tearing down our ceremony site. He’s starting to branch out into coordinating; hit him up if you’re getting married in Hawaii.
Hair/Makeup: $273, Beauty by May. Includes hair and makeup (including airbrush makeup and lashes) for me, my mom, and MIL. May is such a doll. She is the sweetest girl ever and she knows her stuff! Heart her!
Transportation: $405. Through Hickam’s ITT (military travel), we were able to get a shuttle van to pick up all of our guests staying in Waikiki, at their hotel, take them to the ceremony in Kaneohe, from the ceremony to the Luau (on the other side of the island), then back to their hotel (about 9 hours). They even upgraded our van to a shuttle bus. I originally called 3 local transportation companies and they wanted to charge me twice the amount for half the time. We really scored on this one!
Favors: $63.40. At our welcome BBQ, we gifted each of our guests with a bag of PA and Hawaii local goodies.
Wedding Party Gifts: $115.05. We didn’t have a wedding party, but I did gift my two besties a custom blurb “yearbook” of our friendship, along with a few other goodies. Just because they weren’t “official” bridesmaids, didn’t mean that they weren’t there for me for everything, wedding related and more.
Flight: $1541.60. Round trip flight for two.
Car Rental: $260.21. One week car rental.
Hotels: $600 (for 9 days). We used timeshare for 7 of the days and Hale Koa (military hotel) for the other two. We figured we wouldn’t be in the room much, so no need to go all out.
WEDDING DAY TOTAL: $8574.53
TOTAL COST PER PERSON (divide wedding day total by # of guests) : $408.31
All Inclusive Costs:
Welcome BBQ: $153.55. Includes a pavillon rental from Bellows and food.
Wedding Bands: $699. The hubby's ring was purchased through the AAFES catalog (for military peeps). My ring was purchased while in Hawaii from the NEX (military store), literally a week before the wedding. This was planned; I REALLY wanted my wedding ring to be Hawaiian jewelry and it’s always much cheaper to purchase from the military stores (plus no tax!). Our rings totally don’t match each others’; we figured if we were the ones wearing the rings for the rest of our lives, that we might as well pick out what we really like.
Honeymoon: $374.90. Includes 2 RT tickets to Big Island from Oahu, a 2 night hotel stay (does not include meals or tours).
ALL INCLUSIVE TOTAL: $1227.45
GRAND TOTAL (wedding day total + all inclusive total): $9801.98
Not too shabby for a destination wedding in Hawaii. Sure, we didn’t have 300+ people or our own intimate reception with a cake, but it was totally us. For you military peeps out there, utilize your military discounts! We saved thousands alone on just the reception luau and transportation. It doesn’t hurt to ask! The worst they can say is no.