Hawaiian Myth Busters

Saturday September 23, 2017

We receive countless questions from brides-to-be everyday about how to make the wedding planning process easier. Every bride has a vision, and unfortunately so does your Mother-in-Law, Maid of Honor, and all of your newlywed friends who share their do's and don'ts to execute the perfect wedding. There really isn’t just one “right” answer when it comes to what your wedding should be. Our best advice? Plan your wedding in a way that is the perfect reflection of you and your wonderful hubby to be! Here are some of our favorite myth-busting answers brides want to know…

Q: You absolutely NEED wedding insurance!

Myth! Weddings are a huge investment and an average wedding budget falls anywhere between $10,000 to $50,000 plus. With any major purchase in life; buying a car or a house; insurance is offered to ensure that you are "covered" in case the unexpected arises and weddings are no different! Although wedding insurance isn't widely known or taken advantage of in Hawaii, there are two main types of wedding insurance that can be beneficial to brides and grooms:

Wedding Liability Insurance: This type of insurance protects the bride, groom and their families (if they are paying) from financial liability in cases where they are held responsible for alcohol related accidents, property damage, or injuries during the actual wedding. This type of insurance may be required at certain locations and venues.Wedding Event Cancellation/Postponement Insurance: This type of insurance protects financial investment in the wedding that covers deposits (potential loss of) and cases against extreme situations (weather, accidents, sudden illness) and no-show vendors.

Wedding insurance can be a hefty investment in itself, ranging anywhere from $1,000 to $50,000+ depending on the cost of your entire event and how much coverage you want to invest in.

Q: I want the perfect beach wedding, all I have to do is show up and get the wedding started!

Myth! Permits are required for the use of a state park, beach or similar location for the purpose of a marriage ceremony and/or reception. It's important to note that some beaches are managed by other government agencies versus the city and county. Permit applications and information can be obtained on the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) website. This website provides a list of specific beaches needing permits, and those beaches that are restricted for wedding and commercial use based on safety conditions or sensitive cultural sites. If you haven't hired a wedding coordinator, it's best to inquire direct with the DLNR to find out what permits and forms are needed before moving forward with your dream location.

Q: We completely own our wedding/engagement photos!

Myth! Ultimately, the photographer owns the strict rights (copyrights) to the photos taken at your wedding or event by law. Some photographers, however, will offer brides and grooms a photography release, which allows them limited rights to duplicate and make copies of the photos for personal use only. This photography release does not allow brides and grooms to duplicate the photos for any commercial use, or the intention to resell the images in any way.

Q: Couples ALWAYS save the top tier of their wedding cake to eat, one year later!

Myth! Traditionally, the top tier of the wedding cake was removed and saved until the couple's 1st anniversary. This process involves removing the top tier and ensuring the box or container is tightly sealed to avoid freezer burn and possible damage. While this tradition was mainly for sentimental reasons, most cake bakers say that after one-year, cake really has little or no taste at all! There is now a growing trend where brides and grooms are opting to order a mini replica cake to be baked and served on their one-year anniversary called an anniversary cake. This is a more delicious reminder of your wedding day, because the cake will taste and look more like it did on your wedding day.

Mother Etiquette

Friday September 22, 2017

We love our Mom(s). Mom has ALWAYS been there for us, through thick and thin, breakups and heartbreaks. Now you’re engaged and mom is OVER THE MOON! She can’t wait to help you with this, that and everything in between. You love that she’s so eager to jump on the planning wagon with you, but, you also know that you may have differing ideas on how to do things. If you’re facing such a dilemma, and are having trouble deciding how to include your mothers (yes, your groom to be’s mama is also itching to get involved) in the wedding planning process, we have some tips to help you decide what tasks to give to each, that won’t offend or cramp your style and most importantly, wedding vision. Now remember: the mother of the bride has more responsibilities than the mother of the groom, simply because traditionally the bride’s family pays for most of the wedding. Today, however, many couples are choosing to split costs more evenly between families or pay for the wedding themselves. So we say divvy up tasks however you see fit!


Dollah Dollah Billz

Mom’s involvement in your wedding is directly related to how much money she and your father are putting into the wedding. If they’re paying for it, then her involvement in your guest list, venue, floral budget, etc. will be greater than if she’s only making a cursory contribution. If Mom isn’t involved at all with the planning but you want her to feel a part of it (and you trust her to handle it!), have her help you organize the favor making session or coordinate the post wedding festivities (i.e. morning after brunch).

Say Yes to the Dress

Invite Mom to your wedding gown shopping trips. She won’t be shy and will tell it like it is, which can be a valuable voice in the fitting room when you can’t decide which gown is right. Having her there for moral support is a big plus, and if she’s footing the tab for your dress (this is one way she can help) then you’ll want her there for this moment. And best part of all, seeing her tear up with joy when you light up after donning the dress, priceless. BEST MOTHER DAUGHTER MOMENT EVER!

Venue Menu

Mom can be helpful in narrowing down the wedding and reception locations. Have her come with you to tastings too if you prefer. If she and Dad are footing the bill for the reception, then you’ll definitely want them to know what you’re thinking of for the menu and bar so they’re not surprised at the end of the evening.

Ritual Expert

Who do you call when you need direction on how to include a family tradition or ritual in your ceremony? Your Mom, of course. She’s the go-to person for religious expertise or even the source of the Something Borrowed or Something Old you’ll don for good luck down the aisle.

Shower Power

Whether it is the engagement dinner or bridal shower, Mom is NOT expected to host one or both of these events. But, if she wants to host them, then she trumps the rest who may want to step up to the task. Then again, the more parties the merrier!


Her biggest job is also the most fun, picking out her gown for your wedding. Etiquette recommends that she follows your lead as to the hue and formality of the dress she picks (perhaps she wants to complement what the bridesmaids are wearing or stand apart with something completely different in color). It is also spelled out that the bride’s mom buys her gown before the mother of the groom. Then, once Mom picks her fave, she calls the groom’s mother to describe her dress so the groom’s mom doesn’t clash or overshadow it.

Guest List Guru

Mom and Dad will probably be providing you with a list of guests they’d like invited to the wedding. Protocol dictates that the more they are contributing to the wedding, the more leeway you should allow for the guests they’d like to invite. However, if you and your fiance are picking up the tab, make sure to set some boundaries on how many guests they are allotted. One way that Mom can also help, is with the seating arrangement. If you have a lot of family and or family friends coming, she may know best who to sit where.

Arm In Arm

Mom gets to walk down the aisle with you and dear old dad if you want (and in some faiths, like Judaism, it is expected). Having the two most important people by your side is something you three will remember forever.

Dance Away

Once you and your new husband hit the dance floor for your First Dance, etiquette dictates that the next couple to follow you out there is your Mom and Dad.

Nothing Like Mom

One last thing for the MOB: tell her that above all what you really need is for her to just be there. As the wedding pressure seeps in, you’ll want her to be, well, a mom. =)


Make The First Move

Custom dictates that once you’re engaged, it is the role of the groom’s parents to call the bride’s parents first. Though this may not necessarily happen all the time, this is when both sets of parents should arrange a dinner (if location permits) to celebrate the couple and toast the new generation ahead.

Provide A Guest List

Unless, again, the groom’s parents are contributing heavily to your budget, the mother of the groom has to follow your lead on how many guests to invite. Whatever the number, it is also her duty to follow up with any of her invitees who haven’t RSVP’d by the deadline. She would also be a great go-to to get advice on the seating arrangements for the guests that the groom’s side will be inviting.

Traditions, Traditions

If your groom wants to add touches of his heritage to your ceremony, the mother of the groom is a good source to turn to for ideas. If, for instance you want to hire a lion dance troupe or other entertainment, your mom-to-be can be in charge of the arrangements as long as she communicates with you on the where and when.

Rehearsal Dinner Duties

Traditionally, the groom’s parents host this event after your wedding rehearsal. Since this party isn’t bound by many other customs, it is often where the groom’s family’s personalities emerge, reflected by the choice of venue, food and entertainment. Have fun with it!

Save the Last Dance

Lastly, one of the more memorable parts of the wedding celebration, is the mother and son dance. This is where your now mother-in-law gets to take the dance floor with her boy. It’s always a nice touch to have a mother and son dance in addition to the father and daughter dance.

Having your Mom(s) help with the wedding planning should be a fun and rewarding experience. It may be challenging, but it’s important to set boundaries from the get-go and to share YOUR vision of your big day. If she’s adamant that she wants to help you, provide her with a timeline of what needs to be done by when and have her share the info with you. Wedding planning is a multifaceted endeavor and having help is a HUGE plus. Mom has been there for you all your life and she will definitely be there for you now, so don’t be shy to vocalize how you’d like her to help.

To Hawaii, With Love

Thursday September 21, 2017

For our destination brides planning their dream wedding in Hawaii, there are a million and one things to do, especially since you're doing everything overseas! Finding the perfect wedding gown, of course, takes the highest priority, but what about getting said perfect gown across the largest ocean in the world???

1. Keep it Close

As most couples will be jumpin' on a jet plane to get to their destination wedding, carrying your dress on board with you will give you peace of mind that the gown will arrive when you do. Some airlines are equipped with "In-Flight closets" or "Captains closets" that can accommodate larger, hung items such as wedding dresses. Space is limited so make sure you talk to an agent as soon as you get to the gate. Continental, American and Hawaiian Airlines all recommend stowing your garment bag in the overhead compartments; however, these fill quickly and cannot be reserved. Always call your airline before you book to ask about their policy on large garment carry-ons as they may have a "check-in only" policy.

TWC TIP: If carrying your dress on board is not an option, pack the dress in a watertight box to protect it from odors and stains. Label the outside as well as the inside of the box and make sure the airline labels it "FRAGILE".

2. Ship Ship Hooray!

If you can bear to part with your loved one (the dress, of course!), sending a dress by mail has become popular for the hassle-free bride.Whether you go with USPS, Fedex, or UPS, these companies are trained to handle fragile items, which make for stress-free shipping. With technology and insurance to make sure your dress gets to Hawaii safe and sound, you can be hands free to travel light without worries of overhead compartments filling up or gate agents forcing a check-in for your lovely gown.UPS and Fedex calculate their costs based on weight, height, destination and how fast you need it delivered. Whether you have a beautiful ball gown, marvelous mermaid dress, or simple sheath, your best bet with these companies is to visit your local UPS/Fedex location.The United States Postal Service (USPS) has three options to ensure your dress gets to its destination. Remember these key terms when you make your trip down to the post office: "Registered hand to hand," the most secure option, as it requires a signature every time it is dropped off at a destination. "Express" is guaranteed to arrive in two days and comes with tracking and insurance. Lastly, "Priority Ensure" is a less expensive option but offers confirmation, signature and tracking features.Recent bride Bonnie Kam used USPS to ship her dress to Seattle for a post-wedding photo shoot. The cost with shipping and insurance came out to just over $100.

TWC TIP: Before Bonnie shipped her dress to Seattle for her post-wedding shoot, she had her Vera Wang dress shipped from New York to Hawaii for her wedding. She advised that a great money-saving tip is to ask if certain designers will ship a dress for you. Vera Wang shipped her dress free of charge to her in-laws address in Hawaii. Lucky bride!

3. It's a Wrap!

When planning your destination wedding, mention to your bridal salon that you will need to transport your dress. They have great tips on how to correctly pack a dress for shipment, like wrapping the dress in acid-free tissue paper and then placing it into a box 1/3 the length of the dress. They will also be able to show you how to fold the dress in a "z-shape" to prevent deep creases, which will be harder to press.

TWC TIP: When purchasing your dress, certain fabrics can be your best friend. Choose a fabric like charmeuse and chiffon, both are resistant to creasing and don't take up a lot of room. These fabrics will ease your travel worries and leave you with sweet dreams about your wedding.

4. Bridal Gown in the House

If you plan on staying in a hotel while in Hawaii, many hotels feature some great options for receiving and storing your dress. We spoke with representatives at the Ala Moana Hotel, the Moana Surfrider, and the Hilton Hawaiian Village who are all happy to store a hotel guest's wedding gown even if the gown arrives before you do. Once you retrieve your dress, hang it outside of its garment bag so the wrinkles can naturally fall out, and then decide if it needs to be pressed. Hotels will have information on where to send it out or you can contact a local bridal salon for pressing needs. The Bridal Boutique on Cooke Street works with brides on a daily basis to get their dresses steamed, pressed and ready to wear for the big day!

Once your gown is in hand and happily in Hawaii, it's time to relax and enjoy your wedding in paradise! Cheers!