We had the privilege of working with a lovely couple ~ Mary Despe & Tony Perrault this past February. Feeling a little overwhelmed in the planning process, Mary started searching for a wedding planner & ended up finding us, Best Day Ever Hawaii on Craigslist. Mary and Tony had been dating for years and finally decided it was time to tie the knot. They envisioned a beautiful outdoor wedding. A close friend was lending them her home to use for the wedding venue, another friend had agreed to bake them a fabulous cake, and another friend was already on top of designing the invitations… but, thats about as far as they got. They were still struggling with the guest list, weren’t sure where to start with the catering and rentals and had no idea how to handle the timeline. Luckily, that’s what exactly what a Hawaii Wedding Planner is for, and a good wedding planner handles all of those things and so much more. We helped Mary and Tony organize their guest list and RSVP’s into an organized spreadsheet, we got down to the basics and completely took over their budget so we could save them $$ right away and stay on course with a set budget, we helped them find the best caterer, rental company, valet company, deejay and florist for their budget and personal style, we assisted with their wedding rehearsal, helped create their timelines and we also provided them with a full wedding design package. Most importantly though – we made two new wonderful friends. The wedding was held at a friends estate out on the east side of Oahu right in front of Chinamans Hat. Erika and I arrived at the site at 2am to start on the floral arrangements. Although we don’t usually do florals, we became very close with Mary and Tony and decided for this one wedding we’d make an exception and help them out by doing the florals to save them a little money. I think they turned out beautifully and I must say I was very impressed with the the lovely cymbidium, green african rose and hydrangia bouquet I made too, but oh boy was it a ton of work! We give all of you florists so much credit! Those $60-$200 centerpieces are worth every penny. The rest of the vendors started trickling in around 11am and continued coming until the ceremony started at around four. There were a few little hiccups – the weather being a big one… just as we finally finished setting up the ceremony (chairs, isle, chair sashes) and all 25 of the guest tables (floral centerpieces, scattered shells around the sides, hula doll favors with personalized tags, table cloths, dishes, table runners, etc.) it started to pour buckets. We quickly gathered a team to help move all 25 of the tables a few feet over to keep everything dry. The strong winds that day were also a bit of a problem so straightening out the centerpieces and linens was a constant battle as was trying to keep the tiki torches lit with the winds… but everything did get set up (almost as perfectly as planned) and then, as if by magic, the sky suddenly cleared – just in time for the ceremony to begin. This ceremony, like the couple, was completely unique – they had a an entourage of flower girls and boys who preceded them. One child held each of their cute little doggies~ Pogi and Panda and then another two chased their pet chicken down the isle, unfortunately Pinky (the chicken), had other plans – and decided not to go down the isle but rather to run off to the side. I tried to re-direct Pinky, but had no success. This was quickly forgotten when the beautiful bride began her stroll down the long isle to her husband to be, escorted by both of her parents. The ceremony was followed by an amazing reception that included a really funny surprise slideshow which included photos of the groom in a speedo done by the groomsmen (I helped them coordinate setting up the secret slideshow ahead of time), a one of a kind emcee and host – Chief Sielu Avea, who’s understated humor had the entire crowd laughing throughout the night, and a complete tahitian dance show and fire dance performance. All of this was made complete with amazing food (Beaches & Backyard Catering) a delicious homemade wedding cake created by friend Jane Stites and an awesome DJ – Phillip Duong – who managed to get most of the guests up and dancing on the dance floor for the remainder of the night. Through the few months of planning, we got to know Mary & Tony very well… we saw them fight, laugh and cry together, we saw them exchange what could have been the most touching vows we have ever heard, we got to see first hand what it is like to be a florist, we got to chase their pet chicken down the isle (that was a first), we saw Tony almost burn himself doing a very gutsy and impressive fire dance, but the best part ~ we got to witness a wonderfully beautiful ♥love♥ story. And through it all, we grew to love them both dearly! We are so excited to share with you their wedding photos courtesy of Shannon Sasaki of Shannon Sasaki Photography.
A BIG MAHALO to all the vendors who helped us make this event a success: Event Coordination & Planning / Event Design: Best Day Ever Hawaii, www.BestDayEverHawaii.com Catering: Vanessa of Beaches & Backyards, www.Beachesandbackyards.com Photography: Shannon of Shannon Sasaki Photos, www.ShannonSasakiPhoto.com Deejay & Sounds: Showtime DJs, www.ShowtimeDJsHawaii.com Venue: Waikane Estate – Gail Hair & Make-up: Black Cat Hair Salon, www.theblackcatsalonandspa.com Officiant: Clem Roberts Rentals: Hawaii Tents & Events www.HawaiiTents.com Valet: Justin of Prestige Valet, www.prestigevaletservice.com Entertainment: Sielu Avea and his Tahitian Crew Cake: Jane Stites and Anne Copesey Bartender: Yooey Kim
Also – as an added bonus, Mary and Tony decided to donate some of their florals to our “Share the Aloha” charity. On the day after their wedding, Erika and I spent the entire morning re-vamping the wind blown arrangements and added in cute little cards from Best Day Ever & newlyweds Mary & Tony. We then hand-delivered over 30 floral arrangements to four separate nursing homes and the childrens cancer floor at Kapiolani Medical Center. The florals that had just created a beautiful wedding the day before were now bringing elderly Manoa resident “Jane” to tears, and filling “Yukie” with the biggest smiles we’ve ever seen. A big Thank You to Mary and Tony for the generous donations, you really made such a difference in so many lives! Here are some photos:
We would also like to thank Manoa Senior Care & Lisa Chung, Director of Volunteers of Kapiolani Medical Center for helping us to bring smiles to those who need it most!
For more info. on Share the Aloha – please check our website – Share the Aloha.