Archives for category: location

Ah yes, our amazingly fanstastical venue – The Waterfront at Aloha Tower. Believe me, I never get tired looking at pictures of it (or thinking about the big day that will take place there next summer).

Aloha Tower is probably one of the most recognizable Hawaii landmarks after Diamond Head. Located in Honolulu Harbor, Aloha Tower is to Hawaii what the Statue of Liberty is to New York. It’s a place of welcome and one of those places that just has “good vibes.”

When it was built, it was the tallest building in Hawaii and sea vessels knew that once the tower was in sight, paradise was near. During the boom of cruise ship travel, it was home to “Boat Days” – a place where visitors and locals alike would party like rockstars. Dancers, musicians and other entertainers would greet cruise ships as they arrived in the harbor.

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It was a place where people said goodbye to their loved ones before a journey, but more importantly, a place where people were able to say hello – aloha – upon their return. The romantic in me can’t help but to daydream about how perfect it is to have our wedding in a place that has such history behind it.

Aloha has many meanings, remember – and more than just a greeting, one of those meanings is love. I leave you now with a few images from other weddings that have been held at our venue. I get chicken skin (Hawaii-speak for goosebumps) just seeing them.


Photos by Images by Joser

Photos by L’amour Photography

Can you feel the aloha?

On Saturday, Mr. HiH and I did our last and final site visit. Which originally was supposed to be vists. But more on that later. We woke up (relatively) early, 7 a.m., so we could get to our 9 a.m. appointment. What the heck was I thinking! Note to other brides – no matter how “go get em’ you are, try not to schedule a site visit any earlier than 10 a.m. on the weekends. After pau hana Fridays, you need that extra couple hours of sleep.

However, when your site visit includes this:

Kualoa Ranch

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I guess it’s not *that* bad. Look familiar? It should if you watch Lost.

Lost

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Yep, all those sexy mountain shots? Kualoa Ranch.

Tthe sky was blue and clear and the tradewinds were blowing. Whomever was having a wedding that day at Kualoa was blessed by the Hawaiian gods with literally, the perfect day. There was only one other venue we visited that made me this excited (Aloha Tower).

We checked out two of the sites that Kualoa rented out, Paliku Gardens and Molii Gardens. Our first stop was Paliku Gardens. If you are looking for the most scenic Hawaiian wedding you can get, forget about a beach wedding. Yes, you heard me right.

Forget. About. The. Beach.

You want Paliku Gardens at Kualoa Ranch. It’s a huge space and we were told they’ve had weddings of up to 500 in that space. It’s a lush field and pavilion surrounded by tropical plants and trees. If you look one way,  you see the breathtaking, green Koolau Mountains. If you look in the other directions you see sand and surf of East Oahu, with Chinaman’s hat in the distance. I completely forgot my camera that morning, so I have no photos. However, you can see a slideshow of the site here.

Here’s my personal breakdown of the site:

Cost: $1200 (Molii) or $1500 (Paliku) site rental (includes restroom facilities and electricity), parking

Location: More in a rural, country setting, about 30-45 minutes outside of Honolulu

My Vision: Think a beachy keen, mixed with the romance of the country. A vintage inspired weddings with tones of coral, brown, green and pops of blue to mirror the sky and ocean. Warm uplighting and candlelight in tall glass votives filled with sand and shells set the mood. Milk glass and antique silver pieces filled with blush-colored blossoms on crisp white tablecloths. While we’re on a working ranch, we”ll stray a bit away from the typical rustic theme.

Pros

  • Gorgeous scenery – ocean view on one side and nestled against the Koolau Mountain range (if you watched “Lost” think of those green lush scenes, those were filmed here)
  • You can bring in own vendors, Very flexible, no corkage fee
  • A completely blank slate
  • Have the space from 10 am – 10 pm + another hour and a half for cleanup
  • Lots of beach houses nearby to rent for our guests and for our wedding night
  • Away from the hustle and bustle of Honolulu
  • Did I mention the scenery was RIDICULOUSLY beautiful
Cons
  • Onsite person until 4:40 p.m., but afterwards, they will just be on call; however, there are managers that live down the road for any problems
  • Will have to do our own setup and breakdown
  • Pretty much have to rent EVERYTHING on your own
  • Outside of Honolulu, so not as convenient for most of the guests

Wedding porn here, here and here.

After visiting Kualoa, Mr. HiH and I knew, we had our top two contenders. We actually had another site visit set up at Mid-Pacific Country Club, but called to cancel it because we just knew were done searching.

What a pickle(d mango) to be in. We both saw ourselves getting married at Aloha Tower. And now, we both also saw ourselves getting married at Kualoa Ranch.

So the showdown begins. Will it be a quirky chic affair at Aloha Tower? Or surf-and-turf romance at Kualoa Ranch? Decisions, decisions.