I’ve been neglecting this blog  since I moved it over from Blogger, pua ting.  So here’s a fresh new post.

Neither Mr. HiH (Hitched in Hawaii) or I are religious. It’s pretty funny, because people usually assume we’re Catholic. Well, at least they assume I’m Catholic – I’m Filipino and was born in the Philippines, it’s a logical assumption for them.

While I used to go to church religiously (haha) when I was younger and in high school, my religious views have shifted towards agnosticism. Therefore Mr. HiH and I don’t go to church regularly, and don’t have a pastor or other recognized clergy member who would marry us.

Hmmmm…an officiant is one of the things that you actually need for a wedding. And I don’t really want to go the justice of peace route (though it is an option). Now if you plug in Hawaii wedding officiant in Google, you will find a multitude of people who will be more than happy to marry you and your honey.

I’m sure most are very capable, competent, caring and professional individuals (so please no hate emails from you folks), but I’m a little weirded out by the fact that  a stranger will be front and center next to you and your person-to-be on the big day. I want that person to know who we are and what we’re all about. When that person performs the wedding, I want their emotion to be real.

I loved this picture of Sara and Matt ala 2000 Dollar Weddingwith their officia-friend.

And taking a nod to other couples with the same idea, we had our solution? We’re planning on having a friend officiate our wedding.

Pending approval from the powers that be, LB, or should I say Reverend-to-be LB will be marrying us come next year! Every state has their own requirements regarding officiant licensing and what not, so I had to do a little research into the topic. For you Hawaii brides that are planning to do the same, here’s a quick rundown of what you need to do to make your officiant official! Also – for you destination brides, if you plan to bring your own officiant, you’ll need to go through these steps as well (skip #1 of course).

  1. Get your officiant ordained! There are several awesome churches that you can visit online for ordainment – check out Universal Life Church or Spiritual Humanism.  If you know of any others, let me know and I’ll post ’em up here.
  2. Per Hawaii requirements, you need to provide a letter of recommendation from the church – both ULC and Spiritual Humanism can provide what’s called  a letter of good standing. Not sure about Spiritual Humanism, but for ULC, the service is free – however, as the letter needs to be notarized, you do have to pay $10 for that notarization.  Here’s more info. Donations, of course are appreciated.
  3. Bring that letter of recommendation/good standing along with a photo ID (I’d bring 2 just to be safe) down to the Hawaii Department of Health Vital Records Office – 1250 Punchbowl Street, Room 105. If your officiant is coming from a distance, have them contact the office directly at (808) 586-4540 on information regarding registering from afar. Here’s a link to the state website.

Now I have yet to have LB go through the process, but at least you have the basic rundown of how it’ll go down. I’ll be sure to post a follow up (perhaps with photos) once LB becomes Reverend LB.

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Alright, so now is the part when I eat my words. Since the engagement, in my mind, I pretty much decided that I wanted an outdoor wedding. More specifically at a beach house, when all my friends can hang for the weekend. In my head, I thought – hooray! I can save lots of money!

However, let us look at the additional costs that would likely be incurred:

  • tenting
  • chairs
  • tables
  • linens
  • tableware
  • generators for outdoor electricity
  • additional lighting

Now let us also take into consideration some of the possible problems that are very realistic to consider:

  • temperature – too hot! too cold! central air makes things happy
  • BUGS – ew
  • bad weather – if it rains, you’re SOL. soggy shoes for all
  • neighbors who complain

Now I’m not just going to be doom and gloom. Believe me, there are just as many good reasons to have an outdoor/beach wedding. Why do you think I wanted one in the first place?

  • more intimate feel
  • SUNSHINE!!!
  • TRADEWINDS!!!
  • nothing beats a beautiful outdoor
  • Beach houses have a smaller guest limit (when your family is as big as mine, this is a plus – believe me)
  • when they’re done right, outdoor weddings blow indoor weddings out of the water

Aiya. Well, I have a little more than a year before the big day….but want to nail down the venue as soon as I can. It’s the number 1 thing that needs to get booked and the rest shall follow.

After the budget, some folks may say that choosing a “theme” is the first step to planning your wedding.  I think it’s the venue(s) that really should be that first step.

Once you secure a venue, it dictates the date of your wedding, the tone (formal, casual) and the options you have for decor. Not to mention that the venue might also affect your budget.

Now, living in Hawaii you would think that finding a venue would be easy as pie, right? Just pick a beach/hotel and be done with it. Unfortunately, I’m not that kind of bride, and I don’t want that kind of wedding.

The beach part I like, but I can’t think of anything I would like less than to be married at a hotel, motel or Holiday Inn (I had to put that reference in). While I think there are a lot of advantages – resources, indoor, consistent – it’s just not my cuppa tea.

Instead I’d love an outdoor, fierce (yeah, I said fierce) and budget friendly wedding of my dreams…with the venue to match. And unlike our mainland counterparts, Hawaii has very few appropriate venues for such an event. Not as many big historic wedding-friendly places, or even suitable warehouse/loft type spaces within my budget.  The closest to perfection is the Haiku Sugar Mill, but two big caveats there are the site fee – $4,500! – oh yeah, and it’s on Maui. We’re looking for something on Oahu.

Here are some of my ideas so far:

  • Morning ceremony + reception at the park by my parents house; bar after party for friends – probably most cost effective option
  • C+R at a beach house – will probably cost more, but no need to rent a hotel for the big night and we can house our friends and fam bam at the same time
  • Molii Gardens at Kualoa Ranch – gorgeous with a ton of possibilities

I’ve been lurking on several blogs, collecting ideas to use in my own wedding and I bookmarked this stunner from Eat Drink Chic.  I showed a mock-up to my girlfriend last night and she thought I was crazy.

This is possible, but I will brave the paper cuts for these adorable lovelies.

source

I figured that it couldn’t hurt to get some tips and pointers so I decided to attend my first Wedding Cafe workshop.

If you weren’t in the know, The Wedding Cafe is an awesome cafe in Ward Warehouse and besides the yummy grubs, it’s has a retail store with cute clothes and accessories and of course, serves as a fabulous resource for brides (and grooms) to be.  Many people choose to meet up with their vendors at the cafe, and why not?  It really does get you in that wedding mood.

One of the most awesome thing that The Wedding Cafe does is put on a series of workshops for bride-to-bes that feature all aspects of wedding planning. You can see a complete list here and RSVP if you’re interested.

This past Wednesday, I attended the “Picture Perfect Photography Showcase” which featured 19, yup, 19 different photographers all in a single room.  Why use a search engine when you can check all of these folks out at one time? The first part of the workshop was a panel format with each photographer giving the attendees a tip to consider for their wedding photography.  Then it was another round robin of commonly asked questions for brides.  I have to say it was quite informative and I was sure to jot down a few of the tips and tricks (some of which were common sense, but I’ll include them anyway):

  • Get to know your photographer.
  • Have a timeline set (with a 10 minute buffer at least).
  • Have a good makeup artist.
  • Practice posing with your SO. Do it in front of a mirror if you can
  • Good photographers books fast – you should book yours after you get your venue nailed down.
  • Don’t be in charge on your wedding day – leave that to someone else you trust.
  • Don’t drink the night before you wed.
  • Have a shot list.
  • Bring eyelash glue if you opt for falsies. Especially if you’re a crier.
  • Have comfy shoes – stilettos are good for pictures, but not for all night.
  • Do engagement portraits. You get practice posing and find out what kinds of shots you like.
  • Bring slippers!
  • Get a big room at the hotel if you’re doing pre-wedding “getting ready” shots.
  • Have a maid clean the room before the photographer gets there.
  • On your first consultation with your photographer, bring a few sample images of what you want your photos to looks like. Look in magazines or on blogs.
  • Personality is probably one of the most important things to look for with photographers – besides your family and wedding planner, this will be the person with you ALLLLLLLLL day.
  • Take your venue into consideration when choosing a hairstyle – having your hair down for an outdoor wedding will not be pretty if the wind kicks up.

Best quotes of the night:

“We make sure to take really awesome pictures, because you’ll never be this skinny again.”

“Having a professional makeup artist is key.  I shot two brides recently, one of which used the makeup artist I recommended and the other found her own makeup artist. The one that used my makeup artist looked absolutely flawless, the other one looked like a drag queen.”

Yup, we made the leap from long-term dating to a countdown to the long walk down the isle.  So here’s the lowdown – I recently left my full-time job to go back to school and work part time.

And with weddings on average costing in the $20,000 – good Lord, what have we gotten ourselves into.

But if you know me, I’ll be pinching my pennies and DIYing my way to an awesome, chic, bad-ass wedding. The goal? To spend less than $15,000 for EVERYTHING. From the food to the decor to the venue and even the duds for the big day.

Can it be done (even with the ridiculous cost of, well….everything, here in the paradise isles)? Damn straight it can be done. And I”m just the chick to do it.

Let’s hope we just don’t end up eloping in the next year or so…although that would put us significantly under budget…