And the Price of a Wedding – PRICELESS!

And the Price of a Wedding – PRICELESS!

IMG_5737Aloha Brides, Grooms and Friends,

Since I’ve been a wedding planner, I often think of my daughter’s wedding in Maui eleven years ago and wonder where did all that money go? We did go all out for her and had a venue, a harp and bass at the wedding, catered dinner (25 people), minister, DJ and a coordinator but I still cannot account for $7000! This is why I wanted to blog about the cost of weddings. You SHOULD know where your money is going…

With all vendors, traveling time and mileage may be added on when they are going to all different parts of the island. This is not unusual and not really too much more of an expense. It is usually an additional 25-40 dollars.

Photographers/Videographers: You can find photographers from $400+ just for the ceremony and the prices go up if you want to add the hotel photos and after the ceremony photos. With all the different techniques used, it can get very expensive but this is your choice of what you want. Your best savings comes when you take a wedding company’s package. Photographers – as do most vendors-will give a fee to the wedding company as a thank you for considering them and booking them. In a package, most wedding companies will discount their rates taking this fee into consideration. It is best for you to hire a photographer through a company rather than on your own. It will save you money. Remember, if you want special shots taken, have a list ready for your photographer. It will make things easier and you won’t forget those special shots that you were wanting.

Flowers: In Hawaii we are lucky because most of our ceremonies use leis. These beautiful, colorful leis run around $15 to $20 for the simple creations and go up from there. Most of the leis should be included in your ceremony. If you need extra leis for your family or guests, you should count on $20 per additional lei.

Bouquets are also beautiful with our selection of flowers. For the bride, a bouquet usually starts at $135 and can go up much steeper depending on the flowers you select. For the price mentioned, you can get roses, lilies, orchids – so there is no need for the price to go up really high. For a cascade bouquet, the price can climb to $200 for the additional work and flowers. Bouquets for your attendants and flower girls are less. Attendants run around $100 an up and a flower girl is usually $80. Both of these bouquets are smaller than the brides. When thinking of bouquets, they do not have to be the full flower kind but you can also have a few long stem flowers tied together that will look beautiful. If you have something definite in mind, send your wedding planner a picture so you will get what you are hoping for.

Hakus are the exquisite flowers for the hair that you will see on many special Hawaiian occasions. The workmanship in these head pieces is more extensive than you think. Hakus come in around $85 but again that is for a single, double flower circles around the head will cost more. You can also have one of Maui’s beautiful flowers as a single flower for your hair. This would only cost around $10. As with any flower arrangement, if you choose flowers that need to be imported and not island grown, it will be more expensive. Choose local!

Flower Circle prices are crazy. I have seen them from $180 to well above $600. Most of the wedding companies go to the flower mart to get their flowers. This saves money for the bride and groom. However, a flower circle usually takes one hour to prepare which is why it is a bit expensive. Some companies are now using premade flower circles that they just lay down. This should be more economical for you as many times there are only some fresh flowers inside of it and the rest are artificial. To have a simple but beautiful fresh flower circle, it should be under $200. This would include greens and flowers. The more you want included, the price will go up. Ask the company what you will be getting.

Musicians during the ceremony are usually hired separately and generally run around $140 per hour. Sometimes you can book ensembles together which may save you some money. DJs can also be hired to do your ceremony music with your reception music. This will save you money as well. Many companies will be happy to download music for you and play them on Ipods, Ipads etc. with speakers. This should be a minimal charge if not for free.

Ministers usually charge the wedding companies around $150 per ceremony. I have seen this price go up as high as $500. I guess there must be many extras so ask what you are receiving. Wedding ceremonies are all different lengths of times and sometimes wedding vows are even shorter. Make sure you ask what services you are receiving and what ceremonies will be done within that time frame. The conch shell should come along with the minister unless he/she cannot blow one. Then you might have to hire one and many charge around $85 to do so. Try and ask if your minister will blow the conch for you and if it is included.

There are many extras that can be added into the ceremony. Check to see what your wedding/vow renewal package includes. Extras are usually doves and butterflies which can run around $140 and above. Sometimes wedding cakes are included. Small cakes from the best wedding bakers will be around $100 and up depending on what filling you want in your cake and the icing such as fondant versus buttercream. You can also get less expensive cakes at some of the supermarket bakeries such as Safeway and Foodland. With the wonderful wedding bakers on the island – I would suggest you may want to splurge a little on this item.

I have not touched on venues, receptions, dinners, cocktail hours and the prices you would be looking at. If you would like some information on those items, feel free to call me at 808-344-8805. Whether you book with Maui Aloha Weddings or not, we are happy to answer your questions and help you get the most out of your wedding without emptying your pockets!

Please do remember that all of the people planning your wedding are serving you. Just as in a restaurant, they really appreciate your gratuities as companies do not add in any additional charges for their services other than the work they need to do to make your wedding/vow renewal day special.

Happy Wedding,

Peggy