Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Venue, and therefore a Date

Things Sak and I were looking for in a venue -

  1. Great food. But yes, this is Hawaii we're talking about, so pretty much anywhere you go, food is going to be good.
  2. Price. Partially because of our budget, we didn't bother to entertain the thought of the amazingly beautiful, but outrageously expensive resorts like Turtle Bay or Ihilani.
  3. Freedom. Since I'm a controlling crazy lady, a package deal isn't going to fit for me. I want to be able to bring my own cake and flowers and Napa valley champagne in. We'll go to grocery outlet to stock up! (Though yes, the practical person might say that shipping champagne over will probably make it just as expensive as buying from a venue. But at least we'll have the choice of what kind to get. And plenty of excuses for trying them out beforehand... )
  4. Good Cause. If possible, we'd like the money we pay for our venue to go to a useful cause.

So we came up with pros and cons for the four finalist venue locations:

The Hale Koa

Pros: Sak's parents were married here, they have awesome food, and there's a garden/gazebo to have your ceremony in.

Cons: It's the most expensive, you can't bring your own champagne, and pretty much all Saturdays in 2010 are already booked.

The Manoa Grand Ballroom

Pros: Bringing your own cake and champagne are okay, proceeds go to the Japanese Cultural Center, good availability and a cheery, upbeat spokesperson on the phone (that's always a plus, in my opinion!).

Cons: No place to get married, and no one's ever been there to know what the food is like.


Pros: Newer facility, Sak's cousin had a party there before.

Cons: No place to get married, can't bring your own cake or champagne.

The Okinawan Center

Pros: Cheapest, Zippy's food (Even Pres. Obama likes it!), can bring own cake and champagne.

Cons: No place to get married, plastic tablewear.

In the end, we decided on the Manoa Grand Ballroom. It's on the fifth floor of the Japanese Cultural Center, and I'm pretty happy with it.

Sak's dad and brother even went and checked it out for us.

Our date is now 7.31.2010! Easy to remember! And Harry Potter's Birthday!

How many reception 'finalists' did you have? Did you have a set criteria of things you were looking for?

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