Sunday, August 16, 2009

Anela Garden

Sak and I were ready, credit card in hand, to book our ceremony location at Haiku Gardens.

Receptionist: "Oh, we're sorry, but unless you are also booking your reception through us, we cannot give you our Saturday evening time spot."

Wait, what?

And with that, it was back to the drawing board. We couldn't change our reception location since their restaurant is not big enough for 150 guests.

Now what did we need regarding our ceremony venue, again? If you recall, Sak specifically said, "No beaches". So that left gardens, churches and chapels.

There are some beautiful, beautiful gardens in Hawaii. But come on, it's Hawaii. We could get married in a parking lot and it would probably still be gorgeous.

Mom-Penga chimed in with an important note, however:

"You know, I don't think we'll be able to handle being outside in hot Hawaii weather! We'll probably all pass out or something!" Mom worried. That's what happens when you live in a fog-bank your whole life.

So next was churches. I found out quickly that most churches will not marry people outside their church, or outside their denomination. Not to mention let a non-denominational pastor in to do the officiating! Our pastor from my hometown church is coming with us, so we'd need a place that would let him do the marrying.

So chapels, right?

We looked around, and found this place. Anela Garden Chapel.

A little history on Anela Garden - apparently they originally catered only to Japanese couples looking to get married, but to increase business they decided to open the place up to the locals and mainlanders. It's a wedding Disneyland, in my opinion. Brightly colored, with every traditional wedding photo-op imaginable. The chapel with stained glass window, a gazebo, a water fountain, a balcony, a staircase, a garden. DISNEYLAND!

Now, normally I might be a little put-off by the pre-fabrication of it all. But I'll tell you why I'm not.

1. Sak likes it.
2. They don't have those outrageous "mandatory" package deals. I can bring my own Pastor, etc.
3. The guy was really nice on the phone. Customer service is realllly important to me, and it's no fun to call someone only to have them sound demeaning or sour.
4. When all said and done, I will have great traditional photos.
5. It's not 4,000 dollars expensive.
6. It's only 9 miles away from our reception ballroom.

Now, the downside would be that I only get an hour in this place. But no worries, it's right across the street from a park (and the Honolulu zoo!) so we can just jog on over for more pictures if need be.

All and all, seemed like a solid deal. So I called and sent in my deposit. I got my confirmation quickly, so it looks like we should be all set this time!

Was booking your ceremony location "smooth sailing", or did you have any "rough turbulence" along the way?

No comments:

Post a Comment