Thursday, December 23, 2010

Happy New Year!!!!!

I love this time of the year! Surrounded by loved ones, enjoying quality time and relaxing is just the best.

With the close of the year and the start of a new one it is also a time to reflect and move forward consciously. Parasol Events resolves to continue to keep the spirit of the holidays season alive. All the joy, optimism, hope, celebration & meaningful family traditions will be key ingredients to explore for each event we plan with our clients.

Wishing you a Happy Holiday and a Wonderful New Year!

photo credit -

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Hawaii Weddings - Flower Girls & Ring Bearers???

Recently my clients have asked the same question about flower girls & ring bearers, ”Should we have them?”
While kids are cute what really matters is your relationship with them and their suitability to the role.

Things to consider -
*Flower girl/s or ring bearer/s are not required or necessary.
*Are there children ages 4 to 8 that you regularly spend quality time with?
*Are they comfortable with a lot of adult attention?
*Do they take direction well?

Some tips for success with kids in the wedding party –
*Make sure kids are rested and have recovered from jet lag.
*Once they walk down the aisle have a parent waiting in the wings to take them to a seat.
*Be sure that they are comfortable in their attire- especially shoes.
*Be sure that they attend the wedding rehearsal.
*Participation in photos should be immediately preceding or proceeding the ceremony with photographers working at great efficiency.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Best Shoes for an Outdoor Beach/Lawn Hawaiian Ceremony & Reception

If you are having a Hawaii outdoor ceremony & reception, consider wearing wedge heels. Why? Because it is hard to have a good time in the wrong shoes!

There are lots of options from an aesthetic perspective but I encourage you to resist spike heels to eliminate having your shoe/s getting stuck in the ground.

Hands down wedge heels are....
*more comfortable
*provide stability

The shoes shown are from Born & Fendi and can be found at the following sites.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Cute Tropical Cake Toppers

As a destination wedding planner, I spend hours scouring the internet for details that make each wedding a unique. Attractive Hawaiian or Tropical cake toppers are the needle in the haystack so when I spied this topper I knew I would share them. My favorite way to use this pair would be to place them on the small ceremonial cake perched above a color coordinated cupcake tower.

While researching the net for Hawaiian inspired cake toppers, several Vintage cake toppers caught my eye. Retro can feel smart, quirky, soft or classic. Imagine how the simplicity of this 1950's bride & groom design (link below) would compliment the trendy black & white color themes that have been emerging. This vintage topper thoughtfully injects warmth into a sophiticated palette.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Pups in Paradise!

More and more couples are choosing to include their pets on their wedding day. This has amounted to a lot of fun, amusement and whimsy. One important key to incorporating pets in the festivities is finding an agreeable venue. Restaurants are generally a "no" due to health code restrictions but parks, most outdoor venues, museums, and private estates are all possibilities.

Depending on how interactive the dog/s are in the couples life and the pets comfort with crowds and new environments there different degrees of involving them. If the animals are reserved then perhaps they can be included via image or likeness such as a cake topper or on included in an engagement shot that is shown at the wedding. Outgoing dogs can attend the ceremony and the very well trained dogs can walk down the aisle with the bridesmaids and/or the groomsmen. Only the most relaxed and chill dogs should be included in the reception.

Should dogs dress up for the event too? I think if they are comfortable with it then why not:)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Rustic Hawaii North Shore Venue

There is a relatively new venue on the North Shore that Parasol Events is excited about! Alia attended an event held at the property on October 17th so she could check it out. The result is that we have optimistically added this property to our list of potential event locations (+ an added bonus - Alia lives just around the corner = quick access).

I spent some time looking at their web galleries and just adored images such as the bride in a breezy wedding dress with cowboy boots and the groom touting suspenders and converse sneaks - so totally vintage, casual and whimsical.

Other images that jazzed me are the stables/barn, huge flat lawns, panoramic views of gorgeous vistas and the wide open spaces (which is feel so liberating). The vistas are stunning - the vibe natural - and for the right client this place will be absolute magic.

Check it out at

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Hawaii Weddings Updated Website for Parasol Events - YAY!

If you have not visited our website recently - please do take a peek. We have updated our look and added new wedding galleries.

The time and attention dedicated to the site's design and functionality is just a fraction of we provide to our events & clients. So just imagine how fantastic those results are:)
Photo: Visionari

Monday, October 25, 2010

Amazing New Venue in Honolulu!

It is not too often that I am bowled over by a new property but the Waikiki Edition did just that on my site visit last Saturday.
While there are so many details that set the Waikiki Edition into a class of its' own, what I found most striking was the pure understated class & luxury.

Beginning with the doormen in their fresh white shirts & shorts, cotton grey sweater vests and pristine white converse sneakers to the intimate zen lobby with a splash of whimsy ala the surf board sculpture behind the reception area it felt welcoming. Oh, and let me mention that the restaurant on site is Morimoto's - as in the famous Iron Chef! YUM!

There are several options for clients wanting to host a celebration here. Delightful, zen & tropical settings are available for small groups up to hundreds. Please do visit the property or the website for more images and information.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Lighting with a Tropical Flair

I found this clever installation of lights online and immediately added it to my list of decor and lighting options. Finding concepts that are first functional and then visually pleasing is not as common as you would think.

These clusters of shoji lanterns have an casual feel and reference the look of low palm trees. Bringing the structural element of this scale adds drama while the soft lighting adds intimacy & warmth.

Stunning Right?!!!

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Gift Box - Customize for a Hawaiian Wedding

Details don't have to be fussy to have impact. Having a gift box to hold wedding cards keeps things organized and with some thoughtful adjustments can completely support your color scheme.

This simple stack of boxes with a gorgeous ribbon could be any color combination. Add a pattern for more bang or even consider using a textured box made of anything you can imagine. Lauhala & Bamboo are very Hawaiian.

Just another fun idea to enhance your Tropical Wedding.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Refreshing Beverages for the Tropical Setting

One of the things that Alia & I love about planning events is the amount of creativity & the spirit of individualism we help clients infuse into even the simplest details - for instance beverages.

The ice tea/lemonade station is such a fun way to mix- it up. But take that a step further with flavored teas and you can just imagine the interest and fun that guests will have tasting the variety and creating their own concoctions.

Here are the pros....
*environmentally friendly - no plastic bottles
*great value - both visually interesting and functional (quenching thirst)
*interactive - guests invent their own drinks and share their inspiration (Arnold Palmers - a mix of unsweetened tea and lemonade happen to be one of my favorite drinks.)


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Paradise Whimsy-Pin Wheel Escort Cards:)

Customizing the wedding celebration is key to a great event. For our do-it-yourself brides - try these pin wheel escort cards which are whimsical and practical. .

While the image above is very sweet, clients wanting a more tropical feel just need to select their materials to suit their theme. I can image a monochromatic palate with shades of the popular hot/intense colors (dark paper on one side and light on the other). Examples ; Buttercup/Sunflower, Lavender/Deep Purple, Orange Sherbet/Tangerine, Sage/Emerald - they would be stunning!

For step by step instructions follow this link to Project Wedding -

Friday, September 17, 2010

Complimentary help from the Kahala Hotel - Wedding 101

Here is a tip for the do-it-yourself bride! The Kahala Hotel & Resort, one of our preferred venues, is offering a complimentary planning session. If you are on island then mark your calendar for Sunday, September 26, 2010!

To register...follow this link.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Your Hawaii Ceremony

When it comes to wedding planning today, the possibilities are endless. Most of these possibilities are geared towards the reception (location, food, d├ęcor, entertainment, etc.), and they can sometimes make the ceremony feel like an afterthought. We’d like to encourage you to bring your attention back to the reason why you are gathering your friends and family together in the first place. You’re getting married, and your ceremony is the heart BEAT of your wedding day.

Melissa and Polar were married on a beautiful July day. A light sea breeze rustled the palm trees, a bright Hawaiian sun glinted off the ocean, and a special surprise hid waiting on the upstairs balcony at the Ocean Front Oasis. Melissa wanted to give her groom a gift on their wedding day, but hers would not be the type you purchase in a store. She had told me “one of Polar’s passions in life is drumming.” Polar has been playing the drums for 18 years. Not just playing though, but teaching others how to play as well. Playing and teaching specifically “marching style percussion”, he was an instructor at his Alma Matter(Schurr High School in Montebello California) from 2005-2008, and now gives private lessons. So, when the marriage ceremony ended with a kiss, and they were pronounced them man and wife, drumbeats erupted from the Mililani High School Tenor Line. They had been practicing for weeks and were waiting to help make this moment happen. The student’s wonderfully wide smiles were nothing to match the look on the groom’s face, as he recognized that they were playing a song he himself had composed. His beautiful bride had hired the tenor line to learn this special song just for him!
It is this type of love and energy that when put into your ceremony, will make your day even more memorable. Have fun and make it YOURS.

written by Alia Kennedy, wedding consultant, Parasol Events

Friday, August 27, 2010

Favorite Hair & Make-up Pros in Honolulu

Looking your very best on your wedding day is not negotiable. Placing make-up is an art and making it stay on, especially in the tropical climate of Hawaii, is a skill. Across the board, Parasol Events' preferred make-up artists create whatever look our clients want to achieve.

Brides may want to be high glamour, retro, edgy, modern, classic or just a highlighted version of herself. Our stylists' skills in enhancing, re-creating, and camouflaging is truly impressive.

Take are our favorites!!!!!!

CJ Bae
Alison Hayashi/
Beverly Kaneshige/
Jacque Rojas/
Leslie Fair/
Dorys Foltin/

photo by

Monday, August 16, 2010

5 Characteristics Necessary for Successful Wedding Planning

We love what we do here at Parasol Events!

Successful wedding events are built on 5 characteristics of conduct resulting in professional positive client - consultant relationships. As wedding consultants it is our responsibility to conduct our projects/ relationships with all 5 of the following attributes. The most enjoyable and productive partnerships occur when the client is also working within the same model of values.

1) Lack of Condescension - having respect is required in every good relationship
2) Cognition - understanding what the desired goal is within realistic terms
3) Conscientious - to be reliable and have integrity
4) Conclusiveness - to be decisive
5) Communication - reciprocal, honest, and progressive dialogues

Consider the wedding programs that promote the "Bridezilla" behavior and you will find that they are very clearly operating on the opposite side of this scale.

We want all our clients to have the best possible experience. To learn more about how critical each of the 5 characteristics are to the client - consultant relationship read more at......

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Hawaii Wedding Videographer's - Kai Media at the top of their craft!

If you are looking for a wedding videographer for your Hawaii wedding, Parasol Events has the team - Kai Media!

Personally, this has been a wonderful journey to watch. Witnessing these young passionate men start their business and hone their skills has been exciting. Fast forward to a few years later and let me be the first to officially announce that they have arrived at the top of the Hawaii Wedding Industry.

Nothing further needs to be said.. check out their website at and see for yourself.
My favorite is Sam & John 's Life is a Beach Video.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Wondering what to do with your Engagement Photos?

Engagement photos are a blast! They are the first official portraits of you and your fiance after your engagement, provide a fantastic opportunity to get comfortable in front of the camera and build a relationship with your photographer.

Now fast forward to a few months before your wedding day and incorporate some of those romantic photos by using them for your ceremony program.

Other ideas for engagement photos...

*customize your guest book
*use them for the Save the Dates
*add them to your wedding website
*great for labels (favors, wine bottles,etc.)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Summer 2010 Weddings for Parasol

Parasol Events is coming to the end of the Summer 2010 wedding season and we are very thankful for all the wonderful clients that we had an opportunity to work with. This Fall we will be updating our website gallery with images from our January to August events but until then here are a few highlights from a fabulous May wedding shot by local photographer Marcia Campbell.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Where to stay in Hawaii

When planning a wedding in Hawaii it is common to want to help your out of town guests by giving them accommodation suggestions. For your guests traveling on a budget, vacation rentals can be a great alternative to a hotel. There are vacation rentals located in almost every area of the islands. One popular website that can help you and your guest is Vacation Rental By Owner. On this site, rentals can be searched by island, city and house size.

Sunset Hale is a great example. It is the perfect spot for two people who are looking for privacy, and a little dose of island living. This vacation rental is beautifully furnished and located across the street from Sunset Beach. Since beach cruisers and beach chairs come with the rental, you know your guests will be having fun in their downtime between wedding activities. This is especially ideal for weddings taking place on the North Shore of Oahu where hotels are few.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Lounges continue to be popular at outdoor weddings in Hawaii

Lounges have become very popular at outdoor venues here in Hawaii. They have been a trend for the past few years and continue to gain momentum especially at private estates like Lanikuhonua and the Bayer Estate. Their open lawns are optimal for creating intimate areas for conversation or just luxuriating in the views.

This photo is from a recent wedding at Lanikuhonua. The lounge was rented through Designs by Hemingway as well as the tables and the luxurious silk dupioni pillows.

Designs by Hemingway also was responsible for the gorgeous linens and floral arrangements at this event. If you would like to see more of this event check out the recent blog post at -

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Shout out to Black Tie Affair

Black Tie is Parasol Events' "Go To" for men's formal attire. Mike & Karen Chong consistently provide unparalleled care and professionalism for our clients.

The groom & groomsmen are beneficiaries of Black Tie's impeccable inventory, knowledge of fit, style and etiquette. What I love the most is that in addition to looking fantastic, they are all comfortable.

I hear "industry stories" all the time about poor fit, rentals with the wrong sizes or missing items. While on hotel properties, I see other weddings where the men are in tuxes and they look awkward or out of date. Poor guys!

Black Tie Affair was founded in 1988 with the good old business tradition adage “This should and could be done better”. The need to do it right and redefine the traditional tuxedo service has resulted in Black Tie Affair becoming a very different kind of tuxedo store. Formal, as it was meant to be, elegant, conservative, refined and unquestionably formal.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Anita Hall & Nueva Vida rock Lanikuhonua!

Anita Hall & Nueva Vida rocked Lanikuhonua last weekend! With brides and grooms being ever mindful of budgets these days, live bands have taken a back seat to DJ's. What a shame!

Experiencing live music especially with a talented performer like Anita just reminded me of how personal, exciting and intimate a band makes a wedding. It was my pleasure to watch the guests asorbing and enjoying every minute of the show and the difference between a DJ and a great live band was not lost on any of the seasoned wedding professionals attending (photographers, caterers, etc.) who all remarked on how much more amazing, awesome and special the reception felt by having authentic & heartfelt vocals in tandem with talented musicians.

When it comes to weddings & events my advice is to weigh intangibles like pleasure, making memories and setting the tone when evaluating all elements & details. The best wedding planners help you work outside of checklists or $$$.

To learn more about Anita Hall you can visit her website at

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Adorning the Bride & Bridesmaids

My client's surprised me last night at their wedding with a gift!

Neatly packaged were a pair of gorgeous silver knot earrings. I adored (and appreciated) the symbolism of "the knot" especially!

The designers are Viv & Ingrid. When surfing, you'll find that these ladies have everything from delicate & modern necklaces for the bride to cool & feminine earrings for the bridesmaids.

P.S. Try out the feature that allows you to shop by your theme color. Handy!!!!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Soup in Hawaii ? Yes - Chilled Soup Shooters!

There are lots of popular hot soups in Hawaii but they don't make for great wedding fare. However, the trendy and delicious chilled soup shooter options make super cool (literally) additions to the appetizer or dinner menu.

They can be complimentary to the menu or for real whimsy - offer them in your theme colors. There are so many variations that a creative and talented catering company can offer.

Searching the web is a fun place to start for ideas. I found recipes for
*beet soup shooters
*chilled pea soup shooter with fresh mint - link below
*sweet corn soup shooters
*chilled white grape almond soup
and for a tropic twist .........*mango gazpacho

Super Duper Cool Ideal!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

New trend - Sky Lanterns!

My bride, Kristen, brought Sky Lanterns to my attention and I am completely mesmerized by them. Her event is at an outdoor private estate and approval is pending. We have our fingers crossed that she will be able to use them.

We would incorporate the lanterns as part of her formal send -off. Sounds splendid right! They have the right drama, sense of celebration & joy for a wedding event finale.

Keep you posted.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Where to purchase wines in Hawaii

At Parasol Events, many of our local & destination brides choose venues at private estates locations. One of the advantages of a non hotel location is that the bar costs are considerably lower and the value significantly higher.

The reason is that the alcohol served at the event is purchased independently. While Costco is a reliable option (especially in light of their easy return policy). I am a real supporter of buying locally and supporting small businesses.

Tamura's fits that ticket and has prices that are either lower or on par with Costco.Tamura's has three locations on Oahu and I highly recommend that you consider shopping them. In addition to the diverse selection (way more variety then Costco), they provide professional service and are very knowledgeable about beers, wines & liquors. Give Benjamin, the manager at the Waialae location, a shout and see how he can assist you. Tell him that Parasol Events sent you his way:)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Frosted in Hawaii!

Frosted, a boutique cake company, has recently landed and opened in Honolulu.

It is unusual for me to recommend a brand new vendor so let me give you some history. I met Melissa Char, the owner of Frosted, for the first time last July. From her first communication with me she has been professional and interesting. Here is an excerpt from her first email to me.

"I possess a great range of experiences and skills that would make me an excellent addition to your team. I am currently in the process of planning a full service wedding and obtained certification as a wedding planner from U.S. Event Guide. I have played the violin and piano for a combined total of 23 years and have danced hula in a number of performances, therefore I understand what good entertainment entails. I am also a skilled baker and cake decorator (I enrolled in courses at Seattle Community College and through Wilton Industries). This knowledge is helpful when it comes to brainstorming wedding cake designs and evaluating the work of wedding cake vendors. In addition, I obtained my degree from the University of Puget Sound where I majored in Business and minored in English. I have held many positions in which I developed customer service, organization, and event planning skills. I am young, eager and enthusiastic about pursuing a career in wedding planning. I have attached my resume for further review.
I currently work in Seattle, Washington but will be moving home to Oahu on August 30th and would love to schedule an interview with you."

Tracking this young, talented and ambitious woman has been delightful. Her cupcakes taste fantastic, her business skills impeccable, and her passion contagious! I look forward to working with her and bringing her on board as a Parasol Events preferred vendor.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

May Weddings In Hawaii

Parasol Events is ramping up for a fantastic month of May weddings.

The last month of wedding planning is the second biggest burst of organization and flurry of activity ( next to the month you begin planning the event) and as critical to the success of the event.

With the RSVP's in, couples now have a firm grasp on their guest head count. With that we can now tie up loose ends, solidify timelines, commitments and designs.

*Apply for Marriage License
*Compile list of final balances due for vendors
*Confirm head count to venue or caterers
*Arrange Guest Seating
*Reconfirm Timeline with vendors
*Review timeline with wedding party and family
*Arrange rehearsal date and communicate to parties involved
*Finalize appointments for nails, hair, pressing,etc.
*Pack guest books,favors, passports, etc.
*Print any remaining stationary items such as menus, programs, escort cards
*Prepare an Emergency Kit for the wedding day
*Arrange for a final walk thru/site visit at venue
*Tighten up all rentals of linens, chairs, tents and be sure that they match guest count

We have had so many smooth events and just love the process and assisting our clients. The last 30 days are packed with details but with each item checked off the "to do" list brings a stress free wedding closer.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Hawaiian Dinner Rehearsal Idea!

When you bring your guests to Hawaii you want to be sure to avail yourself of as much natural beauty as possible. So instead of booking a dinner indoors - take your party to the water. There are many different charters available for rehearsal dinners from large to small groups.
My favorite is the Vida Mia. She is the only classic luxury motor cruiser of its kind in Hawaii. Vida Mia means "MY Life" in Spanish and was built in 1929. She is beautifully crafted in teak to the highest standars; this 65 foot luxury cruiser has been restored to her original elegance. Designed to provide exquisite comfort durung tropical outing, the Vida Mia features a sheltered deck with an open bar, a galley, three state rooms, saloon, and two heads.

Vida Mia is available 24 hours a day 7 days a week with customized catering and bar service. United States Coast Guard has certified her for 49 passenger.

Why not go for it....after all this is Your Life:)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Sparkling Wines for Hot Hawaiian Celebrations

Champagne is the classic example of sparkling wine however this fizzy drink has so many varieties that you may want to consider something more unique to give your wedding reception that festive feeling.

My favorite time to offer this drink to your guests is pre-ceremony. It sets the tone for fun, class and relaxation.

Here is a run down of some lesser known sparking wines
* Rose - pink champagne - often dry
*Sparkling reds - primarily made in Australia
*Cava- made in Northeastern Spain
*Asti - made in Italy it is sweet and fruity
*Spumante- also made in Italy but is dry
*Brut- primarily California made

Sunday, April 4, 2010

We L -O -V-E Chrissy Lambert Photography

Honolulu-based photographer Chrissy Lambert is known for fresh modern wedding photography. Her fun and creative approach to candid imagery has made her one of our favorite choices for couples who are looking for artistic, contemporary wedding photojournalism in Hawaii.

What do we look for in a photographer...,


To see more of Chrissy's work go to

Monday, March 29, 2010

Caring for your Wedding Dress

Many of our clients travel with their wedding dresses. The dresses are squeezed into a garment bag and a kind flight attendant finds room somewhere in the cabin. Needless to say, some fabrics need some TLC when they arrive.
Our first choice is Keepsakes Wedding Gown Preservation.

“On April 16th we arrived in Hawaii only to be dismayed that one of our bags was completely soaked. In that bag was my wedding dress which had a big stain on it. What could have been a complete disaster was quickly solved when we reached your cleaners. You were so great- you came and picked up the dress and brought it back as good as new! Needless to say you guys saved the day! You will never know how much we appreciated it!! Thank you so much for the excellent service. I don’t think we could have found anyone like you guys back home. “

Sincerely, Rick & Karen Polster

For cleaning, steaming or preserving of your wedding dress in Hawaii contact Gabriella. You can find more information at

Friday, March 19, 2010

Chairs Chairs Chairs

Every wedding ceremony & reception has them...chairs! Since they are a basic for any celebration why not consider bumping up the look of your event by focusing on the practical and often under appreciated chair:) Often the impact that choosing the right chair can have is underestimated. Think of it as an opportunity to lift a design scheme from nice to exceptional.

REA Events on Oahu is now carrying the chairs pictured in stock. They look fantastic on their own (cushions colors are customizable) or dressed up. So many different looks from one basic piece of furniture.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Tropical Wedding Color Theme

Green is hands down the most popular wedding color in Hawaii. Green is used frequently either as a base color or an accent. One reason that it is so prevalent is because it is safe and it works.

As a planner I always encourage my clients to be unique. There are lots of elegant color combinations that work smashingly in Hawaii that don't rely on green. Check out how warm, modern and inviting the these colors are beach side. So don't limit yourself - think fresh and original by considering other colors combinations.

Do keep in mind that not all colors are created equal in the tropics. There are some combinations that don't translate successfully. For example, a 2010 color trend on the Mainland is the black & white wedding. While it is classy and clean in a ballroom location it comes across as formal and stuffy at an ocean side Hawaii wedding.

Although "Being Green" is a trend we LOVE at Parasol Events...,it does not need to be literal:)

Linens at

Friday, March 5, 2010

Destination Theme - Clever Favor Idea

Working with my July 2010 clients on options to incorporate a destination theme into their event in a smart & elegant way netted this original idea. By using the tags as napkin rings, their guests are sure to find them and appreciate the gesture.

The luggage tag is simple & elegant favor plus it totally connects with the destination wedding theme. Another nice feature of using the favors in this manner is that the table has a classic accent with out adding clutter. Very clever!!!

You can find these at


Monday, March 1, 2010

Keeping the "Heart" in your wedding!

As a wedding planner I have many roles but helping my brides and grooms remember that this is about them at the core is one of the key responsibilities among an ocean of choices, details and decisions.

My wedding planner does not turn off even in down time...., so I wanted to share an excerpt page 68 of Erica Bauermeiser's new novel, "The School of Essential Ingredients" which totally captures the spirit of what I would want for each of my clients.

"I remember my wedding cake," said Claire. "I was so hungry - we hadn't eaten all day. Here was this incredible cake- layers of chocolate and whipped cream and all these curlicures of thick, smooth frosting - and they kept making us pose for pictures. I told my husband I was starving, and he took a fork and just stuck it in the side of the cake and fed me a bite. My mother and the photographer were furious, but I always tell James that was the moment when I married him."

The planning matters but being present and together is more essential.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Bridal Hairstyle for Hawaii

"How should I wear my Hair?" is a question that I am asked often as a wedding planner.

One of my favorite styles is the partial up do. It is more formal then wearing your hair down but still has a softness that fits the tropics. Including fresh flowers, a hair band, or diamond/pearl hairpins are other ways to add accents without going over the top.

This is a style that hair and make-up artist Beverly Kaneshige recreated for my bride on Saturday. It looked terrific with her Maggie Sottero strapless gown.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day Pick - Chef Mavro!

Valentine's Day in Honolulu and the most romantic meal I can imagine would be at Chef Mavro's.

I think it is the first place (even after visits to Napa and France) that I really understood how food and wine meld to become more significant as one. There are so many things that I love about this restaurant that I cannot even begin to list them all but let me list a few.

*Exquisite food and wine pairings
*Professional table side service
*Lack of pretense

Chef Mavro's is a winner of the prestigious James Beard award and listed by Fodors as one of the top ten restaurants in the world! While in Honolulu, if you are a foodie, this is a must do! The menu changes so be sure to keep current at

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Customize your Cupcakes!

Many of my brides & grooms have been serving cupcakes at their receptions for the whimsy of it. Cupcakes flavors choices for the cake and icing are similar to those available for traditional wedding cakes . So how do we make the cupcakes really pop?

Custom cupcake liners!!!! I found some really gorgeous liners online. All these little details really add up to make a significant difference. Being Hawaii.... this palm tree cupcake liner is a perfect way to enhance a tropical theme.

Have a look and view all of the different paper color options and laser cuts from Paper Orchid Stationary.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Hot Hawaiian Days, Cool Hawaiian Smoothies

Brainstorming ways to make events fresher and better is just one of the ways I spend my days as a professional wedding planner and for years I have noticed how hungry, hot, and uptight guests are when they arrive.

Looking outside of the box for a solution, I realized how practical providing light substance at arrival would be (plus it is unexpected and fun). So consider stepping it up and adding originality to your event.

Instead of the typical scenario of meandering guests with empty stomachs - greet them with a custom smoothie bar and let them order a tasty tropical delight. It will give them immediate pleasure, take off their edge and be completely restorative . By the time the ceremony begins moods are uplifted and the atmosphere is both focused and happy.

Viola - the perfect setting for a heartfelt union!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Found - "Hawaiian" Wedding Cookies!

In Mexico, they are called wedding cookies. In Russia, they are called wedding tea cakes. In Denmark, they are called Danish wedding cookies. Almost every culture has a version of these cookies which are considered good luck symbols for couples at their wedding.

The cookies combination of nuts and sugars are representative of the "bumps in the road" and the "sweetness that coats a happy marriage."

With this international & symbolic cookie in mind, I searched the web and found a Hawaiian version of the wedding cookies and officially dub them the perfect" Hawaiian" wedding cookie. Made with macadamia nuts they are sweet and savory. Just imagine what a perfect compliment they would be with a glass of champagne, a cool glass of white wine or a refreshing tall ice tea.

You can find them online at

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Bridal Boutique - Honolulu

I wanted to send a shout out to The Bridal Boutique. As a planner, having reliable, professional and gracious vendors to work with is critical.

I recommend the Bridal Boutique to both my local and destination clients who want a local knowledgeable resource to alter or purchase wedding attire They are consistently of invaluable assistance. Once a bride unexpectedly lost several pounds and needed alterations. Another time a bridesmaid was in serious denial about the appearance of her bust line and needed to be fitted at the last minute. In both cases, Joyce and Cecilia made themselves available and eliminated stress.

The Bridal Boutique opened their doors in 2006 and co-owners Joyce Coelho & Cecilia Domingo pride themselves in offering friendly and professional customer service in a fun, relaxed atmosphere. It is their belief that the entire process should be easy and enjoyable for their clients.

They have our backs..., consider them for yours!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Music & Lyrics are Powerful!

Take the time to pick songs for your wedding and reception that set the right tone, match the entertainers abilities and most importantly move you.

The best way to find these songs is to open yourself to the music that surrounds you each day. For example, I was watching the Ellen DeGeneres show two days ago. Keith Urban was a guest on the show and sang "Only You Can Love Me This Way".

What a gorgeous song.., highly romantic, heartfelt lyrics and an amazing guitar hook. Imagine the way it could stir your heart as you walk down the aisle or as a First Dance.

Great music is all around us so carry a notepad and write down songs that make you smile, dance, and love!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Boutique Properties in Hawaii

At Parasol Events we are always seeking and recommending companies who are unique, professional and deliver value. The Aqua Hotels & Resorts have created a wonderful brand of Boutique Properties in Hawaii that meet our criteria. On Oahu we have the Coconut Waikiki (currently #1 on Trip Advisor for Oahu) and the Aqua Bamboo & Spa. Other stand out properties are the Kauai Beach Resort, & the Hotel Wailea Maui.

For destination brides & grooms these venues are a boon! Affording comfort, elegance and reasonable price points couples can feel confident in recommending the Aqua to their families and guests.

More information can be found at

Pictured is Hotel Wailea Maui - resonating harmony and luxury!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Don't forget the linens & chairs!

Often brides & grooms forget to inquire about what the standard linens and chairs are for their event. Be prepared for an unwelcome (in most cases) surprise! It is very common that caterers and hotel venues offer very basic linens and have chairs that are not universally appealing.

The standard linen is normally white or ivory polyester and it will only fall to the laps of your guests. Why does that matter? Because the table legs are most likely steel and are quite industrial looking.

As for chairs, I have seen the gamut. From out of date, to overly ornate, and often the wrong style or color for my client's theme.

To avoid these design "downers" the simplest solution is to rent the classically elegant chivari chair (available in many finishes) and upgrade to the ivory or white linen in floor length.

The event pictured demonstrates how a simple wedding design gets a big boost with just those two upgrades.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Cool off your guests and have some Fun!

Shave Ice is just so Hawaii! Nothing is so whimsical, cultural or fun as including a shave ice bar at your wedding reception.

Just imagine cooling off with a sweet or tangy icy treat! Adults can bring it up a notch by adding a little shot of "somethin' somthin'" if you know what I mean:)

This is just one of the many great stations that Catering Connection, a full service catering company, can arrange. In fact, they just updated their website and there are lots of yummy ideas. My personal favorites are the Mashed Potato Bar, The Live Action Sushi, and the made to order salad bar.

I LOVE working with Catering Connection - we have great synergy!

Check them out at