Hawaii wedding industry booms with business, backlog causes some challenges

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Wedding bells are ringing again in Hawaii after a year and a half of postponed ceremonies.

The wedding industry is booming, but the backlog is causing some challenges.

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Wedding planners say they are busier than ever, especially with trying to get their hands on available venues, whether it is hotels or on the water.

The top five venues with the most buzz right now include Lanikuhonua, Ko Olina, Four Seasons Oahu, Loulu Palm Farms Retreat and Turtle Bay Resort.

“Right now under current restrictions were allowed to have weddings of 100 people outdoors,” said Mona Hirata, a wedding planner with Neu Event. “So that makes a lot of the outdoor venues really popular and sought after, because people can proceed with confidence when planning there.”

Kualoa Ranch’s weekends are all booked up while Ko Olina has some openings for small weddings that are less than 10 people.

“I think planning a wedding in the middle of the pandemic, you just have to be flexible with dates, venue and availability as well,” said Sandra Williams, a wedding planner with Finishing Touch.

Planning a wedding for a specific special date will also be a challenge. Dates like Feb. 2, 2022 and February 12, 2022 are going fast. Another popular wedding date is Dec. 12, 2021.

“They might be wanting to look at the latter half of 2022 or 2023. Hopefully, we have zero worry about the about COVID-19,” Hirata said.

It is not just wedding venues feeling the boom, it is vendors too. Aria Studios tells KHON2 they are almost fully booked for 2022.

“The availability isn’t there like before,” said Kolby Moser with Aria Studios. “So we are doing basically 2020 weddings in 2021. So we’re having to do the older weddings and try to take on new weddings. So it’s been tricky.”

Flowers are going fast too.

“What we’ve seen is a flush of peony for a week or so and then it’s gone and then it’ll come back two weeks later and then it’s gone,” said Monty Pereira with Watanabe Floral. “So substituting something like our garden rose would be an alternative for that.”

The best thing to do for couples looking to tie the knot is contact venues and vendors as soon as possible.

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