Post # 1
Has anyone here gotten married at Kualoa Ranch in Hawaii? I’ve been in contact with the wedding sales manager for almost three weeks now trying to secure our venue and she’s driving me crazy. I’ve only managed to speak to her once in three weeks because she doesn’t return calls. She was lovely the one time I did catch her on the phone, but I have to chase her down to get any response, and every other email she replies to with “Sorry, been so busy with site visits”. I sent her back the completed form with all the information she needed to issue a contract last Thursday. She did not acknowledge receipt, I waited until yesterday (gave her a full three business days) to ask her about it and she just sent back a quick “oh I passed that on to the woman who types up the contracts”. This is typical of our interactions so far.
My friends and family are starting to tell me we should go with a different venue, but I just have my heart set on a specific site in the ranch. Our second choice venue is not available on our date, which isn’t a huge deal, tbh, we can go with the day before, but it will also cost quite a lot more.
I know that this venue is popular and plenty of people have gotten married there and I just cannot believe that everyone is treated this way and still goes through with the booking?? All the reviews online are glowing, so I’m pretty confused. I would love to hear from bees who have actually gotten married here or dealt with the wedding staff before I sign this contract (which I honestly think may never actually be sent to me). Thanks so much!
Post # 2
If a vendor is bad before they’re signed the contract, I would hate to see what they are like when you’ve signed the contract. The ranch does look beautiful & I hope to visit on my Hawaii honeymoon.
Post # 3
I used above heavens gate for my first wedding in 2010 and it was IMPOSSIBLE to get anyone to respond to me after my first interaction. I was also young and dead set on using this company (no clue why) and persevered. I was told approximately one million times that “you’re on island time” and that’s just how it is in Hawaii. I live in Boston where we go go go and I needed answers! Luckily, I just showed up at the time I was contracted to and my photographer was magically there.. It worked out but man was it stressful. Best of luck to you! And I do hope you at least get an answer about your contract soon. Hawaii is amazing, and if you haven’t already been there, you’re going to be blown away!
Post # 4
I am getting married there in two 1/2 weeks! I had a similar experience as you’re describing. The venue coordinators do not respond to emails and only phone calls if you can catch them on the phone. To be honest, it was a pretty frustrating experience for me, but I had my heart set on the venue and I saw so many other pros to using the venue that I let it go. With that said, my job is in event planning so I was able to figure out a lot of stuff myself. If I did not have this background, I think working with them would have been pretty stressful. They are lovely people but do not dedicate the time to respond to clients. I accepted this right off the bat and even though communication has been challenging, I feel confident about my wedding day. Just know, should you choose to work with them, things will get done, just not on your timeline. You are also required to have an Event Coordinator or DOC for this property, so that helps as well. Feel free to message me if you have further questions. Good luck Bee!
Post # 5
- Wedding: April 2017 - Kaneohe, Hawaii
I did last year! They were a little bit slower in responding but it was a great site and amazing price. Let me know if you have specific questions. Still have all of my email correspondence with them.
Post # 6
Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence for destination weddings. “Island time” is real, and coordinators are typically busy with the weddings in the near-future as opposed to yours. It may not be a reason to be discouraged, as planning for a destination wedding will typically ramp up the closer to your date.
As an example for the destination weddings we host, we typically see much of the planning happen 3 months and closer to the wedding date.
Post # 7
mrs_mnv : wow, really the price was amazing? Finances brother is claiming he’s spending $30,000 for a guest list of 60…
im not trying to be a Debbie downer here, but my fiance’s Brother is getting married here end of August. From a family where 70% of us grew up in Hawaii, I don’t get the appeal of this place. It’s on the north eastern side of the island, where no one wants to go, and it’s in the middle of nowhere. I’m having some PTSD/negative vibes because the whole family has commented on how they’re making everyone travel so far (everyone has moved to CA OR NY), to attend a wedding that’s not even in busy part of town (petty maybe, but the grooms mom was telling everyone how she wanted them to get married at the Westin in Waikiki LOL…would have been 3x more expensive, so I don’t know what to believe, the amazing price or the $30,000).
Post # 8
- Wedding: April 2017 - Kaneohe, Hawaii
lolac : it was $2000 for the venue, $10k for rentals and $5,500 for the food for 75 guests. We’re from Canada and loved it as did all of our Canadian guests…