Friday, October 31, 2008

A "Montage" wedding

I know I am spoiled by the natural beauty and all the wonderful resorts here in Hawai`i, but if I have a chance I'd LOVE to do a wedding at the Montage in Laguna Beach. It's one of my favorite luxury beach-front resorts in Southern California.

It's situated on a coastal bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The beautiful architecture together with the rugged coastline, makes it one of the premiere destinations for weddings. Everything about this resort is amazing, from its location to its rooms, restaurants, swimming pools, the Spa (awww)! I can just go on and on. Check out their website (link above) and see for yourself!

Photo Credit: [b]ecker

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

New Projects

As our busy wedding season is winding down, I am delighted to announce that Events by Evonne has a lot of exciting new projects in the works for the upcoming months. Here is a sneak peek of what we will be working on between now and April 2009:
  • BLOG - It will be totally redesigned and re-engineered, so stay tuned for the new site and I will announce the move here!
  • BOOK - Errrr... no, I am not writing a book... at least not yet, but one of my August 2008 weddings will be featured in this wedding planning book that a Colorado planner is currently working on... and that's all I can tell you right now! :)
  • PHOTO SHOOT - A collaboration of a handful of top wedding/event vendors here on Mau`i with beautiful table settings, floral and decor...
  • TV - One of my June 2008 weddings will be featured in a new segment of "Get Married - OMG, My Wedding is on TV"!
  • WEBSITE - There will be a slight update and an addition of a new section called "Featured Weddings"
And of course, besides all these cool projects, I will also be working on all of my 2009 weddings as well! It sure will be a very busy 6 months ahead!

Photo Credit: WEDLUXE

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Featured Wedding - Ketty and Shaun

At least 80% of the time, I would meet my clients during their scouting trip to Mau`i; but with Ketty and Shaun, I planned their whole wedding just via email and it still worked out beautifully.

They had a very small yet intimate wedding at the Poli Makai Estate in Haiku, with only their parents and immediate family members. It was a gorgeous and slightly breezy day, but everyone looked incredible and Ketty was in this stunning white chiffon gown before she changed into her beautiful red dress for the Chinese Tea Ceremony.

There were just way too many amazing photos that I would like to share. So here is a slideshow of a few of my favorites... all taken by the talented Ann Hamilton and Gene Higa from San Francisco.

FLORALS: Dellables. LINENS: Pacific Event Group, Inc. TABLES/CHAIRS: Pacific Isle Rentals. TENT: Maui Rents. PHOTOS: Ann Hamilton and Gene Higa

Congratulations, Ketty and Shaun! All the best to you both, and hope to see you again either on the East Coast or in Asia! =)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Dress shopping - beware!

For those of you who are about to go dress shopping for your big day, I'd love to share this story with you, and hopefully this doesn't happen to you.

One of my lovely brides was just on a European cruise this past summer. It happened that her favorite dress designer was Pronovias, and Barcelona, Spain was one of the ports of call. Perfect... she could get her dress at their flagship store and that would be one thing checked off of her to-do list.

Photo Credit: Pronovias

When the ship docked, my bride went to the store with her mother-in-law. She tried on a few dresses and found the one that she liked, but she wanted to change the neckline in addition to the regular alterations. The store promised her that they could get her a brand new dress since the factory was right there, and everything would be done within 2 days and that they wouldn't charge her extra for the alterations.

My bride picked up her dress on the last day that she was in Barcelona, paid the remaining balance and headed back to the ship. That night as the ship set sailed, she checked her dress and she couldn't believe her eyes... there were several parts of her ruffles that were ripped, and there were a couple dirty spots as well. When she looked at the alterations, the hemming was very sloppy. That didn't sound like a brand new dress to me, but at that point, it was too late because the ship had already left the port and my bride couldn't go back to the Barcelona store.

When she came back to the U.S., she called the Pronovias flagship store in New York. Unfortunately, the regional manager told her that there was nothing they could do because they had no jurisdiction over the stores overseas. Since that didn't go anywhere, my bride contacted her credit card company to see what kind of consumer protection it offers.

She talked to someone in billing dispute... only to find out that she couldn't dispute the charge unless the merchandise is returned. She tried to explain that it's not that she didn't want to return the merchandise, but that the vendor was unresponsive and wouldn't take it back. But ultimately that was a dead end. Then they transferred her to retail protection, only to find out that this program offers protection against fire, accidental damage, and theft, but only up to 90 days from the date of purchase. So really, for brides-to-be, the only "protection" is smart-shopping and common sense.

My bride told me this story when she came out to Mau`i for her scouting trip a month ago. I felt so bad that she had to go through this... so I suggested that perhaps she could call up one of the bridal salons in her area and their seamstress might be able to help her fix all the rips and hemming. Sure enough, she called and explained her situation, and the bridal salon was totally sympathetic. They had her bring her dress in a couple of hours later so their in-house seamstress could look at it. Unfortunately, they did not have the machine necessary to fix it... but their outside preferred seamstress did. They called her to make an appointment for my bride even though she didn't buy her dress from them.

Two days later, my bride picked up the dress from the seamstress and now there are no more rips and gaping holes. The seamstress was appalled at how poorly the alterations were done. She told my bride other horror stories regarding dress designers and alterations (and that she had to fix), so this kind of thing does not seem to be as uncommon as we all thought.

So when you are ready to buy your dress, please make sure that you check the dress thoroughly before you pay your final balance, and before you bring that dress home.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

DK Designs Giveaway

My good friend, Diane, of DK Designs is having an exciting giveaway of her amazing clay flowers on Melissa's Smitten Blog! Simply send an email to with your name, email and snail-mail address and wedding date to enter! Please mention that you saw the contest on the Events by Evonne Blog! Contest ends on November 7, 2008. One entry per person per day. Be sure to email all your friends to let them know about this fun giveaway! Details below...

Gardenia Hair Flower - $20 value:
Gardenias are a very popular flower to wear in your hair on your wedding day. Why not try a handcrafted gardenia hair flower! This way it will last you through the ceremony, reception and beyond! The gardenias are slightly off-white, but not ivory. They are 3.5 inches in diameter and are VERY lightweight. The flowers are attached to a U-shape hairpin to fit securely in your up-do or low-do hairstyle.

Gardenias in Something Blue - $75 value:
This beautiful light blue latte cup is brimming with gardenia blossoms! 2 buds, 2 half open and 3 full gardenias mixed with some light blue floral fillers finish this piece off. It measures approximately 6 inches in diameter and 4.5 inches high. It's clean, stylish and sophisticated. This would make a great gift for a bride or even a centerpiece for a bridal shower!

Passionate about Peonies - $100 value:
This arrangement is called, Passionate about Peonies. It measures 6 inches high by 7 inches across the top. It's filled with light pink and fuchsia pinkish-red peonies, both in full bloom and in bud form! The full bloom peonies have over 30 petals, all handcrafted one petal at a time. The flowers are arranged in a 3 inch square white ceramic cube vase. If you love peonies, you will absolutely love this floral arrangement.

The flowers are all handcrafted by the artist featured on the Martha Stewart Show, utilizing Claycraft by DECO soft clay, which enables the artist to create lifelike flowers one petal at a time. Diane’s work has been featured in For the Bride Magazine, In Style Weddings Magazine (via and Pacific Rim Weddings Magazine. The bulk of the Diane's work is in custom bridal bouquets, corsages, boutonnieres and other floral decor. So click on the banner below and don't miss out on a great opportunity...

DK Designs giveaway

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Parents' Album

After almost 3-1/2 years of marriage, my parents finally asked us: "When are we going to get your wedding album?" Whew... I thought they were going to ask the "KIDS" question! =)

Well, I feel pretty bad about it. We have just been so busy with our lives in the last few years that we haven't had the time to make one for them (and my mother-in-law as well). It took me 1-1/2 years just to figure out which photos I wanted for our OWN album!

So now I have about 3 months to create theirs before I go visit them in Toronto next January! Oh boy, the pressure is on... Should I use Blurb, or My Publisher, or iPhoto? Any suggestions or recommendations?

Photo Credit: Eugene Kam

Photo Credit: Sanford Barr

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Ceremony arches

If you want to add more colors to your outdoor ceremony decor, the arches and chuppahs are great additions to any other decor you may have. There are so many options we can do... we can drape fabrics over it; we can hang leis from the top and of course we can add flowers in your choice of colors...

Or if your ceremony location happens to have a "natural arch" (with 2 trees right next to each other like the last photo below), then it will be fun to hang strings of flowers from them!

Don't they all look romantic and dreamy?

Photo Credit: DrewB Photography

Photo Credit: Designs by Hemingway

Photo Credit: Designs by Hemingway

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Trust your vendors!

I once had this client who did not trust any of the wedding vendors at all. She thought that all of us are out there, trying to rip her off. It was the most difficult wedding that I have ever had to plan from day one, and on top of that she was very rude in her emails. The emails got so bad that the stationer that I recommended had to cancel her order and gave her a full refund because she couldn't deal with her rudeness. A few days later, the client emailed me back to tell me what an "incompetent b**ch" (verbatim) the stationer was. I couldn't believe what she said. I even confronted her before over the phone about her emails, and she told me that if she was "nice and sweet", things would not get done. What kind of logic was that? So she thought being rude and nasty, people would give her what she wants? I don't think so!

Photo Credit: Ann Hamilton

But I am not a quitter so I tough it out. It was very challenging in the next few months. The client could not visualize any of her floral and linen decor and wanted the florist and the linen company to put together mock-ups for her at no charge, which we couldn't do because the flowers and linens have to be flown in from outside of Hawai`i. And when she hired her own photographer from the mainland, I kindly reminded her that her photographer would need to get a photographer's permit in order to take beach photos here in Hawai`i. She emailed back and said (verbatim): "how convenient of you to tell me about this permit now!" Well, the permit just went into effect the day before I emailed her, I couldn't have told her any sooner! Not only did I not get a "thank you" for the reminder, I actually got a slap in the face.

Then she accused me of overcharging her on everything and that I "deceived" her with my pricing... so then she wanted to contact the vendors directly and handle her own planning. Why she hired a planner to help her in the first place, I have no idea... but I have had so many happy clients and successful weddings (as you can see from my website and this blog) that I am not sure why it is only this one particular client that feels differently about my planning process and pricing schedule!? I thought it was pretty straightforward and everything was spelled out in my contract. It's got to be something in her head. She must have some kind of acute paranoia and just doesn't trust anyone.

Finally, she canceled my contract and my services 6 weeks prior to her wedding day. Who in the right frame of mind would do that when I basically had everything all planned out for her already? All of the other wedding vendors told me that if I wasn't going to be her planner anymore, they would not want to work with her directly because of how rude she was.

So now she's threatening me that if I don't give her back the venue deposit, she is going to sue me. First of all, SHE was the one who canceled my contract and according to my contract which she signed, the client owes me the full planning fee if they cancel 90 days out. She also owes the venue the remaining site fee for canceling her wedding 45 days out, but she is demanding for a refund after I spent 8 months working on her wedding, and after the venue held her date for this long? She can't be serious! This might actually make a great episode for "Bridezillas" on the WE channel!

What I am trying to say with this blog post is that... with planning a wedding, especially a destination wedding, if you don't trust your vendors, there is nothing we could do to help you plan the wedding of your dreams. We do what we do best and we are here to help you create wonderful memories, not work against you. We are always looking out for the best interest of our clients and trying to work within your budget. A happy client is our number one priority, so please help us help you!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Sweetheart table

A lot of my clients, especially those with slightly larger weddings, usually opt for the sweetheart table at the dinner reception. If you read the etiquette books out there, they generally do not recommend it because it seems like you are "ignoring" your guests. Nowadays, however, the logistics of seating divorced parents together or married attendants with their spouses and children have made it very challenging.

When I got married 3 years ago, I had a sweetheart table and I loved it. I was able to eat and have some time to sink it all in with my hubby. Friends and family came by to say hello and to congratulate us, and we also "worked the room" after dinner by visiting every guest table. If a sweetheart table is what you want for your reception, then go for it!

P.S. A special shout out to Augie Chang (another one of my favorite photographers in the SF bay area) for this beautiful photo of a sweetheart table.

Photo Credit: Augie Chang

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Sneak Peek of Ketty & Shaun's wedding

Here is a sneak peek of Ketty and Shaun's wedding today at the Poli Makai Estate in Haiku. I had the honor and privilege of working with a few of my favorite photographers and videographer from my hometown (San Francisco) at this wedding:

Ann Hamilton
Gene Higa
Anton Lorimer

Can't wait to see their photos and their videos! So stay tuned...

Photo Credit: Events by Evonne

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sneak Peek of Lena & Noel's wedding

Here is a sneak peek of Lena and Noel's wedding today at the Sugarman Estate. I never thought I'd like red linens and decor, but I changed my mind after today's wedding.

More photos to come soon, so stay tuned!

Photo Credit: Events by Evonne

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Wedding benches are here!

For those of you who want something "different" other than the regular chivari chairs or the padded folding chairs, we have a wonderful alternative for you. These beautiful benches are finally available here on Mau`i! Each bench can seat up to 3 guests comfortably and you can use them for your reception afterward as well.

For my clients who are interested in renting them for your wedding on Mau`i, please send me an email.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Featured Wedding - Ivy and Howard

Ivy and Howard was such a fun-loving couple. I felt like I have known them forever. I started planning the wedding with Ivy exactly 12 months prior to the big day. Even though I didn't get a chance to meet them before like I did with a lot of my other clients, when I saw them it was like old friends seeing each other again.

ARCH: Pacific Isle Rentals. FLORALS: Maui Floral. LINENS/TABLES/CHAIRS: Island Rents . PHOTOS: Rachel Robertson Photography.

Ivy is super organized and that made my job so much easier throughout the planning process. We had such a great time planning it together, and everything looked beautiful on the day of from the flowers to the colored linens to the decor. Rachel Robertson flew in from O`ahu and took all of these wonderful photos; she was such a great gal to work with and her assistant Greg was great. We all had so much fun!

On the day of the wedding, Ivy gave me this bag. I thought it was additional items and decor that she wanted me to set up, but she said: "No, that's for you!" I opened the bag and it was full of my Trader Joe's treats with a note saying: "Here's a lil' something for you from home!" I think one time when we were talking on the phone or exchanging emails, I told her that I miss Trader Joe's in the San Francisco bay area (that's where Ivy and Howard are from too).

So a week before the wedding, she called up my hubby at work (I mentioned to her before where he works) and tried to find out what I like from TJ. She also told my hubby not to tell me about her phone call! They kept it a secret from me for a week! That was so thoughtful of her.

Well, congratulations, Ivy and Howard! All the best to you both, and hope to see you again when we go back to the bay area to visit! Again, thanks for the treats! I am savoring every bite! =)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

I've Been Blog Tagged - Compliments of Diane Phillips of DK Designs

Ahhh... I have just been blog tagged by my good friend Diane of DK Designs. I wonder how many of these will show up in blogs in the next few days. It will be interesting to see all of them!

So here goes...

1. Booked a flight to Honolulu for next week to pick up my new kitty, Sheldon (photo above). The breeder is shipping him from Nashville, TN to Honolulu, HI via Atlanta, GA. Why Honolulu you may ask... all animals flying in to Hawai`i have to pass through the Quarantine Station in Honolulu. Unfortunately, Delta Airlines do not participate in the "Outer Island Airport Direct Release" program! =( Sheldon is a long hair Scottish Fold cat (look at those cute folded ears). He will be joining our other Scottish Fold, Stanley.
2. Did my lap-swim at the Kihei Aquatic Center.
3. Confirmed all the vendors for my Sunday, October 12th wedding.
4. Sent out proposals to a few potential clients.


1. Work on my website update.
2. Brainstorm for my February photo shoot.
3. Put together a list of photos of weddings that I plan for my interview on The Wedding Planning Audiocast.
4. Continue to grow my company and hopefully have a few staff to help me with everything!


1. Desserts!
2. Desserts!
3. Desserts!
4. Desserts!


1. I am not a very domesticated person, but I do love to bake ('cuz I love desserts)! =)
2. I was on the swim team since 5th grade, and I still try to swim 3 times a week.
3. I LOVE to travel and hope I can visit all of the continents before I turn 50!
4. I used to show my cats at regional cat shows! =p I love dogs too, but my current lifestyle doesn't allow me to have one right now... maybe someday!


1. Augie Chang of Augie Chang Photography
2. Melissa Bumstead of Melissa's Smitten
3. Critsey Rowe of Critsey Rowe Photography
4. Rebekah and Ami of Elizabeth Anne Designs

Laura Hooper Calligraphy

Laura - thank you so much for sending me your lovely invitation album that showcases your amazing work (love that Tiffany blue color)! I can't wait to show them to my clients when they fly out here to do their scouting trip.

If you are looking for letterpress invitations and cute maps, logos and monograms for your destination wedding, make sure you check out Laura Hooper Calligraphy. She also does calligraphy.