Listen to the Podcast About Dream Weddings Hawaii

Podcast for Dream Weddings Hawaii

Podcast Summary

Steve Young, the owner of Dream Weddings Hawaii, sat down for an engaging interview with Jake Carter from Felix and Fingers Dueling Pianos. With a background in entertainment, Steve now specializes in beach weddings and gala events through Dream Weddings Hawaii. During the interview, Steve shared insights on the current trends in the wedding industry, highlighting the challenges posed by the rising costs of living and hyperinflation.

Steve expressed concerns about the slowdown in the wedding business, attributing it to the economic challenges faced by couples. He noted a significant increase in cancellations due to the escalating costs, making it difficult for couples to afford destination weddings like those in Hawaii. Despite the pandemic-related surge in weddings post-lockdown, Steve observed a subsequent rise in prices that deterred couples from tying the knot. This trend has impacted vendors across the industry, leading to a general slowdown in bookings and business.

Reflecting on his extensive experience in the wedding industry spanning over two decades, Steve emphasized the unique challenges faced by Maui, particularly citing recent events like fires affecting the business landscape. However, he remained optimistic about the industry’s potential to bounce back to normalcy, drawing on his wealth of experience to navigate through the current economic uncertainties.

Through his candid insights and industry experience, Steve Young shed light on the evolving dynamics of the wedding industry, providing valuable perspectives for both vendors and couples navigating the challenges of planning dream weddings amidst economic uncertainties.

This interview was provided by Felix and Fingers Dueling Pianos.

Podcast Transcript

Mike Potts (00:23)
is Steve Young with a Dream Weddings Hawaii. Thank you so much for joining the podcast with Felix and Fingers. I’m Jake Carter. I appreciate it. So looking at your bio, you got started in the entertainment industry as a producer, a director, a screenwriter, and you were kind of telling me just a minute ago about how you have written a bunch of different things and worked very much in film and all of that kind of stuff. And you…

currently own a wedding company called Dream Weddings Hawaii, like I said, that specializes in beach weddings, but you also do gala weddings and you’re getting ready to open a barbecue restaurant and all kinds of fun, fun, fun, exciting things in the works. Really fun. Yeah. So I’m going to ask you some questions about what the process is for you and how booking weddings and things with you goes. Um, and then eventually we’re going to get towards.

the logistics and all of that, maybe some fun questions and stories that you have along the way. Sound good? Oh, yeah, definitely. Sounds really good. Great. OK. So What current trends are you seeing in the wedding and event industry? But right now, everything is slowing down. I mean, it’s really, really bad. The last time I remember this was when the housing market actually crashed. This is back when, right before what President Obama took


the housing market, the real estate market had crashed and we saw a very, very, very, very fast slowdown in business, period. And I think this is because everything, because of hyperinflation. I mean, I thought hyperinflation was like, it was like just a false narrative to put out there just to scare everyone and all of a sudden it’s here. So, with the gas prices being so high, the cost of living being so high and the cost of everything being so high, it’s just crazy. Like right down the street from where I live,

An extra value meal at McDonald’s is around $18 to $19. I feel like I have to dress up to go to McDonald’s, right? And then you have to ask, you know, your wedding couples now to come to Hawaii, you know, and then you have to spend money. And even then where they’re living, you know, they’re having a trouble, you know, putting food on the table, not really trouble putting food on the table, but they’re just, they’re not as comfortable as they were. And some of them are having trouble putting the food on the table. Some of them are losing their jobs. So I’m seeing a lot of my couples, I’ve seen a lot of cancellations, um,

Last year and going into this year because things have just gotten way too expensive You know the cost of living has just going been going up it kind of stabilized But it’s not it’s not as good as it was before covid it really has not come back right after covid ever everything opened up and then there was an influx of just everyone just wanted to get married married married and then things just started to creep up the price start to creep up so I’m hearing it from all my other vendors that things are just slowing down

left and right and uh you know uh i’m not sure if the same thing is for you i mean if you’re seeing a slowdown at all yeah i mean so for Maui specifically i know we were just talking about before we started this that the fires definitely slowed things down here quite a bit um from what i am seeing it seems like things are kind of going back to normal and what they’ve been like the past couple years but uh because of the fires Maui’s


just in kind of a different microcosm of what’s going on. So I don’t think things have slowed down in Maui kind of quite as dramatically as what you’re talking about, but I think that you also probably have potentially more years of experience to understand how this is going. So, yeah. I’ve been in the wedding industry for about 20, I really don’t know. I’m 46 now. I started it when I was like 19. So it’s been a while. Yes. Even when I was working as a screenwriter and all those different types of things, I was a…

doing video and photography in the wedding industry just as a side hustle. And it was a lot easier to make money back then than it is now. And part of its competition, part is that anybody can buy a piece of camera equipment and take photos now at Costco. But a lot of it too is just that people don’t have that much money. Before COVID, we were doing about 15 to 20 weddings per month.

and now we’re doing about six to ten, so we’re still down by half. And I still see my webpage up there on the front page of Google for a lot of things, but people are just still not booking. Now we are seeing on the higher end, people are doing higher end weddings, and the higher end wedding couples have not been really affected at all. But we’re talking to more people about beach weddings. Beach weddings are really, really cheap. But people who want to spend,


You know, but with our adventure weddings like $20 ,000 $40 ,000 on on a elopement They’re still there. They still have money. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah Yeah, I mean, I think that I think that’s true. I think that I’ve seen that a little bit as well so What are some things that you think that couples should never do and what is the most cringe -worthy thing that you hate seeing at your events? Oh

I think the most cringe -worthy thing that I see at a lot of our events are couples who all dress the same. You have the family that wears the same aloha shirt, and then the bride wears the same thing. Or not even the kids wear the same thing, and like, oh, just don’t do that. But number one thing, which I tell all of my brides not to do, is don’t wear any sunscreen. Because a lot of times I use flash photography, and that’s just horrible. They’ll look as though they dipped their face in a bunch of oil.

and they look very, very oily and it’s really hard to touch up. I mean, it’s possible, but every photo has to be touched up. So, but those are the two things. If they’re wearing sunscreen and if they all wear the same clothes, again, I do a lot of small weddings, so that happens where they’re all wearing the same thing and bride, the groom, you know, the, oh my, and don’t wear mumus. I tell the bride to not wear a mumu. It’s horrible, don’t do that. No mumu.

Wear a wedding dress. Don’t wear a mumu. Mumus are for people who work in the hotel industry, who work at the front desk. Or do hula. It’s not a wedding gown. Oh my gosh. Yeah, yeah. That makes a lot of sense. I think that I would agree on that. I think if you’re going to come out and do it, make it look good, make it look classy. Go the extra mile, but don’t come out and do the like it’s…

the cringy like we’re all going to dress the same like it’s like a Halloween almost like it’s just like it’s yeah yeah I totally understand what you’re saying. The theme dressing you’ve seen it before at weddings right that you always have one family like oh god here we go but see I get it when the bride and groom do that. Yeah yeah yeah that is that’s funny I love that that was your answer. What is the most unique fun idea that you’ve seen at a wedding or

event like?

opposite end of that? Well, I’ve had a bride and groom, I had the bride show up in a bikini and the groom basically go in speedos. Wow. That was just funny because the minister who I had booked is very, very conservative. Here comes the bride in a bikini and on her butt it says, his.

or something like that. Like she had bedazzled her bikini on her butts as his. And this guy was, you know, he had, he was ripped and I mean, they’re, they’re, they’re, they’re a fun couple. They’re a Christian couple. So they’re, they’re very conservative, but they, they just had a lot of fun with it, you know? So that I think was really, really fun. Um, so, I guess back to cringe worthy. I want to go back to cringe. Oh, you got another one? Yeah. Okay. Yeah. Yeah. When you’re saying your vows, it’s, it’s about, it’s about,

the love between you and your husband or wife or whoever, your partner or whatever, don’t turn to the camera and start performing for an audience. I’ve had that happen more than once where the woman has written these vows and all of a sudden she turns to the camera and starts performing for the camera. And I’m like, oh my God, this is horrible. She starts performing, like doing a monologue, like though she’s doing a stage play. It’s happened like, I think four or five times and I have it on


Yeah, yeah, you’re like to the second angle cut to the second angle, you know Yeah, that makes sense Yeah, I’m not sure if you ever seen that but that’s real bad. So I mean, I’ve seen so many different different things With people doing vows and and those speeches like there’s just so many ways there’s I feel like there’s a couple good ways to do it

and eight million wrong ways to do all of those situations where it’s just like, oh, don’t say that. Don’t bring that up. No, why are we telling everyone about this situation that you had where like, you know, just so many like topics that people decide to disclose at their wedding that you didn’t need to talk about that time that he cheated on you. It’s not like we don’t need to talk about that right now. Like this isn’t.

You didn’t have to say it. We could have just ignored it, you know, like stuff like that. Speeches and weddings. Gosh, I got another one. OK, and this is the music regarding music. You ever have a groom who actually can’t sing and then sings as the bride walks down the aisle. He actually starts singing. He breaks into song. I mean, that that’s planned and they start singing and it’s all off key. It’s horrible. And it’s Mike as well. And I’m catching all of this.

and it’s so embarrassing. I feel embarrassed for them. I mean, I’m still shooting it, but when they watch it over in the video again, it’s like, do I put it through voice? Do I dub over it? Yeah, yeah. Yeah, that’s always, I was just talking to someone. I haven’t had anyone sing while they’re walking down the aisle, but I have played shows where people are like, I had a guy once that,

I was playing at a kind of nicer calmer kind of dinner place. And this guy all night was like, you have to let my wife sing. She’s just the most amazing singer. She’s so good. You have to let her sing. You have to let her sing. And we have a stage fee. He finally was like, here’s the stage fee and paid that to have her come up and sing. So she comes up and I was like, great, you’re going to sing. What are you going to sing? You’re the best singer ever. What are you going to do? I want to sing. My heart will go on from the Titanic. And I was like,

Oh, really? Are you sure? That’s really your choice? Are you sure? You know? Oh, yeah. And I’m like, do you want it in the original key? Absolutely. I was like, you don’t want me to bring it down for you at all. Nope. Original key. Here we go. And I’m like, okay, here’s the mic. I hand it to her and I’m facing the audience. She is looking at me having this conversation. I hand her the mic and I start playing this and she she puts the mic once, you know, mic way down low, you know, nowhere near her mouth. So.

basically not relevant, not effective. And she’s facing me and we get to the singing part and I’m thinking the whole time as I’m doing the intro, like she’s going to do this grand like turnaround swinging entrance into the song. No, she just has her head bowed here with the mic down low and just starts kind of like in very much off key, just kind of moaning like this song.

But it had gotten to the point where like everyone else in the room had seen this guy be so adamant to have her sing, including me, that once it started, there was no way to end it. You know, we were all just in this situation together and just had to let it play out. And it was a defining moment in letting people come up and sing. I have seen similar things, not in a wedding like that, but I have experienced that as a performer.

It’s always you’re always taking a risk with like yeah, sure you can sing like, okay Do you you know do you do this for work? Cuz if you don’t maybe you should think about it like Yeah, oh man, yeah Yeah, okay. Yeah, that’s for now the cringe -worthy. Yeah. Yeah. So any advice you can offer for someone? That’s just starting on their their planning journey well number one is to hammer down a date

You have to get that date down and it has to be the exact date. That’s number one. Once you have the date, then you can start talking to vendors, talking to venues. Don’t have an around about date, have an exact date. Now you can be flexible. You can have a secondary date and a third date, but at least have, you when you inquire with your venue, you have to have a date and see if they’re available. And once you book that venue, and that’s the number one thing, you have a venue and you want to book it. Once you book that, then,

Everything else falls into line, but it all starts with a date. That’s number one. Yeah, I agree. I think that’s totally true for our process as well. Like it’s one of the most important parts. Like we can, we can sit and talk to you about our show and how that all works and what everything is, but without having, you know, we are doing this on this day. We can’t really move forward with you and do much. It’s just, we, we do dueling pianos. Here’s some links to what we do, which by the way, I’m going to take this second because I just mentioned that. And I know you had asked,


am a dueling piano bar player and you asked what that is. So this is very much about you, but I’m just going to take this second to explain what dueling piano is. So I am a professional dueling piano bar player. So what that show is, is we have two dueling pianists and it is a very unique thing in big cities like Vegas, Chicago, LA, New York, we have dueling piano bars in the same way that in Hawaii we have tiki bars, but they’re dueling piano bars.

And what that is, is it’s a very highly interactive, all request based show. So basically people have little slips that they write down, you know, we want to hear whatever song and they bring them up to the piano and then we play their songs. And we do all kinds of other funny things and get people like tell jokes and get people up dancing and doing little like dances and skits and things. And it’s a very interactive, fun thing. And by the end of the night, we have gotten everyone to dance and sing all the fun songs, like Don’t Stop Believing and Piano Man. And it’s very,

Unique to each audience because we also have meetings with everyone ahead of time and it’s like hey Do you have a do not playlist? What do you want us to do? How do you want us to deal with your crowd? You know, is it gonna be a fun dancing crowd? Is it gonna be like a you know, you want us to get everyone to sing and do funny like little jokes and get you know, the Grandmother up, you know dancing with you know, the youngest grandchild, you know stuff like that. We it’s a very fun interactive show. So that is dueling pianos just so that you are aware What it is that I do?

But are they two pianos? It is. Yeah. Yeah. So there are two pianos and they’re playing at the same time. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. All right. We trade back and forth a lot of times on requests. So it’s like the other person will play a song. I’ll play this next request. They’ll play the request. I’ll play a request. And yeah. Oh, so. So when you do this at weddings, you have to have two pianos.

For dueling pianos, yeah, you can just do normal single solo piano bar kind of stuff and it’s similar but not as interactive and high energy. So how do you transport those big, you bring a piano there, you have to bring a piano there or two pianos. Yeah, so we actually have these really cool piano shells which is very standard for dueling pianos and piano bar entertainment. They are in Hawaii, in Maui, we have these and they are 36 inch deep.

piano shells and they people always mistake them as real pianos but they’re just shells and we put keyboards in them so that’s how that works so we can go anywhere stairs up downstairs onto the beach anywhere anywhere that there’s power or you know if it’s a small enough event we can actually do it without power because i have a way to oh man i may need to book you for a wedding in hawaii i like to see that yeah yeah that is it yeah i mean mean a wedding on awah okay have you done a wedding on awahu yet

We have not done a wedding on Oahu and we haven’t fully figured out the logistics at this time for getting the shells over there. Um, but I would love to talk to you later about that. If you haven’t, yeah, we’ll talk about it. We’ll talk about it. That’s pretty cool. Yeah. Yeah. All right. It’s a very, it’s a very fun show. Um, so to get back to you, cause that was just a totally directed side thing. Um, what makes your service unique? Well, what makes it really unique is that, uh, I am the


of the wedding company but I’m also the photographer and the videographer. So when you book me for a wedding, most of the time, I’ll be doing the photography, videography and also the wedding planning at the same time. So I think I’m one of the only people who can actually do the photography and video of the ceremony at the same time but I actually do. So everything you see on my website, the video, I’ve shot that at the same time doing photography. I mean to me, coming again from the entertainment industry, that’s really, really simple. I mean you just put…

put the cameras on tripods and you just do very simple ABC, what do you call it, you know, three way switch camera. In fact, I even shoot four cameras a lot of times. And then I take pictures around it. And then that way I make sure I get the shots that I want. I used to hire out people to do the camera work for me on the video and it never come out to like how I wanted it to come out. And one of the videographers told me, you know, if you’re so good, why don’t you do it all yourself? So I did.

I thought I can do this and it’s very easy for me to do it. It’s a lot easier than people think it is. Sometimes people just book me for video. I’m like, oh wow, this is a walk in the park. I don’t have to do this much. On top of that, I’m also doing the wedding planning and it kind of works out because I’m there by the bride’s side all the time. As a photographer and videographer, I’m always there by their side all the time.

So I’m capturing the moments. I’m also telling them what to do at the same time. And it’s also very easy. I think wedding planning is really, really easy because once you work with professionals, my professional team would just show up and do their job. Like if I hired you, I don’t have to tell you what to do. I have to tell you what time we have to start. That’s about it, right? You got to handle. So I really don’t know what a wedding coordinator, I mean, if I were just to do wedding planning, I would feel…

Like I’m not really doing much and I’ve seen wedding planners out there. They’re just sitting on the side doing nothing, you know, for the most part of the time, most part of the night. So, uh, and they’re charging thousands of dollars for doing nothing, which is crazy. So that’s one thing which makes me unique. Um, the other thing is my resume. I mean, I’ve done like over 25,000 weddings, I think, you know, small and large. Um, I think I’m one of the only people who do helicopter weddings, uh, in the state. Yeah. I saw the post about that. Really, really cool.

And we’re the only ones where we do helicopter weddings where we throw the wedding couple out of a perfectly working helicopter into the ocean. Wow. I think you should have started with that. When I said, what makes you unique? You could have just said, hey, you know, we throw our couples out of a helicopter. Yeah. It’s what happens when you when you partner with a with a retired Navy SEAL, you know,

who’s like.

Wow. I mean that’s another thing you could have started with. I have this funny story. We just did a wedding over at, I can’t say, we did it kind of illegally. So we landed on this property and they don’t want to do weddings on this property. And then my friend is there and we landed there and I thought they told us we can’t do weddings over here. Of course we’re going to do a wedding there. And then he says, and he says, Steve.

It’s not like we landed somewhere and we’re going to kill someone. Come on. Oh my gosh. Wow. It’s only a wedding. It’s not like it’s a mission. He’s like, this is easy stuff compared to what I’m used to. Wow. It’s not like your typical Navy SEAL mission. Oh my gosh. It’s so funny. So we did the wedding and then we landed on another cliff. And then we threw them out

And then they went scuba diving after that too. So. Do you throw the scuba gear with the wedding dress or how does that work? There’s actually, well, some couples would jump in the wedding with the wedding gown, but then a lot of times for this couple, they jumped the next day. And then afterwards there’s a safety crew on the boat. It’s very, very safe. They jump for maybe 30, 40 feet up in the air. It’s pretty high. Wow. In the ocean.

There’s a team of expert divers right there to make sure they don’t drown and there’s no sharks in the water. And then they bring one to a boat, they put on the scuba gear and they go underwater. Oh my gosh. So I have to say, I have to say when you were talking a minute ago, you’re like, oh, it’s just so easy to be a planner and everything’s so simple. And yeah, you know, you’re saying all this stuff.

And I was like, oh, well, you know, but now you’re like, oh, yeah, but like, I actually have a team of expert divers checking for sharks and all. And we jump people out of a helicopter. I’m like, oh, my gosh, this is like the most intense planning situation. Like that is really do go so far above and beyond. That’s insane. Yeah. Yeah. Well, again, we’re professionals. So again, working with the retired Navy SEAL, he handles that part and his name is Steve, too. So I just say, hey, Steve, we’re doing this. We got that. Yep, I got it. So my part as a platter, I just said.

We’re going to go with Steve, you know, like the end. And that’s it. So it’s really not me. And he filed the flight plan and everything tells us where we’re going to go, where we’re going to land and everything. And then I talked with my couples and said, you know, here’s where we can land. Here’s where we can’t land. Here’s what we can do. Here’s how much it will cost. And, you know, and here’s where we’re at. Then he’ll talk to them as well. We’ve done two of those so far and they’ve just been the first one we did was it was


The second week I did, it was also scary. Partly because of Steve. Because we actually took a… Steve said, why don’t we fly through the canyons in Oahu? To call on Mountain Range and give this couple a roller coaster ride. I’ve never ridden on a helicopter before and that was scary as hell. We’re going through… You watched Star Wars before? Where they’re going through those…

You watch Star Wars, right? Where Lucas is taking the X -Wing fighter through the little valleys of the Death Star. Imagine a helicopter going through the valleys of the Koala Mountain Range, and that’s what it felt like. Oh my gosh. Wow. It’s for a very specific thrill -seeker couple. That’s amazing. Oh, it was just amazing. It was just amazing. But they spent a lot of money on that, and it’s worth it. So you’re talking about adventure. I mean, it’s complete adventure. And the couples who are doing it are older couples. They have money.

So this last couple who did it, they’re like probably in their 50s or their 60s maybe. And they have money. They had a couple before that where they’re in their 50s. Maybe 40s and 50s. So they have some money. I have to say, I think it would be super cool to have you guys land on some cliff somewhere and have dueling pianos going on. That would be super fun. You know, like a full piano. Just putting that. Yeah, we could do that. Something like that. We have to fly you guys up there beforehand.

I mean, but if you have access to a helicopter. I mean, I got to see how I’m up for anything because yeah, or just as long as a couple will pay for it. I mean, yeah, that’ll be awesome. So couples watching this, you could have dueling pianos on a cliffside. You could fly up an helicopter, listen to your most romantic favorite tunes, maybe have dinner or something. I don’t know how you guys run this, but do that. Do all of the most insane thing on some cliff and then you could fly away.

and jump into the ocean. There won’t be any sharks because there’s professional divers there. Don’t worry. It’ll be awesome. Wow. Someone should book that. I hope someone does. That’d be so cool. I’ll be great. I ever since I partnered up with Trident Adventures, that’s the company we’ve been doing two of these so far. You don’t do a lot of them because they’re expensive. But the couples are just down for like, you

talking to these clients, budget is not a thing. It’s more about like, well, they’re still somewhat budget conscious, but they want to make sure what they’re paying for is the experience. They don’t want to pay for something that they don’t need to pay for. Yeah. Yeah. Wow. That’s, that is, that is amazing. I’m very excited to see if anyone can top that for unique service and situation. I’ll send you the wedding video. If couples want to see the wedding video of this, just go to

And then click on one of the links that says, I love helicopter weddings and all that. And it’s on the lower right hand side. And you can watch their wedding video. Wow. That’s cool. Yeah, it’s crazy. Yeah, it’s crazy. Yeah. Great. So now let’s see. You had, you wanted to, I mean, I feel like we’ve talked about some really cool wedding stories with what we just talked about. Do you have any other ones that you want to talk about or bring up? I have so many. I mean, like they’re,

I mean, I’ve done it again, 20,000 plus weddings. I even stopped counting. I think after 5,000, I stopped counting. And then I looked again at my invoice and it says 10,000. I look at my invoice number again, it says 20 ,000. It went so bad where I had to start using letters after my invoice numbers because it was just like, so I had done so many weddings. But most of them again are small beach weddings, not gala weddings. Maybe about 10% of them are gala weddings.

But then again, you keep doing these, you know, you become kind of an expert. I think small wedding and big wedding, they’re both the same. You just have more people eating at the big wedding and you have dueling pianos at the big wedding. But you could have dueling piano on a cliff on a small wedding. Yeah. Yeah. And we do play events of any size. We just did an event recently that was only 25 people. So yeah, that is awesome. I love it. It’s a lot more intimate when I see it. I love it. I love small weddings.

My favorite are the elopement months because you become really close friends with the clients. I’m still friends with a lot of my clients. But as far as stories go, I mean, you know, we’re talking about wedding experiences. I have this one Japanese couple, one guy, just a guy. Like we, before COVID, we were marrying him every single year. And he would, he would come here from Japan.

He would never pull out a marriage license and he would, it was funny because he would, none of the weddings would be legal at all. But he would be married. He liked to go through their marriage ceremony and express his vows to his then girlfriend. And every single year or every other year he would have another girlfriend, but he would request the same minister, the same location. He has the same photographer. And the only thing different was the bride. Oh my gosh.

about 10 of these for him. And people say don’t do repeat business, but this was great. I mean, I thought I was so guilty of doing the 10th one. I thought that should be free. Like a little you got a punch card. You’re like, oh, the 10th wedding on me, you know. Wow, that’s that is different. I mean, that’s he clearly clearly.

you are doing great business if he’s going to hire you 10 times. Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, definitely. Yeah. Yeah. You know, I’m really, I’m really your servant. Oh my gosh. That is, that is really, that is, I, that’s one story. That’s one story. I have not done that. That is, yeah, that’s different. Well, you haven’t been at a wedding yet. You’re not in it. You’re not a planner. So you don’t, you don’t get to experience all these weird things. Yeah, that is true. I mean, we do see a lot of crazy stuff just.

Being at them, but like yeah, I mean, yeah, you’re gonna tell the drug relatives. Yeah. Yeah, exactly exactly So with all of the weddings, this is gonna be kind of more of a speed round So we’re just gonna go through you don’t have to get super long with the answering of these But With all of the weddings that you do, what is your current availability and how far in advance are you booked? Uh Well, I’m I have 2025 weddings, you know, they’re already being booked already. So people are already booking me for 2025 right now though. I

If people want to inquire, they can inquire. I’m not booked every single day of the month. So if they want to, if I’m free, I’ll do it. I’ve had wedding couples call me on the day that they land and then plan literally everything by the next day and see if I can. So as long as I’m available, I can do it. So just inquire. You know, you can call the day before, you can call the day up. I’ve actually planned a wedding as the bride had arrived in Hawaii. It’s a small wedding, elopement, but we were able to get everything together.

all the minute, it’s chaos at that point, but we still were able to do it. So yeah, so call whatever. That’s amazing. Keon, what is the average event size for what you do and what is the cost normally? So usually, couples for me, the average event size, they’re eloping. So just two people there. That’s the average. And

then, um,

They’ll spend anywhere between $1,000 to $5,000 usually. So yeah, not too much. What is your deposit amount? 50% of whatever the total is and that’s non -refundable unless I can book another wedding on that same day for a package price that’s equivalent or less. No, no, equivalent or more. Equivalent, equivalent or more. And then I’ll refund 100% of their money back. Okay. Well that’s your…

Tells me what your cancellation policy is as well. So that was my next question. Do you have any caterers that you partner with or like a preferred vendor list and do you require that people use them? No, they can use whoever I don’t have a preferred vendor list at all. They can use whoever they want. They can even they don’t even have to hire me as a photographer. They can just hire us out as a planner. It’s really up to them. So I don’t you

know, I’m.

I’m not communistic when it comes to wedding vendors. So great. Yeah. Yeah. So very a la carte option. Very much all a card option. I’m very, I’m very laid back. Um, but I’ve done things to the, to help couples out, you know, on, on multiple occasions. Sometimes say, for example, with if they book an event at a venue and they require a wedding planner and I’m saying, why, why do you require a wedding? It’s stupid. Like, why do you have to pay me $3,000 to do nothing? A lot of times, like I did this on the last wedding, they had planned everything.

Their sister was the wedding planner. But because she wasn’t a wedding planner in Hawaii, they had their preferred wedding list. I was on their preferred wedding list. They said, have to pay me three grand or two grand. I said, it’s stupid. So what do they need? They needed insurance. I said, okay, here, use my wedding insurance. Do it. Book it. That’s it. I don’t charge them anything. So it’s stupid. So I’m very reasonable. Come with me with your ideas and your plans. I’m not here to…

you know, you’ll rake you over the clothes with these stupid prices, you know, so I’m very honest. I’m one of the more honest wedding planners out there. Wow. Okay. Well, that’s great. Love that. Do what is the normal contingency plan for weather? When you do stuff like what if you’re doing a beach wedding or anything like that? Well, so first of all, if you do a beach wedding

and that the

it doesn’t matter where you’re doing it on any of the islands. You want to book it on the West or the North shore. You never really want to try to book it on the East shore because that’s all the storms usually come in from the East. So any beach, you know, that it faces East here on Oahu, that would be Waimanalo, Makapu ‘u, Kailua Beach, Lani Kai. Well, you can’t do weddings there anyway anymore, but that’s where all the storms come in. So you’ll say, don’t book a wedding there. And, and the odds of you having your ring come on,

North shore here on Oahu or the West shore are very, very low. That’s because we have the windward and the leeward side of all islands. On Omawe there’s a windward and leeward side, a drier side, Lahaina. It rarely rains on those leeward sides, as we all know now, unfortunately, with Lahaina. That’s why that area was a really good area for weddings because it was so dry. It was really, really dry and you wouldn’t have to worry about rain.

Uh, yeah, that’s my main thing. Now contingency plans, if it does rain, uh, usually when they’re eloping, we can just move the location. Uh, if it’s a venue and we were looking at rain coming in, we can see rain coming in through the, through the weather map. Uh, we will actually recommend booking a, I mean, putting a tent up. Um, that’s if we have a lot of people at a galley event. Uh, sometimes we just put up tents anyway, no matter what, because they look nicer. So, yeah. Yeah. And you do work on all of the islands or just wahoo?

Uh, primarily just a while who I will be going to Maui next month. So maybe I’ll look you up. Yeah. I’ll be in Atlanta, Atlanta, doing a wedding. Great. Amazing. Yeah. I, I see your wedding shows that you are your wedding, your website shows that you do stuff on all the islands. So that’s why I just wanted to make sure. So you, you do service all of them, but you’re specialized. Specialized on a while. Who I stopped doing them on the big Island after COVID. Um, but I probably may start doing them again. A lot of the vendors that I.

We’re doing business with on the big island. They moved they moved out of state, you know, so they said that’s enough We’re not gonna put up with it. So yeah Yeah, well Awesome. Great. It was great meeting with you. Definitely put everyone listening go check out your stuff because I’ve looked at your website I’m gonna get off this and go watch these helicopter videos because that sounds amazing. Yeah, but yeah Yeah, thank you so much for joining the podcast and talking to me about everything


I look forward to working with you soon hopefully and we’ll figure out how to uh, yeah pianos onto a cliffside or even just fly figure how to fly them over to Oahu. You know what mean? Yeah, I really like that. I mean, uh, that’s really cool. Uh, I think there’s something that could be done or maybe if they have it here, you could rent it. Yeah. I, as far as I know, they don’t exist there, but yeah, definitely something to talk about. We’ll, we’ll chat. We’ll chat after.

after the podcast here. Thank you so much. Okay.

This interview was made possible by Felix & Fingers Dueling Pianos

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