Making the Trip to Maui – Roam Mobility

For those of us who live in Canada, we’re all quite aware of the crazy costs of taking our phones across the border into the US of A. Some of us turn the phone off and try to forget it exists for the duration of our trip, while others (like my family) pick up a “pay-as-you-go” phone with an American provider to remain somewhat connected.

Seeing as saving you money increases the odds of you making the trip over to Maui for our wedding, I wanted to introduce you to another option available to us now – Roam Mobility!

Plans with Roam start at $2.95/day and provide you not only an American number, but unlimited talk and text within the US and back to Canada AND voicemail and caller ID. And if you’re the type to use a data connection (like me!), just $1 more gets you 100MB of data.

So how does it work?

Have An Unlocked Phone?

SIM Card

SIM Card – Roam Mobility


You’re in luck – you just need to pick-up a SIM card($19.95)! If you’re unsure if the phone you have is unlocked, you’ll need to make a quick phone call to your provider. You should also give Roam a call too to make sure your device is fully compatible with their network.

Need A Phone?

Breeze FB101

Breeze FB101 – Roam Mobility


You’re still in luck – Roam will sell you a Breeze Phone(SIM card included) for $49.95. Doing the quick math, that’s only $30 for an unlocked Dual-SIM, GSM Quad-Band phone with a 1.3 MP Camera.

Looking To Surf?

While WiFi is available in most hotels/condos (and at every Starbucks in town), maybe you want to live-stream our ceremony and reception or something. This is where the Liberty Hotspotwill help you out. The device is $129.95 and data only rates start at 6 cents per megabyte.

Picking up any of the above options is pretty simple – you can get free shipping direct from Roam by ordering from their website, or by going in to one of their many dealers.

So.. have any of you used Roam? Any thoughts you could share on the quality of service? Or are any of you going to give them a look? We’d love to hear from you so we can in turn share your comments with our guests!


Disclosure: Roam has kindly offered an early wedding gift to Marnie and I by covering each of our plans while we’re in Maui. This was regardless of whether or not this post went live. Just wanting to keep everything on the up and up.

The Groom’s Speech

While I know I’ve still got just over 10 9 months to perfect “The Groom’s Speech” at our wedding, I’ve decided to do a little research on what proper etiquette happens to be. For instance, while humour can be used as a great way to break the ice, cracking a joke at anyone’s expense other than your own is generally frowned up. And it’s also very important to say something complimentary about your new bride. Missing that can lead to early problems in the marriage I’ve read.

See how tough it is?

So what would you suggest? I know many of you have experience that I lack and I’m hoping that you can collectively begin to give me tips on what to say. Or I can do what this guy did instead. Your call.

Making the Trip to Maui – Flight Discount

WestJet 737

WestJet 737 – courtesy of Greg Hounslow


A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that we would be looking into obtaining a flight discount for all our guests who choose to fly WestJet, and well, the discount code has arrived – W1368.

To book reservations using our wedding discount code, you have to call the WestJet Groups department at 1-888-493-7853 as wedding discount codes don’t work online yet. A few other things that are important to note:

  • The wedding code W1368 must be quoted at the time of booking!
  • Our wedding discount code gets you a 10% discount off the best available fare at the time of booking, excluding Econo fares (i.e. seat sales and web fares).
  • The discount is valid for WestJet flights into and out of Maui and Honolulu, Hawaii.
  • The discounted rates are applicable for travel up to seven days prior to (March 7, 2014) and seven days after (March 21, 2014) our wedding date (March 14, 2014). While the discount doesn’t apply beyond that timeframe, please still quote the code as it counts towards our 15 traveller minimum.

Having quickly taken a peak at what the savings would be for someone flying out of Vancouver based on current fares, our discount code gets you a better deal off the Flex fare level than the Econo does straight up – not to mention slightly cheaper fees for those who need to change details after the flight is booked.

Making the Trip to Maui

One of the reasons Marnie and I sent out Save the Dates for our wedding was to allow our guests to sort out accommodation, flights, and everything else between in time for the trip. Now sure, you’d think a year is a lot of time but as our wedding is happening during Spring Break AND happens to be at a popular destination, time is of the essence.

How to Get to Maui

You’ve got two choices – boat or plane. Making that assumption that most of you will be flying in to Maui, there are a couple of things to consider.

First of all – Maui doesn’t have a US Customs facility to process inbound international passengers. What this means is you either need to come direct from a US port of call or through Vancouver (YVR), Calgary (YYC) or Edmonton (YEG) airports as they have US pre-clearance available.

Secondly, as most of our guests will be coming from Canada, Marnie and I will be securing a 10% discount code through WestJet shortly for our wedding guests. Having checked out the options through Air Canada, as well as Alaska Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines, we think WestJet provides us the best means to get to where we want to go for good value. So wherever you may be joining us from, we recommend checking out the different fare options available to you as nearly every major airport on the along the west coast can get you to Maui direct or through Honolulu.

Kahului Airport in Maui

Kahului Airport – courtesy of Kris Nelson

Where to Stay

For each of our trips, Marnie and I have booked a condo at the Kamaole Sands Condominium Resort (as seen below) in Kihei – and a location close to our wedding venue – through Vacation Rentals By Owner (VRBO). This particular resort has beautiful lawns and gardens, a great pool and hot tub area, tennis courts and several BBQ areas, so for someone thinking of making it a vacation you’d probably find this place perfect.

Regardless of your choice for location, we do encourage you to use VRBO to search for a place to stay. While the island has many great hotels, our wedding is during the high season and the best rate we could get at a reasonable location was $266/night – and that was the wedding rate!

Kamaole Sands Condominium Resort

Kamaole Sands Condominium Resort – courtesy of Mark Beeson

How to Get Around

Rental cars shouldn’t be an issue for most, though we do recommend looking into booking yours sooner rather than later.

We’ve gone with a mainstream company in the past, this time around we’ve decided to go with Kihei Rent A Car. While their cars are not the latest and greatest, the company is a local, family run business that has excellent reviews – they also provide free airport transfers as well. Making the choice even easier is that we all get a 10% discount off their regular prices (which are already significantly lower than the mainstream companies) should 5 or more of us commit. To get yourself included with that discount, you just have to mention that you are with Marnie Greenfield and they will do the rest once we get enough bookings.

The other option for you is to rely on taxi and/or transit. While Maui Bus is affordable and will get you between most destinations you’ll need to visit, you’re obviously tied to set schedules. And sure taxi can get you wherever you want to go (for the most part), the island of Maui is not the tiniest of places so you’ll find that taxi fares will add up over time – and probably be more expensive than the same cost to rent a car.

Red Rental Car

Red Rental Car – courtesy of torbakhopper

So there you have it. The nitty gritty on what you need to start thinking about if you’re looking to join us. If you still need any help, please reach out to us via the normal channels or the “Contact Us” page above.

Officiant and Save the Dates

Well, guess we should probably post something, it has been more than a month since our last post!  I haven’t done that much planning in the last month, I took a bit of a break from it, but now need to get back at it.

Before my little break, we had decided on our officiant, and we are very excited to have him perform our ceremony!  Rev. Laki Kaahumanu is the great, great grandson of Queen Kaahumanu, so is Hawaiian royalty!  He also had a bit part as the wedding minister on an episode of “Modern Family” in their first season!  But it is his sense of humour that Chris fell for!  For awhile before we knew if Laki was available, Chris had decided that if we couldn’t get Laki to perform the ceremony, we’d either have to change the date or call the whole thing off!  Luckily for us he was available!

laki

Rev. Laki Kaahumanu, our wedding officiant!

 

We also had a photo viewing with our engagement photographer, Laura at Magnolia Photographic, to see the pictures taken mid-march at Steveston’s Britannia Heritage Shipyard in between rain storms (hence my slightly messy hair!).  Despite the messy hair (which is just a reflection of reality anyways!), we are incredibly happy with the results!  We picked our favorites to have made into Save the Date cards.  Start watching for yours in the mail soon!  They went into the mail yesterday!   Here’s some of our favorite photos:

c071_130315gol_es c078_130315gol_es c083_130315gol_es048_130315gol_es

Well that is all for now, will try not to let another month go by without an update, so check back again soon!

Decisions, Decisions!

Well, we are several months into planning this wedding now (or should I say thinking and talking about this wedding up till now).  But now we’ve finally got some official things decided.

The first thing was to get the wedding planner hired, since they would be instrumental in getting everything else in order.  We have decided to go with Lori Lawrence of Tropical Maui Weddings, and I’m excited to work with her!  Her talented musical husband Jamie will do some of the music for the ceremony and reception as well.  The pictures of the weddings she’s done look amazing, and there are plenty of good reviews out there for her.

I already had a pretty good idea of the venues available on Maui since I’ve done a lot of internet research on the subject, but once we had Lori on board she did inquiries for us at the 3 private estates I was considering.  2 of them had openings and the other was already booked.  So we have now decided on Kukahiko Estate in Makena, Hawaii.  It is a smaller venue, which will be fine for us and looks absolutely stunning in all the photos (but then all 3 locations looked stunning, so I’m sure we would have been happy with any of them).  We will have both the ceremony and reception at Kukahiko.  It has the nice green lawn I wanted for the ceremony, and yet is right on the ocean, so we can still feel like we are at the beach (and it does have a little beach there to use for photos, etc.) and I love the dramatic black lava rock in front!  And it is close to “Turtle Town” so there’s a possibility that some of the Green Sea Turtles may show up.  Plus they say that during Humpback whale season (December – April) the whales are often right out in front of the estate.  Those turtles and whales had better make an appearance on March 14, 2014!

Kukahiko Estate

Kukahiko Estate

We’ve also got our photographer booked already, though that was an easy decision, my talented aunt NancyAngermeyer, who just so happens to be a wedding photographer offered to do it for us!   I know she will do a fantastic job and can’t wait to see the images she captures of our special day!  She took this great shot of Chris and I the last time we visited her on Saturna Island, BC.

Chris and Marnie on Saturna Island.  Photo credit Nancy Angermeyer.

Chris and Marnie on Saturna Island. Photo credit Nancy Angermeyer.

Next up in the decision making timeline will be the caterer, officiant, cake baker, florist, hair and makeup person.  And then I guess it will start to be the more detailed decisions for everything.

We’ve also booked a condo at Kamaole Sands, which is the same complex we’ve stayed at during all of our 3 trips there.  Unfortunately when we picked the date, we weren’t exactly thinking about the fact that it is smack in the middle of spring break, so it is a very busy time on Maui (or at least I wasn’t thinking about it, I was just thinking that it was a special date since it was our engagement anniversary).  We’ll post more on accommodation recommendations in the near future for those of you who are planning on attending and want to get a jump on getting organized.

Lei’d on a Plane

Like my misleading title? Shame on you for thinking it was dirty. Still, funny isn’t it? Haha! I wonder if Marnie will let me remain in charge of arranging travel?

Alaska Airlines Hawaiian Livery

Alaska Airlines Hawaiian Livery


In all seriousness though, when it comes to coordinating the different aspects of our wedding, travel is probably going to be one of the tougher tasks. While the most exotic place that my family will be coming from is Australia (Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton – not so exotic), Marnie will see much of her family travel from the Midwest US and United Kingdom.

And we’ve known all along that flying as a group was likely not possible due to all this different embarkation points, let alone the different combination of travel dates, but we did want to see if there was a way to help make things easier for our guests regardless.

This is where it’s difficult – there are too many options and all require some level of commitment. Some airlines have a loose understanding of what constitutes a group, while others provide a discount based on a certain number of people flying regardless of when and what flights people choose. It’s like a coordination nightmare.

So what do we do? I’m more apt to simply let people do their own thing – anyone have experience with travel to a destination wedding? Or maybe you’re a airline insider? Help.

One Year To Go!

1 year

 

Well it’s officially one year to the day till our wedding!  At this time next year we’ll be almost ready to exchange our vows (Maui is 3 hours behind the west coast and I am planning on having the ceremony shortly before sunset).  I can’t wait!  It seems so far away, and yet I’m sure it will be here in what seems like no time!

Tomorrow (weather permitting) we will be having engagement photos taken.  I’m nervous about it, never really had professional pictures taken, other than those horrible school photos, where you’ve basically got one shot to get it right, and if it wasn’t good you didn’t find out till you got the pictures back in print anyways as that was in the days before digital cameras (yes I know I’m dating myself).  I’m sure we’ll be fine, as we have a fantastic photographer, Laura Stapleton at Magnolia Photographic!  Stay tuned, I’m sure we’ll post some once we get them!

Then on Saturday, hopefully we will finally get together with both sets of parents and really start to get some details and decisions sorted out.  So hopefully the ball will be really starting to roll soon, and then I’ll have more to post about!

 

www.nevergetoveryou

Now as Marnie has our wedding planned out, I figured it was upon me to share some of the interesting tidbits that led us to the point of matrimony. And as such, the first topic we’ll discuss – our very first song. So before we continue, I ask you this – how many of you even remember where www.nevergetoveryou is even from? And no, that isn’t a typo.

One? Two? That’s okay. It’s actually the title of our “first song.”

Simon & Milo - Prozzäk

Simon & Milo – Prozzäk


You see, Marnie and I met online before meeting people online was cool. Back then we didn’t have Facebook, nor Twitter.

But we did have instant messaging.

In fact, with Marnie in Penticton the first year we began dating, ICQ was our main means of staying in touch. So when Prozzäk came out with www.nevergotoveryou, it seemed like the perfect choice.

Now will you see this song at our reception? Maybe, maybe not. About the only thing I’m sure of is that it won’t be the first song we dance to. But what I’m curious about is what your “first song?” Does it have meaning? Is there a story behind it? Or was did it just happen to be playing on the radio when you met your significant other?