Our Worst Experience with Pilialoha Wedding Planner Hawaii

We had our wedding at Kualoa Ranch, Kaneohe, Oahu Hawaii and made the huge mistake of hiring Pilialoha Productions wedding planner (Hawaii) the recommended wedding coordinator. We hired Pili and her team for full day-of-coordination services and had such a horrible experience that I try to forget about it but had to write it up before I can completely let it go.

Look, I can go on for pages about all the details but to save me from revisiting terrible memories, I will keep it brief and factual:

  1. Our contract stated we would have 2 coordinators on the day, but that didn’t happen. Only 6 days before the wedding, Pili told us that she wasn’t actually going to be at our wedding because she had “a bigger wedding Downtown” (yes that is exactly what she said to us while we were doing a site tour of the venue with our families).So since we only had 1 coordinator, she decided she would not co-ordinate the ceremony at all and instead go setup the reception. Well I’m pretty sure the main part of the wedding is getting the ceremony right, which is the most stressful part too. We basically had to completely wing it ourselves and the guests could sense something was amiss. In the end, we made it work completely without coordination services.
  2. We did not meet our actual wedding coordinator until the day before the wedding, when Pili insisted that we give her everything needed to setup the reception (not the ceremony because we had to set that up ourselves).We had to travel to meet her rather than them coming to us (ok fine, we’ll go out of our way the day before the wedding to accommodate them). We gave the coordinator all the lights, decorations, tablecloths, name cards, party favours etc in ONE big box the afternoon before the wedding.When I got to the venue, someone, I think my maid of honour told me that the coordinator had lost the name cards which she had painstakingly handwritten and personalised with inside jokes and nicknames for our 100 or so guests. I could not believe how a ziplock bag that was packed into the one big box that we handed over only 12 hours prior, had gone missing. It was sheer incompetence and mishandling. The coordinator did not tell me this herself nor did she ever apologise.
  3. The coordinator made no contact with me on the day of the wedding, until I met her at the venue. Then I found out later that my friends who were doing all the flowers had arrived about an hour into the setup time had to do the majority of the setup work themselves, having to completely miss out on attending our ceremony.
  4. We were 15 minutes late with our entrance into the reception because we were waiting for the coordinator to kick things off, all the time waiting in a line just outside the reception area for about 20 minutes. It was ridiculous, there was no need for the delay.
  5. We later noticed a woman who wasn’t a guest, was with the wedding coordinator at the reception and did not introduce herself to my husband or I the entire night. The guests noticed she was taking food from the buffet in takeout boxes while they were still eating appetizers and they were pretty offended by that. To this day, I still have no idea who that woman was or what she was doing there.
  6. Bouquet toss time came and well the coordinator lost my bouquet so our friend had to quickly make one up from our table centrepiece while the single ladies were standing in a group waiting. Awkward.
  7. We tried contacting Pili after the wedding to discuss all these things but she never answered or responded. To this day, we haven’t heard from her at all, not even to check in on things.

What an absolutely horrific experience. I wouldn’t wish this sort of thing to my worst enemy. We had to make the best out of such bad service and I hope others can learn from my shitty experience and find someone else to handle their special day if they are getting married on Oahu, Hawaii and looking for a wedding planner / wedding coordinator.

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