Frequently Asked Questions for Weddings at The Royal Hawaiian
Planning your dream wedding can spark several questions in mind. We have answers to some of the most frequently asked questions from brides and grooms-to-be. Please see them categorized below.
If you have questions that were not answered below or are experiencing technical difficulties, please email our support staff or contact our Catering Sales Office at (808) 931-8888.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do we get started?
Wedding ceremonies are booked seven days a week, from sunrise to sunset. After deciding on a date and time, contact The Royal Hawaiian’s catering office to check on availability of dates. We require a $2000 non-refundable deposit of the contracted package price to reserve the date and time. We will send you a contract outlining the wedding services selected. The contract must be signed and returned to confirm the date and time along with the $2000 deposit payment.
Can I complete a “Request For Proposal” online?
Yes, the Request for Proposal online allows you to select all of the aspects of your wedding ceremony and reception. Please note these prices are for basic services only.
How far in advance do we need to book?
We are able to book events one year out from the event date. Ceremony inquiries only without a contracted reception or meal service in our resort’s event or restaurant space may not be confirmed more than 120 days prior to your desired date and is confirmed based on availability.
Requests of any kind of ceremony only may not be confirmed more than 60 days prior to your desired date and is confirmed based on availability.
Wedding ceremonies are booked seven days a week, from sunrise to sunset. A minimum of 30 days advance booking is required.
When will a cost estimate for our event be provided?
Once we have the menu selected, along with any other details for your event, we are able to do an estimated cost.
Do you offer different pricing for weekday, Friday or Sunday celebrations?
No, as the demand for our resorts and spaces is constant and year round – all days of the week carry the same costs. However in many cases we will consider a reduced ceremony package cost and a lower food and beverage minimum for early morning and daytime events before 2pm. Please ask your Catering Manager for more information.
How far in advance do we have to provide the final guest count?
The final guest count will be required by 10am, three (3) business days prior to your event.
How do I obtain a marriage license?
To obtain a marriage license on Oahu, you will be required to pay a licensing fee. Both bride and groom must be in attendance at the Marriage License Office with valid photo identification.
Department of Health
Marriage License Section
1250 Punchbowl Street
Please call (808) 931-8349 for an appointment
Can someone help us with our marriage license?
This is the responsibility of the couple. We have tried to make it easier for you by having a satellite licensing office right on the grounds of the Sheraton Waikiki, which you can contact at 808-931-8349.
When do I need to have all of my choices selected for music, flowers, menus, etc?
As soon as you have decided on the choices for music, flowers, menus, etc, please contact the wedding department so we are able to secure your preferences. All decisions need to be finalized a minimum of thirty days in advance of the wedding date including all reception or dinner details.
What happens if my event is outside and it rains?
Indoor backup space is always blocked for events planned in our outdoor venues.
Are there any special discounts on rooms?
We offer a discounted wedding rate off our published rack rate for all reservations booked directly through The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort for our wedding couples. The discounted rate is subject to availability at the time of room reservation.
When is the full prepayment due?
The full prepayment for local events is due 15 days prior; 30 days prior for mainland events. After the initial deposit of $2,000 there is a second deposit due 90 days prior the event, equal to 50% of the estimated charges.
When is my final payment due?
Prepayment of 50% of the expected food revenue, room rental, ceremony site fees and tax must be received no later than ninety (90) days prior to the date of your event. Final full prepayment must be received no later than 30 days prior to the planned event. All prepayment is non-refundable.
Is the deposit used towards my event?
Yes! The deposit will go towards your event 100% but is non-refundable.
How long do you reserve the ballroom for a reception before we have to give a deposit?
We will hold space complimentary for two (2) weeks with a 48 hours 1st right of acceptance/refusal. A deposit is required to secure the space on a definite basis.
Are your food and beverage minimums constant year round?
No, our minimums are based on demand periods, which can be seasonal and also by day. Your Catering Manager can advise you on minimums based on your preferred date.
What is a food & beverage minimum & site fee?
The food & beverage minimum is the least amount required to spend on any combination of food and beverage for your wedding to secure the selected space for a reception and/or dinner. This is aside from what is provided for in our ceremony packages. It does not include sales tax or the service fee. The food and beverage minimum is achieved by selecting the resort destination reception/dinner package or individually priced, a la carte menu items to equal or exceed the food and beverage minimum. For weddings expecting fewer guests than the room’s capacity, the ‘per person’ cost to achieve the minimum may exceed the printed package price points. Site fees are the costs assessed for the use of specific event spaces combined with wedding package and/or food & beverage minimums. Our premiere spaces will always require a site fee.
Can I arrange for refreshments prior to my ceremony in the designated area?
Yes absolutely, this is done quite often and is a very nice way to welcome your guests. Both non-alcoholic and alcoholic punches and specialty beverages, stationed or passed can be arranged. We can also provide a selection of handmade chilled canapés to be passed prior to your ceremony. Your Catering Manager can provide you with menu options and pricing.
Can I arrange for a hourly-packaged open host bar for my wedding?
No, Honolulu city ordinance and alcoholic beverage control strictly prohibit per person packaging of alcoholic beverages, even for our smaller destination weddings. All of our beverage options with the exception of the champagne toast and wine with dinner are based consumption which means you will only be billed for what the bartenders make and serve.
Are there any additional labor chargers I should be aware of?
All staff with the exception of bartenders and chef attendants are included with your menu price based on the wedding package offerings. One bartender attendant will be provided for every one hundred guests at a flat rate of $300.00 + tax, based on 3 hours of service. Any additional hours will result in an additional fee per bartender, per hour. One chef attendant will be provided for every one hundred guests at a flat rate of $300.00 + tax, based on 2 hours of service. With events that require more than two chef attendants, additional costs will apply.
Is there a rehearsal ceremony?
It is recommended that the Bride and Groom schedule an appointment with the Catering Office no earlier than 10 days prior to the wedding date. This will ensure that all the details of the wedding are finalized and a property orientation is provided to the Couple. The officiant will not be present prior to the ceremony unless special arrangements have been made in advance. This also will not include any set up and is based upon availability of the function space. Flexibility is available if the area is sold out due to another event.
Do you provide other services to coordinate an event such as flowers, transportation, decorating, etc?
Yes! Should you need any assistance with coordinating other details that you may have, we are at your service!
Why can’t I arrange for and provide my own vendors for my ceremony and just pay a site fee for the space?
After many years of producing destination weddings and trying difference processes we have found that this is the best policy benefiting the brides & grooms. This process allows for the best service from professionals who know our resorts and work with us daily, leaving no room for error. Our vendors understand our high standards and expectations which ultimately benefit our brides and grooms overall experience, and have excellent business credentials.
Do you provide a menu tasting?
We will provide a menu tasting of up to 3 main entrée dishes at $250.00 + Service Charge + Taxes per person. With any other dishes available for tasting at $50.00 + Service Charge + Taxes per person, per item, regardless of the item.
Can I ship my dress and other items in advance?
The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort will accept a shipment to the resort during the normal business hours up to one week in advance of the Wedding date. It is highly recommended that a courier company be used to ship the items and insurance and a tracking number are obtained. The shipment must be made to the Hotels address and put to the attention of the Catering department. There is a charge of $200.00 to receive and store this shipment. (Please note we will not open any items received).
I want an on-beach wedding at The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort why can’t that be arranged?
Unfortunately our city ordinance for the beaches in front of our three properties does not allow for wedding ceremonies or receptions.
Can my guests order off a menu the day of if I am in resort event space and not the restaurant?
This is what we call a “banquet setting” and all menu arrangements must be made well in advance of your event date. You can provide your guests with up to two (2) main entrée selections plus a vegetarian option – again all in advance with final selections and counts given (72) hours in advance.
Do you offer children’s menus?
Yes, children’s meals can be provided at a reduced menu price for ages 5-12 at all three of our resorts. Your Catering Manager can provide you with menu and price options.
Am I obligated or expected to provide a meal for the vendors associated with my ceremony package? Do you offer specially priced vendor meals?
No you are not expected to accommodate vendors included in your package, nor do we have reduced pricing for vendor meals.