By Nadine Kam
The Willows Restaurant hosted its inaugural Ho‘omaika‘i, a wedding and special events fair, on Feb. 28, 2014, highlighted by a family-oriented special occasion fashion show by 'IOLANI Sportswear, and a mini bridal fashion show presented by The Bridal Boutique, featuring gowns by Alfred Angelo Bridal and Casablanca Bridal.
The event offered prospective brides and grooms the opportunity to tour the venue, sample its famous buffet, sample wines from The Wine Stop, listen to the music of wedding performers Maila Gibson & Ben Vegas, Kanoe Gibson and Randy Allen, and Smooth Remedy, and check out other vendors including photographers, lighting and sound specialists, videographers, florists, favor specialists, and bakers.
Hugo Higa, M.D. was there to share non-invasive cosmetic procedures to help couples look their best for photos or the ceremony, and Ho'ala Salon & Spa touted ways to prepare and de-stress before the big day.
There was also prize giveaways and The Bella Project was there to collect donations of wedding or prom dresses, tuxedos, and other formal wear and accessories toward helping teens in need attend their proms.
The Willows general manager Garret Kamei said his catering staff is available to attend to many of the details that make wedding planning a headache, from providing the buffets and professional staff, all in a convenient location with valet parking.
Although old-timers are well-aquainted with this historic, multi-complex site, it remains a hidden, unexpected oasis in the midst of the city, that younger couples have yet to discover.
The Willows Chapel has been the site of many isle weddings, and the venue can host celebrations for up to 150 people in private rooms, as well as restaurant buy-outs for larger events.
The Willows Restaurant is at 901 Hausten St. Call 808.952.9200.
A photographer from Photographix Unlimited keeps his eyes on the brides. The photos are printed on the spot for guests who utilize the company's photo booth services.
Guests eye some of the creations by Cakeworks Bakery, above and below.
Celebrations' sakura- or cherry blossom-themed favors are a favorite of brides.