The Memories package includes the services of an officiant for your wedding or vow renewal. At first, I wanted to find a member of my denomination on the island to officiate for us, because I wanted the service to be more tailored, like our wedding was. My planner was totally open to this, and when I provided her with the name of the only one I could find on Oahu, she made contact. However, it turned out the woman was quite elderly and didn’t really understand the concept of a vow renewal or what her role would be, so we decided to go with Aulani’s officiant.
Aulani engages the services of Rev. Kimo Taylor. When I got in touch with him via email, he sent me his standard vow renewal services: one nondenominational vaguely religious one and then a nonreligious one. I was not crazy about either of them. They both seemed like he’d just taken a regular wedding ceremony and stuck the word “again” after any pledges or directives. They were also directed at crowds of guests, which would have sounded awkward for our tiny, guest-less ceremony, and had stuff about our “family” that didn’t apply cuz we don’t have kids. Plus, there were some ceremonial acts I wanted to take out (yes, even though they were nice Hawaiian traditions) because they seemed awkward—for example, we weren’t getting the leis, so the lei ceremony woulda looked pretty silly!
Rev. Kimo was open to my creating a hybrid ceremony from the two and adding my own elements, so I sat down and created a new one. I added a few quotations from our original ceremony, and I reworded the awkward bits that applied to services with kids and guests present. When I emailed it to him, Rev. Kimo wrote back that it looked great and that he’d follow along with it as he performed our ceremony.
So imagine my surprise during our vow renewal ceremony when he launched into all the generic stuff I’d cut out. I gave Patrick a funny look, and then my heart sank when Rev. Kimo skipped over the quotes I’d added too. As it turned out, he completely forgot we’d customized the ceremony, even though he’d emailed me just 2 weeks before to say that he’d received the one I sent. I guess he keeps files on each couple, and when he looked in ours that morning there was nothing about a custom ceremony, so he just grabbed the standard one.
I understand that it’s an honest mistake, and it only kinda bummed me out, but that’s because this was just a vow renewal. If this had been my real wedding, I would have FREAKED OUT! So my advice is, contact Rev. Kimo again a few days before the event to make sure he has all your requests noted. I feel dumb that I didn’t think to do this, but I guess I thought 2 weeks’ notice was enough.