Posts Tagged ‘justin young’

Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – September 26, 2012

September 26, 2012

Rice Fest countdown =
3 days
!
8)

Holy mackerel! Can’t believe Rice Fest is almost here! Guess we’re just gonna haveta take you into Rice Fest weekend with a few (what else?) rice-themed WIH photos! Hope to see y’all on Saturday! 🙂

Photo #1
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? - September 26, 2012
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – September 26, 2012

Points for Photo #1…
* Name dis dish: 3 points
* Name da oddah dishes: 2 points each
* Location: 2 points
* General area: 1 point
* Closest street(s)?: 1 point each
* Google Street View link (if get)?: 2 points
* Month photo was taken?: 1 point
* Day of the month photo was taken?: 1 point
* Day of the week photo was taken?: 1 point
* Year photo was taken?: 1 point
* Exact time photo was taken?: 5 points

Photo #2
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? - September 26, 2012
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – September 26, 2012

Points for Photo #2…
* Name dis dish: 3 points
* Location: 2 points
* General area: 1 point
* Closest street(s)?: 1 point each
* Google Street View link (if get)?: 2 points
* Month photo was taken?: 1 point
* Day of the month photo was taken?: 1 point
* Day of the week photo was taken?: 1 point
* Year photo was taken?: 1 point
* Exact time photo was taken?: 5 points

Photo #3
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? - September 26, 2012
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – September 26, 2012

Points for Photo #3…
* Name each soosh: 2 points each
* Location: 2 points
* General area: 1 point
* Closest street(s)?: 1 point each
* Google Street View link (if get)?: 2 points
* Month photo was taken?: 1 point
* Day of the month photo was taken?: 1 point
* Day of the week photo was taken?: 1 point
* Year photo was taken?: 1 point
* Exact time photo was taken?: 5 points

Last Week’s Results (9/19)
Points for Photo #1
* My fave item hea: 3 points (Large Wunton Mein – Otto)
* Location: 2 points (Shige’s Saimin Stand – WahiawaWahine)
* General area: 1 point (Wahiawa – WahiawaWahine)
* Closest street(s)?: 1 point each (Kamehameha Hwy – WahiawaWahine, Kukui St – Otto)
* Month photo was taken?: 1 point (May – Otto)
* Year photo was taken? (duh!): 1 point (2007 – WahiawaWahine)
Totals This Week

  • 5 points – Otto
  • 5 points – WahiawaWahine
Round 7 Leadahz

  • 67.5 – carokun
  • 54.0 – Paco
  • 33.0 – Coconut Willy
  • 19.0 – rayboyjr
  • 11.0 – tweetpeep22
  • 10.0 – Kage
  • 07.0 – pink lady
  • 06.0 – Takeshi
  • 05.0 – Otto, WahiawaWahine
  • 04.0 – che, J-Dog, soogs
  • 03.0 – Ynaku
  • 02.0 – pink lady
[Da Leadahboard]

VH07V SPOTTED!

For this week’s “Spotted“, we have local, turned national recording artist Justin Young showing some VH07V up in Cali.

Photo #3
Justin Young with some VH07V
Justin Young with some VH07V

Weekly VH07V Updates!

* I’ve been looking into outsourcing the fulfillment duties (shipping, inventory management, etc.) for the VH07V brand because it’s getting shmall kine hard to manage part-time. No can handle Randall! If all goes well, I should be then able to open up an online ordering site. Stay tuned!

* In the meantime, I’ve been jammin on all kine new hats. Whatchu tink of this sampo color combo?

VH07V Black/Red 210 Fitted
VH07V Black/Red 210 Fitted

* My friend Shari continues to be a selling machine for her Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure team: Team VH07V! Below is a photo she took of her second order, and believe it or not, she still has another few orders in the queue. If you’d like to donate to her team, please visit the Team VH07V page. If you’d like to join her team for the walk (October 21st), click on this link.

2nd order for Shari's Team VH07V
2nd order for Shari’s Team VH07V

* As one of the sponsors for this year’s Rice Fest (duh!), VH07V will be responsible for producing both the official Rice Fest shirt (for sale at the event at the VH07V booth) and the shirt for all volunteers. Here’s an online album of the process these shirts went through to get screened in time for this Saturday’s Rice Fest! Special thanks to Lanakila Custom Products for coming through in the clutch!

Rice = Life shirts for Rice Fest
Rice = Life shirts for Rice Fest

Where/When you can find VH07V in the coming weeks:

  • 09/15/12: University of Hawaii Football game – Will likely be tailgating near or along the main walkway leading up to Aloha Stadium prior to the 6pm game vs. Lamar. Stop by and say hi.
  • 09/22/12: University of Hawaii Football game – Will likely be tailgating near or along the main walkway leading up to Aloha Stadium prior to the 4:30pm game vs. Nevada. Stop by and say hi.
  • 09/29/12: 3rd Annual Rice Fest – As a sponsor of the event, VH07V will also have a booth at this year’s Rice Fest where we will sell all of our VH07V shirts in addition to the custom event shirt! Come on down to the Ward Warehouse complex to visit our booth any time from 11am-7pm.
  • NEW 10/07/12: 7th Annual Hawaii Fishing & Seafood FestivalVH07V will have a booth at this festival on Pier 38 from 9am-4pm.
  • 10/13/12: University of Hawaii Football game – Will likely be tailgating near or along the main walkway leading up to Aloha Stadium prior to the 6pm game vs. New Mexico. Stop by and say hi.
  • 10/19/12-10/21/12: 48th Annual Food & New Products Show – Get your Christmas shopping done at the Blaisdell all weekend! Come visit us at our booth for a free gift!
  • 11/10/12: University of Hawaii Football game – Will likely be tailgating near or along the main walkway leading up to Aloha Stadium prior to the 2pm game vs. Boise State. Stop by and say hi.
  • 11/24/12: University of Hawaii Football game – Will likely be tailgating near or along the main walkway leading up to Aloha Stadium prior to the 6pm game vs. UNLV. Stop by and say hi.
  • 12/01/12: University of Hawaii Football game – Will likely be tailgating near or along the main walkway leading up to Aloha Stadium prior to the 6pm game vs. South Alabama. Stop by and say hi.

As always, a big mahalos to everyone for your support and for helping to spread the VH07V! 8)


3rd Annual Rice Fest!

This year’s Rice Fest will be held THIS Saturday, September 29th from 11am-7pm at Ward Warehouse! There will be cooking demonstrations from Chef Mavro of Chef Mavro Restaurant and his partners Stephanie Lum and Shawn Ching of Hawaii News Now, and Grant Kawasaki of Hawaiian Grown TV & Hawaiian Grown Kitchen and his partner Justin Cruz from KHON2, Santa Miyoshi of Tokkuri Tei defending his “Riceipe” contest belt, live entertainment by Jody Kamisato & ‘Uke’s Rising Stars and Jon Yamasato, and taiko drumming from Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko Hawaii, our 3rd annual SPAM Musubi eating contest, and our attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the world’s Largest SPAM Musubi! Don’t forget to also bring your brown rice or monetary donations for our beneficiary Lanakila Meals on Wheels. Can’t wait! See you there…

3rd Annual Rice Fest
3rd Annual Rice Fest

Saturday, September 29, 2012
11am-7pm @ Ward Warehouse
Interact: RiceFest.com / Facebook / Twitter
RSVP: Facebook Event / Twtvite

Here’s a mini interview I had with Steve Uyehara yesterday morning on Hawaii News Now (in case you’re bored):

http://KHNL.images.worldnow.com/interface/js/WNVideo.js?rnd=329608;hostDomain=www.hawaiinewsnow.com;playerWidth=500;playerHeight=300;isShowIcon=true;clipId=7765131;flvUri=;partnerclipid=;adTag=Entertainment;advertisingZone=;enableAds=true;landingPage=;islandingPageoverride=false;playerType=STANDARD_EMBEDDEDscript;controlsType=overlay

Have a happy VH07V Wednesday y’all! Shoooots!

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Storage Auction at Hawaii Self Storage (Kaimuki location) - Tue, 10/16/12 @ 10am
Storage Auction at Hawaii Self Storage (Kaimuki location) – Tue, 10/16/12 @ 10am

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Ask Colbie Caillat Your Questions

September 14, 2009

First you guys submitted your questions for BJ Penn

Then we collected um for Shane Victorino

Now, (I think) we got part-time Kauai native and talented singer/songwriter Colbie Caillat (“Bubbly,” “Realize,” “Magic,” Fallin’ for You”) lined up for an upcoming interview…

So… like before, gah-on and post any questions you may have for the beautiful songbird in the comment area below and I’ll try to get them answered for ya!

Colbie Caillat performing at the Diversity Harmony Peace Event (Photo Credit: Blaine Fergerstrom)
Colbie Caillat performing at the Diversity Harmony Peace Event (Photo Credit: Blaine Fergerstrom)

Talk to me:
* Post your question(s) for Colbie Caillat below!
* Did you pick up her new CD Breakthrough yet (or download it on iTunes)?
* What is your favorite song from that CD? The CoCo CD?
* What is your favorite Colbie Caillat song overall?
* Who (from Hawaii) would you like to see me interview next?
* I’m probably gonna run into bruddah Justin Young too while I’m there. Got any messages for him?

Here’s her music video on YouTube of her latest single, Fallin’ for You:

Fave Five Friday – Music Groups

July 24, 2009

My co-worker was laughing at me the other day when I told her that I’m really into Rockapella. Some also find it hard to believe that I dig on country music. What other secrets can we pull outta me? We shall see. But not without y’all sharin’ too!

  1. Flo Rida or Twista – there’s just somethin’ about Flo Rida’s beat that makes me wanna get up and dance. Twista’s flow is insane! Respect.
  2. Jason Mraz – cool cat with mellow, catchy grooves. Seeing that he’s a genuinely sincere/nice person when we met him at the Road Runner Music Hall just solidified my respect and admiration for him.
  3. Colbie Caillat – kinda da kine for me to admit this, but sistah’s got some good kine jams. I like that she’s from Hawaii and that she seems to still be grounded after all of her success. Trying to line up an interview with her one of these months. Wish me luck!
  4. Rockapella – can’t think of any other a capella group as talented as these bruthas! I need them to redo their lyrics to “Where In the World is Carmen Sandiego?” and sing “Where In Hawaii Is Edward Sugimoto?”! 😛
  5. O.A.R. – My alt rock ear gets its fill with this group. Love the brass infusion! 8)

How about the local acts?

  1. Ekolu – Lukela Keala’s voice is a thing of beauty!
  2. Koa ‘Uka – ultimate party song band. Makes me wanna skank. I still wanna see them in person.
  3. Justin Young – soulful voice with a laid-back, humble personality. Deservedly goin’ places now that he’s rollin’ with sistah Colbie.
  4. Na Leo – spine-tingling harmonies, memory inducing hits. Don’t get no bettah.
  5. Fiji – his live appearances are like no other! He knows how to get a crowd going fo sho!

Share your fave groups below yo!

P.S. Wish me luck in the Tinman this Sunday y’all! 🙂 The bummahz part is that we play the Advertiser that night in our Media Basketball league and my legs will be shot. D’oh! If we lose, I won’t hear the end of it from Queenie, WesNaks and Bruddah Kwon (and maybe even StevieT! 8) ) LOL!

Happy VHO7V Friday y’all! Have a good weekend and I’ll see y’all on Monday! 🙂

Where In Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – April 1, 2009

April 1, 2009

Yeah, I know it’s Wednesday and the millions 10 of you reading this blog errry week are dying to guess this week’s Where In Hawaii contest, but we’re gonna switch it up a bit this week. Today we’re gonna let our emotions go while sharing our deepest, darkest secrets with one another around the virtual camp fire…

APRIL FOOLS!

You’ve gots ta be kiddin’… Wednesdays = Where In Hawaii Wednesdays and I sure as heck can’t let all 10 of you down, naw-mean!? 😛

Last week, sistah snow got back to her winning ways by correctly guessing Zippy’s. She even scooped on the bonus points by guessing Zip Min too. Sheez, “Next Stop” expert eh snow? 😉

I’m pretty sure this week is another easy one, but I guess we’ll just have to wait and see right? Go getum!

Where In Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? - April 1, 2009
Where In Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – April 1, 2009

Hint: If necessary…

 


 

Da “Where In Hawaii” Winnahz Circle!

Talk to me!
* Who’s toast this week for American Idol?

Check out my latest AroundHawaii.com article… an Interview with Bruddah Justin Young! Let me know what you think man!

Just In Time - A Conversation With Justin Young, Superstar In the Making
Just In Time – A Conversation With Justin Young, Superstar In the Making

Happy Hump Day Where In Hawaii Wednesday y’all. 🙂

Just In Time – A Conversation With Justin Young, Superstar In the Making

April 1, 2009

I still remember it like it was yesterday. The year was 1995. The place was Tower Records Kahala (R.I.P). I was with my boy Grant, vibin’ on the new “Hawaiian” releases on Tower’s listening stations, and came across a new fella by the name of “Justin.”

The album was “No Better Time Than Now” and featured a young dude in a white tank, crouching on a sandy beach, holding a uke. I was like, “Oh, I gotsta see what this bad boy is all about!”

Justin Young's debut album - No Better Time Than Now
Justin Young’s debut album – No Better Time Than Now

One by one, bruddah impressed me with his soulful, unique tone, mature beyond his appearance (he looked 12 on the cover). I loved the way he infused his R&B/Soul inflection into every one of these otherwise local kine jams… And then, I got to track 7: Ikona. ‘Scuse the French, but hooooly crap! Bruddah can SANG!

I was sold. This boy’s gonna get some airtime in my Civic hatchback on the way home and Grant was gonna like it.

Weeks later, I was still boomin’ it in the big red machine and I told myself that I needs ta get a hold of him to get him on the Internet. He’s got way too much talent to keep cooped up locally. The world, beyond Hawaii, has got to find out about this gifted brutha, and I wanted to be the guy to help him out.

Eventually, I was able to contact him and find out that he was down for a lil’ WWW action as well. We met up, talked about stuffs, and a new www.justinsmusic.com web site (and friendship) was born.

Justin and the author, back in the day
Justin and the author, back in the day

As expected, thanks to local airplay, his notoriety in the islands exploded with hit songs like “No Better Time Than Now,” “Crazy Love,” “Soothe You,” “Streets of Waiks,” “Never Forget Where I’m From,” “My Eyes Adore You,” “Leaving On a Jet Plane,” “Gonna Meet the Clouds,” “More Than Words, ” and “Shake Me.”

After a successful career in the 808, it was time for Justin to try and parlay that into success in Hollywood. He made the move to L.A. in the early 2000s and has been slowly but surely making headway in his goal of “making it.” He changed his hair cut ( 😛 ), has been gigging regularly, released several self-produced albums, had songs featured on feature films, and is now recording and touring with national recording phenomenon (and local girl) Colbie Caillat.

Here’s his story…

Personal:

Edward Sugimoto) Give us a little Justin history (Were you a rascal? Good student? Girl Crazy?) and were you always interested in music from small kid time?

Justin Young) I’d say I was a good kid and I THINK my mom would agree. My mom did a good job of shaping me into one of those kids that wants to be good because that’s the right thing to do, and not because I was afraid of getting caught. I can’t say that I ever liked school, but I was always a good student. I was always pretty shy and on the quiet side in school though. Ha! Never girl “crazy”. I was always quietly pining away for a girl who I was too scared to talk to or who wasn’t reciprocating the crush. I’d just stay home and try and write a song to win her over…Maybe if they had been crazy for me I could have been girl crazy. Don’t think that was ever an option.   I have always loved music. I used to sing songs from The Sound of Music and Annie to the neighbor’s cats and dog when I was like 3. I played in bands in high school, so it’s always been there.

Little Justin
Little Justin

Edward Sugimoto) Your mom has been an inspiration for you in your life. Describe your relationship with her.

Justin Young) My mom is great. It has always just been me and her growing up- so we have a special relationship. Although she was a single parent, she never looked at our situation as anything less than a blessing, even through financial struggles. Besides being a good parent, she was a volunteer in the Peace Corp and has dedicated most of her life as a teacher to helping children. She’s teaching overseas right now and I miss having her in Hawai’i when I’m back home.

Justin and his mama
Justin and his mama

Edward Sugimoto) Hobbies, other than music?

Justin Young) Being a Chicago Bears fan, playing basketball, watching football, watching documentary films, checking out live music, listening to public radio.

Edward Sugimoto) Do you have a day job or is music what pays the bills?

Justin Young) I used to joke that my day job was doing those four hour bar gigs playing cover songs all night. But no, no day job. I haven’t had a “real” job since high school when I worked for my friend’s janitorial service. Yes, I worked part-time in high school as a janitor. I mean, those urinals weren’t going to clean themselves! Glad the music thing has worked out…So far.

Having fun in the studio in August, 2003
Having fun in the studio in August, 2003

Edward Sugimoto) What is a typical day in the life of Justin Young?

Justin Young) That’s a tough one because there is no typical day really. I guess when I’m off the road and there’s nothing going on- it starts with cereal and almond milk, and at some point there is coffee, some emailing, some guitar time and some exercise. Recently I’ve been wasting an hour of my life everyday playing Madden on my PSP.

Edward Sugimoto) I know you’re a hardcore Bears fan? It was close in ’05 and ’06 and even ’01, but how tough has the last couple of decades been? *grin*

Justin Young) Oh boy, it has been rough. When I was a kid I used to try to stay home from school on Mondays after losses. It has gotten easier in some ways though. I try and just enjoy watching the games and to not be so attached to the outcome. The whole thing is a zen lesson for me. And it is true- losses DO help you appreciate the wins. Now when I do get tied up in knots over a game, I listen to the Chicago radio stations’ post-game shows online. I call it my “therapy”. People rant and rave about the Bears and somehow- I feel better knowing that I’m not alone in my pain.

Da Bears! [Photo Courtesy Justin's MySpace]
Da Bears! [Photo Courtesy Justin’s MySpace]

Music:

Edward Sugimoto) How would you describe your music to a first time listener?

Justin Young) Oh crap, I should be able to answer this…Um, acoustic based, island influenced, soulful, pop music? Or something. I love the sound of soulful songwriters like Amos Lee and David Ryan Harris.

Edward Sugimoto) Though your voice is still as unreal as I remember, your sound is very different from your days in Hawaii. Describe the evolution of Justin starting with your days here (in Hawaii) to now.

Justin Young) Well, I recorded my first record 12 years ago. (Whoa!) Didn’t have much experience performing or recording and the first songs I wrote ended up on that album. I think just experience – musically and living life – has had as much to do with it as anything. I’m glad I haven’t stayed exactly the same after 12 years.

Justin gigging at The Living Room in New York City [Photo Courtesy Justin's MySpace]
Justin gigging at The Living Room in New York City [Photo Courtesy Justin’s MySpace]

Edward Sugimoto) When did you first realize that music was your calling?

Justin Young) I guess 8th grade is when I realized I wanted to do music. I just LOVED it. I’d spend hours after school arranging harmony parts and learning songs by ear. When you’re young you don’t realize that becoming a famous singer is pretty farfetched. I just believed that I could make it happen.

Justin takes aim at a career in music [Photo Courtesy Justin's MySpace]
Justin takes aim at a career in music [Photo Courtesy Justin’s MySpace]

Edward Sugimoto) Who are your musical influences/heroes?

Justin Young) Stevie Wonder, Bob Marley, Donny Hathaway, Boyz II Men, A Tribe Called Quest…That’s a good place to start. Those are the people who first made me want to do what they do SO badly.

Edward Sugimoto) If you could work with anyone in the music industry who would it be and why?

Justin Young) I STILL want to work with Boyz II Men. That’s one of those childhood dreams that will always be there. I would also love to work with Amel Larrieux. She has one of my favorite voices of all time and seems like such a cool chick.

Edward Sugimoto) If you could emulate anyone’s career in the music industry, who would it be and why?

Justin Young) I have to say that Jack Johnson seems to do it right. He has been extremely successful without compromising who he is and what’s important to him. He balances his career and family and has furthered philanthropic causes that  he’s passionate about through his music, really making a difference- but never being preachy. Can’t draw it up any better than that, I’d say. Kudos!

Justin and Jack Johnson at the 27th Annual Na Hoku Hanohano Awards in 2004
Justin and Jack Johnson at the 27th Annual Na Hoku Hanohano Awards in 2004

Edward Sugimoto) What is your fantasy concert scenario?

Justin Young) Man, I’ve gotten to be on stage with some amazing musicians. Half of the time I feel like Forest Gump, somehow ending up in the middle of  all this great stuff happening. So I’m content. I have to say that one of the coolest things that happened to me on tour was when we performed on a TV show in Paris. We had flown over night from Mexico (DON’T DRINK THE WATER!!!) and sick with no sleep we went straight to tape this show. When we got there we found out it was hosted by Manu Katche, world renowned drummer. I found a dark hallway to warm up in (as to not bother anyone) and I started singing a new song I wrote. About a minute into it walks out Pino Palladino. He is one of the funkiest bass players ever and someone I had recently become slightly obsessed with because of his work with D’angelo- live and on the VooDoo album. He strolls out with his wife and tells me they had to come out and see who was playing and they were so encouraging and complementary. That was a moment!

Edward Sugimoto) What is your ultimate goal musically?

Justin Young) Honestly, I just want to do something great. I appreciate a “good” song or performance, but greatness…That’s special. I want to someday- as Bruce Spingsteen has put it- “make 1 +1= 3.”

Justin at Pakele Lounge in 2007
Justin at Pakele Lounge in 2007

Edward Sugimoto) Whether it be in your music, or your clothes (slippers), or stickers (of the Hawaiian Islands, etc.) you put on your guitar, or never forgetting your friends from back in the day, you seem to always remember your roots and where you came from. I’ve always admired that about you. Put this into words if you can. Is reppin’ Hawaii important to you?

Justin Young) It’s really not so much a conscious choice, it’s just part of me and a part of the way I express myself. But, yes I am very proud of where I’m from. Especially living away from home, I cherish where I came from.

Justin - never forgetting where he's from [Photo Courtesy Justin's MySpace]
Justin – never forgetting where he’s from [Photo Courtesy Justin’s MySpace]

Edward Sugimoto) You’ve been touring with Colbie Caillat for some time now, and you’ve even got a duet with her (“Turn Your Lights Down Low”) on the radio now. How has that experience been so far?

Justin Young) Amazing. The experience of touring the world with a hit record is rare. I’m just happy I got to go along for the ride. We could do a whole interview just about this, but to sum it up- touring was wonderful and exhausting. Colbie is great! Just as sweet and talented as you’d hope. I love everyone on that tour and made lifelong friends. I feel grateful for the past year and a half.

Justin on stage with Colbie Caillat [Photo Courtesy Justin's MySpace]
Justin on stage with Colbie Caillat [Photo Courtesy Justin’s MySpace]

Edward Sugimoto) Be honest, it must be nice standing across the stage and hearing Colbie sing “I wanna give you some good good lovin'” to you. 😛

Justin Young) No complaint here! It’s nice hearing Colbs sing anything to you. She has such a special gift. Her voice and her instincts as a singer are incredible. She also has one of my favorite voices of all time. Girl can sang!   She still trips me out. We do show after show and if I am ever not feeling into it that night, I just  focus in and listen to her singing and it takes me to where I need to be. What a job I have!

Edward Sugimoto) Is it nice to finally get the recognition that you’ve fought so hard for and no doubt deserve/earned?

Justin Young) Well, it’s interesting. I mean, the better part of me hopes I don’t need recognition. But yeah, it has given me a sense of validation as a musician that I had lost as the background music/bar guy I became for a while in LA. But on the other hand, all the things we’re doing, I can’t really take credit for. It’s Colbie’s accomplishments and I’m just a lucky spoke in the wheel.

Edward Sugimoto) Where would your life be if it wasn’t for music?

Justin Young) I’d probably be in jail or on the streets. Haha… Nah, isn’t that what people usually say? I’d love to be a documentary filmmaker.

Edward Sugimoto) What is the most exciting/rewarding part of doing music?

Justin Young) There isn’t one particular part for me that stands out. I guess the best part is just the fulfillment that anyone gets when they are doing what they are passionate about and they’re called to do. That’s how it should be and what I wish for everyone to find and have the courage and faith to follow.

Passionate about his music [Photo Courtesy Justin's MySpace]
Passionate about his music [Photo Courtesy Justin’s MySpace]

Edward Sugimoto) What’s next for you?

Justin Young) Right now I’m doing some work on Colbie’s new record with some serious musicians. Again, feeling like Forest Gump. I’m also really excited to record a new album of my own with a producer/engineer friend out here in LA. Gonna get into a real studio this time and have a pro turning the knobs. Then I’ll be out touring again with Colbs and sneaking in my own shows when I can. Oh, and of course impatiently waiting for my Bears to start the next football season.

Edward Sugimoto) Anything else to add to your friend/fans out there?

Justin Young) I gotta give a shout out to a guy that was very instrumental in helping my career. Back when I was on 56k dial-up, he approached me about putting together this crazy new thing called a “website” on the world wide interweb…Hehe. He’s been a huge help and a great supporter and friend. Ed Sugimoto, wherever you are, take a bow!

Coming full circle: Justin being as generous and giving as always. He flew down, performed at, and totally legitimized my wedding [Photo Courtesy Kiman Wong]
Coming full circle: Justin being as generous and giving as always. He flew down, performed at, and totally legitimized my wedding [Photo Courtesy Kiman Wong]

I look forward to the day when Justin does make it. He’s as genuine as they come and it can’t happen to a better person. I cross my fingers on the regular and hope that some label or record producer would one day give him a chance. It would be a true, inspirational story that shows that hard work and persistence pays off. An end (or beginning?) of a long journey that started back in ’95. When will it happen?

No better time than now.

Justin Young [Photo Courtesy Justin's MySpace]
Justin Young [Photo Courtesy Justin’s MySpace]

Fun Day Monday: Please Interview…?

March 9, 2009

Last week, y’all went off on the “You Know You’re Local If…” topic. Much love for that! You guys are da bomb! 🙂 It got me thinkin’ though. Thinkin’ that we may have something here with the interactive thang. This week, I’m gonna try a lil’ sumthin’ sumthin’ and, although it probably won’t get as much action as last week, it might just get us a-talkin’ again. (At the same time, it’ll help a brutha out with some ideas for future articles… 8) )

So several months ago, I interviewed local songbird Anuhea Jenkins, and this month, I recently wrapped one up with MMA fighter Jason “Mayhem” Miller. Yesterday, I got an email from my boy Justin Young (RE: our interview) so we’ve gots that one in the queue as well. I still really want to hook it up with BJ Penn (so if anyone has any connections, holla!), but, after getting real close, have been unsuccessful thus far. And… I may have one lined up with Colbie Caillat (*cross your fingers*) in the coming months. EXCITING!

I promise I’m getting to a point here… Hehe!

The point is, or rather, the question for this week’s Fun Day Monday is…

What (local) celebrity do you want me to interview?

* Who’s hot? Who’s interesting to you? Who do you want to know more about?
* AND/OR… If you’re a celebrity reading this or you can hook it up with one, holla atcho boy! 8)

Monkeying Around with Jason Mayhem Miller
Monkeying Around with Jason Mayhem Miller

I’ll start… BJ Penn and Colbie Caillat are next on my wishlist. You?

Wedding Day Recap – Part II

December 16, 2008
Part I |  Part II 

And… we’re… back… Let’s put a wrap on all this wedding talk with Part II of my Wedding Day Recap. It’s been what, almost a month, and I’m still blabbing away about it. Sorry!

Like before, we’re using Noreen’s day-of Twittering as the framework for this post. Enjoy!

What a nice cake! 12:23 PM Nov 22nd from TwitPic

Cherry Blossom cake
Cherry Blossom cake

Ed’s Comments: Cherry blossom cake went with our Asian/Japanese theme.

Good food at Sheraton Waikiki. Liked the soup, especially on a rainy day. 12:30 PM Nov 22nd from TwitterFon

Awww what a cute couple! 12:36 PM Nov 22nd from TwitPic

Engagement Photo Display
Engagement Photo Display

Ed’s Comments: Love Story Weddings, son! They do good work.

Now for the best part — dessert! 12:37 PM Nov 22nd from TwitterFon

@worldwideed‘s mom is singing a traditional Japanese song about love for the couple. She’s a good singer! 12:47 PM Nov 22nd from TwitterFon

Mamasan singing Ai No Sanka
Mamasan singing “Ai No Sanka”

Ed’s Comments: Didn’t think I’d be as touched as I was. Much love ma!

It’s like watching a professional singer. She’s awesome! 12:49 PM Nov 22nd from TwitterFon

Ed’s Comments: Thanks ‘reens! She was supposed to be a pro back in the day in Japan, but chose family. Thanks or I may never be here today… Hehe!

Now for intro of family. Minna Sugimoto, @worldwideed‘s sister, is co-emcee and speaking in Japanese. 12:54 PM Nov 22nd from TwitterFon

Bruddah Bryan and Minna Sugimoto
Bruddah Bryan and Minna Sugimoto

Ed’s Comments: Thanks big sis!

Bruddah Bryan is scoping out the single ladies in the bridal party 12:57 PM Nov 22nd from TwitterFon

Groomsman’s advice to bride- don’t listen to @worldwideed! 1:02 PM Nov 22nd from TwitterFon

What a jerk! :P
What a jerk! 😛

Ed’s Comments: And I consider him a friend… *sigh*

Learning a lot about @worldwideed. Something about an inflatable doll named Nani??? 1:06 PM Nov 22nd from TwitterFon

More jerks!
More jerks!

Ed’s Comments: The worst part was that I couldn’t defend myself. Haha! “Nani,” just so you know, was a gag birthday gift and I brought it home to the boys as a practical joke. Oh brother!

Bruddah Bryan is trying to play matchmaker for bridal party 1:07 PM Nov 22nd from TwitterFon

Matchmaker Bryan
Matchmaker Bryan

Ed’s Comments: Quote of the day, “Single single or boyfriend single?”

Our table is making our own jokes. Must be the beers talking. 1:11 PM Nov 22nd from TwitterFon

@worldwideed is apparently an attention whore, according to best man. “Puppydog stuck in human body” 1:18 PM Nov 22nd from TwitterFon in reply to worldwideed

Ed’s Comments: Perhaps I should reconsider my pick for best man. 😉

@worldwideed apparently also has a light blue security blanket. Love best man’s speech! 1:19 PM Nov 22nd from TwitterFon in reply to worldwideed

All these guys are jerks aren't they? *grin*
All these guys are jerks aren’t they? *grin*

Ed’s Comments: Lies, all LIIIIIEEEEESSS! Hehe!

Banzai toast time! Raise em up! 1:23 PM Nov 22nd from TwitterFon

That was the most spirited Banzai toast ever! 1:25 PM Nov 22nd from TwitterFon

Props to Dave!
Props to Dave!

Ed’s Comments: Dave’s self-proclaimed “Best Banzai speech in the history of all weddings!”

It’s like Battle of the Banzais! 1:32 PM Nov 22nd from TwitPic

Props to B.I.L. Lee!
Props to B.I.L. Lee!

Noreen's view of Lee
Noreen’s view of Lee

Ed’s Comments: Not to be outdone, Dave friend (and my brother-in-law) Lee does his version.

Time for Kagami Biraki or opening of sake barrel. I’m Japanese and never heard of this before so 1st time for me. 1:28 PM Nov 22nd from TwitterFon

1-2-3 YOISHO!
1-2-3 YOISHO!

Ed’s Comments: Oh yeah! You heard it here first! As Borat would say, “Very Niiiiice!” ‘Twas a big hit with the guests, especially the sake drinking part. LOL!

Bouquet toss time. Love how they let it drop on ground. 1:53 PM Nov 22nd from TwitterFon

Bouquet Toss!
Bouquet Toss!

Ed’s Comments: You could tell they wanted it, but the ladies tried to ack like they didn’t. It was cute.

Garter toss time. @worldwideed pulled Granny panties off Maile! 1:56 PM Nov 22nd from TwitterFon

Gettin' In Thurr!
Gettin’ In Thurr!

Ed’s Comments: Love the reaction of Jon and Ann in the back!

@worldwideed is singing to Maile. So sweet and a little off-key. 2:00 PM Nov 22nd from TwitterFon

Why are Jon and Justin laughing?
Why are Jon and Justin laughing?

Ed’s Comments: Haha! I don’t know what performance you were listening to ‘reens, but it surely wasn’t mine! *grin* Nah, it was a little off key (only in the beginning! 😉 ), but to defend myself, I was pretty nervous and drunk all at the same time. I brought it home after my nerves settled down though! *grin*

Got some sake from @worldwideed‘s dad. Smell reminds me coloring Easter eggs. 2:02 PM Nov 22nd from TwitterFon

Sake to Me!
Sake to Me!

Ed’s Comments: Pops was the perfect person to be pouring that to the guests. He looked so happy!

Slideshow time 2:04 PM Nov 22nd from TwitterFon

@worldwideed: such a cute baby! 2:09 PM Nov 22nd from TwitterFon in reply to worldwideed

Baby WWE
Baby WWE

Ed’s Comments: No comment.

Slideshow included video of @worldwideed‘s proposal. He managed to ask her to marry him without literally asking. So sweet! I have tears! 2:17 PM Nov 22nd from TwitterFon

Ed’s Comments: I thought about posting the video to YouTube for a split second, but thought that I should save that as a private moment between wife, me and the hundreds of guests at the wedding. Hehe! Maybe one day in the future… who knows!?

Gotta go UH game so leaving wedding. Thanks & congrats @worldwideed and Maile! 2:27 PM Nov 22nd from TwitterFon

Ed’s Comments: Much love again ‘reens! That was awesome. Hope you were still able to enjoy the wedding in-between tweets!

Whoa! Validated parking cost $8! Guess that’s Waikiki for ya! 2:36 PM Nov 22nd from TwitterFon

Well, that’s it. The last of the wedding posts (*crossing fingers*). Wipe those tears away though. I’ll be back for more useless nonsense tomorrow! Holla!

P.S. If you missed it, be sure to check out my article “How to Get Married In Hawaii,” on newsstands now! 🙂

Part I |  Part II 

How to Get Married In Hawaii

December 1, 2008

With the festivities to my own wedding here and gone, I’d like to think that I’ve got a pretty decent grasp on what it takes to get married here in our beautiful islands of Hawaii (Oahu in particular). From quality vendors to use to helpful tips to help make your (or someone you know) special day one to remember, here’s a brain dump of what I’ve learned in the long and arduous process.

Location, Location, Location

As in real estate, the most important element of your special day is location. Be sure to pick your blessed spot AT LEAST a year in advance, as everything else (booking vendors, guest’s travel arrangements, etc.) revolves around when and where it will all be going down (no pun intended).

Depending on the location’s availability, you may have to be a little flexible as to when you will want your wedding. Last year’s 07/07/07 is a prime example. I’m sure everyone and their grandmama wanted to get married on that day, so most venues were probably already spoken for years in advance. If you really want a certain location on a specific date, it is imperative that you plan WAY in advance.

Also, as in real estate, it’s often difficult to get a feel for a place without physically visiting it. Like my muscles, you won’t believe it unless you see it with your own eyes. 😉 If you have the luxury of time, do what we did and visit the places that interest you. Wanting to make sure we didn’t leave a single stone left unturned, we did site visits to Koolau Ballrooms, the Honolulu Country Club, Lanikuhonua, Paradise Cove Luau, Moana Surfrider, Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort, Hyatt Regency Waikiki Resort, Ihilani Resort, Hilton Hawaiian Village, Sheraton Waikiki, and the Waialae Country Club (must be hosted by a member). Notable ones missing were Halekulani and Hale Koa. Nothing wrong with them, we just personally felt that there were too many weddings held there and wanted to be different.

What we did – We went with the Sheraton Waikiki based on the view of their Niihau room (see below) and in anticipation of the renovation of their ballroom.

Recommendations – Though our experiences with the Sheraton on the day-of, and every other staff member throughout was absolutely amazing, we had numerous issues with our one, single contact there. I was raised to not say anything at all if you have nothing good to say, so I won’t get into it, but it’s difficult to give a recommendation as long as this person is there. Otherwise, I would highly recommend them. Their food is excellent, the Niihau Room view is amazing, and the newly renovated bridal suites and ballrooms are just gorgeous, etc.).

View from the Niihau Room (our ceremony location)
View from the Niihau Room (our ceremony location)

Next on your hitlist should be the Photographer and Videographer.

Just Shoot Me

Like the location, these guys get snatched up pretty quickly. If you know who you want, you should call ’em and book ’em right away Danno. A year or more is also the recommendation here.

Choosing the right one, aside from their portfolio or slide show reel, is all about feel. You’ve gotta genuinely like and be comfortable with their personality. They really are the ones who will get the emotion out of you. If they irritate you or can’t make you feel good/happy, it’ll show in the pictures. If you think about it, you will be spending most of your day with them. Be sure you choose the one that you don’t mind spending that time with.

When negotiating with your chosen vendor, inquire if you can get the originals as part of the package (RAW or JPGs for Photographers and unedited footage for Videographers). Something neat to also get these days is having your footage shot in HD (High Definition). Ask if there is an extra fee for this.

What we did – We went with Love Story Weddings for Photography and Advanced Visual Arts for our Videography/Slideshow.

Recommendations – If you can, request Vince Shin from Love Story Weddings. He’s a fun/funny guy that can get your bridal party going. A shout out to Sharmil Elliott as well. She knows her stuff and did an amazing job at the reception! Greg Ventura from Advanced Visual Arts gave us an affordable/reasonable option for Videography/Slideshow services (sold in packages). He also offered to shoot it in HD as part of the package. His video style is pretty basic and straight-forward… Nothing fancy, as some of today’s contemporary/artsy/cinematic videography companies are, but you get the “day-of” coverage you are looking for… Though he did miss our key dance entrance scene! D’oh! Initially, we were a little worried about his response time, but it was probably because he was busy with other weddings. When it came to crunch time, he came through like a champ and turned out a wonderful product. We got our fully edited DVD (of the entire day) just two weeks following our wedding. Amazing!

The next group would probably be the Florists, Hair and Makeup Artists, Emcee, DJ/Entertainment, Officiant, and Day-Of Coordinator (if you need a Wedding Planner from Day 1, this priority should go before finding the location above.)

Flower Power

Florists are also very important and book up very quickly. They handle everything from the ceremony (bouquets, altar, flower petals on the ground) and reception room decoration (centerpieces, cake, head table, trim) to the leis worn by the groom, special guests and beyond.

What we did – We went with Sue from Su-V Expressions.

Recommendations – Though really, REALLY busy, she came through in the clutch and did a superb job!

Setting up the ceremony site
Setting up the ceremony site

Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Beautiful

This one is primarily for the ladies and they also book fast. They will not only be the ones who come early on the day of, but also can be hired for trial sessions and the engagement day photos.

What she did – The wife and her bridesmaids went with Naturally You and loved them.

Recommendations – Wifey had CJ Bae from Naturally You and highly recommends her/them.

MC HAM-mer

The Master of Ceremonies can make or break your wedding reception. If you are trying to cut costs and will be asking a favor of one of your loud friends, be sure he or she has some wedding emceeing or public speaking experience. Just because they are loud and funny in small group settings, it doesn’t necessarily translate to funny and entertaining through the course of several hours. The worst is when they tell inside jokes, or there are moments of silence as they try to figure out how to stretch in certain situations.

We were fortunate enough to have a friend who is also a professional. I highly recommend a pro who knows how to keep things flowing. There aren’t too many good ones around town, so book these guys early as well.

What we did – We went with a longtime friend and former roommate, Bryan Min. And, oh, by the way, he’s Bruddah Bryan, DJ on KCCN FM100 94.7 KUMU and has done many-a-wedding as a side gig.

Recommendations – I’ve had numerous compliments from my guests about Bruddah Bryan for his off-the-cuff humor. It probably helped that he knew many of us and may’ve been more comfortable letting loose, but he’s very responsible and on-time, and even cleaned up pretty nicely for our event. Much love Bruddah B! Email Bruddah Bryan Min here.

Bruddah Bryan, Wedding Emcee
Bruddah Bryan, Wedding Emcee

Entertainment Tonight

Emphasis put on entertainment really depends on the couple. Some are ok with a friend simply controlling things through a CD or iPod. Others want the full-fledged lighting and sound action. And still others want live music on top of that. There’s nothing wrong with any of them, but like any of the other “live person” hirings above, you should book in advance, as there is only one of them.

What we did – We had the luxury and honor of having friends in the professional DJ (Brian) and professional musical artist arenas (Justin and Jon), so they did it out of the kindness of their hearts.

Recommendations – For DJ services, we fo sho recommend you contact Brian Ebisui from Signature Audio Hawaii. We also highly recommend Justin Young and Jon Yamasato, though booking them may prove challenging. Justin lives in California and is regularly touring with Colbie Caillat (go Justin!), and Jon is a full-time real estate agent and just does music as a hobby for now.

Your boy singing with his boys Jon Yamasato and Justin Young (why are they laughing?)
Your boy singing with his boys Jon Yamasato and Justin Young (why are they laughing?)

Will You Marry Me?

For those who don’t attend church or are generally non-denominational, it could be difficult to think of an officiant that you will feel comfortable with, taking care of one of the most important moments of your life. Not only should you book the one you want far in advance, you should probably start researching or inquiring around even sooner.

What we did – We really wanted Gaius Thede, a long time mentor and friend to reside over our wedding, but he, unfortunately passed away (R.I.P.). Fortunately, we fell upon Rev. Mel Morishige and were delightfully thrilled with him.

Recommendations – Not too sure if he does this as a full-time gig, but if he does, we highly recommend him: Phone: (808) 225-5540, Email: revmel2@kirael.com.

What, me worry?

Initially, we didn’t think we needed a day-of Coordinator, but looking back, it was probably one of the wisest investments we’ve ever made. You definitely want a professional who’s been doing it for many years. They know what to look for, and more importantly, what to look out for. Hiring a friend may be ok, but it can’t be their first time. It requires big time multi-tasking and being on top of your game non-stop. The key is that this person needs to take care of all the problems of the day (they will inevitably come up) so that you don’t have to worry about anything other than enjoying yourself and the moment.

What we did – We left this until the last minute as we thought we would just have a friend help us with day-of coordination. Boy, are we glad we decided against it. We were lucky to hire Dianna Shitanishi of Hawaii Weddings and Events last minute (her original event on the same day got cancelled) and she was a savoir.

Recommendations – Her resume is exactly what you want to see in a coordinator. She is totally on top of her game and her email response time is astonishing. She helped to ease our mind with all of the issues we had with our contact at the Sheraton. In a sense, she saved the day. Absolutely, unequivocally recommend her 100%. Book her early!

The next group would probably be taking care of the invitations, wedding cake, centerpieces, favors, the wedding gown, bridesmaids dresses, and tuxedos.

We-vite

If you’ve got the time and want to cut costs, you may opt to make your own invitations. If you aren’t a crafter by nature, however, be forewarned that the cost you save may quickly disappear with all the supplies you may need to purchase (e.g. paper, glue, printing, stamps, cutters, etc.). Time is the key here. You’ve got so many other things to worry about, that using up precious days to put your invitations together may not quite be worth it. If it is not, you should hire a professional or enlist the help of a crafty friend.

What we did – We bought the materials from Paper Source and customized (printing, embossing, etc.) to our liking.

Recommendations – Do only if you have time and are comfortable with crafty projects. It took longer than expected and took us away from other burning issues at the time.

One box of goodies from Paper Source
One box of goodies from Paper Source

Have Your Cake and Eat It Too

The general rule of thumb is to book this 6 months in advance, but the wife says the earlier the better. Search for cake designs that you like in places like wedding magazines, Internet web sites, etc. This will help your hired cake designer get a feel for what you are looking for, if different from what they have in their portfolio. Wifey’s notes: Did you know that each layer of your cake can be a different flavor? Also, you can do a cake tasting before you make your final decision!

Warning: Check with your hotel FIRST to see if they have a cake-cutting fee (for 3rd party cakes). If they do, it is usually a per slice fee, which, depending on the amount of guests you have, may turn out to be as much or more than the cost of your cake.

What we did – Went with Cake Creations Hawaii.

Recommendations – The wife took care of all of this, but she was very happy with their product. Again, be sure to check with your hotel first on that cake cutting fee before placing any order with an outside vendor.

Here's our cherry blossom themed wedding cake
Here’s our cherry blossom themed wedding cake

Centerpiece On Earth

This section only applies to those who are not going to have flowers (through their florists) as their centerpiece. Start looking or thinking of possible centerpiece ideas that will help capture your dream or theme. Keep in mind that one lucky person on that table will be taking it home and keeping it (hopefully) forever! 😉

What we did – Consistent with our Japanese theme, we decided to go with Asian Lamps as our centerpiece. We went with Claire and Roger from Aloha Mana’o Imports.

Recommendations – They are a cute couple whom we met at one of the many craft expos. Their prices are cheaper than the other guys, but the quality is better. They are very responsible and even offered to assemble all of them for us. They also offer rental lamps for the day-of. Highly recommended.

Our Asian lantern centerpiece
Our Asian lantern centerpiece

Favor Faaaave!

Like the centerpiece, you should try to keep the favor consistent with your wedding’s theme. It has to be affordable enough so you don’t break the bank (one goes to every guest), but presentable enough that you are happy with the results. I’ve seen anything from chopsticks to cookies to chocolates to customized CDs. Be creative!

What we did – The ‘rents helped with this one. They were able to find an affordable, but good quality masu (sake box) online from a company in Japan called Kishimoto Kichiji Shouten. They even customized it with whatever we wanted. Later, you’ll see how the masu fit into our sake ceremony. In the masu, we ordered half-dipped heart-shaped cookies from the Honolulu Cookie Company, wrapped it nicely and placed it right in the masu. It fit perfectly!

Recommendations – Sake boxes were off the hook, but you’ll probably need to know and be able to read Japanese to read and order from this site/company. The cookies were delish and added a nice touch. Even opting to wrap the cookies in a nice presentation and having that as your favor would be good enough in my opinion.

Our customized masu (sake box) and cookie favor
Our customized masu (sake box) and cookie favor

Dress to Impress

Other than the tuxedos, I’m not too up to speed in this area. Apparently, wedding dresses are a big deal. And the earlier you know what you want, the better. Visit the local shops around town and, again, look through bridal magazines and web sites. Often times, if a magazine has it, the bridal shop can bring it in.

Bridesmaids dresses are in the same arena. Look for something you like. It may be a good idea to consult with your bridesmaids, as they may have certain preferences based on their comfort level. I hear that lately, the bridesmaids may choose to wear different styles of dresses with the color being the one constant. It’s up to you what you decide.

Tuxedos. Now there’s something I can talk about. Usually, the bigger tux shops are the way to go. I heard of one shop closing soon after the groom had his wedding. It worked out though as he and the groomsmen got to keep their suits, but imagine if it happened before?

Keep in mind that you have to decide on colors (suit, vest, tie, shoes, handkerchief, etc.), AND styles. The groom should be in one style (the main attraction), while the groomsmen and fathers (and ring bearer?) should have yet other styles and colors. Be sure to check with wifey on color approval (to match her bridesmaids).

Have your boys come in for a fitting months in advance to be sure that they are sized right. Several days before the big day, they will have to come in again for a final fitting and to pick up their tuxes. Don’t forget to assign a friend the task of returning your tux the following day when it’s due. You will be too busy to worry about returning it.

What we did – Bridal Gown from Bridal Emporium, Bridesmaids dresses from Masako Formals, and tuxedos from Celebrity Tuxedos.

Recommendations – Ladies, correct me if I’m wrong, but where you get the bridal gown really depends on who has the one you want and at the right price. Wifey went to several bridal shops and Bridal Emporium just so happen to have the one she wanted. My dad knows the owner of Masako Formals so that is the reason why we went there for the bridesmaids dresses. I signed up for a special deal at a wedding expo for tuxedos from Celebrity Tuxedos. It turned out to be a good thing as Elsie from Pearl City’s Celebrity Tuxedo was very good. All three locations’ computer systems (Ala Moana Shopping Center, Pearlridge Mall, and Windward Mall) are linked together so your boys can go to any location to get fitted, do pick-ups and do their returns. VERY convenient for those who live all over the island. Highly recommended.

Da Rest!

Cranes – If you are doing a tsuru (crane) display, be sure you have enough time to fold 1,001 (1,000 by bride, 1 by groom) and book the mounter in advance.

What we did – We went with the more traditional crane mounting that uses the actual crane as the design. In our opinion, Morris Atta from SuMoCa Arts is on top of the game.

Recommendations – He had us biting our nails down to the very last minute, but came through on the morning of, with an incredible work of art. For obvious reasons, he can only take on so many projects at one time, so book early.

Our tsuru (crane) display: her family's mon on the left and my name in kanji on the right
Our tsuru (crane) display: her family’s mon on the left and my name in kanji on the right

Engagement Photo – Schedule this with your photographer in enough time to take it, print it and mount/frame it.

Rings – Find your favorite jeweler or jewelry and purchase it in advance as you may need some time for resizing.

What we did – We went with Russell Oshita from the Diamond Specialists. Russell is da man!

Recommendations – Russell is a jeweler first and salesperson second, so you can be sure that he’s not going to rip you off. Before any big purchase, he takes you through a crash course, if you will, educating you on the ins and outs of diamonds. Highly recommended!

Rentals/Reservations – If you are renting a limo or need to make reservations for your photo shoot location, do this about this time. You should also start thinking of your rehearsal lunch/dinner location (where you’ll be taking your bridal party after the rehearsal) and whether or not you need to make reservations for this.

Banzai – Popular tradition says that you should do at least one banzai at your wedding. This brings good luck and long life.

What we did – We went with two of the most amusing and entertaining banzais I’ve ever seen, one from a friend and the other from his good friend (my brother-in-law).

Recommendations – I don’t think they are for hire, unless they too are YOUR friends. We recommend pitting two friends against each other like we did though. They will try to one up each other, which makes both more spirited than ever.

The banzai toasts: Dave vs. Lee
The banzai toasts: Dave vs. Lee

Bridal Party Gifts – Hawaii tradition says that the bride and groom pays for everything for the bridal party (tuxedo rentals, bridal dresses, jewelry, shoes, etc.). It also says that you should buy them a gift for being on your party. I’ve personally received, money clips, shades, a pen, etc. I’ve also heard of beer, watches, customized goods, etc. Be sure to buy these in advance so you can present it to your buds the night before.

What we did – Wifey bought her bridemaids necklaces from Maui Divers , treated them to a spa day, and more. I spoiled my boys with Reyn Spooner Aloha Shirts, customized NBA T-shirts, and brand new Spalding basketballs (which we also used in our photo shoot).

Recommendations – Think of things that you have in common. For me, it was basketball. All of us could also use the Aloha shirts for work or otherwise. I also felt that since it was once in a lifetime and they’ve been my best friends in life, why not spoil them right!? I guess they deserve it! 🙂

Me, Bari, Grant, Kelvin and Tommy in our customized NBA Tees.
Me, Bari, Grant, Kelvin and Tommy in our customized NBA Tees.

The flip side
The flip side

Hotel Rental and Plans for the Bridal Party for the Night Before – Don’t forget to book your hotel for the night before the wedding. This will ultimately be the last time you get to spend with your boys as a single man. Make the most of the opportunity!

What we did – I was fortunate enough to have an awesome connection at the UFC who hooked it up with a special meet and greet at the BJ Penn/Georges St-Pierre event that was going down at the Blaisdell Concert Hall! That was a !#$% killah experience and what perfect timing! Much love to (Big Wave) Dave Jackson and the rest of the staffers at the UFC! Best MMA company in the biz!

Recommendations – If meeting UFC fighters is not high on your priority list, then perhaps some other high testosterone activity might be fun for you and your boys. Shooting guns at a shooting range, taking some cuts at the batting cages, etc., may be other options.

The future(?) and current UFC Lightweight champs. BJ Penn... What a cool brutha!
The future(?) and current UFC Lightweight champs. BJ Penn… What a cool brutha!

Something Unique/Different – I’ve been to weddings where they had a traditional Chinese lion dance or a Japanese taiko drum performance. I recently heard about one wedding that included mochi pounding. Do something unique and different that will leave a lasting impression on you and your guests.

What we did – We did a traditional Japanese celebration called Kagami Biraki. It’s where you open the top of a sake barrel with a mallet for good luck.

Recommendations – Though you won’t be the first anymore 😛 , we highly recommend it. It was a hit, as evident by the long line of guests waiting to try a sip of the sake (using the masu that we gave as our favors)! My dad knew somebody at a local place  called the Cherry Company. Couldn’t find a web site for them, but I found their number via Google: 808-422-6555. Give ’em a call!

The family opening the top of the sake barrel
The family opening the top of the sake barrel

The guests enjoying the fruits of our labor
The guests enjoying the fruits of our labor

Music – We tried to go old school and nu skool with our picks for background music. I got a lot of suggestions from commenters on my blog too. I thought I’d share a small sampling of some of the songs we used to help get you started on your quest. Woah, givin’ away our secrets! You’re welcome! 😉

  • Bitty McLean – Forever Be Mine
  • Bread – If
  • Brian McKnight – Everything
  • Color Me Badd – Let’s Start With Forever
  • Heatwave – Always & Forever
  • Hi-Five – I Can’t Wait Another Minute
  • Imua – Swing
  • Jason Mraz feat. Colbie Caillat – Lucky
  • Jets – You Got It All
  • Joe Cocker – You Are So Beautiful
  • Johnny Gill – My, My, My
  • Jon Basebase – Suddenly
  • Journey – Open Arms
  • Kalapana – Nightbird
  • Keith Urban – Making Memories Of Us
  • Klymaxx – I’d Still Say Yes
  • Michael Bolton – Soul Provider
  • Na Leo Pilimehana – Saving Forever
  • New Edition – Earth Angel
  • New Kids On The Block – I’ll Be Loving You (Forever)
  • Opihi Pickers – Love You Forever
  • PC Quest – Can I Call You My Girl
  • Peter Moon Band – Flying
  • Stylistics – I’m Stone In Love With You
  • The Lovin’ Spoonful – Do You Believe In Magic
  • Tony Terry – Everlasting Love
  • Trey Lorenz – Someone to Hold

Miscellaneous – There are often things that you may overlook for the day-of. Be sure not to forget the creation and printing of your program, table cards, sign-in sheets, etc.

Tips

If you’re a first-time wedding planner, the following tips helped us and will help you in your path to planning bliss.

– Visit the Wedding Café for their regular workshops. They invite vendors in the industry to come and do presentations to the public. You can then inquire about availability based on what you saw or set up a future meeting with them to discuss in greater detail.

Note from the wife: “These are the best ever! I highly recommend these workshops so that you can meet vendors in one casual meeting rather than booking 5 or 7 separate meetings with each individual vendor. Most are free workshops sponsored by the Wedding Café. We found our Videographer, Florist, Hair/Makeup w/ the help of the workshops!”

– Go to wedding expos & shows when they are available. There are at least 2-4 per year. You can find vendors or look for ideas to take away to your own wedding. Craft fairs also sometimes help.

– Read wedding magazines for inspiration and ideas for colors, dress styles, makeup/hairstyle ideas, what’s hot, what’s not, etc. You can bookmark the pages you like or just rip ’em out and bring them to your vendor to discuss your options.

– Visit web sites like theknot.com and bridesclub.com for community support. Read what others are doing or get reviews on vendors in your area.

– Enlist the help of your friends. We cannot stress this one enough. I had to practically force the wife to ask for help (she is the type to not want to bother anyone else). All of your projects go by so much “funner” and faster. Plus, they are all willing and wanting to help. Why not put ’em to work right? 😛 Seriously though, your friends are just as excited as you are and spending the time with them working on various projects leaves memories to last a lifetime. Cherish it.

WHEW! OK, I think that’s it. There are probably a few details I missed, but I’m sure you’ll do just fine. I hope this article will provide at least a bit of help for those who wish to get married in the most beautiful place in the world: Hawaii!

Newly Married!
Just Married!

Good luck with your wedding y’all!

Love,
Ed (and Mai)

Colbie Caillat and Justin Young at Diversity Harmony Peace Event

May 28, 2008

Yesterday afternoon, local boy Justin Young joined platinum recording artist (and part-time Kauai resident) Colbie Caillat (“Bubbly,” “Realize,” “Magic”) on stage for the Diversity Harmony Peace event put on by the Na Lei Aloha Foundation at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel Hawaii Ballroom. It was a star-studded event that also included local artists Keola Beamer, Raiatea Helm, Amy Hanaialii, and more, and was a follow up to the previous day’s 10th Annual Lantern Floating event at Ala Moana Beach. Below are a few snaps from the event. Mahalo to Blaine Fergerstrom for permission!

Justin Young
Justin Young (Photo: Blaine Fergerstrom, © 2008)

Colbie Caillat
Colbie Caillat (Photo: Blaine Fergerstrom, © 2008)

Justin Young and Colbie Caillat
Justin Young and Colbie Caillat (Photo: Blaine Fergerstrom, © 2008)

Talk to me:

Do you love Colbie Caillat too? What’s your favorite song of hers? Shouldn’t a big record label give Justin Young a shot already!?