Planning Weddings In The Islands

Linda Dela Cruz
Wednesday - July 04, 2007
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Shawnee Hammer
Shawnee Hammer

Shawnee Hammer’s wedding planning company L’Elegance Bridal Consultants allows her to share in making other people’s love stories come true. As co-owner of the company, Hammer can coordinate a wedding from mouth.

She’ll never be caught at a wedding without her trusty emergency kit, which includes stain removers, chalk, touch up items for hair and makeup, safety pins, nail polish and remover, aspirin, deodorant, super glue, face blotting papers, bobby pins, band-aids, female items, sewing kit, antacid, hard candy, scissors, tissue, water and quite a few more “save the day” items.

One of the more unusual duties she’s had as a wedding planner is carrying the couple’s 6-month-old baby throughout the whole event, as there was a glitch with the arrangements for a baby-sitter that day. She-says she wanted the family to enjoy the day so she took charge with a headset and carried the baby on her hip.

One of her biggest challenges is to find a balance.

“I play everyone,” she explains. “I’m the technician and the manager. Routine works really well for helping me find balance as at the start of each month, I contact each client and then I talk with them at the start of each week, since the wedding rehearsals are toward the end of the week.”

She says she loved working at the radio station with her husband, so she started to take over the booking of his wedding emcee jobs.

“Then I’d do the reception program for the wedding, and I kept falling in love with the industry,” says Hammer. “I decided to do it full time in 2005.”

Her first year in business, she focused on coordinating the calls for him. The second year, she started focusing on her services.

For a short while, she had a retail store called Everything Bridal, which was filled with bridal accessories. But for now she’ll showcase those items at some of the Manoa Marketplace-based Wedding Cafe events.

Originally from Oregon, she moved to Hawaii 10 years ago to

attend the University of Hawaii. Before starting her business and working full-time in radio, she worked at a salon.

Greg, the emcee talent of the dynamic duo, is a Waipahu High School grad who also worked as a Honolulu police officer for 10 years.

“The most rewarding thing about doing this is definitely at the end of the day when the couple and the family of the bride and groom truly enjoy the day,” she says. “The couple has found each other in life. They’ve fallen so deeply in love. They want to celebrate love with their friends and family. They’ve hired me so all the stress that’s involved in planning a wedding is taken away. “

Her goals for the future include increasing the staff to accommodate more weddings, and to expand her destination wedding market.

For more information, call 384-5805, or log onto

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