WHY WOW? BECAUSE WE ARE HERE TO MAKE THIS DAY YOUR VERY BEST.
A White Orchid Wedding is an award-winning event coordination firm based in the Hawaiian Islands servicing clients worldwide. We are recognized for our innovative designs, expertise and unparalleled attention to detail. Our brilliant team combines decades of experience and embraces the opportunity to take your vision and dazzle you with a celebration beyond your expectations. Every occasion designed and coordinated by our talented artists is unique and inspired by your personal taste and style. Your WOW event specialist, coupled with our outstanding in-house design team, will create a one-of-a-kind celebration for you and your guests. Leave the details to us; the White Orchid Wedding team partners with an amazing group of industry professionals to ensure that every event flows beautifully. Mahalo nui loa from the team at White Orchid Wedding! We look forward to working with you!
CAROLEE HIGASHINO | President & Founder
Owner of A White Orchid Wedding, Carolee has been rated #1 in the industry. She has been recognized for initiating the "Destination Wedding Industry" in Hawaii. Launching her business in 1990, she was one of the first women to establish wedding planning on the islands. She is one of the founding members of the Maui Wedding Association and was appointed by the State of Hawai’i to represent Weddings and Honeymoons for the Hawaii 2000 Millennium Campaign.
Carolee continued on her path and earned local Hawai'i notoriety as the Pacific Business News’ "Women Who Mean Business" award winner for many consecutive years. She also has been acknowledged as Pacific Business News as one of their "Businesswoman of the Year" for the State of Hawaii. Other accolades include her as one of the "Fastest 50" growing companies in the state every year from 2002-2015 and "Women Who Mean Business" award for being one of the 25 women-owned businesses in the State of Hawai'i for thirteen consecutive years.
In addition she enhanced her career in the workshop, film and television industry featuring both herself and her design work on an extensive platform of productions and shows. As a producer she orchestrated the first ever International Wedding Week Hawaii Celebration for 2016 and 2017 featuring David Tutera as her keynot speaker and also was the Event Producer for David Tutera’s Hawaii Production “The Lineup’.
Internationally she has served on the National Board of Directors of WIPA - The Wedding International Professionals Association as Director of Programs and Education. She also has received Pacific Business News in Honolulu, "Businesswoman of the Year" for the State of Hawaii in 2003, one of the "Fastest 50" growing companies in the state every year from 2002-2015, and "Women Who Mean Business" award for being one of the 25 women-owned businesses in the State of Hawai'i for thirteen consecutive years. She now has been circling the globe giving workshops to event professionals.
Carolee believes in 'giving back' and served on the Board of Directors for the Maui Visitors Bureau, A Keiki's Dream Foundation and the Neighborhood Place of Wailuku. Her fundraising efforts include; The Maui Aid's Foundation, Raja's Light of Youth Foundation, A Keiki's Dream Foundation, Maui Athletic Leagues, The American Cancer Institute, The Neighborhood Place Wailuku and the West Hawaii Theatre and Dance Academy.
JACQUELINE ISHIKAWA | Event Coordinator
Please meet another member of our White Orchid ‘ohana, Jacqueline Ui’lani Ishikawa. Jackie is our office “ray of sunshine,” never without a smile and filled with the true essence of aloha. A native of the islands and inspired by a love for travel, Jackie graduated from the International Air Academy then happily returned to the Valley Isle to pursue a career in the travel industry. As a passenger service agent she became well-versed in the travel, air and accommodations industry. She has since gone on to become one of the leading wedding planners in the state of Hawaii. Now celebrating more than ten years as a WOW premiere event planner she was recently promoted to the position of WOW’s Sales Manager. You can count on Jackie to go the extra mile to ensure that each and every one of her events is flawless. A consummate professional, she makes planning a fun experience and strives to make her client’s feel ‘in the moment’ on this most remarkable day.
KENDALL ORETA | Event Coordinator
From a tropical island in the middle of the sea, to the sparkling city of lights, this island girl has experienced everything from tiki torches to sophisticated big city glitz and glamor. A native Hawaiian, Kendall blends her warm aloha spirit and infectious smile with a professional background in the hospitality industry. Her creativity, attention to detail, and stylish design work have helped Kendall blossom into one of WOW’s most sought after event coordinators in the State of Hawaii. You will know when you are in her hands that you will be treated with golden glove service and a genuine touch.
Kendall’s work has been featured in many international and national publications and social media channels and she has appeared on many local television productions across the State of Hawaii.
She is passionate about her art and her clientele while also a momma of two adorable toddlers.
NANI ST. GERMAIN | Event Coordinator
Allow us to introduce the brilliant Nani St. Germain. We found this premiere event planner on the sunny shores of Waikiki and were so excited to have her join the WOW Ohana. Nani spent many years in the islands planning events before deciding to move back home to Southern California, where she was born and raised. Not to worry! She still keeps one foot in the sand, living life on the fly, in-between the mainland and Hawaii. Nani’s love for creating unique settings pairs hand-in-hand with her meticulous nature to produce seamlessly beautiful events for each of her clients. Her background includes a degree with honors in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from California State University, Long Beach. She understands the immediate nature of the business, excels in multi-tasking, and works diligently to bring to life her couples vision. Her knowledge of current trends are evident in all of her events which we are confident will exceed all of your expectations. She is prompt, patient, and professional, allowing you to enjoy your planning process and relax, knowing you are in good hands.
STEVEN COOK | Event Coordinator
WOW is thrilled to formally introduce you to the incredible Steven Cook! A premiere wedding and event planner for WOW for more than ten years, Steven is seasoned and ready to assist you. As an island resident for over twenty-five years, Steven is well-versed in island customs, traditions and culture which will compliment your authentic Hawaii wedding experience. Although he is now considered a ‘local boy’, Steven is a native Zumi Indian who was raised on the Hopi Reservation in Northern Arizona. Steven is a graduate of the Brigham Young University where he majored in Film and minored in Interior Design. After landing on the island of Maui, Steven’s journey came to a halt; dazzled by the sparkling blue Pacific in 1990, Hawaii is now home.
When working with Steven you will appreciate his positive attitude and the excitement he exudes as he works with each and every couple to create their unique and special event. You will enjoy his humor and prompt attention to detail. Steven will make your wedding not only fabulous, but you will enjoy the process as he shares his keen sense of style and vision of current trends with you along the way.
BERNADETTE FREITAS | Event Coordinator
Filled with the Spirit of Aloha is our fabulous Bernie Freitas. Straight from Upcountry, Bernie was raised on the island on Maui, and is a graduate of the prestigious Kamehameha Schools on O’ahu. It was here that Bernie acquired a variety of interests including Hawaiian studies, music, song, travel and dance. As a performer herself, she is our entertainment specialist. Bernie brings years of hospitality experience from the hotel industry to WOW. This experience coupled with nine years in the financial services industry give Bernie the extra knowledge that is helpful when creating your wedding design in a fun, efficient and organized manner. As a premier event coordinator for WOW for more than a decade, Bernie’s experience will put you at ease as she helps meticulously design your special day with both inspiration and precision.
U’ILANI BELTRAN | Event Designer
U’ilani, or “Ui” as we know her, began her life right here on the island of Maui, born and raised in Wailuku Towne. Island life instilled in U’ilani that celebration is a part of each and every day. Her upbringing was filled with joyous occasions including song and dance; in fact, a typical evening at her hale would kick off with her father busting out the ukulele and breaking into song. Her hula background came in handy at such celebrations and the spirit of aloha permeates her being.
U’ilani headed to the ‘mainland’ where she earned a degree in Business Administration from the University of San Diego. Longing for her island roots, she returned home to build a successful career back in Hawaii. U’ilani is now a member of the WOW design team, and offers a unique and fresh approach in keeping with current trends while blending in authentic Hawaiian culture.
ETHEL LEVAL | Office Manager
Our “local girl” was born and raised on the island of Maui. You will often hear her voice during the course of your wedding planning as she is the White Orchid Office Manager and Accountant. With a degree in Hotel Operations and Accounting, she is the business side of White Orchid. Her extensive background in the food and beverage industry enable her to provide invaluable expertise in the area of event management, finance, and the orchestration of weddings. Ethel is literally the ‘backbone’ of WOW, efficiently managing accounts for more 17 years to keep business running smoothly and assure our clientele that their every need has been handled.