Event Venue FAQs
How much is does it cost to rent your venue?
Our venue is unique in that our weddings are totally ala cart with the lowest priced events being only $400 for the most basic venue rental. Clients can provide as many of their own vendors as they’d like, but most couples choose to add on food, decor, cake, staffing etc. through the farm. All of those prices are clearly outlined in the pricing guide on our site. Some things, like catering, are very much dependant on client requests. So, to get a better idea of what a full wedding at the farm costs, look through the example events on our site.
What is the maximum number of guests allowed?
80 guests is the absolute maximum.
35 people is the maximum number of guests for seated receptions, where all guests are seated on the deck. Guest counts above 35 can be accommodated only with changes to the venue set-up and layout. For example, up to 50 guests can be accommodated with a seated reception when some guests are seated on the deck and some inside (with open french doors between the spaces). Alternatively, up to 80 guests can be accommodated with a cocktail style reception.
Events with guest counts over 35 will be charged an increased venue rental fee of $15 for each guest above 35.
To get an idea of layout and flow for all the different setups, go to the venue tour section of our website. There are walk through videos of the event space with all of the different layouts.
What if some of my guests are kids?
Kids do count in your guest count but babies under one year, do not. Regarding menu pricing, it is totally dependant on who you hire, but most chefs we work with charge 1/2 price for kids who will be eating the meal.
Can I bring in my own food? Décor? Vendors?
Yes! You can bring in as much or as little as you’d like. The only exception is when bringing your own lighting or sound systems that require a lot of electricity you will also need to provide a generator.
Can I bring my own alcohol?
Yes, in fact we are a strictly BYOB venue. Clients may hire a bartender and/or drink servers from Sunshower Farms or hire their own bartender for drink service.
Do you require venue insurance?
All Clients must obtain their own event insurance for their event. The Client may use a personal insurance carrier or go to www.WedSafe.com, Theeventhelper.com or another similar provider. The provider must be acceptable to Sunshower Farms and licensed to do business in Hawaii. Insurance must be non- cancelable coverage that includes commercial general liability for bodily injury, personal injury and property damage claims up to $1,000,000 general aggregate. The Certificate must name Sunshower Farms LLC as additional insured and include a waiver of subrogation.
Do you have restrictions on candles?
Sunshower Farms does not have any blanket candle restrictions. However, any large scale fire or candle decor (like tiki torches) need to be approved in advance.
The venue rental also includes a variety of tea light and tapered candle holders. The tea light candles themselves are included in the rental, but the tapered candles are not. Clients are welcome to bring their own tapered candles if they'd like.
Can I store decor items at the farm, if so for how long? Can I have decor items mailed to the farm?
Local clients may bring any items for their event up to a week beforehand. Destination clients may ship event items to the farm up to a month beforehand. Clients may store items after their event for up to a week after.
I would like specific flowers/music/food/photography, is there someone you can recommend?
Yes, definitely! Any referrals you may need will be sent as part of the booking process.
How can I tell what dates you have available?
Check the calendar on our website. All dates that are unavailable will be listed.
Why are so many dates blocked off on your calendar?
In addition to being a wedding venue, we are a working farm. In the past year, we have gotten so popular as a venue that if we did not block off dates, we would not have any time to work on our coffee!
When should I get in touch to book my wedding?
We actually do not book any events more than a year in advance. If you have questions about a potential event, you can of course email me more than a year in advance. But we will not start on proposals or hold any dates more than a year (and one month) in advance. See below for details!
I’m ready to book, how do I hold my date?
The first client to email me with a completed proposal questionnaire on the 1st of their wedding month, 1 year in advance, will get a hold on the date. So, for example, to hold August 20th, 2020, be the first to email in on August 1st 2019 for that date. For all of the details and to read more about our reasoning behind that policy check out my blog post on date holds.
What is the deposit to hold the date?
50% of the total event cost.
What if I need to cancel my event, how much of my deposit is refundable?
More than 30 days before the event 50% of the deposit is refundable. If you are less than 30 days before the event, none of the deposit is refundable.
What are the options for catering? Do you have any recommendations?
For catering, there are three main options (many couples do a mix of thse) and a fourth more uncommon option.
1) Catering "through" sunshower - this option is where we discuss a budget, and a menu/theme and I find a chef who we work with to cater for you. Only the chefs booked this way are allowed to cook with our equipment like the grill, stoves and the woodfired oven. So this is best for coursed and/or plated dinners. This option will also give you the most customization options for your menu, allergies etc. as you will have a chef personalizing a menu for you. It tends to be more expensive than the other two options. For ideas of some menus we have done in the past, read through the example menus on our website.
2) Restaurant catering - this option is essentially large scale "take out" from a local restaurant. If you book staffing through us, we can even send someone to pick up the food if you book a place that will not deliver to the farm. This tends to be a fairly affordable option, of course depending on what you order. For very small events (under 20 guests), this is the most affordable option. There are MANY restaurants you can order from in this way, but upon request, I am happy to give you a list of places our clients have ordered from before.
3) Food trucks - when you book a food truck to come on site, they can cook here, as long as they are cooking with their own equipment. Some food trucks will do full-scale catering with custom menus out of their truck/tent space, and even set up buffets or family style dinners, while others like to do their regular menu to guests by order throughout the event. So there are different options for how to structure it, but food trucks are fun and tend to run about $10-25/guest. The more guests you have the cheaper they are - I highly recommend this option for events with a large number of guests. There are a bunch of different food trucks in Kona and I am happy to give you my current favorites list upon request.
4) Self-catering - although this is technically an option, it is one that very few couples use. Essentially, self-catering is when clients, or their families, make the food themselves. With this option, clients are still not allowed to cook on site, so all food must be brought ready to serve (although we do have chafing dishes and warmers to rent). Also with this option, if you are booking staffing through the farm, clients will be required to pay a flat gratuity rate of $7/hour per staff person rather than the typical 18% on the other catering options.
Can the chefs you work with handle food allergies and restrictions?
Yes! For all of our events we find a chef who can make a custom menu to your preferences. With some chefs there may be an increased cost to accommodate a lot of restrictions or special requests, but anything is doable.
What are our choices for cake flavors if we order through you?
You get to pick one for both the bottom tier and the top tier. Here are the choices: Lilikoi, Tahitian Lime, Vanilla, Chocolate and Mandarin. Filling choices: buttercream, chocolate ganache (only in chocolate or vanilla cake) and Hawaiian chantilly (only on mandarin or chocolate cake). Frosting: buttercream
What are our choices for coffee roasts for coffee wedding favors or for the coffee station?
The coffee favors can be made up of any any variety of roasts. The coffee station can have a max of two options. You can choose from any of the "sunshower roasts" from our website.
Can we customize our coffee favors for our wedding?
Yes definitely! Most couples choose to add a tag or a sticker.
What are your hours for event bookings?
Including set up and clean up time, regular events must be held between the hours of 9AM and 11PM. Events beginning earlier or ending later (including scheduled set up and clean up) will incur an extra hourly fee. The only exception is Bridal Hair and Makeup which can start at the venue as early as 7AM with prior venue approval.
What glassware is included with the place setting rentals?
Four glasses per guest are included in the $5/guest place setting rental. Extra glasses, or glasses rented separately from the place settings are $.50 each. The glassware choices are the following: red wine, white wine, rocks glasses, water goblets, 16 oz mason jars and champagne flutes.
Do you have any recommendations for accommodation?
People always ask me this, but it really depends on what you are looking for. Most couples choose to get an AirBnB with their friends and family - and options and availability depend so much on your dates and group size. But many also stay in Kona area hotels. I recommend staying within a 30-minute drive of the farm, just to make everything easier, which excludes the Waikoloa area resorts. If you want to stay somewhere nice, really close to the farm, the Holualoa Inn is just a couple minutes away and is lovely.
Do you have any transportation recommendations?
If your guests do not plan to drive themselves, there are three main options. 1) Roberts Hawaii - Roberts is the main bus rental company on the island. They do everything from small party buses, to school buses, to fancy coach buses. They have come up to the farm with minibusses and school buses in the past. A good option if all or almost all of your guests are staying at the same location.
2) Harper Car and Truck Rental - an affordable option for smaller weddings is to rent a 15 passenger van (or vans) and have a member of your family who is planning not to drink drive everyone. This works especially well if everyone is staying near each other but not at the exact same place, because the van driver can make drop-offs. It's also nice if you are staying far away from the farm because Roberts and lyft/uber are more expensive for farther distances.
3) Lyft Events - Lyft has a program where you can give your guests an event code and it will cover their lyft. Many times this is actually the most affordable option, but it really depends on your group. The only downside about this option is that guests will need to pre-reserve their pickups from the farm, because at the end of the event it can be VERY hard to get a pickup here if you haven't pre-reserved.
DO I NEED TO HIRE MY OWN WEDDING COORDINATOR?
Maybe, but probably not. If you book staffing through Sunshower, a coordinator (me, Kate) is required. For most couples, this coordination, which includes at a minimum staff and vendor management, timeline creation, decor set up and clean up, is plenty.
If your event is going to be extra complex, with a ton of custom decor elements, and/or staffing not booked through the farm, I would recommend an outside coordinator.
What are our options for dancing?
If you just need a space for a first dance, father/daughter dance etc. many couples use the side of the deck.
If you want to have a dance party with all of your guests, by far the best option, really the only option is the interior house space, which is about 30x30 with the furniture moved.
I KNOW YOU ARE A BYOB VENUE, BUT CAN WE HIRE YOUR STAFF TO BE A BARTENDER?
Yes! All of our staff can do basic bartending (pour beer and wine, fix a signature cocktail, garnish glasses etc.). For full service bartending, with a full bar setup, I can hire someone for you for an increased cost, or recommend a bartending service.
DO YOU ALLOW TENT RENTALS?
Yes, we do. However, there are not many flat spaces on the farm to put a tent. The best spot is the front lawn, which is about 30x40ft.
Pictured is a 20x20 tent
I AM ON ISLAND, CAN I TAKE A TOUR IN PERSON?
Yes, definitely! Venue tours are by appointment only, so just send me an email to set up a time.
ARE THERE ANY NOISE RESTRICTIONS?
No. Our closest neighbors are acres away so loud music is no problem!
Do you have lawn games included in the rental?
Yes, we have a cornhole set and a bocce ball set that are included in the rental. Some couples choose to rent more games, like large jenga sets but those are not something we have available.
WHAT IS THE WEATHER LIKE AT THE FARM?
During the summer months it is typically warm and sunny in the morning and misty, foggy and damp in the afternoons and evenings. Summer is rainy season which means that is usually rains (at least a tiny bit) every single day. Temperatures in the summer rarely go below 65 degrees even at night and rarely go above 85 during the day. During the winter months it is typically sunny and warm while the sun is out and in the evening it is clear and cool. Daytime temperatures are usually in the mid to high 70s and evening temperatures are usually in the mid to low 60s. We do not have heat lamps, so for winter weddings we recommend light jackets and sweaters.
For an example of the fog and mist, these weddings were in rainy season:
For an example of a clear skies, these weddings were in dry season:
CAN WE LIGHT OFF FIREWORKS?
Yes, but only during rainy season, which is roughly from April to mid-October.
CAN I HAVE A REHEARSAL AT THE FARM THE DAY BEFORE MY WEDDING?
All “full farm rentals” include the day before blocked off for a rehearsal. If a different day would work better for you, that is possible too, but we availability is dependant on our schedule.
DO YOU HOST LGBT WEDDINGS?
Yes, and it’s unfortunate this is even a question. Any venue that doesn’t is the literal worst.
WE WANT TO DO A BONFIRE BUT WOULD LIKE TO BRING OUR OWN WOOD. IS THAT ALLOWED?
Unfortunately, due to the presence of the little red fire ant and rapid ohia death on other parts of the island, we cannot allow outside wood to come onto the farm.
DO YOU ALLOW DOGS?
Yes, but due to our very territorial German Shepherd, Bruce, we charge a $100 fee to cover kenneling our dogs before any outside dogs come to our events.
WHERE CAN I READ YOUR REVIEWS?
On the review section of our website! We also have reviews on google, yelp etc. but they are mixed in with coffee tour reviews so you have to dig a bit. If you’d like to get a reference from a couple we have worked with in the past, I have a list of couples I can put you in touch with!
Do you have separate rates for elopements with a very small group?
Yes! Elopements are $300 and are bookable Sunday-Thursdays and will give couples (and no more than two wedding guests) exclusive use of the farm grounds for their ceremony and photos. No reception is included, nor is any staff needed. Florals can be included at the regular pricing.
What are our options for ceremony location?
Technically, you can have your ceremony anywhere on the farm. But most couples choose to use either the official ceremony location which has a built-in arbor and an ocean view, or the lawn in the front yard in front of the banana trees.
The benches in the built-in ceremony location can seat 56 guests (and extra chairs can be added). These benches cannot be moved to another ceremony area.
Seating for the front lawn location is typically the same chairs that will be used for the reception - of which we have 50. Any extra chairs needed for that location would need to be provided by clients.
Some clients choose to get married in the coffee orchard - but due to accessibility issues and there being no good way to bring a large amount chairs out there for guests (unless a couple chooses to rent from an outside company), it is usually an option reserved for very small weddings and elopements.
What is the ceremony rain location?
The ceremony rain location is the covered area of the deck. In the case of rain that seems like it will not pass soon, we quickly move the tables and set up the chairs in a half circle with an aisle down the middle. We also repurpose the arbor decorations, as much as possible, to decorate the deck space for the ceremony.
What does the bridal "getting ready" room include/look like?
This space is simply a spare bedroom with an attached bathroom. It has two sky lights which makes it particularly good for doing makeup. It has a desk and a number of chairs and a queen sized bed.
How many cars can park at the farm?
A lot. We have never really tried to have more than 50 cars, but we have a very long driveway and the whole shoulder can be used to park on. And if we really needed to, we can put overflow parking right outside of the coffee orchard.