OWA is a 501c(6) non-profit organization that is exclusively funded by its annual membership fees. We need your support to keep the O‘ahu Wedding Association funded so we can continue to lobby on behalf of the wedding industry. An active and flourishing membership is critical for our ability to voice the concerns and constraints to our elected officials. 2020-2021 progress to reopen weddings and events is a tribute to that success! As a membership of over 150 small businesses, we have strength in numbers.
Eligibility for Membership (2022 Calendar Year)
Membership shall be extended to individuals, businesses and corporations doing business in the wedding industry on the island of Oahu who meet the following qualifications: (1) Business organizations or corporations must have primary business on Oahu for no less than 1 year. (2) All members must provide their business license documentation. (3) Sponsorship of a current OWA member (Just someone to vouch for you! Check out our Member Directory)
Want to be a Member?
Why should I join/renew my trade organization membership with OWA?
1. We are recognized by state leaders. Without a doubt, OWA is the “go-to” source for the viewpoint of our industry. We have been directly contacted by the Governor, the Mayor, several City Council leaders, the Hawaii Tourism Authority, the Japanese Consulate General, the Department of Economic Business Development and Tourism, and the Chamber of Commerce when they need insight and reactions on behalf of our industry.
2. We speak for the industry, so be heard! We are in constant contact with local and national media outlets in order to voice the current conditions and ever changing needs of our wedding industry. We’re speaking on behalf of our industry, and each and every OWA member.
3. We’re stronger in numbers. As the only trade organization in the wedding industry, having a large membership base shows our state and city leaders that we are unified and committed to our industry. Take funding, for example. The Office of Economic Revitalization uses our membership as the gauge - how many businesses are there in the wedding industry, and how much help do they need? The larger our membership, the better change we have for funding.
4. We keep you in the loop. Times are changing, and you’re doing your best to keep your business going. No one has time to keep up with all the City and State guidelines, or the bills that are trying to be snuck through the City Council. We’re committed to (1) constant communication of all the changes happening on Oahu, and (2) keeping up to date with all the current Bills in front of the City Council that could affect our businesses, like Bill 38, banning commercial activity on Waimanalo beach.
5. We are professionals. Being a part of OWA ensures that your business is part of a professional wedding industry - connected with the best, most trusted vendors on Oahu.
What have we been working on this past year? (More like what haven't we been working on...)
- We’ve always believed that when things get tough, our industry gets tougher. We pull together, we support each other, and we come out together, stronger. To say the least, things got tough this year, and we’re thrilled to say that OWA is coming out of 2021 stronger than ever.
- We’ve improved communication to our membership through newsletters, social media, and specialized committees to serve our membership needs.
- Our Board of Directors has grown to eight diverse individuals, and we’re stronger than ever.
- We’ve lobbied (very hard) to reopen weddings through letter writing, meeting with elected officials, and informational protests. We authored a “COVID-19 Guidelines and Best Practices” document for our industry which was recognized and used to create the guidelines for reopening weddings.
- We’ve lobbied for funding through a variety of channels. As this is a new grant that the City would offer, we’ve worked closely with the Office of Economic Revitalization, adding our input to ensure smaller, home-based businesses don’t get passed over.
- In addition to all the COVID challenges we’ve faced, we’ve been keeping tabs on any and all bills coming up in the City Council that would affect our ability to work. For example, as of Fall 2021, Bill 34 and Bill 38 are both attempting to ban commercial activity on beaches, and we’re working with our committees to raise awareness, submit testimony opposing these bills, and to continue following them to the end.
Where do my membership fees go?
As you know, to accommodate everyone’s strained bank accounts, we chose to waive membership fees for 2021 and 2020. We carefully managed our finances, and only spent money on the absolute “must haves” such as:
- Printed signs for lobbying, to send a clear and consistent message
- DCCA annual filing
- PO Box fees
- Website fees
- Zoom fees
After two years of zero membership dues, we are in critical need to continue to fund OWA. In addition to our recurring operating expenses, our plan for next year is to:
Moving forward we want to invest in our members:
- Education and speakers
- Legal and professional fees
- General meetings
Finally, the OWA board is 100% volunteer based. If you should have an interest in becoming a board member for 2022, please reach out. Thank you again for everyone’s support during this past year.