Westin Maui wedding director Tina Canderle specializes in keeping brides happy.

Always tell a bride ‘yes’

Tina Canderle

>> New position: Director of romance for the 758-room Westin Maui, where she has worked for one year.
>> Background: Has been with Westin and Sheraton's parent company, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc., for seven years. Previously served as Service Express manager at the Westin, overseeing the PBX and bell staff and keeping guest satisfaction up to snuff.
>> History: Born and raised in Toronto, Canada. Has worked for the Sheraton Gateway Hotel at the Toronto International Airport and the Sheraton Centre in Toronto.

What's a director of romance?

My goal and my job is to ensure complete bridal attention and satisfaction, everything from coordinating flowers, ministers and officiants, to guest relations, talking to the brides, finding out what they want for their day to make their dream a reality. Then, coordinating that with vendors and support staff. I also run the whole wedding department, called Celebrations of Aloha.

What got you into the wedding department?

It was also a goal of mine to explore the wedding industry. What better place to give exclusive bridal focus or customer focus. Working with the wonderful product that we have and years of experience, it will marry that very well.

How do you make it exclusive?

In the sense of limiting the number of weddings per day. Having it focus on a special day as opposed to being in a line waiting for pictures. They want it very personalized, very exclusive. We are here to ensure that brides don't see each other.

How do you deal with people planning a wedding?

A lot of active listening and patience, and the foremost thing is no one wants to hear the word "no." I'm willing to do whatever it takes to make the day the most special of their life. You just need to be flexible and fluid, and to focus on why we are really here.

What have you learned about dealing with customers?

It sounds like a cliché, but the guest is always right.

What happens if you don't follow that?

They get frustrated. We work through options to ensure their satisfaction. I recently had a bride who unfortunately did not get what she wanted and she was told (at another hotel) we could not do this or that. And she came to us to find different options. She actually canceled the wedding at one of our competitors, because we were able to say "yes."

Inside Hawaii Inc. is a conversation with a member of the Hawaii business community who has changed jobs, been elected to a board or been recognized for accomplishments. Send questions and comments to


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