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Affairs to Remember
Jasmine Lombardi | Photo: Courtesy of Morgan Childs | April 23, 2014
Event planner extraordinaire Morgan Childs makes island fetes fabulous.
The next time you drop into an extravagant wedding, a fabulous cocktail reception or a Champagne-stocked store opening in the islands, take a moment to look behind the scenes. More cases than not, you’ll find Morgan Childs, owner and president of Moana Events. While event and wedding planning companies abound in the islands, Childs’ boutique firm has carved itself for an enviable niche. This maven goes above and beyond for discriminating visiting and island clients by transforming their own personal vision into distinctive and memorable fetes.
Childs’ event-planning trajectory started more than a decade ago in New York City, where she earned a formidable résumé. First came a stint with Bowery Mission, where she produced galas at Rockefeller Center’s iconic Rainbow Room. Moving on to work for the prestigious Inez Weinstein Special Events, Childs produced high-end charity events such as the Angel Ball, and planned a luncheon at the American Museum of Natural History, which included a Vera Wang fashion show, Martha Stewart as the keynote speaker and Stevie Wonder as the entertainment.
But the Big Apple couldn’t hold onto Childs, who is a fourth-generation kama‘āina. “I grew up in Līhu‘e on Kaua‘i,” she says. “It’s our big city!” Seven years ago, Childs moved back to the islands, opened her own firm and has never looked back. Moana Events’ signature style can be found at fundraising galas, cocktail soirees, gallery and retail openings and even concerts. Most recently, Childs lent her expertise to a Bollywood-style launch party and poolside fashion show at The Modern Honolulu for Maia Hawaii, a luxury resort/beachwear and accessories line. Then there was her modern lū‘au dinner and fire show at a private estate that was featured on E!, as well as a signature event for Hawaii Fashion Month at the Hawaii State Art Museum. Of course, Childs does fabulous weddings too. Among her favorites: a seaside bash for Aussie actor Blair McDonough, and a Moroccan nuptial on O‘ahu’s North Shore.
Sometimes, Childs’ services go beyond the usual one-day affair. One discriminating client was especially eager to experience Childs’ over-the-top treatment for his wife’s 40th birthday. Childs organized everything from the custom-designed invitations (with a cheeky Hawaii 4-0 theme) to Tory Burch welcome bags filled with goodies any woman would fawn over—including local favorite Mālie Organics. She also arranged breathtaking helicopter tours and private feasts with hot islands chefs, including a dinner on a chartered yacht and a ladies-only soirée underneath an orchid canopy at the Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay. To ensure everything went according to plan, Childs personally followed the festive six-day island-hopping tour de force. Needless to say, the client was more than pleased.
When it comes to this level of personal service and attention to detail, Childs sees it both as a challenge and a perk of a career that she adores. “Above all, my job is to simply make sure people have a good time,” she says. “It’s a pretty amazing way of life.” 551.2448