Your Guide to the Perfect Hawai’i Destination Wedding
A wedding in Hawai’i is going to be absolutely magical. With sunny weather, great food and music, sandy beaches, and abundant flowers, Hawai’i has all the ingredients for the perfect wedding. Here are some tips for making your destination wedding in Hawai’i the best it can possibly be.
Get married in the Spring or Fall
One key difference between a destination wedding and a hometown wedding is that in the majority of cases, most of the guests will have to travel a lot further for a destination wedding, and there will be much higher accommodation expenses. When planning your destination wedding, therefore, you need to decide who will pay for your guests’ travel and accommodation—you and your spouse-to-be, the guests themselves or someone else, such as your or your partner’s family. Placing the burden on paying on the guests might mean that not everyone you want there can make it, so a solution would be to pay for the guests yourselves and agree to keep the guest list on the small side. Alternatively, you could ask your guests to pay for themselves but not to bring any wedding presents, so as not to put them under too much financial strain.
Whoever ends up paying for travel and accommodation, one way to keep costs down is to get married in the low season—between mid-April and the end of May or in September or October.
Choose a place that has it all
While every Hawai’ian Island has something to recommend it, the best place to have a wedding is probably somewhere with easy access both to a scenic place for the actual ceremony and to shops, restaurants, hikes, and other attractions. Unlike a hometown wedding, a destination wedding usually lasts a few days and also acts as a vacation for the happy couple and their loved ones, so the last thing you want is for some of your guests to get bored. A beachfront resort, somewhere like Outrigger Waikiki, is ideal, as it combines the allure of the beach—imagine getting married on the sand at sunset!—with enough cafés, live music, and other activities to keep everyone entertained for days, no matter what they’re into.
Use local food and flowers
In a tropical paradise like Hawai’i, it would be almost criminal to compose your bouquet and decorate your wedding venue with flowers that weren’t native to the islands. A beautiful flower to use in your bouquet and decorations could be the official state flower of Hawai’i, Ma’o Hau Hele, a gorgeous yellow hibiscus. Unfortunately, this plant is endangered in the wild, but it is sold widely in nurseries.
When it comes to food, Hawai’ian weddings go all out! The star of the show is usually kalua pig, a type of pulled pork that is traditionally cooked in an underground oven. It’s not all about the meat, however; with plenty of seafood, vegetables, and fruit available, Hawai’ian cuisine will provide a feast for all tastes and dietary requirements.