Get Married/Elope in Hawaii!

Hawaii Destination Weddings

When you think location wedding, think Hawaii, one of the most romantic places on earth to get married.  But, Hawaii isn't just one destination. The state of Hawaii compromises several islands, each with their own distinctive flavor: 

   Big Island of Hawaii is called the "Orchid Isle" and is the youngest and largest of the Hawaiian Islands — twice the size of all the other major Islands combined. Twelve distinct climate zones exist on the Big Island, from tropical rain forests to arid desert. Two of the five volcanoes that created the island are still active, perfect for those considering a "volcano wedding." 

   Kauai is known as the "Garden Island" with lush, tropical gardens. Also home to Mount Wai'ale'ale, the "wettest spot on earth." If you choose to have your wedding on Kauai, you'll be getting on married on the island where over 30 movies have been filmed, including Jurassic Park, South Pacific, Raiders of the Lost Ark and King Kong. Kauai is also home to Fern Grotto, a tropical oasis along the Wailua River. Accessible only by boat, Fern Grotto is a spectacular fern-draped cave - a perfect spot to get married. 

   Lanai is the "most secluded island." If you're a couple seeking solitude with a variety of outdoor activities to choose from, Lanai is a perfect choice. 

   Maui is home to awesome beaches and wonderful resorts. Numerous businesses cater to the couple seeking an unusual way to exchange vows, from kayak weddings to scuba diving weddings to a wedding in a submarine. And, yes, beach weddings are also to be gotten in Maui. 

   Molokai boasts Hawaii's longest white sand beach, as well as the only barrier reef outside of Australia. Molokai is an island of natural splendor, and is called the "Most Hawaiian Island" of Hawaii due to having the largest percentage of Native Hawaiian residents outside of the privately-owned island, Ni'ihau. 

   Oahu is home to 75% of Hawaii's residents and numerous landmarks, including famous Diamond Head, a 761-foot-tall "tuff cone," created almost 100,000 years ago with a volcanic eruption. Other landmarks include Waikiki Beach and Pearl Harbor. Numerous free beaches with views of Diamond Head are available for the bride and groom to exchange vows.

Waterfall Weddings 

Hawaii abounds with waterfalls that make spectacular backdrops to your wedding (not to mention wedding photographs!). Below are some of the wonderful waterfalls of Hawaii: 

Big Island of Hawaii: 

      Rainbow Falls (imagine a lovely rainbow as your wedding backdrop). 

      Nanue Falls - a waterfall in the rainforest on the Hamakua Coast. 


       Waimoku Falls - incredible 400-ft. waterfall. 

       A series of waterfalls flow through Maui's O'heo Gulch. 

       Blue Angel Falls - located a few feet from the ocean in Hana. 

      Wailua Falls - an 80-ft. waterfall which served as the opening sequence in"Fantasy Island."
       Makewali River in Kauai's Hanapepe Valley. These falls were featured in "Jurassic Park." 

       Uluwehi Falls - a 100-ft. waterfall. Sometimes referred to as "Secret Falls."

Whether you're thinking of just eloping to the many wonderful places in Hawaii (Maui, Kauai, Kona, etc.), or planning a more elaborate destination wedding to one of the Hawaiian Islands, here are some tips on having a memorable Hawaii wedding.

Six Steps to Planning a Hawaii Beach Wedding
From Afar

By Blake Kritzberg

There's much to do when you're planning a wedding in Hawaii. But as with any destination wedding, a special wrinkle is that you'll need to take care of many details from far away. And perhaps you've never been to Hawaii before. All this can pile some frustration onto your planning, but in the end, there are few places in the world that can compare to the Garden Isle of Kauai, Magic Island off Waikiki, or Oahu's Paradise Cove, just to name a few of Hawaii's many jewels.

Here's a quick checklist of things to do and remember when planning a wedding in Hawaii: 

   1) First, find a location. This is the fun part. Pour over coffee table travel books at the bookstore -- try the "From the Skies of Paradise" series, for example. Eventually you'll settle on an island. 

   2) Next, you have a second decision to make: should you go with a resort, a wedding planner, or do it all yourself? For most brides, the best bet is to choose a resort package, or book a local wedding planner that specializes in destination weddings. 

         An on-site planner should help you pull together every aspect of your wedding. They'll recommend vendors, let you know whether that hotel really looks as beautiful as it does in the brochure, and help you work out murky but important details, such as how to seat your guests at the beach, or how transport your guests from the hotel to the ceremony site. An experienced local planner can make a huge difference, but you'll want to research her carefully before choosing one. The last thing you want is to hire someone who "goes dark" on you. 

         It's impossible to tell from a web site or a photo whether a planner is responsive and professional. The best way to find a great one is to visit destination wedding boards and ask newlyweds for their recommendations. 

   3) Next, you'll want to consider your budget. Can you pay for close family and friends to attend your destination wedding, or will they need to pay their own way? If the budget's tight, one option is to have a very small wedding on the island and throw a larger reception later, at home. 

          You'll also need to look at the other aspects of the budget, and consider the fundamental costs of things like ceremony locale, reception locale, lodging, catering, your cake and flowers, and any other services involved in your wedding. For very constrained budgets, a small resort package might be both cheapest and most stress-free choice. If you have more wiggle room, a good wedding planner will help you make the most of your money. 

   4) Another important item on your checklist is the marriage license. Fortunately, Hawaii makes this easy. You'll only need to arrive a few days in advance, and the only major requirement is that both the bride and groom appear in person. Hawaii doesn't have a waiting period or require a blood test, but you'll need enough time to apply in person on a weekday before the wedding. 

   5) You'll also need to research lodging and airfare for your entire party. That means you'll need to manage a pleasant location that offers a fair price for not only for the bridal couple, but for guests as well. Be sure that your planner or other former brides give the thumbs-up to your lodging before you book it. 

         Airline tickets are another major cost, especially if you're footing the bill for friends and family. You can buy tickets up to 11 months in advance, and the sooner you buy them, the cheaper they are. With airfare on this scale, try to take advantage of other money-saving tactics such as flying in on a weekday and staying over on a Saturday night. 

   6) Finally, don't forget that the whole charm of a destination wedding lies in not having to obsess over details. Be sure to research a great wedding planner, but after that, be willing to roll with the punches and take what comes. With a destination wedding, you can often actually relax enough to enjoy and remember your day, which isn't always true with more elaborate productions. 

         From choosing your favorite Hawaiian island to picking out foot jewelry or beach-style invitations, there's plenty to do when it comes to planning a wedding in Hawaii. While a destination wedding is much like any other, they tend to feel more complex simply because of the huge distance involved. The good news is that you can easily get it all done, especially when you choose a resort package, or hire an experienced local wedding planner who can be your eyes and ears and guide you through the requirements and on-site issues.

Blake Kritzberg is editor of FavorIdeas. Stop by for continually-updated celebrity wedding news, remarkable beach wedding favors, exclusive hairstyling articles and gorgeous and unique wedding favors.

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Be sure to check out our other pages for information on:

Destination Weddings
Hawaii Weddings
Maui Weddings
Las Vegas Weddings
Florida Weddings
Southern California Weddings
Northern California Weddings
Virginia Weddings
Caribbean Weddings

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