my journal

a place for inspiration

Kennidy Hassell

January 11, 2023

There’s a reason why Hawaii is one of the most popular honeymoon destinations in the world. The lush tropical forests, warm turquoise waters, black sand beaches- it’s the perfect mix of romance and adventure. So why not treat your closest loved ones to an unforgettable experience with a destination wedding in Hawaii? If you’re envisioning saying your vows on some of the most picturesque beaches in the world, this guide will give you all the tips you need to plan your perfect destination wedding in Hawaii- from selecting the right island, exploring wedding packages, planning tips and creating an unforgettable guest experience. Read on to see all the details! 

The Islands 

If you’ve ever visited the Hawaiian Islands, you know that each one has its own unique culture and experiences. Lucky for you, each one is absolutely stunning, so we can check beautiful beaches and incredible scenery off the list for every island right off the bat. While Hawaii is made up of 137 islands, only a fraction of those are inhabited. Here are the best locations for your destination wedding in Hawaii…

  • Oahu: This island is home to some of the most popular Hawaiian tourist destinations, including Hawaii’s capital city Honolulu, Waikiki Beach and Pearl Harbor. It also has the largest airport, making it the most easily accessible of all the islands. If you’re looking for an easy and streamlined planning process, Oahu is probably your best bet. Not only is it easy to get to, it’s the most affordable island and has endless resort, restaurant, and nightlife options for your guests to enjoy. There are tons of gorgeous wedding venues on Oahu but be sure to check out Haiku Gardens, Kualoa Ranch, and Kaimea Estates.
  • Hawaii: Also known as the Big Island, you guessed it, Hawaii is the largest of all the islands. If you’re an adventurous couple looking for opportunities to climb volcanoes, zipline, surf and more with your guests, Hawaii is the island for you. Hawaii also has some seriously unique wedding venues outside of the traditional resort setting that will immerse you in the middle of nature. Check out Anna Ranch, Kona Salt Farm, and Sunshower Farms just to name a few!  
  • Maui: When it comes to rich culture, lush jungles, pristine beaches, and amazing restaurants, Maui is pretty tough to beat. You’ll find luxury resorts and quaint beach towns on Maui, making it ideal for any destination wedding aesthetic you’re envisioning. Keep in mind that Maui is the most expensive option of all the islands, making it a bit more exclusive and mellow. The Surf Club in Paia gives elevated boho vibes while The Haiku Mill feels like stepping into the most stunning secret garden. Be sure to give the Maui Pineapple Chapel, and Merriman’s Kapalua a look as well. 
  • Kauai: Last but certainly not least, the lush island of Kauai is a nature lover’s dream. Think emerald forests, rugged coastlines and cascading waterfalls. If you’re looking to provide your guests with a unique Hawaiian experience, Kauai (also known as the Garden Isle) is the perfect choice. If you want your destination wedding in Hawaii to be all about relaxation and connection, Kauai offers secluded venues and quiet beaches. Common Ground Kauai, Koloa Landing, and the Waimea Plantation Cottages are all venues that will help you achieve just that. Also be sure to check out my Kauai Recommendations blog post for all the best food and experiences on the island!

Planning + Packages

Now for the fun (and slightly stressful) part- planning this amazing trip for your closest friends and family and, oh yeah, also planning your wedding day. If it’s within your budget, I highly recommend hiring a wedding planner that lives in your destination of choice or someone with experience working in the area. If you’re choosing a destination that you’ve never visited, this is super important. They’ll know the best local vendors and will help you stay organized between guest travel plans, wedding design and decor, finding your dream venue and all the other details that make up your wedding day. The best part about planning a destination wedding in Hawaii or any other popular location is that most venues will have destination wedding packages to make the process even more streamlined. If you go with a resort, you can more than likely have your accommodations, wedding weekend activities, ceremony and reception all in one place with a coordinator included. Check out my recent blog post where I interviewed two of my destination wedding brides to get planning tips and insight from couples who have done it themselves! Spoiler alert, they both have zero regrets about choosing a destination wedding and highly recommend it to any engaged couple. See all their planning tips and advice here

Enhancing Your Guest Experience 

If your guests are traveling across the world to celebrate with you, it’s important to provide them with all the resources they need to make the planning process as easy as possible. For my couples planning destination weddings, I always recommend that they include a travel section on their wedding website. Here you can list accommodation options, transportation details, and your full wedding weekend itinerary so guests know exactly what to expect. To help your guests make the most of their trip, I also love the idea of recommending hiking trails, nearby beaches, and tourist experiences they can take advantage of while on the island. For example, if you’re planning a destination wedding on Maui, you might want to give your guests resources to check out one of the most popular attractions on the island, the Road to Hana. Give local car rental options, recommend a guided tour, or put together a cute list of must-see stops along the way to include in your welcome bags. However, if you want to keep additional projects to a minimum, choosing an all-inclusive resort or popular tourist area will allow you to find a one-size-fits-all solution that will keep your guests entertained all weekend long. 

all in all

If it isn’t clear already, you really can’t go wrong selecting any of the Hawaiian Islands for an unforgettable destination wedding experience. While the planning process might seem a little intimidating, I promise that having your closest loved ones join you on an unforgettable destination wedding in Hawaii to celebrate your love will be beyond worth it. Check out my blog on “How to Create a Meaningful Destination Wedding” for even more planning tips and insight. You’ve invested all this time, energy and money into creating the perfect day, so make sure that it’s captured properly so you can relive the best day of your life over and over again. And that means hiring an experienced destination wedding videographer who can assist with the planning process. As someone who has captured hundreds of couples all over the world, I’d love to be your right hand gal on the big day.  

Learn more about my destination wedding videography services and follow along with my journeys on Instagram to find even more inspiration. Send me an inquiry or drop me a message, I can’t wait to connect with you and help create the destination wedding in Hawaii of your dreams!

Tips for Planning Your Destination Wedding in Hawaii