There is a good chance that this post contains affiliate links. If you click on any of these links, I might earn a small commission at no extra cost to you (which I really appreciate, thank you!) The full disclosure policy can be found here.
5 helpful tips for planning a Hawaii destination wedding
Destination weddings continue to grow in popularity every year. There are many advantages to having a destination wedding. One of the most significant benefits is being at your honeymoon destination immediately following the wedding. The problem with destination weddings is that you’re planning a wedding from a distance. That can be very challenging! If you’re looking for tips for planning a Hawaii destination wedding, look no further. These 5 helpful ideas can assist you in creating the wedding of your dreams.
Why a Hawaii destination wedding?
Hawaii is the perfect setting for a destination wedding. With ideal weather year-round, plenty of stunning wedding venues, and beautiful scenery everywhere you look, Hawaii is an obvious choice. For couples in the United States, Hawaii is a great tropical option because it requires no passports for either you or your guests. Did I even mention the epic wedding photo opportunities?
Tips for planning a Hawaii destination wedding
There is a lot that goes into planning a Hawaii destination wedding. These 5 tips for planning a Hawaii destination wedding will help give you some ideas and get you started on planning your dream wedding.
1. Know your islands
The first step to planning a Hawaii destination wedding is choosing which island to get married. If you have yet to visit the major Hawaiian islands, it can be challenging to select the perfect location for your Hawaii destination wedding. Here are a few facts about each island to help you get started.
The Big Island of Hawaii is known for its diverse climate and the active volcano. The Big Island is also a fantastic place for snorkeling. With several beautiful resorts in the dry and sunny Waikoloa area, the Big Island has everything you can ask for in a destination wedding location. The Big Island also has accommodations that tend to be more affordable than the other islands. That isn’t to say that there aren’t upscale accommodations here, The Four Seasons Hualalai is one of the top resorts in the world!
Oahu is the island that most people think of when they think of Hawaii. Known as “The Gathering Place,” Oahu has the state’s largest city, Honolulu, and is home to more than 1 million residents. This island is also the most popular for tourism. If you’re looking to “get away from it, all” Oahu may not be the place for you. However, if you’re looking for lively city life, high-end shopping, or hundreds of fantastic restaurants, you can’t go wrong with Oahu. This is the only island where you’ll find real nightlife, and Oahu’s fabulous beaches and vibrant culture make it a popular honeymoon destination.
In contrast with Oahu, Kauai is the place you’ll want to go if you’re going to “get away.” Kauai is the perfect destination wedding location for nature lovers. From epic hikes to kayaking to secret waterfalls, Kauai has something for anyone who enjoys the outdoors. While it lacks the nightlife and shopping of Oahu, it more than makes up for it with breathtaking ridge hikes and epic snorkeling adventures.
You know that I can’t talk about how to plan a Hawaii destination wedding without bringing up Maui. Maui is the second-largest island in Hawaii and is famous for its fantastic beaches, whale watching, and some of the most amazing sunsets you’ll ever see. It is also renowned for romance travel, making the island a top destination for Hawaii weddings. Maui is the perfect blend of the other islands, with some dining and shopping, but also plenty of outdoor activities.
For even more info on the main islands in Hawaii, check out, “which island in Hawaii is best for honeymoons?” Now that we’ve talked about the different islands let’s go over some tips for planning a Hawaii destination wedding.
2. Set a budget
The very first thing you should do with any wedding is setting a budget. For Hawaii destination weddings, this is no exception. The best thing to do is sit down with your fiance and discuss how you envision your big day. You’ll also want to consider things like flights and activities on the island before or after the wedding.
In addition to setting an overall budget, it may be helpful to set a budget for the individual components of your weddings. Keep in mind that Hawaii is generally more expensive than most locations in the United States, and that will also apply when it comes to weddings. The average wedding cost in 2018 was $37,827. The good news is that an elopement or intimate wedding in Hawaii can be much less expensive.
3. Plan very, very well in advance
As a courtesy to your guests, you’ll want to plan very well in advance. This will also ensure that you’ll get the best rates instead of scrambling to find flights, venues, or vendors at the last minute. Since your guests will all need to find a place to stay, I recommend working with a Travel Agent, but we’ll get to that in #5.
The best wedding vendors in Hawaii tend to book fast, especially photographers and videographers. I might be biased as someone who photographed weddings for ten years, but I believe that photography is one of the essential parts of your wedding day. Another reason to plan early is to secure the venue, photographer, etc. before they are fully booked.
Back in 2017, I photographed this beautiful wedding at the Hotel Wailea on Maui!
4. Considering hiring a wedding planner
Planning a wedding is a lot of work, and it’s even more work when you’re doing it long distance. If hiring a wedding planner is within your budget, it may take some of the stress off of the wedding planning. If you decide to opt-out of hiring a wedding planner, it can be helpful to hire a “day of” coordinator to help you on your big day. Most venues will also have coordinators, and that often comes as part of the package. However, if you’re choosing a venue without a coordinator, it may be worth hiring someone to help you on the day of the wedding.
5. Work with a Travel Agent
It’s hard enough to plan a Hawaii vacation, let alone a destination wedding. The logistics of getting yourself and your guests to Hawaii can be daunting. Working with a Travel Agent who specializes in Hawaii destination weddings and honeymoons (like me) will ensure that the travel process goes smoothly.
For elopements and small, intimate weddings, a Travel Agent can take on some of the jobs that a coordinator would traditionally do. From recommending venues and vendors to booking guest stays, there’s a lot that a Travel Agent can do that may surprise you. This is where I have the advantage of someone who worked in the wedding industry for ten years before becoming a Travel Agent. That unique advantage will help you keep stress levels down and save time and money.
Tips for planning a Hawaii Destination Wedding
Make sure to check out some of my other popular posts about visiting Hawaii, and Hawaii honeymoons:
- The ultimate Hawaii Honeymoon Packing List.
- How to plan a Hawaii honeymoon.
- 10 things you NEED to know before going to Hawaii!
- 20 things you should never do in Hawaii.
- The 10 best honeymoon resorts in Hawaii.
How to plan a Hawaii Destination Wedding
I hope that these tips for planning a Hawaii destination wedding are helpful! If you have any questions, you can always feel free to contact me. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, why not let a Hawaii Destination Expert do some of the Hawaii Destination Wedding Planning for you?
That’s where I come in. As a Hawaii Travel Agent who specializes in honeymoons and destination weddings, I can help you plan the ideal destination wedding and honeymoon just for you. I don’t do any cookie cutter packages; everything is fully customized just for you. Make sure to contact me or go ahead and fill out a custom travel request, and I’ll get back to you to start planning ASAP!
Dreaming of Hawaii, but not ready to travel just yet? Sign up for my newsletter! You will receive a weekly email with travel tips, Hawaii deals, and more. I’ll be there whenever you’re ready to plan your vacation. Sign up below. If you love these posts and want to support my blog but aren’t prepared to travel yet, you can buy me a coffee to show your support. I ❤️coffee!
Pin it for later: