Our Favorite Places to Get Married in Hawai‘i That You Might Not Have Considered
These O‘ahu spots are all magical in their own ways.
Photo: Jenna Leigh Photography
Stop! Put down the Pinterest, step away from the D.I.Y. books, hold off on the signature cocktail sourcing. Before all the fun little details, there’s one thing you need to decide on first: venue.
Luckily, O‘ahu is a bride’s dream, with venues that range from intimate to enormous, mauka to makai, and budget to way, way luxe. But which one’s for you? Start by answering these questions before you dive into the options.
What’s your guest count?
Don’t get excited looking at a “perfect” venue that just won’t accommodate your guest count. If you’re going big, think big, like the sweeping lawns at Kualoa Ranch (which is also stunningly beautiful and reasonably affordable). Alternately, if you’re planning a small, intimate getaway with only a handful of guests, consider a private residence or nontraditional venue, like the Bayer Estate, that can fit small parties while feeling intimate and unique.
PHOTO: JENNA LEIGH PHOTOGRAPHY
What’s your budget?
Don’t set your heart on a sprawling ranch only to discover it costs nine times your venue budget. (Cue tears.) And keep in mind that, while some venues seem pricey, if they’re all-inclusive, they could end up being much cheaper than a D.I.Y. venue that requires renting everything plus a tent. Rentals can easily cost $3,000 in the blink of an eye, so keep an eye out for venues that include chairs, lights, dishware, etc., as Café Julia at the YWCA does. And think outside the box. Want an ocean view or garden vibe, but can’t stomach the prices of some of the more popular beach and forest venues? Check out lesser known hall rentals, such as He‘eia State Park or Queen Emma Summer Palace.
What are your priorities?
Maybe you've got your heart set on a theme and vibe that only the perfect venue will bring across? Funnel parts of your budget you'd normally spend on additional decor or ambience-builders (consider even trimming down your floral plan, and cutting the purely aesthetic light arrangements) to make room for a pricier venue. The gorgeous European fairy-tale-atmosphere at La Pietra school, for example in photo above, is so stunning that you can afford to forego those other decorative extras. Want to be close to family and friends in the city, or visiting guests in Waikīkī? Want to do as little logistical planning as possible? Hotels like the Halekūlani often have a food and drink minimum and a lot of restrictions as far as bringing in outside vendors, but they could save you from a ton of stress while still providing a beautifully executed wedding. Do you want control over every little detail, from the color of the napkins to the type of paper lanterns? Go with a venue that lets you pick your own vendors, from food to rentals, like Kualoa Ranch.
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