Tie the Knot With These Cool Island-Inspired Details

Guests will love these, trust us.
Wedding couple and shave ice.
Photo: Christine Clark. Photo: Jessica Wood from Love Records Collective


You’re getting married—woo hoo! You’re getting married in Hawai‘i—double woo hoo! Call us biased, but we think O‘ahu is one of the best places in the world to tie the knot. With a unique blend of cultures, a breathtaking natural landscape and a seriously ‘ono food scene, there’s a lot to get excited about when planning a wedding in the Aloha State, and a ton of stunning ways to incorporate that unique flavor into your event.


Here are some of our favorite ways we’ve seen couples infuse a little Island spirit into their big day.


Shave Ice

Before the ceremony, during cocktail hour, as a surprise dessert—there are practically no ways to do shave ice wrong. Pro tip: Most shave ice vendors probably don’t have a liquor license, but, if your venue allows, you could set up a self-serve booze topping station (Malibu rum, anyone?), or instruct guests to head to the bar.


Haku lei

Haku lei.
Photo: Jessica Wood from Love Records Collective 


Before the dainty, nymphlike flower crown trend, there were fierce, lush haku. Hawaiian brides who rock these chunky, verdant, au naturel accessories have a totally timeless, earthy and effortless vibe that is quintessentially of-the-Islands.


Poke bar

Now that the rest of the country has caught the poke bug, adding this to your catering roundup is a surefire winner. We love a make-your-own poke bar with loose toppings, “his choice” and “her choice” offerings, or—our favorite—mini poke-bowl small bites!


Local stations

Interactive or themed stations are the wedding go-to du jour, and we couldn’t be more on board. Take it a step further and theme your station with local picks: maybe a whiskey and cigar station with a variety of flavored local cigars, a Hawaiian-sweet-bread setup with local honey, liliko‘i curd and local jams, or a coffee bar with an assortment of Kona coffees, creams, syrups and sweeteners.


Family-style Hawaiian food

Island additions: Family-style Hawaiian food.
Photo: Jessica Wood from Love Records Collective 


Family-style wedding dinners are a trend we are loving, and nowhere else is it more appropriate than when creating an ‘ohana vibe with traditional Hawaiian food. Bonus points: Hawaiian food packages can be much more affordable, and the family-style format will encourage guests to mingle and bond over plates of sweet potato, poi and haupia.  



Nothing brings us to tears quite like a traditional hula dance performed by a bride for her new partner-in-life. These are the memorable, sentimental moments that really stand out and double as entertainment for your guests. 


Read More Stories by Natalie Schack