Modern Wedding

Hawaii Wedding Experience

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An authentic Hawaiian wedding experience is a combination of six elements: You need a stunning ceremonial venue, an officer who is able to speak Hawaiian for your blessing, fresh tropical leis to exchange during the ceremony, flowers for your table, Hawaiian music and dance for the reception, Aloha wedding attire and Hawaii-inspired libations and menus.

But how can you make all this possible for the day of your Hawaiian wedding? You are in the right place. Our comprehensive Hawaii wedding travel guide will walk you and your love through the hassle-free aisle and with all the Hawaiian authenticity and natural beauty you are looking for, with tips and inspiration from local Hawaiian wedding experts.

From the best time of year to get married to serving the best food, here’s everything you need to know to plan an unforgettable Hawaiian wedding.

The cost of a wedding in Hawaii

According to Julie Aragaki, owner of Hawaii’s Best Wedding, Hawaii’s marriage license statistics say that 21,000 weddings took place on the islands in 2019, with an average wedding expense. However, this figure does not include airline tickets, wedding attire, hair and makeup, rings, customer experiences or accommodation.

“The cost, of course, depends on the circumstances, location and so many variables,” adds Carolee Higashino, president and founder of White Orchid Wedding. “But here’s a general overview based on my experience: the joints, including the ceremony on the beach, the musician, the photos, the flowers, the coordinator on site and the dinner (for two). For 50 guests and more for a ceremony and reception including venue, flowers, musicians, photos, video, rent, catering, lighting, sound, dance floor, etc.

When to get married in Hawaii

“We plan weddings 365 days a year with the biggest demand for weddings from May to September,” says Stuart Y. Kotake, associate director of catering and event management at the Marriott Waikiki Complex. “Due to the beautiful weather and the tendency in Waikiki to be drier than the mountains and valleys, we are a great place all year round. But to be careful, we still have a storage space on hold.”

How to get married in Hawaii

To be lawfully married in Hawaii, you must apply for a marriage license, and your officer must register with the state of Hawaii, both of which are payable. Hiring a local officiant is easier and more authentic than bringing your own. For more information about applying for a marriage license and registering a “wedding artist,” visit the Hawaii State Department of Health.

Hawaii’s beaches are open to the public, so many people feel that they can present themselves on a beach with their entourage, plant their wedding arch, park their chairs, decorate and organize their ceremony with 100 guests — but this is not the matter.

Aragaki explains: “The beaches have a lot of restrictions. No chairs, bows or amplified music. And remember that you need to get a permit. Many beaches will be busy, so don’t expect privacy. If you are looking for something private, you should rent a property, a chapel or a hotel.”

Your ceremony on the public beach or other public land requires a “wiki permit” for commercial activities. The license allows your photographer to take your photos and your official to lawfully perform your ceremony on the beach. Check the Department of Land and Natural Resources for their list of ceremony beaches.

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