These days, lots of couples are jetting off to exotic locations to get wed. And the Hawaiian islands seem to be at the top of everyone’s dream wedding locations. If you want to get married in a beautiful location and be guaranteed perfect weather, Hawaii sure is a good choice. However, organizing a wedding over there while you’re still at home can be difficult. There is a lot to do before you board the plane before your big day. Here is everything you need to know to help you plan a wedding in Hawaii.
Start Your Research Early
If you have already visited Hawaii on holiday, then you have a bit of an advantage. However, if you have never set foot on one of its islands, you have your work cut out. Start your research early so you can get a good overview of the state before you start planning. There are loads of different areas that are possible wedding locations. To make sure you find the one for you, spend plenty of time on Google looking for information and recommendations.
Pick Your Island
It’s difficult to go wrong when picking the island to get married on. They are all fantastic! Oahu is the liveliest of all the islands and where you will find Honolulu, Hawaii’s biggest city. So you can be sure you have plenty of options for your party and reception after the ceremony. It is also the location of the biggest airport, so a very convenient option if you are planning on inviting lots of guests. Maui is often considered the most romantic island as it features many luxurious five-star resorts. There are also many miles of golden beaches and plenty of lush rainforests. For a very traditional Hawaiian wedding, head to Molokai. This doesn’t have many big hotels as the other islands and offers some true Polynesian culture.
Once you have an idea of where in Hawaii you would like to be wed, you need to start planning the finer details. Many couples hire a wedding planner for this. There are lots of wedding planning services that specialize in organizing weddings on the island. The company will have specialists based in Hawaii who can speak to venues and other businesses for you. They will act as the middle man so that you don’t have to waste money on traveling to the islands just to plan things. Sure, you have to pay for the wedding planning services, but it isn’t as much as a preliminary trip out there would be!
Save The Date
Another important thing to consider when you plan your Hawaiian wedding is when you should arrange it for. On the whole, Hawaii benefits from a fabulous climate. However, it does have some times when it might be less suitable for a wedding. Summer is from May to October. Generally speaking, the islands are at their hottest in July and August. This can be too hot for some people, so take that into consideration. Most visitors go to Hawaii through winter for some winter sun. But don’t forget that this is also the wet season. But it isn’t as bad as it sounds. It still rarely rains and the showers don’t last for too long. If you don’t want to risk any rain, book a venue in the southwestern areas of an island. These parts get the best weather.
Before you can say ‘I do,’ you need to get a wedding license from the state of Hawaii. To apply, you need to be at the office in person. So make sure you arrive in Hawaii with a few days spare before your ceremony so that you can arrange this. You just need to turn up with some form of identification and money to pay the fee. You get your license there and then, and it will be valid for thirty days. Once you are married, your certificate will be sent out to you in the mail.
Many people who get married in Hawaii opt for a traditional Polynesian-style ceremony. Many venues will be decorated in this style anyway. But you can make it feel even more traditional with some additions. Make sure you have plenty of tropical flowers. These can be used in the venue decor and can also be added to your tables at the reception. You can buy them at various companies such as With Our Aloha. Why not add some to your bouquet as well? Another great addition to your wedding is traditional Hawaiian music. You can get plenty of this by planning a luau party for after your ceremony.
Think About Guests
Most weddings away from home tend to have fewer guests. This makes the whole ceremony a lot more intimate and romantic. Many couples aren’t sure whether they should pay for their guests’ accommodation and airfare. You are not under any obligation to pay for any of your guests. Though most couples do pay for their parents to be there. If you can afford to pay for any other guests, then feel free too. I’m sure they will certainly appreciate this truly generous gift! To make it cheaper for you, plan your wedding in Hawaii’s off-season when travel and hotels are a lot cheaper. If possible, try and get everyone to stay in the same hotel or resort. This will make it easier to organize everyone on the big day. You can then all share transportation to the wedding venue. It is also a nice touch to organize some day trips and tours for everyone in the days before and after your wedding.
Lots of couples choose to have traditional Hawaiian meals for their wedding reception. Pork wrapped in taro leaves is a very popular dish. It is known as laulau. Another of Hawaii’s famous pork dishes is kalua pig. This is a pig that is cooked in a large underground oven. It tastes a lot like pulled pork but has a much richer and smokier flavour.