When it comes to planning a destination wedding, few places are more perfectly suitable than the fair-weather islands of Hawaii. Isolated in the central Pacific Ocean, the forested isles that make up America’s newest state—among them Oahu, Maui, Lanai, Kauai, the Big Island—are home to some of the country’s, if not the world’s, most romantic hotels, resorts, and beaches. Couples who wed here often have a similar vision for their day: sunshine, palm trees, the din of crashing waves, and the exchange of leis, an island tradition that symbolizes love and respect. But the similarities most likely end there.
It’s hard to escape the allure of an outdoor wedding in any tropical destination. The beach is an obvious choice for casual couples looking to dip their toes in the sand. Meanwhile, inland, much of Hawaii’s lowlands are riddled with rolling pastures and working ranches, ideal for couples who want a rustic, barn-chic affair. For those seeking a picture-perfect location without much fuss, botanical gardens are both showcases for the region’s natural flora as well as dreamy backdrops for any event.
Beyond their sheer beauty, the islands of Hawaii are rich in culture and history, where remnants of Polynesian and colonial influence still remain. Couples hoping to embrace a sense of the past might want to host their soirée in an old plantation house by the sea, or even in a repurposed sugar mill—one of the great exports of the islands in the late 1800s.
However, if it’s true solitude you seek, there are still undiscovered corners to be found where you can wed in peace. An adults-only hotel hidden in the hills of Maui combines romance and seclusion—a dream for Hawaii destination wedding planners—while a new development on the lesser-known island of Lanai is sure to surprise even seasoned Hawaii travelers.
Whatever your fantasy, be it a traditional chapel ceremony or a garden soirée, Hawaii delivers it all in a spectacular setting. Get planning!