Planning Your I Do's on Oahu

Expert tips and resources for planning the dream wedding on Oahu

There are few places more romantic or beautiful than Hawaii, making it a perfect selection for a destination wedding. From picturesque wedding venues, to world-class service and amenities of the many hotels and resorts, couples find Oahu destination weddings to be intimate and unforgettable. With the many offerings available, the possibilities of creating a dream wedding is easily accessible and customizable to fit any budget. Below is a list of expert tips, venues and resources for couples planning on tying the knot. Happily ever after begins with saying “I do,” on Oahu. 

Wedding Planning Tips

Planning a wedding can be stressful and the below planning tips can help relieve some anxiety so that the bride and groom can relax and enjoy the big day. 

Be aware of current COVID-19 mandates
As with all destinations, Oahu has sought to implement mandates in order to protect its community and visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic. For the most recent information on current mandates that may affect wedding planning, please visit www.oneoahu.org

Take care of paperwork early
For any person to lawfully marry in the State of Hawaii, a license for that purpose must be obtained from an authorized agent. Once the license has been issued, there is no waiting period before the marriage can take place. Also, note that wedding permits may be required for some areas including beaches. 
health.hawaii.gov/vitalrecords/marriage-licenses/ 

Be weather-ready
The average daytime temperature on Oahu is around 80 degrees during the summer, with highs dropping to the mid-70s during winter. April through October is Hawaii’s summer season, and the rainy season runs from November to March. In the case of an outdoor wedding, be sure to plan a backup location in case of inclement weather. 

Getting to and around Oahu
There are more flights to Oahu from the Continental U.S. and Asia than to any other Hawaiian island. Once on island, it is recommended to rent a car for those who plan to stay for an extended period of time and plan to do any exploring. There is also public transportation if needed. 

Things to do on Oahu
Whether planning to extend your destination wedding into a honeymoon or simply advising guests on how to spend downtime, Oahu has a great mix of town and country experiences. Explore the small surfing town of Haleiwa, visit Pearl Harbor Historic Sites and Iolani Palace, or relax and refresh at Waikiki Beach. The options are endless. 


Wedding Venues

Planning the big day on Oahu can be easy thanks to the variety of wedding locations and professional wedding service providers on the island. From a beachside ceremony to a historic church or indoor/outdoor spaces capable of holding receptions of any size, there’s a style of venue available for everyone. 

Haiku Gardens
A hidden gem located on the windward coast in beautiful Kaneohe, Haiku Gardens is truly magical. Say “I Do” in the exclusive gardens with the majestic Koolau Mountains as the backdrop. Spoil guests with award-winning local food in the architecturally-pleasing restaurant which overlooks the stunning gardens.  
www.haikugardens.com 

Bayer Estate
The oceanside Bayer Estate, located 10 minutes from Waikiki, offers a classic garden
wedding or a traditional Hawaiian wedding on the grounds of a Victorian-style home. An elegant option for engaged couples with an intimate feel.
www.bayerestate.com 

Iolani Palace
The history-rich Iolani Palace complex has several distinct spaces available to rent. With expansive grounds on twelve lush acres of land, the facilities at Iolani Palace offer a variety of settings for large majestic weddings to intimate ceremonies and receptions. The Palace is conveniently located within walking distance of downtown Honolulu and fifteen minutes from Waikiki hotels.
www.iolanipalace.org/events/venue-planning-rentals/ 

Koolau Ballrooms & Conference Center
Think breathtaking splendor and wonders of Hawaii, the majestic, picturesque Koolau Mountains. The lush emerald green cliffs are the backdrop for the Koolau Ballrooms & Conference Center, for a beautiful wedding ceremony and reception.
koolauballrooms.com/ceremony-and-reception-sites/ 

Kualoa Ranch Private Nature Reserve
Kualoa Ranch Private Nature Reserve is a 4,000-acre wedding venue location on Oahu, Hawaii, about 22 miles outside of Waikiki, on the eastern shores of the island. It offers several spectacular ceremony and reception locations within its property. Managed and owned by eight generations of the Judd-Morgan family, who are committed to preserving the culture and natural beauty of the land, it is a beautiful and unique venue for weddings. If Kualoa looks familiar in pictures, it is probably because it has had over 170+ Hollywood movies and TV shows filmed since Elvis came back in the 1950’s. The ranch has also been featured in other blockbusters such as Jurassic Park, Jurassic World, LOST, Kong: Skull Island, 50 First Dates, Hawaii Five-0 and more.
www.kualoa.com/weddings-events/ 

Sunset Ranch Hawaii
Sunset Ranch is an exclusive 30-acre private estate with breathtaking ocean and mountain views, expansive outdoor venues, a rustic indoor barn, elegant tropical gardens and beautifully renovated guest suites.
www.sunsetranchhawaii.com/tours-events/ 

The Royal Hawaiian, A Luxury Collection Resort
The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort is the ideal destination for a fairytale wedding. Whether guests are looking for an intimate ceremony or a grand celebration, The Royal’s lush gardens, breathtaking ocean views and unrivaled ocean front ballroom can be customized to suit every desire.
www.royal-hawaiian.com/weddings-overview/ 

Waimea Valley
Nestled in the heart of Oahu’s renowned North Shore, Waimea Valley’s world-class botanical gardens and a wide variety of indoor and outdoor spaces is an ideal setting for a truly memorable occasion. Found nowhere else on Oahu, the natural backdrops and surroundings are unique to the Valley, attracting elaborate Hollywood blockbusters and weddings, to intimate, candlelit gatherings. With nine venues on the property from the breathtaking waterfall to lush, green meadows, Waimea Valley is a location unlike any other.
www.waimeavalleyhi.com/wedding_destination.html 


Wedding Resources

Finding a wedding coordinator or planner to help manage logistics, photographers who can capture every perfect moment and bakers, caterers and an assortment of other service providers can make wedding planning simple.
oahuweddingassociation.com 

Aloha Bridal Connections (ABC) is a team of wedding coordinators, passionate about connecting modern couples with the best vendors in the Hawaii wedding industry.
alohabridalconnections.com 

Aloha Wedding Planners have been planning Hawaii weddings since 1981 and are happy to help couples with their “big day.”
www.alohaweddingplanners.com 

Gourmet Events Hawaii creates memorable and successful events that exceed clients’ expectations, nurture relationships and delight the senses - one client, one event, one experience at a time.
gourmeteventshawaii.com/welcome 

Mike Bell Weddings has worked with nearly 2,000 couples at venues all across the world. Through the online planning portal, timeline templates, vendors and creative partners, weddings are created with personal taste and budget in mind.
www.mikebellweddings.com

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