Suspersize veils. Astrology readings. Edible florals. Every year brings new wedding trends. But the best ones are those that endure. Enter the destination wedding, which remains one of best trends of the past decade that only continues to evolve. And with its magical allure and effortless romance (swoon), Hawaii is still one of the most sought-after destinations for tying the knot.
We chatted with one of Oahu’s top wedding planners on why this land of spectacular natural beauty and endless culture is one of the best for your destination wedding—and how to do it right.
Let Nature Take Center Stage
One of the best Honolulu wedding venues? The beach. With sparkling teal waters and powder-white sands, the contrast makes the perfect backdrop—and makes for the perfect photos. And one of the best hotels for destination weddings in Hawaii is Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort, because it lets you embrace the best of the surrounding landscape.
“To me, Outrigger offers the iconic Hawaii wedding,” says Lauren Carson, VP of Weddings at Weddings of Hawaii.
“First there's the romantic getaway for a beach ceremony, and then Duke’s is the best place to have your reception in Waikiki,” she adds. “Because Duke’s is one of the only beachside receptions you can have in Waikiki, you get to have the most epic celebration with a DJ and dancing—and Diamond Head glowing in the background.”
Embrace the Aloha
More than just “hello,” aloha embodies that laid-back Hawaiian spirit—and you can embrace it for your wedding, too.
“Know that paradise awaits as soon as you get off plane,” Carson says. “You can have a Mai Tai on the beach to start the wedding weekend off, and just have fun.”
With relaxed, intimate ceremonies plus a wealth of attractions so you don’t have to think about how to entertain guests—from surfing the North Shore and touring Iolani Palace to just strolling the iconic Waikiki Beach Walk—a Waikiki wedding lets you stay low-stress, from planning to the big day.
Keep It Simple
Extending on the laid-back vibe, one trend we love that’s oh-so-easy to implement in Hawaii is effortless style—from the new no-fuss hair trend to effortlessly chic ceremonies.
“This is the perfect place for people who want that ‘I woke up like this’ wedding,” says Carson. “As we say, get dressed and we’ll do the rest—so you can simply enjoy special moments with those you love.”
Another trend we like is embracing elements of the destination’s traditional culture—and then making them your own.
“One of the special things about Hawaii is its traditions: the blessings and flowers and tea leaves,” says Carson. “It’s not about being on-trend; it’s just tried-and-true Hawaiian. And you can be a part of these ancient traditions even if you’re not from here.”
Start with a luau for family and friends the night before the wedding. Then during the ceremony itself, the oli, a Hawaiian chant is a beautiful way to set the tone, with a ukulele coming in to play over the chants.
After the bride walks down the aisle, couples can honor each other with the traditional lei exchange, a sign of respect and love between one another. Then, at the close of the ceremony, the officiate can do a pikai, a special water blessing with a sprinkling of Hawaiian ocean waters over the wedding bands that symbolizes an enduring, lifelong connection.
Stay for the Honeymoon
One of the best things about a Hawaii wedding is that after the "I do," you’re already in the perfect place for your honeymoon.
“The majority of guests stay on for their honeymoon,” says Carson. “And it’s easy because you can stay on Oahu or island hop, from a remote getaway on Maui to culture on the Big Island.”
Want more info on how to plan a destination wedding in Hawaii? Aloha awaits.