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5 Tips to a Top Destination Wedding in Oahu


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.”

Be Traditional

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.

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  • Home of Hawaiian Music, Kani Ka Pila Grille
  • Renovated modern guest rooms
  • Immersive cultural activities
  • Voyager 47 Club Lounge
  • Hawaii’s first and only craft hotel
  • Home of The Beachcomber Originals
  • Hawaiian Aroma Caffe, Waikiki’s most Instagrammed coffee shop
  • Island’s longest bar at Maui Brewing Co
  • Beachfront location
  • Home of Duke’s Waikiki
  • Hawaii’s best live music venue, Blue Note Hawaii
  • Voyager 47 Club Lounge
  • Intimate retreat for adventure seekers
  • Easy access to Waikiki Beach
  • Choice for value-minded families and groups
  • Spacious guest rooms and studios
  • Offering connecting rooms and kitchenettes
  • Spacious guest rooms with kitchenettes
  • Ideal for large groups or families
  • Steps to Waikiki Beach and International Market Place
  • Onsite restaurants – Appetito Craft Pizza & Wine Bar and Tanaka of Tokyo
  • Only half a mile from Daniel K. Inouye International Airport
  • Pet friendly
  • Convenient for business travelJust minutes from Pearl Harbor
  • Only resort condo directly on Waikiki Beach
  • Sweeping panoramic ocean views
  • Family friendly
  • Perfect for extended stays
  • Ability to select a specific condo unit
  • Intimate, boutique style condo resort
  • Situated in the Waikiki Beach Walk shopping and dining district
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  • 38 tropical beachfront acres
  • 3-acre aquatic playground
  • AAA Four Diamond Award accredited
  • Luxury, 1, 2 and 3 bedroom suites on Kaanapali Beach
  • Located on 22,000-acre Kapalua Resort
  • Choose from 3 beaches and 11 restaurants
  • Ocean and golf room views
  • Offering two magnificent golf courses
  • Ability to select a specific condo unit
  • Located within the world-famous Wailea Resort community
  • A short drive from the Shops at Wailea and beaches
  • Near Wailea’s most renowned restaurants
  • Ocean view of Molokai and Lanai
  • Boasts oceanfront pool
  • Private lanai
  • Ability to select a specific condo unit
  • Fronts the fairways of Kaanapali Beach Resort
  • Short walk from Whalers Village
  • Featuring three swimming pools
  • Ability to select a specific condo unit
  • Boutique-style condos in heart of Lahaina
  • Two blocks away from Front Street
  • Walking distance to shops and restaurants
  • Offering stunning views of Lanai and Molokai
  • Newly renovated condos
  • Oceanfront on property dining at the Gazebo Restaurant
  • Heated river pool running through two-acre property
  • Features flumed water slides
  • Ability to select a specific condo unit
  • Cottage-style beachfront condos
  • Complimentary access to Poipu Athletic Club
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  • Oceanfront condos
  • Includes an ocean pool within a natural stone breakwater
  • Adjacent to the Coconut MarketPlace
Watch the majestic manta rays that swim through Keauhou Bay. Or spend your day relaxing at the spa. It all starts here, on Hawaii Island.
  • Guests treated to infinity pool and lava rock whirlpool
  • Surrounded by Robert Trent Jones Jr. designed golf course
  • Selection of on property dining options
  • Five distinct properties to choose from
  • Ability to select a specific condo unit
  • Close to upscale King’s Shops and Queen’s Market Place
  • Golf at Beach Course
  • Set on 18 oceanfront acres
  • Boasts 3 swimming pools and 2 tennis courts
  • Ability to select a specific condo unit
  • Set on a lava rock bluff
  • Panoramic views of the Kona coast
  • 5-minute drive to restaurants and shops
  • Ability to select a specific condo unit
  • Beachfront bures
  • Complimentary beach services
  • Kava ceremony welcomes guests
  • Wood-carving guest activity
  • Enjoy Meke traditional song and dance
  • Beachfront bures
  • Offering Meimei nanny service
  • Talai butler service available
  • Named #1 Family Resort
  • Amazing firewalking ceremony
    • Luxury beachfront suites
    • Mauritian Rum tasting experience
    • Dance to Sega music
    • Relax on private beach
    • Complimentary kid’s club
    • Located beachfront on Lamai Beach
    • 2 swimming pools
    • Fitness center
    • Restaurants and in-room dining
    • 3 meeting rooms
    • Located beachfront on Bangsak Beach
    • Swimming pool
    • Fitness center
    • Restaurants and in-room dining
    • 3 meeting rooms
    • Located on Surin Beach
    • Boutique resort
    • 2 swimming pools
    • Restaurant and in-room dining
    • Luxury resort in the Maldives
    • Choose from beachfront villas or over-water villas
    • Numerous dining options, including our signature restaurant Moodhu Grill
    • Fully equipped PADI and SSI dive center
    • Famous for Waikiki Beach
    • Hike Diamond Head Crater
    • Take a historical journey at Pearl Harbor
    • Birthplace of legendary surfer Duke Kahanamoku
    • Home to Iolani Palace, US’s only royal place
    • Voted “Best Island in the US”
    • Home to Haleakala volcano
    • Famed for whale watching during the winter months
    • Famous scenic stretch road to Hana
    • Mile long of sandy shore at Kaanapali Beach
    • Nicknamed the Garden Island
    • Known for lush valleys, waterfalls and hiking trails
    • Has more beaches than any other Hawaiian Island
    • Most hiking trails than an other Hawaiian Island
    • Largest coffee plantation in the US
    • Often referred to as the “Big Island”
    • Kilauea volcano is the most active and largest in the world
    • Known for black sand beaches
    • Grows most of the world’s macadamia nuts
    • Home to some of the world’s largest telescopes
    • Beachfront bures
    • Authentic cultural experiences
    • Family-friendly accommodations
    • Beach & water activities
    • Accommodations in Koh Samui, PhangNga and Surin Phuket
    • Exotic cuisine featuring aromatic spices and fresh ingredient
    • More than 40,000 temples throughout the country
    • Unique variety of wildlife and nature
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