Hawaii Wedding Ceremony Locations
We use what we consider to be the best ceremony sites at the times we recommend. Our primary selection criteria for locations are the scenic value for photos, appropriateness for the number of guests, accessibility for you and your guests, and appropriateness for the services you want. We generally do not use other locations you may have seen because if they were any good or made any sense to use for our clients, we'd definitely be using them, but you can ask us about any other location.
Public beach sites:
All Hawaii beaches are public, there are no private beaches, even those fronting hotels (except the beach coves fronting the hotels at Ko Olina where weddings are not allowed). With that said, there are some beaches which are more "private" than others (Waimanalo, Waialae, Makapuu, Portlock) and even the more "public" beaches that we use (Magic Island, Ft. DeRussy, Duke Kahanamoku) while busy, are great for weddings albeit, they may not have as many photo opportunities, but offer photos not available at other sites.
If you are having a small wedding party (under 30) and want it to be as simple as possible, a public beach site is your best choice. While no sites are "private", most of these areas are large enough and Hawaii people respectful enough, that you may experience as much privacy as you would expect anywhere else or at a hotel. If you go to the locations we tell you at the times we suggest, your chances are better than not.
As per beach permit rules, chairs, arches, Tiki torches, altars, or any fixed set-ups (except a small cake table), on the sand or near the water are not allowed as per DNLR permit rules, no matter what photos you've seen on other websites. Champagne or any alcohol is also illegal in public and not allowed.
If you are having more than 30 guests or want many of the traditional ceremony set-ups i.e. gazebo, chairs, aisle runner, stanchions, a paid site like a hotel is probably what you need. There are of course many hotels on Oahu though, only a relative few have the scenic value, appropriate facilities, and services for weddings. All weddings are done on the hotel property only (not the beach fronting the hotel).
Unfortunately, hotels for weddings are very expensive and many require that you use their list of "approved" vendors which almost always means higher prices so the hotel can get their "cut" from each vendor. Many hotels also charge you a hefty fee if you don't use their "approved" vendors making it impossible to hire a non-approved professional.
We suggest you forget about all that extra set-up stuff, cut down the number of people you're inviting, and do it with us on a beach! Haha :) .... no seriously :(
If you must have a hotel, you contact them directly or you can hire the services of our event planner/coordinator to help you with this.
We may or may not be able to help you with your other services depending upon the hotel's rules and vendor "kick-back" scheme. Sorry, we don't do "kick-backs" and we don't charge more than what is fair.
There are commercial locations and residential homes which are commonly referred to as "private estates". Sites fees have gotten almost equal to hotel site fees, $1000 to $2000 to stand on their grass in addition to catering and other fees. It's not bad, it's just the way it is.
If you are renting a vacation rental, check with the rental agent before to make sure you can have a reception and any rules or conditions which may apply regarding your wedding.
If you want a private estate, contact them directly or you can hire the services of our event planner/coordinator to help you with this.
There are a small number of churches which provide universal wedding services to non-parishioners and these churches are becoming fewer and fewer. Unfortunately, most are now contracted out, all day, to Japanese wedding companies who only really desire to service their Japanese clients. We can't tell you about available churches other than the few we show on our website. Churches prefer that you contact the churches directly and we may still be able to help you with some of your services.