We say, "Get married on Oahu, honeymoon on Maui...Kauai, the Big Island, Tahiti". We really love the other islands because they are awesome but, we do feel that for many people, Oahu is the most sensible choice to get married on.
Most people come to Oahu and Waikiki on their first trip to Hawaii and it's tagged as a "tourist" mecca, crowded, city, etc. and 50 years ago this was true. Nowadays, it doesn't matter where you go, all the islands are their own tourist mecca, just smaller. The fact that Oahu gets the most visitors, has the largest number of hotels (in Waikiki), and is the largest city is exactly what makes it the place you want to get married!
Here's why. You decide:
Oahu has a lot of beaches, more linear miles of beach coastline, and more easily accessible beaches than any other island. You can take a major road to any beach along the coast, by taxi, limousine, or rental car, and not get lost (with our directions:), and they're no all fronting hotels like on many other islands. Even though we only use select locations, the fact that there are so many beaches is a plus.
Hotels choices on Oahu are plentiful and room rates vary from the affordable to five-star venues. You'll have more choices for things to do for both day and night i.e. restaurants, beach activities, sight-seeing, exploring, etc..
Most importantly, Oahu has the greatest selection of professional wedding vendors and services with very competitive pricing. It used to be that the outer islands had absolutely ridiculous pricing for weddings simply because there were very few people doing it, websites and a lot of the hotels were charged the highest prices for the simplest weddings.
How do we know? We used to offer weddings on other islands. We stopped that because it was too hard to control the performance of vendors or the quality of their work, which should have been top-notch given the cost, but most times wasn't. Nowadays, we suspect that this is probably not the case as "everybody" does weddings on Maui and they may be as competitive as Oahu, at least for prices.
Ditto: Kauai and Big Island.
Maui is a great island to visit and even we like going there every once in a while if we can get a good "Kamaaina" rate (that may be a thing of the past though). Just the mention of "Maui" has a aura about it and therein lies the problem. Maui is the most popular of all Hawaii wedding destinations. Approximately 44% or 8,762 out of 19,914 of all destination weddings in the State are held on Maui (Oahu is second at 30%).
Maui beach wedding locations are relatively few, access is limited, and many are small beach coves consequently, with so many weddings it can be very busy at the preferred time for Maui weddings which is sunset. During the day, you can expect busy beaches. Now we suppose you could say that Oahu has similar characteristics, but we would say it's far different on Oahu. We just don't experience the same kind of crowding at our favorite locations like Maui does.
Maui has some of the highest room rates and wedding costs of all the islands though, we have to admit, the other islands aren't far behind and maybe by now they are about equal. We're not sure anymore, we just don't stay in hotels on the outer islands. We do go to Waikiki for "staycations" though.
Big Island of Hawaii, Kauai, Lanai.
Pretty much the same as Maui in most regards except even more limited in choices.
Hey, we love all of our islands and many of us locals visit them frequently just for vacation. With that said, we believe that you cannot beat Oahu for all that is offers as a wedding destination... though Maui does come in a very close second! :)