Hawaii Wedding Ceremony Locations
There are Hawaii wedding websites which list every single beach or scenic lookout on Oahu but, what good is that? Especially given the fact that not all beaches are good or even appropriate for weddings i.e. most have inherent problems no couple would appreciate dealing with on wedding day.
Other websites list only one or two locations and disparage and/or discourage you from considering any other locations simply because, they don't like traveling and/or they live nearby or they like to "set-up" all day to do wedding after wedding. FYI: One top Google ranked company likes to "park" at the Waimanalo Bay Beach Park camping area, making it easier to do their "free cake and toast", even though it's not the most scenic or best location for weddings... hey you get free cake though for
We make things easy for you! We tell you which locations are best. We tell you the best times to be there for a ceremony. We'll tell you if it's right for "your" wedding or not, and we'll let you decide.
Couples want credible advice based upon experience and knowledge, and they definitely don't want to be steered to one location or another because of the personal agenda of the wedding company.
Our primary criteria for the locations we list are the scenic value for photos, appropriateness for weddings and given the number of guests, accessibility for you and your guests, appropriateness for the services you want, and simply what you want. If any other locations were any better than the ones we list and if they made any sense for us to use for our clients, we'd definitely be using them. With that said, if you have a locations in mind, we will of course consider it.
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 what you need.
There are 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 which is illegal).
Yes, hotels weddings are expensive and many require that you use their list of "approved" vendors which almost always means higher prices so the hotel can get their "kickback" from each vendor. Many hotels also charge you a prohibitively hefty fee if you don't use their "approved" vendors.
If you must use a hotel, you contact them directly or you can hire the services of our event planner/coordinator to help you with this.
We're sorry, we don't do hotels anymore and won't be able to help you with your services, and we don't do "kick-backs" LOL.
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.
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. Churches prefer that you contact the churches directly and we may still be able to help you with some of your services.