Outdoor destination wedding ceremony in Hawaii, with guests gathered on a lush green lawn facing the ocean. Tall palm trees sway above, framing a clear blue sky. White chairs line the aisle leading to the bride and groom at the altar near the sea

Destination Wedding in Hawaii | Locations, Packages & Tips

Is Hawaii considered a destination wedding?

Hawaii is often at the top of the list for destination weddings, and it’s easy to see why. A destination wedding typically involves traveling to a unique, often exotic location, and Hawaii fits this description perfectly. With its stunning beaches, lush landscapes, and rich cultural heritage, Hawaii offers a picturesque and memorable setting for any island wedding. Additionally, its accessibility for U.S. travelers and well-developed tourism infrastructure makes it a convenient and appealing choice for couples looking for an extraordinary yet manageable wedding destination.

What is required to get married in Hawaii? 

Planning a wedding in Hawaii is an exciting prospect, but it’s important to be aware of the legal requirements to ensure your big day goes smoothly.

Step 1: Firstly, couples must obtain a marriage license from the State of Hawaii.

The process is relatively straightforward: both parties must appear in person before a marriage license agent, provide valid identification, and complete a marriage license application. There’s no waiting period, so the license is valid immediately and lasts for 30 days.

Hawaii does not require a residency period or blood tests, which simplifies the process for out-of-state couples. As for the ceremony itself, it must be performed by a licensed or ordained minister, priest, or other individual authorized by the State of Hawaii to solemnize marriages.

Remember, while the legal process is important, it’s equally crucial to consider the logistics of a destination wedding, such as venue booking, accommodation, and local vendors.

How to Get a Hawaii Marriage License

Securing a marriage license is a crucial step for your dream wedding in Hawaii. The process is user-friendly and designed to be straightforward for both residents and visitors. Here’s a simple guide to help you navigate the process:

  1. Application Process: Begin by completing a marriage license application online through the Hawaii Electronic Marriage and Civil Union Registration System. This can be done prior to your arrival in Hawaii.
  2. Documentation: Both parties must present a valid photo ID, such as a driver’s license or passport, when applying. If either party has been previously married, you’ll need to provide the date of the divorce or the former spouse’s death date.
  3. In-Person Visit: After completing the online application, you and your partner must appear together in person before a licensed marriage agent in Hawaii. This step cannot be skipped, as it’s necessary to verify your identities and collect the license fee.
  4. License Fee: Be prepared to pay the marriage license fee, which is typically around $65 (though this amount is subject to change). Most agents accept cash only, so plan accordingly.
  5. Validity and Waiting Period: The good news is that there’s no waiting period in Hawaii. Your marriage license is valid immediately upon issuance and remains valid for 30 days. This means you can tie the knot as soon as you get your license, or anytime within the next month.
  6. Ceremony Requirements: The wedding ceremony must be performed by a licensed officiant in Hawaii. After the ceremony, the officiant will handle the legalities of filing the license with the state.
A destination wedding photographer captures a serene moment of a couple walking hand-in-hand along a deserted Hawaiian beach at sunset, with the bride in an elegant white dress and the groom in a casual white shirt and black pants, against a backdrop of gentle waves and rolling hills.

What is the best place in Hawaii to get married? Wedding venue

Choosing the perfect location for your wedding in Hawaii can feel like searching for a gem in a treasure trove of stunning options.. Each island in this tropical paradise offers its own unique blend of beauty and charm, making Hawaii a dream destination for couples. From the sun-kissed beaches of Maui to the dramatic cliffs of Kauai, the choices are as diverse as they are breathtaking. In this section, we’ll explore some of the most enchanting locations across the Hawaiian Islands, helping you find that ideal backdrop for your special day. 

If you’re planning on eloping in hawaii, you don’t need to book a wedding venue but in this section, we will cover hawaii weddings venues from different islands assuming you want a wedding reception


The St. Regis Princeville Resort:

Nestled on the northern shores, The St. Regis Princeville Resort offers breathtaking views of Hanalei Bay and the Pacific Ocean. This luxurious venue is perfect for couples seeking a blend of elegance and tropical beauty. With its stunning ballrooms, lush gardens, and beachfront access, it provides a variety of picturesque settings for both ceremonies and receptions.

Na ‘Aina Kai Botanical Gardens

For a truly magical and lush setting, Na ‘Aina Kai Botanical Gardens is unparalleled. Spread over 240 acres, this venue features diverse gardens, a hardwood plantation, and a sandy beach. It’s ideal for couples who want a serene, natural backdrop for their wedding, complete with sculptures, water features, and a variety of flora.

Kauai Marriott Resort:

Located on Kalapaki Bay, the Kauai Marriott Resort combines convenience with natural beauty. The resort offers a range of venues from beachfront lawns to elegant ballrooms, catering to both intimate and grand weddings. Its full-service offerings, including catering and event planning, make it a stress-free option for couples 


Olowalu Plantation House

Set against the West Maui Mountains with a beachfront view, the Olowalu Plantation House is renowned for its historic charm and stunning ocean vistas. This private estate blends spacious lawns and a rustic ambiance.

The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua

The Ritz-Carlton in Kapalua epitomizes luxury and elegance. With its majestic ocean views, beautifully manicured grounds, and diverse event spaces, this venue is perfect for a lavish celebration. It offers a blend of natural beauty and top-tier amenities for a memorable wedding.

Haiku Mill

Haiku Mill presents a unique fusion of old-world European charm and Hawaiian natural beauty. Known for its enchanting tropical gardens and historic, vine-draped ruins, it offers a fairy-tale-like setting, perfect for couples seeking romance and uniqueness in their wedding venue.


Kualoa Ranch

Kualoa Ranch offers a breathtaking panorama of lush valleys and rugged cliffs, making it a picturesque choice for nature lovers. Known for its appearances in numerous films, this venue provides a variety of scenic spots, from secret island beaches to garden settings, perfect for a truly Hawaiian wedding experience.

The Royal Hawaiian

The Royal Hawaiian, with its iconic pink façade and luxury amenities, is a landmark in Waikiki. This historic hotel, known as the “Pink Palace of the Pacific,” offers a blend of royal heritage and elegant modernity, ideal for a sophisticated and romantic beachfront wedding.

Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa

As Waikiki’s first hotel, the Moana Surfrider blends Victorian elegance with modern luxury. Its beachfront location and majestic banyan tree provide a timeless and elegant backdrop for weddings, combining history with the beauty of the Hawaiian shoreline.

Turtle Bay Resort

Located on the North Shore, Turtle Bay Resort is surrounded by unspoiled coastline, offering a more secluded and natural setting. With options ranging from beach ceremonies to ballroom receptions, it’s ideal for couples seeking a blend of adventure and sophistication in their wedding venue.

Big Island

Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii

The Fairmont Orchid is a luxurious resort located on the Kohala Coast, offering a stunning oceanfront setting for weddings. With its beautiful white sand beach, lush gardens, and waterfall, it provides a variety of picturesque locations for both ceremonies and receptions. The resort is known for its exceptional service, elegant accommodations, and a range of amenities.

Mauna Kea Beach Hotel

Situated on the beautiful Kauna‘oa Bay, the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel is an iconic destination for weddings. The hotel boasts a pristine white sand beach, one of the most beautiful in Hawaii, providing a perfect backdrop for a beachfront wedding. With its timeless elegance, exceptional culinary offerings, and a variety of venue options including oceanfront lawns and banquet halls, it’s ideal for couples looking for a blend of classic Hawaiian beauty and modern luxury.

The Royal Kona Resort

Located in the heart of Kailua-Kona, The Royal Kona Resort offers a stunning oceanfront location with breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. The resort features a private lagoon, a sunset-facing coastline, and several outdoor and indoor venues that are perfect for a romantic Hawaiian wedding. Known for its traditional Hawaiian hospitality.

An elopement photographer in Oahu, Hawaii, captures an intimate sunset scene with a couple standing on a rocky beach, holding hands and gazing into each other’s eyes, with the bride’s lace-trimmed veil trailing in the sand and the groom in a sharp black suit, set against a stunning backdrop of the ocean and a pastel sky.

Best Beach Wedding Locations in Hawaii

When it comes to beach weddings, Hawaii is unparalleled in its offerings of idyllic shores and breathtaking vistas. Each island in this tropical paradise boasts its own unique charm, with beaches that range from secluded coves to expansive stretches of white sand. Whether you’re dreaming of a tranquil ceremony with the gentle sound of waves in the background or a grand celebration under the Hawaiian sun, these islands offer the perfect setting. In this guide, we’ll explore some of the most enchanting beach wedding locations across Oahu, Maui, and Kauai, each promising to make your special day truly unforgettable.


Waialae Beach Park

Waialae Beach Park, located near the luxurious Kahala Hotel & Resort, offers a serene and picturesque setting. Known for its calm waters, palm trees, and distant view of Koko Head Crater, it’s perfect for intimate ceremonies and stunning wedding photos.

Waimanalo Bay Beach Park

Waimanalo Bay Beach Park, with its long stretch of white sand and turquoise waters backed by ironwood trees, provides a quintessentially Hawaiian backdrop. Its natural beauty and spacious area make it ideal for a dreamy beach wedding.


Kapalua Bay

Kapalua Bay, known for its golden sand and clear, calm waters, is a gem on Maui’s northwest coast. The bay’s natural cove-like formation offers a sense of privacy and tranquility, perfect for a romantic beach wedding.

Makena Cove

Makena Cove, often referred to as Secret Beach, is a small but incredibly picturesque spot in South Maui. Surrounded by lava rock walls and offering stunning sunset views, it’s a favorite for intimate weddings and elopements.


Hanalei Bay

Hanalei Bay, set against the stunning backdrop of the Na Pali Coast, offers breathtaking views and a vast sandy beach.

Tunnels Beach

Tunnels Beach, known for its golden sand, lush mountain backdrop, and clear waters, is a top choice on the north shore. The beach’s unique reef formations create a stunning natural setting for a memorable wedding ceremony.

Which Hawaiian Island is Best for Small Weddings?

When it comes to hosting an intimate wedding, each Hawaiian island offers its unique charm and appeal. oahu wedding and maui wedding give a more grant & epic vibe. However, for couples seeking a more secluded and personalized experience, Kauai and Lanai stand out as ideal choices.

Kauai: The Garden Isle

the “Garden Isle,” is perfect for those who desire a small wedding surrounded by nature’s splendor. This island is less commercialized than its counterparts, offering serene beaches, lush gardens, and waterfalls, creating a romantic and intimate setting. Locations like Hanalei Bay, the Fern Grotto, and private estates along the Na Pali Coast provide breathtaking backdrops for a small, serene ceremony.

Lanai: The Secluded Haven

Lanai offers an exclusive and luxurious escape, making it ideal for small, upscale weddings. With its sense of tranquility and privacy, Lanai is perfect for those looking to celebrate their special day away from the crowds. The island’s two Four Seasons resorts – The Four Seasons Resort Lanai and the Lodge at Koele – offer exquisite venues and top-notch services, ensuring a bespoke and intimate wedding experience.

Both islands provide a unique blend of natural beauty and peacefulness, ideal for couples looking to celebrate their love in a more intimate setting. 

Bride in a detailed lace wedding dress and flowing veil holding a bouquet, posing on a grand staircase with lush greenery and white architectural columns at a luxurious Hawaiian resort, as the warm sunset light enhances the romantic atmosphere

What does it cost to get married in Hawaii?

Hawaii destination wedding cost can vary widely, depending on a range of factors such as the choice of island, venue, number of guests, and the style of the wedding. From intimate beach elopements to lavish resort celebrations, Hawaii offers options for various budgets. 

Wedding Vendors for Each Island

here are my vendors recommendation for you wedding day. a great team of planner, florist, officiant, and other vendors will ensure the best experience for you your wedding guests 


wedding coordinator will help you with the planning process. They have tons of wedding resources.


Dress Shops

Wedding Cake

Wedding Packages in Hawaii for Photography

As a destination wedding photographer I’ve done a few weddings in hawaii myself! plus I also lived in Hawaii for a few years so i’d say i know a few things or two about wedding photography in Hawaii. If you want to find out more info click here

A couple at their destination wedding in Hawaii, with the bride in a chic form-fitting dress and long veil and the groom in a classic black tuxedo, holding hands and walking on a sandy beach with tall palm trees swaying in the breeze against a sunset sky.

Average Travel Costs


The cost of flights to Hawaii can vary significantly based on your departure location, the time of year, and how far in advance you book. On average, round-trip flights from the continental United States range from $400 to $800 per person. Prices tend to be higher during peak tourist seasons, such as summer and winter holidays. Booking well in advance or during off-peak seasons can lead to more favorable pricing.


Hotel accommodations in Hawaii also vary widely in price, depending on the island, the level of luxury, and the location. On average, hotel rooms can range from $150 to over $500 per night. Resorts in popular areas like Waikiki or Maui’s west coast often fall on the higher end of this range, especially for oceanfront properties or those with more amenities.


Renting through Airbnb or VRBO can be a cost-effective alternative to hotels, especially for groups or longer stays. Prices can range from $100 to $400 per night for a typical rental, with luxury properties or large homes costing more. These rentals often provide more space and amenities like kitchens, which can be beneficial for intimate weddings or small weddings


Rental cars are a popular transportation option in Hawaii and are recommended for ease of travel around the islands. Daily rental rates average around $50 to $100, but this can vary based on the type of vehicle and rental company. 

What is the best month for Hawaii Wedding?

Choosing the right month for your Hawaiian wedding is crucial for both weather considerations and managing costs. While Hawaii’s climate is relatively consistent year-round, offering warm temperatures and tropical scenery, there are still variations throughout the year that can impact your wedding plans.

Optimal Weather: April, May, September, and October

For the best combination of good weather and fewer crowds, consider the months of April, May, September, and October. These months fall during Hawaii’s shoulder seasons — the periods between the peak tourist times and the rainy season. You can expect less rainfall, lower humidity, and more comfortable temperatures, making it ideal for an outdoor wedding. Additionally, these months often see fewer tourists, which means less crowded beaches and potentially lower rates for venues and accommodations.

Avoiding the Rainy Season

Hawaii’s rainy season typically runs from November to March. While the islands are still beautiful and the rain is often localized and short-lived, there’s a higher chance of encountering rain, which could affect outdoor wedding plans. If you’re considering a winter wedding, it’s wise to have a backup plan in case of rain.

Peak Tourist Seasons

June to August and late December to early January are peak tourist seasons in Hawaii. During these times, the islands see the highest number of visitors, which can lead to crowded venues and beaches, as well as higher prices for travel and accommodations. While the weather is generally sunny and beautiful, the increased tourism traffic might be a consideration for your wedding planning.

In summary, the best wedding months are April, May, September, and October. these months strike a wonderful balance for a Hawaiian wedding, offering favorable weather conditions, fewer tourists, and potentially better pricing. However, Hawaii’s allure is year-round, so with proper planning, any month can be the perfect time for your special day.

A breathtaking Hawaii beach at dusk sets the scene for a destination wedding, where the bride in a long white gown with a trailing veil and the groom in a dark suit stand hand in hand, looking at the dramatic pink and orange clouds over the calm sea, with palm trees framing the picturesque resort in the background

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