Hawaii Destination Wedding Planning Guide - Detail

BackHawaii Destination Wedding Planning Guide - Detail

Hawaii Destination Weddings

With year-round gorgeous weather, dramatic sunsets and world-class beaches, Hawaii is the PERFECT place to plan your destination wedding!

Ask the Experts  

If you have been toying with the idea of tying the knot in Hawaii, you’ll want to read this guide on planning your Hawaiian wedding on a private estate.  Offering ultimate solitude and the opportunity for maximum personalization, say goodbye to busy hotels and overbooked venues! At a private estate, you and your guests will have your own piece of paradise to celebrate your nuptials!

With the right planning, your estate wedding will be the event of a lifetime! We teamed up with one of Hawaii’s most prestigious and knowledgeable wedding planners, White Orchid Weddings, to offer you a how-to guide on getting hitched in the gorgeous Hawaiian Islands!

White Orchid Weddings is an award-winning agency known for their attention to detail and has your wedding plans covered from flowers and cake to venue and transportation.

Hawaiian Destination Wedding How-To

We asked White Orchid Weddings (WOW) all of the questions you have been asking about planning your wedding in Hawaii:

EEI: What is the best time of year to come to Hawaii?

WOW: The best time to marry in Hawaii is any time! The mild weather in the Islands is one of the reasons Hawaii is so desired. We do however recommend either a morning celebration or sunset. During midday it can get quite warm.


EEI: What If it rains on our day?

WOW: Rain is considered a blessing in Hawaii, but not necessarily what you may want to see. While your vision of a lovely ceremony in Hawaii’s sunshine with a dinner under the stars to follow might be what you are seeking, it would be prudent to have a back up plan in order.


EEI: How far in advance is your average client booking locations?

WOW: Booking location early is very important. Hawaii has a limited amount of venues and often they are completely booked one year in advance. I would recommend you try to secure your venue as early as possible to allow yourself an array of options. Most clients book from 6-9 months ahead.


EEI: What would a good budget be for a 30 person daytime outdoor wedding with a dinner served under a tent in a yard?

WOW: We are often asked, “What can I expect to budget for my wedding?” This is completely a variable based on what you wish to offer for your special day.  The main categories for expense will be catering, site fees, rentals, entertainment, transportation, photography, video and florals. It's possible to plan a wedding for as low as $15k, but planning between $25k-$50k depending on a couples level of customization is more realistic. Your wedding coordinator should be able to provide you with a sample budget prior to booking your event so that you can make a decision based on some real numbers.

EEI: What is the best day of the week to have wedding?

WOW: The best day of the week to have a wedding is likely a weekday if you are holding a destination wedding.  Location site fees are often discounted for weekdays and vendor availability is higher. Monday-Wednesday especially.

EEI: How long before our wedding should we arrive in Hawaii?

WOW: I would highly recommend you arrive in the Islands at least four days prior to your wedding day. You will need to have a scheduled marriage license appointment prior to your wedding day. You will also have the time for a few details such as; a pre-wedding consultation with your coordinator, a wedding rehearsal, gown and attire pressing, manicure/pedicures, trial hairstyling, pre-wedding activities such as a welcome celebration & rehearsal dinner. You may also need time to acclimate to the time change depending on where you might be traveling from and perhaps indulge in a little spa time to calm any last minute jitters and feel your very best!

EEI: Should my dress be more casual? What should our guests wear?

WOW: Your attire is certainly a personal decision. We recommend that you keep in mind the temperature of the islands so as not to select perhaps a fabric that will not breathe. Most Brides and Bridesmaids select strapless or short-sleeved gowns or dresses while Grooms and Groomsmen are best in lightweight suits or if more casual even slacks and a nice shirt will do even without the jacket. Guest are often invited to dress island casual, however it really depends on the formality of your event and the venue you select.

EEI: Can we use our own vendors?

WOW: When working with a wedding coordinator you should be offered a few vendors for each category of service to suit your needs. Often coordinators will have a “preferred vendor list” or at least recommend their preferred vendors, which have been handpicked for a reason. Choosing your professionals is very important. You can easily check the Better Business Bureau, chamber of commerce or the Hawaii visitor’s bureau for local credentials. The length of time the business has been established is also a clue as to the credibility of a vendor. Beware, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Ask your coordinator for candid reviews and the pros and cons of vendors you are considering.


EEI: Do we need a wedding rehearsal?

WOW: A wedding rehearsal is always advised unless it is a very intimate celebration. Do note that a rehearsal usually does have a fee and for your officiate to also be present they may also charge a fee.


EEI: Are there any requirements to get married in Hawaii?

WOW: It is quite easy to get married in the State of Hawaii. You will need a legal license that must be issued in person to the two of you here in the Islands. This document must be presented to a licensed officiate prior to your ceremony and he will process this through the State of Hawaii. It is valid to up to 30 days. For specific questions you should contact the State of Hawaii, Department of Health. They also have an on-line application that you can complete prior to your arrival to expedite the service. There are marriage licensing agents across the state for your convenience, your event coordinator will arrange for this meeting in advance. There is presently a fee of $70.00 for the licensing. Same-sex marriages are also legal in the state of Hawaii.


EEI: Should we plan events for the entire weekend?

WOW: Often a couple will plan a week-long itinerary for events that are wonderful for incoming guests. Our clients will usually offer a casual ‘meet and greet’ welcome reception, a rehearsal dinner, the wedding and perhaps a post wedding brunch.  Some will add island activities with the group such a snorkeling, a luau, surf day, zip-lining or perhaps another fun activity as well. Bear in mind however that people want their free time too, so over scheduling can be a no-no.


EEI: Should we mail our invites earlier?

WOW: When hosting a destination wedding you will want to send out a ‘save the date’ announcement prior to the wedding invitation. This way you will get a much better gage on who will likely attend you event. This should go out 6 months prior to your wedding date if possible. The wedding invites should go out 3 months prior if possible. The earlier the better.


EEI: How should we transport our guests to and from the venue?

WOW: Transportation is critical. Do budget to have your guests transported via limousine, private charter or shuttles. If guests do want to indulge you will not want to have anyone unsafe on the island roadways. Many private venues will require this service as well.


EEI: Should we mail items to the venue?

WOW: Mailing items prior to arrival so as not to have hand carry them is not a problem. It is recommended you send these to your wedding coordinator to accept and verify receipt. You should NOT send these to a venue you have rented for your event, as they will most likely not store these for you and perhaps refuse the shipment all together. For large resorts and hotels you will need to connect directly with them but do bear in mind you should be very specific about the details of what you are doing and making sure you have management approve this. We always suggest you hand carry your attire with you.

EEI: Where should we plan our honeymoon?!

WOW: Hawaii boasts some of the most exquisite honeymoon spots in the world so why go anywhere else?! There is an array of options to choose from, each island has a uniqueness all its own. You may wish to “island-hop,’ which is a great way to see more than one of the Hawaiian islands and most island are a mere 30 minutes apart by air. There are convenient flight times daily!

Hosting Your Wedding at a Hawaiian Vacation Home

EEI: For those who want a private event in a home - what special factors should they consider - outside of making sure the home is permitted to host events?

WOW: Private estate events are often what a client requests. Each island has unique inventory that is available to you. It is best to speak with your planner about these options and perhaps check reviews to see what past clients experienced at these sites. There are restrictions with any and all private venues as well as public venues such as noise ordinances, shuttle needs, licensing of caterers, etc. Each venue will have their own set of rules and regulations; review these carefully prior to committing to any venue so you are clear on these.

The experts at White Orchid Weddings could not be more right about each island being different and venues being limited. Exotic Estates works with many clients who want to rent a home and host their wedding on the property. This makes it a lot easier on the couple and wedding party.  

However, it’s important to work with both your vacation rental agency and your planners to ensure that you follow the guidelines established by each home. There are event fees and rules that must be followed, such as no glassware at some homes to ensure that broken glass does not end up in the pool. That said, there certainly are options and the results can be spectacular.

Now, here are some gorgeous options for hosting you destination wedding in Hawaii!

Gorgeous Hawaiian Estates for Your Wedding Ceremony 

Exotic Estate boasts a beautiful collection of private estates for your Hawaiian wedding.  Take a tour below of just a few of our most sought-after vacation homes. 

Oahu Wedding Estate 

Oahu Wedding, Hawaii Wedding Guide, Oahu Wedding Estate, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

With the ability to accommodate up to 200 guests, the aptly named Oahu Wedding Estate is perfect for all of your wedding celebrations! With over one acre of lush tropical paradise, this property boasts 10 bedrooms that can accommodate up to 41 people, which is ideal for accommodating family and friends. The stunning botanical gardens feature rare, exotic plants from around the world and will be the perfect background to your dream wedding.

Hale Ohana 

Private Wedding Estate Hawaii, Hawaii Wedding Guide, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

The gem is located on the North Shore of Oahu. Hale Ohana, which means “House of The Family,” is truly an elegant estate. Sitting beachfront, you will have the most spectacular background when you exchange your vows. Only moments away from the famous North Shore surfing beaches, this vacation home is perfect for a wedding in paradise!

Rainbow Falls Estate

Rainbow Falls Estate Destination Wedding, Hawaii Wedding Guide, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

This Big Island mansion boasts a waterfall view from every room and terrace, offering picture-perfect scenery for your nuptials! With over 8,100 square feet of luxury, this vacation rental is perched on a cliff along the Hamakua Coast, giving you and your guests the ultimate romantic and private experience.

Puako Robinson Estate 

Puako Robinson Estate Destination Wedding, Hawaii Wedding Guide, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

This private vacation rental rests on the beautiful shores of a protected bay in Puako.  Offering six bedrooms and eight bathrooms, you and your party will rest in ultimate luxury during your wedding celebration week! Boasting exquisite furnishings and a beautifully manicured tropical lawn, your wedding day will be the event of a lifetime at Puako Robinson Estate.

Plan Your Wedding at an Exotic Estate

Plan your special day with confidence at a private luxury estate. Book your exclusive vacation home today and experience the most luxurious and private wedding you have always dreamed of!

For more information on planning your dream wedding with White Orchid Weddings, call (808) 242-8697 or visit their website at http://www.whiteorchidwedding.com

Blog Subjects: Hawaii, Weddings