5 tips for planning a Hawaii destination wedding

Why Hawaii?

Hawaii is the perfect setting for a destination wedding. With ideal weather year-round, plenty of stunning wedding venues, and beautiful scenery everywhere you look, Hawaii is an obvious choice.

1. Know your islands

The first step to planning a Hawaii destination wedding is choosing which island to get married on. If you have yet to visit the major Hawaiian islands, it can be challenging to select the perfect location for a wedding or elopement. Here are a few facts about each island to help you get started.

Big Island

The Big Island of Hawaii (officially Hawaii Island) is known for its diverse climate and active volcano, Kilauea. The Big Island is also a fantastic place for snorkeling and diving. With several beautiful resorts in the dry and sunny Waikoloa area, the Big Island has everything you can ask for in a destination wedding location.


Oahu is the island that most people think of when they think of Hawaii. Known as “The Gathering Place,” Oahu has the state’s largest city, Honolulu, and is home to more than 1 million residents. This island is also the most popular for tourism. If you’re looking to “get away from it, all” Oahu may not be the place for you. However, if you’re looking for vibrant city life, high-end shopping, or hundreds of fantastic restaurants, you can’t go wrong in Oahu.


In contrast with Oahu, Kauai is the place you’ll want to go if you’re going to “get away.” Kauai is the perfect destination wedding location for nature lovers. From epic hikes to kayaking to secret waterfalls, Kauai has something for anyone who enjoys the outdoors. While it lacks the nightlife and shopping of Oahu, it more than makes up for it with breathtaking ridge hikes and epic snorkeling adventures.


You know that I can’t talk about Hawaii destination weddings without bringing up Maui. Maui is the second-largest island in Hawaii and is famous for its fantastic beaches, whale watching, and some of the most amazing sunsets you’ll ever see. It is also world-renowned for romance travel, making the island a top destination for weddings and honeymoons. Maui is the perfect blend of the other islands, with dining and shopping options, but also plenty of outdoor activities.

2. Set a budget

The very first thing you should do with any wedding is setting a budget. For Hawaii destination weddings, this is no exception. The best thing to do is sit down with your fiance and discuss how you envision your big day. You’ll also want to consider things like flights and activities on the island before or after the wedding.

3. Plan very, very well in advance

As a courtesy to your guests, you’ll want to plan very well in advance. This will also ensure that you’ll get the best rates instead of scrambling to find flights, venues, or vendors at the last minute.

An intimate Maui destination wedding that I photographed in 2018.

4. Considering hiring a wedding planner

Planning a wedding is a lot of work, and it’s even more work when you’re doing it long distance. If hiring a wedding planner is within your budget, it will take some of the stress out of wedding planning.

5. Work with a Travel Agent

The logistics of getting yourself and your guests to Hawaii can be daunting, especially with the rules of travel constantly changing. Working with a Travel Agent who specializes in Hawaii destination weddings and honeymoons will ensure that the travel process goes smoothly.



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Amy Fillinger

Amy Fillinger

Travel and entreprenuership writer. || IG: amyfillinger || contact: amy@amyfillinger.com || travel blog: www.amyfillinger.com