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November 6, 2018

Which Hawaiian island is right for your Destination Wedding?

Which Hawaiian Island Is Right for a Destination Wedding?


kualoa drone wedding

Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and Big Island?



So, you are engaged and you have always wanted to get married in Hawaii but not sure where to start. It’s hard to go wrong with choosing paradise for your destination wedding. While it’s true you’d be hard-pressed to find a more beautiful backdrop for your nuptials than one of the Hawaiian islands, each paradise possesses its own nuances that you should take into consideration when planning your big day. Do you want beaches or mountains? Touristy spots or under-the-radar locations? Rainforests or waterfalls? Easy to get to or off the beaten path?


Here is a Comprehensive guide to choosing the right Hawaiian island for your destination wedding

To help you make this decision, I’ve put together a guide of the four main Hawaiian islands most visited for destination weddings and weighed the pros and cons of each. So which one will you pick: The Big Island, Kauai, Oahu, or Maui?



The “Big Island” is both the largest and the youngest island in the Hawaiian islands. When people say “Hawaii,” this is the island that pops into most people’s heads, though you could be referring to any of the islands that make up Hawaii. The Big Island is so big you could experience almost all of the world’s climate zones — from tropical to polar tundra and from volcanic to dry.



  • The Big Island is huge and offers a wide variety of experiences for you and your guests.
  • Its Kohala Coast is the golf capital of Hawaii.
  • Thousands of people get married on the Big Island every year, thus there are plenty of venues and vendors from which to choose.
  • You can have just about any kind of wedding you want — tropical, mountains, black sand beaches, formal, country club…you name it.
  • There are two major airports which makes it easy for travel.
  • You’ll have a built-in honeymoon spot.


  • There are active volcanoes.
  • It’s a popular destination.
  • There isn’t a ton of nightlife.
  • The Big Island is very expensive.

Featured Hawaii Wedding Venues

  • Four Season Hualalai
  • The Falls at Reeds Island in Hilo, Hawaii
  • Kahua Ranch in Waimea, Hawaii


Commonly referred to as the “Garden Island,” Kauai is the fourth largest island in Hawaii. It’s also the oldest island in the chain and consists of rainforests grown over the tops of mountains and cliffs. There are also rivers, waterfalls, and tons of other water features.



  • If you’re a watersport lover, Kauai is for you.
  • You can get married with a waterfall or a rainforest as a backdrop.
  • It has a more laid, back, chill atmosphere than the other islands.
  • Kauai has beautiful beaches as well as state parks.
  • The island is very rural, with no high-rise resorts to muck up your fairy tale.
  • Kauai has less families and other people getting married so it’s nice and quiet.



  • There is only one major airport.
  • All of the beaches are public.
  • A lot of the amazing features of Kauai are only able to be seen or reached by helicopter.
  • The water is very choppy.

Featured Kauai Wedding Venues

  • Na ‘Aina Kai Botanical Gardens in Kilauea, Kauai



Oahu is the third largest Hawaiian island and the home of the state’s capital, Honolulu. This is the island that is the most inhabited and also features a variety of living options — from metropolis to relaxed surfing towns. Visitors describe the island as being eclectic, a place where ancient and modern cultures meet, interact, and make the island worth visiting.



  • It is home to the North Shore, famous for its surfing.
  • It has beautiful beaches.
  • Oahu has a very “big city” vibe.
  • There is lots of nightlife.
  • There are a lot of great mountains to hike.
  • It’s only a short flight away from other islands.
  • There is a lot of history and museums.


  • Oahu will not look like the “typical,” quiet tropical Hawaiian wedding you might be imagining.
  • There is only one major airport.
  • There is a lot of traffic and parking is an issue.
  • Bugs are plentiful indoors and out.
  • Everything is very expensive in Oahu.

Featured Oahu Venues

  • Kualoa Ranch in Kahaluu, Oahu
  • Halekulani in Honolulu, Oahu


Maui is the second largest of the islands of Hawaii. You’ll also see it all in Maui — beaches, mountains, and valleys. You’ll also find the tourist industry alive and thriving on the island, as well as the agriculture industry. It is also home to the Road to Hana — a gorgeous, picturesque drive that features something amazing (beaches, waterfalls, forests, landscapes) everywhere you look.


  • Maui’s calm waters lead to excellent snorkeling conditions.
  • The island has lots of upscale restaurants and beachfront property.
  • There are two major airports.
  • You can hike or bike to the top of Haleakala (a dormant volcano) to see the sunrise or sunset.
  • Most everything is pretty accessible and easy to get to on Maui.
  • You have a great chance of seeing some turtles.


  • Not as lush as some of the other islands.
  • There is lots of rain in the winter months.
  • You’ll have to deal with “vog” —  the smog from volcanic dust and gas.

Featured Maui Wedding Venues

  • Olowalu Plantation House in Lahaina, Maui
  • Grand Wailea, a Waldorf Astoria Resort in Kihei, Maui
  • Hotel Wailea in Wailea, Maui


Once you’ve decided on which island will make the perfect backdrop for your wedding, contact me and we can discuss making lasting memories on your big day.



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