Wedding Wednesdays Q&A: Hawaii Wedding Venues for a Destination Wedding

Wedding Wednesdays Q&A by Jamie Chang Destination Wedding Planner of Mango Muse Events

Happy hump day!  We’ve got an all-new Wedding Wednesdays Q&A for you and today we’re talking about Hawaii wedding venues.

Q: I want to have a destination wedding in Hawaii, but I really want a cool and unique wedding venue, something a little different and private.  I’m a little worried that Hawaii won’t have a wedding venue with the right look.  What types of wedding venues are there in Hawaii?  And which do you think are the best ones?

I’m so glad you asked this question because it’s one that couples face all the time (no matter the location) especially when they are looking for something specific.  Having a destination wedding means you are travelling to another location and it is difficult to know what that location has to offer.   But, let’s talk about Hawaii specifically.  So, to start, you have to keep in mind that Hawaii is small and tropical which means that while there are quite a number of venues, the types, unfortunately, don’t vary too much.  Hopefully, you chose Hawaii because you like the feeling and style of the islands because that does permeate all of the venues no matter what the type.

Hawaii wedding venues fall into 4 main categories, hotels and resorts, private estates, museum/historical locations, and restaurants.  The hotels and resorts vary in color, architecture and location and there are many to choose from.  Some are more modern, others more historical, some super luxe and others are just normal.  Many have outdoor venue spaces as they know people want to be outside for a Hawaii wedding and they, of course, have ballrooms. Hotels and resorts are more limiting and can be boring, but you and your guests can stay onsite which makes it easy and depending on what you are looking for, you can bring in rentals and décor to make it feel the way you want it to.

Royal Hawaiian Hotel Destination wedding venue in Hawaii

(Royal Hawaiian Hotel, Photo credit: Christie Pham Photography)

Private estates are usually the most popular with my couples and destination weddings. Couples like them because they are private, intimate and give guests the feeling of being both in Hawaii and somewhere special. Some estates have a home on site and some are just beautiful private land. They all typically have lovely outdoor spaces and many weddings take place in a tent or directly under the stars. Most private estates in Hawaii tend to be by the ocean, but there are occasionally ones in the mountains. Style wise, the estates with homes can vary from plantation to modern, Balinese to rustic. The great thing about private estates is that since your event takes place outside, you have a bit of a blank slate and can really create the space to feel however you want it to. But, if you don’t want to be outdoors, then it’s not a good option.

Destination wedding Hawaii venue Lanikuhonua Private Estate

(Lanikuhonua, Photo credit: What a Day! Photography)

Then there is the occasional museum or historical location that you can rent for your wedding. There aren’t too many of these on the islands, but there are some options. These all have a very particular look, usually very Hawaiian influenced which can be great if it works with what you have in mind, but if it doesn’t, there isn’t usually much you can do (or would want to do) to change it. Most of these venues are outdoor spaces as well and are not typically located by the ocean. But, they can be really special and beautiful and the best part is that they have the history and culture, which many other venues don’t have.

Hawaii State Art Museum a destination wedding venue in Hawaii

(Photo credit: Hawaii State Art Museum)

Lastly, there are restaurants. Some restaurants have private rooms perfect for a wedding and others you can buyout. Buyouts can be nice because you’ll get the whole place to yourself, but it can be pricey.  Restaurants have a very specific look to them that goes along with the food they serve and the experience they provide.  This could be a bad thing or work to your advantage if it’s the right look for you because, unlike the other venues, restaurants don’t always have a Hawaii feel to them.  The layout of a restaurant doesn’t always lend itself well to feeling inclusive, so depending on how you construct your floor plan, you may have to get creative. However, if you pick a restaurant you like, you are guaranteed to have a meal you love.

Stage Restaurant a destination wedding reception venue in Hawaii

(Photo credit: Stage Restaurant)

Hawaii does have some varied options and a few distinctive and unique properties, but it’s not like the San Francisco Bay Area for example where you have all kinds of options and styles. I’m not going to lie, the options are a bit limited and generally, everything does have a Hawaiian slant to it. But, you’re coming to Hawaii for a reason, so you must love the place. I can’t tell you what will be the best option for you as it depends on what is important to you and what you like, but remember the reason why you chose Hawaii and pick a venue that showcases that best.  If you do your research or work with a destination wedding planner, you should be able to find something you like or, at least, something that will work as your base before the designing begins.

Need some help finding the right venue for your destination wedding? You’re in the right place. Contact us today to setup a consultation and get one step closer to the wedding of your dreams.

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