5 Tips to Know Before Planning Your Wedding In Maui + Lanai Hawaii
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So, you and your love are ready to take the next step, and you’re thinking about celebrating with a wedding on Maui, Lanai, or one of the other amazing islands that make up Hawaii. With the tips included here from top wedding planners that specialize in destination weddings, you’ll see your dreams take shape. From its captivating sunsets and velvet-soft beaches to its varied cuisines, welcoming culture, and posh resorts, these islands have it all. If you’ve been dreaming of saying “I do” as the tropical breeze drifts through the sea air, read on to find out our top tips for weddings in paradise.
Why plan your wedding in Hawaii?
Let’s start at the beginning and cover a few basics first. To begin, what makes Hawaii so special? We could go on and on (and on!) but have picked a few standout reasons.
Hawaii is intimate. Although its popularity as a destination has grown in recent decades, its islands have maintained their cozy charm, with twisty roads, secret coves, romantic restaurants, and mornings by the beach. The sensuality of the place is so seductive, and it offers something for everyone, from adventurous outings to ultimate relaxation.
Hawaii wouldn’t be what it is today without its traditions and cultural heritage. To visit a place so unlike anywhere else, participate in its customs, and learn about its people is humbling and moving. Whether you’re a foodie, a history buff, fascinated by geology, or simply love to visit and explore a new place, Hawaii is a treasure trove of different experiences.
With its incredible biodiversity, you’ll encounter plants and animals that you’ve probably never imagined. There are restaurants that span from local treasures to luxurious coursed meals overlooking a moonlit bay. (Merriman’s anyone?) Can you imagine a more fitting place to start the adventure of marriage with your partner?
Maui is the second-largest of the Hawaiian Islands, and its number of Maui beach wedding locations makes it perfect for weddings. Not only are there endless Maui venues for weddings of all kinds and a variety of Maui all-inclusive wedding packages, but there are tons of activities for you and your guests, with places to visit, eat and enjoy time together. A Maui wedding coordinator or planner versed in the local environment such as Mauna Creative can help you iron out the details of your visit, but below is a good start!
With its varied topography and distinct micro-environments, Maui, like many of the other islands that make up Hawaii, can enjoy sun at one beach and rain just a few miles away. With more than 30 beaches and bays, visitors can enjoy windsurfing, whale watching, sunbathing, and snorkeling. In Upcountry Maui, consider booking a rustic horseback ride, hit the trails to sightsee, or give ziplining a try if you’re feeling adventurous. For a bird’s eye view of the island, be sure to book a helicopter tour – you’ll get a whole different perspective! You may even get to see the fields of produce that create the vibrant offerings available at the multiple farmers markets throughout Maui. From the freshest fruits to the most nutritious vegetables, you’ll see it all at Maui’s markets.
To get a taste of the amazing dining options in Hawaii, plan to visit the cafes and fine dining establishments available in Lahaina, a charming town full of history on Front Street on the west side of the island that’s emerged as a top spot in Maui for wandering and enjoying the sun. Its art galleries and boutiques are exquisite and there’s a taste of the past in its architecture, which dates from when Lahaina was a whaling village in the 1800’s. Don’t miss the carrot muffins at Kimo’s!
The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua in Kapalua, Hawaii
If you’re hosting a larger wedding or even just a simple Maui wedding, with guests attending from the mainland, The Ritz Carlton Kapalua is a great option. It is large but still feels intimate, is ideally situated, feels dreamy and exquisite, and there’s lots to do, including spa treatments, celebratory luau’s, golfing, and more. This is one of our favourite venues on the island- its the most private of all Maui wedding venues and there are multiple ceremony and reception options onsite so you can customize your day to what you would like the flow and vision to be. They also have incredible photography options nearby that no other venue offers- from a lush jungle to seaside cliffs, this is the top wedding venue in Maui for a truly unique, luxury wedding weekend for you and your guests.
Montage Kapalua Bay in Lahaina, Hawaii
The Montage Kapalua Bay’s residential-style accommodations make your destination wedding or elopement a breeze. With live music every night, customized spa experiences, and several wedding package options, this beachside resort is the perfect place to start your wedded life together.
Hana Maui Resort
The Hana Maui Resort (Hyatt) is nestled along the famed Road to Hana is a 64 mile stretch of road that hugs the Maui’s northern coast. A secluded gem surrounded by luxury and costal charm. If you are thinking about a beach wedding, this venue is one of our favorite! Plan an unforgettable Hawaiian wedding with the backdrop of the majestic coast of Maui. Both indoor and outdoor ceremony settings are available with views of the beautiful coastal bluffs or under a covered lanai.
Grand Wailea Maui, A Waldorf Astoria Resort in Wailea, Hawaii
This Maui wedding venue is situated right on the ocean and it’s stunning. Be sure to check out their Maui wedding packages for two. Whether you opt for a Maui elopement at the Wailea Seaside Chapel, a ceremony on the point at Molokini Bluff overlooking the ocean, or under a rustic arch on Wailea Beach’s white sand, the setting will be sure to inspire.
Four Season Resort Maui at Wailea in Wailea, Hawaii
The Four Season Resort Maui at Wailea is unique in that they only feature one wedding a day, unlike many Maui wedding venues that host multiple at different locations. In this way, couples who have weddings at Four Seasons Maui receive top-notch service that matches the luxury of this romantic setting.
The Westin Maui Resort & Spa, Ka’anapali in Lahaina, Hawaii
Covering 12 acres, The Westin Maui Resort & Spa, Ka’anapali, accommodates any type of Maui wedding or event. We love the outdoor spaces, most featuring views of the ocean, palm trees, and lush gardens. The tropical feeling for your Maui beach wedding setting is romantic and cozy.
Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa in Lahaina, Hawaii
With 40 acres near Lahaina’s Ka’anapali Beach, the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa is a top contender for the favorite vendor of Maui wedding companies. This resort offers packages for weddings of all sizes, including Maui elopement packages all inclusive, and the manicured gardens, beachside pools and palms, and services are incredible.
Merriman’s Kapalua, Maui in Lahaina, Hawaii
If you’re looking for a more intimate Maui wedding experience and value good food and lovely settings, consider Merriman’s Kapalua, Maui. Besides the option to book the whole property for your Maui Hawaii wedding, Merriman’s boasts incredible farm-to-table cuisine with produce and seafood that’s from the island! We are swooning!
Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort by Hyatt in Wailea, Hawaii
Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort is another beachfront favorite for Maui Hawaii wedding planners. Offering comfortable indoor and awe-inspiring outdoor ceremony options, visitors to the resort gaze at the West Maui mountains, take in the sunsets on the ocean, and enjoy all that the island has to offer during your Maui destination wedding.
Fairmont Kea Lani in Wailea, Hawaii
With a number of tempting wedding packages, Fairmont Kea Lani forgot nothing when they designed and implemented this amazing resort. Romantic options include an adults-only pool, couples massages, private cabanas, and suites with private lanais. If you’re seeking a more low-key and family-friendly ceremony for your Maui Hawaii wedding, you can even have a poolside ceremony with a pool party!
Haiku Mill in Haiku, Hawaii
Established in 1860, Haiku Mill in Haiku, Maui, is undoubtedly among our top venue choices for weddings and events of all kinds. For one, the grounds are breathtaking, featuring old-growth trees, amazing gardens, and more. For another, the charm and care brought to the property (through touches like its stunning bridal suite, a remodeled plantation worker’s house) is unmatched. Cocktail hour under a 100-year-old mango tree? Count us in!
Weddings in Lanai:
Do you dream of getting away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life on a remote tropical island? You might be dreaming of Lanai. This island is the smallest of Hawaii’s publicly-accessible islands and is accessible by a 1-hour ferry ride from Maui. Only 18 miles wide at its longest point, the island is 140 square miles, which is about half the area of New York City. It is affectionately called “Pineapple Island,” because of its history as the main producer of the fruit.
See one of our favourite Lanai weddings here:
If you’re looking for a more personal location for your celebration, a Lanai wedding is worth consideration. It feels secluded, with only 2 resorts (both managed by Four Seasons Hotels), and no stoplights on the island. To get around, visitors rent Jeep 4×4’s (or other 4WD vehicles), bike, hike, or use hotel transportation. It’s a breath of fresh air after time in the city!
Four Seasons Resort Lanai, in Manele Bay at Hulopoe Beach, is a stunning venue for your Lanai wedding, with sprawling lawns, gardens, ocean views, and an on-location golf course. There are more than ten premier locations for the ceremony and reception at the resort.
The luxury and tranquillity available at Four Seasons Lanai is overwhelming, and the setting is spellbinding. For larger weddings with guests and families, it makes the perfect destination wedding location – there are parks, beaches, ruins, petroglyphs, hiking opportunities, and boogie boarding opportunities throughout the island.
Four Seasons Resort Lanai offers a number of https://www.maunacreative.com/, including an elopement package, an intimate package, a deluxe package, a luxury package, a weddingmoon package, and a vow renewal package. Each of these Lanai wedding packages offers bonus services and offerings from the hotel, and each can be somewhat customized in accordance with your preferences. With its high-end amenities, such as a spa, ballroom, wedding-night turn-down service, onsite musicians and more, Four Seasons Lanai is the epitome of luxury in the islands.
Did we mention this location makes a magnificent honeymoon destination as well? Book a dinner for two with a customized menu, go horseback riding on the beach, take a sunset cruise with cocktails, or snorkel the coral reefs. There’s adventure, sightseeing, golfing, fishing, dining, and relaxing galore.
There is another resort accommodation option on Lanai, a wellness-oriented retreat called Sensei Lanai by Four Seasons. Unlike the resort above, Sensei Lanai is an adults-only property and features consultations, spa treatments, fitness and wellbeing classes, and lodging options that focus on restoration of the body and mind. It’s a luxurious getaway option for anyone looking to invest in wellness experiences unlike any others.
“Big Island” Weddings
The island of Hawaii, or Big Island, as it is sometimes called, is another incredible wedding option. There are endless locations that call out for I do’s, from ballrooms to gardens to cliff overlooks and beaches. How to choose? Depending on your vision for your wedding on the Big Island Hawaii, especially its size and whether you’ll have many guests or just the two of you eloping, your planner can work with you to explore everything from a wedding near a waterfall on the northeastern coast of Big Island, or an upscale venue with an expansive lawn to a silky sand beach.
Home to Honolulu and the majority of the state’s population, Oahu mixes contemporary city life with amazing callouts to the island’s traditional history and culture. On one island, you can experience world-class shopping, fine dining, surfing championships, and the Leeward Coast’s off-the-beaten path beaches. It’s the most cosmopolitan of the islands, but there are amazing chances for escape and relaxation.
Known as the “Garden Island,” Kauai is mostly one color – green. With sweeping valleys, expansive canyons, and tropical rainforests, it is a nature-lover’s paradise. There are many lodging options, from hotels and resorts to vacation rentals and bed and breakfasts. Don’t miss the vibrant farmers markets, the Waimea Canyon, or kayaking on one of Kauai’s amazing rivers.
5 Wedding Tips If You are Planning Your Wedding in Hawaii
Like anywhere, there are customs and etiquette particular to Hawaii that are helpful for visitors. One includes not parking or sitting under coconut trees (ouch!) Here are a few more tips, but to read more, visit this page.
First, don’t forget to apply sunscreen, both before heading out into the sun and regularly while enjoying time outside. Even when it is cloudy or overcast, you can receive sunburn, so consider wearing lightweight long sleeves and pants if you’re especially susceptible. If you’re swimming, snorkeling, or surfing, be sure that your sunscreen doesn’t contain oxybenzone or octinoxate. These chemicals have been prohibited because they contribute to irreparable harm to sensitive reefs and other ocean ecosystems. Keep these precious ecosystems safe and only purchase and use mineral sunscreens with titanium oxide or zinc oxide.
Windows and Weather
The weather in the Hawaiian islands can change from moment to moment and varies even more depending on your altitude, which side of the island you’re on, and the time of year. Because it can go from sun to rain in a matter of minutes, always shut your windows (whether it’s your car or your hotel room) when you leave. On this note, it’s a good idea to throw in your sunhat and your raincoat when heading out for the day, so you’re prepared no matter what weather you’ll encounter while out.
Please don’t smoke on beaches – they are not ashtrays and leftover cigarette butts are unpleasant to visitors and wildlife alike.
There’s nothing quite like the sandy beaches of the islands, and that sand should stay there. It is also illegal to remove coral, rocks, and most plants. Though there are some exceptions (such as driftwood, shells, and beach glass), be sure to check into regulations and consider the experiences of others before removing items from beaches.
Getting Married in Hawaii: Basic Legal Requirements
Compared to many other wedding destinations, the logistics around getting married in Hawaii are quite straightforward. It’s important to get your ducks in a row and not forget these details however.
What are the requirements for marriage in Hawaii? First, ask yourself the following questions:
- Are you both at least 18 years old?
- Can you provide official proof of age – such as a certified birth certificate or a driver’s license?
Next, both of you must apply together with an official marriage license form (approx. $65 online) and present it to a marriage license agent. The license is then valid for 30 days, and the certificate will be mailed to you after your big day.
Engagement + Honeymoon
There’s a reason why Hawaii is so loved by locals and visitors alike. Its opportunities for both relaxation and for adventure, combined with its warm and inviting atmosphere, diverse and unique natural surroundings, incredible culinary options, and tropical weather, truly make it a place like no other.
Hawaii’s islands each have their own flair or personality as well. Whether you’re drawn to the cosmopolitan glitz of Honolulu or the rustic appeal of Kaui or the peace and solitude of Lanai, there’s something for everyone. You can start your day with a walk on the beach, enjoy a few rounds of golf in the afternoon, enjoy an early dinner at a farm-to-table restaurant, and go stargazing after dark. Where else in the world is paradise just outside the door?
If you’ve always dreamed of starting your forever on the beach, the islands of Hawaii are unmatched. Getting engaged at sunset on the beach is as romantic as it gets. And if a lush gardenscape is more your style, there’s that here too!
When it comes time to say your I do’s, whether you’re drawn to a simple maui wedding, a castle-like Haiku Mill event, or the Four Seasons Lanai, there’s something that will make your dreams come true. The tricky part can be choosing what setting is your favorite!
Why not continue the magic, and plan your honeymoon in these islands? Whether it’s another visit or an extended stay, the activities, from horseback riding and ziplining to shopping and relaxing on a cruise, are yours for the choosing.
Hire a Specialized Hawaii Wedding Planner
As you consider hiring a Hawaiian wedding planner, it’s worthwhile to consider a few things. First, are you getting married on a specific island? Hiring a planner who specializes on a certain island can be very beneficial. That planner’s team is more likely to be more familiar with the details of that island, such as the transportation requirements, venue nuances, vendor reputations, and more. Hire a Lanai wedding planner if you anticipate getting married on this breathtaking island.
Are you getting married in maui? Hire Maui wedding planners who are also travel agents, or a planner from your city specializing in planning destination weddings in Maui. Apart from knowing about any Maui wedding packages that might be able to save you money, this Maui destination wedding planner will likely be better equipped to understand what you and your guests will need to be comfortable and enjoy yourselves while away from home.
Don’t hyper-focus on the wedding planning
No matter what, as you work through your planning process, remember that, for everyone involved, it’s a whole experience, and not just a wedding. Even if you and your love are eloping, there are sure to be non-wedding aspects, such as hikes, new restaurants, afternoons by the pool, and time spent on the beach.
Planning for and getting excited about the experience overall, and a few of the specific activities throughout your time, will help you keep your perspective broad and make you more open to all of the amazing memories you are sure to create. Ask yourself about what you’re looking forward to besides walking down the aisle together. Is it brunch at the farmers market? A helicopter tour? Deep-sea fishing? A yoga class with your besties? Taking a cooking class? There are so many amazing options in Hawaii – what can you do to make sure your visit really shines?
While it is Hawaii’s pristine beaches and lush flora that draw many visitors to its islands, it is the warm and welcoming traditions and endless activities that make them stay. Hawaii is a place like no other, and its intimacy, culture, and beauty ensures that any celebration is memorable.
With many options for amazing weddings, you can hardly go wrong, but it’s important to make your event your own. As you work through and refine your wishes and desires, a professional wedding planner can guide you toward the wedding that is right for you, whether that’s a Maui beach wedding package or an elopement next to a waterfall. Whether that’s helping you select a venue, settle on a menu, or assist with your travel plans, a good planner can walk with you the whole way so you remain relaxed and at-ease the whole time.
Are you considering a wedding in Hawaii? Reach out to us to learn more about our process and what we can do together to make your wedding magical.