What comes to your mind when you imagine getting married in Hawaii? Beautiful sandy
beaches, blue sky, coconut trees, hula dancers, rainbow, gorgeous sunset, and sipping on Mai
Well, we have all that for sure….but there is actually a lot more. Please let me share the fact
that approximately 1 million people live on the island of Oahu, and on top of that, we have more
than 5 million visitors in a year (not including visitors to other islands like Maui, Kauai, and The
Big Island), which makes this little island very dense and busy. Honolulu is the 3 rd most
expensive city to live in the United States according to Investpedia.com.
It is true that it is SOOOOO expensive to live here! Yikes!
Oahu is a lot more urban than some people might think. We have a wide range of gourmet
restaurants which satisfy foodies from all over the world, there are many historic churches which
were built long before Hawaii became the 50 th state, you can receive top-notch quality service at
upscale hotels and resorts not only in Waikiki, but also in other areas like Kahala, Ko Olina, and
Turtle Bay. There are a bunch of hipster cafes and eateries in Kakaako, Downtown, Kailua,
Wahiawa, Haleiwa, and so on. And don’t forget we have majestic Ko’olau Mountain Range and
Waianae Mountain Range. Hawaii (Oahu) is truly a perfect example of Town & Country. That’s
why we love it so much!
I hope you get the idea that Hawaii is not just about beaches. When I help my clients select their
wedding venue, one of the biggest challenges is to let them realize how limited “oceanfront”
“beachfront” venue choices are and how costly it is to have an outdoor wedding. Almost all
destination wedding couples tell me they prefer a venue which is either outdoor and oceanfront
or indoor with an ocean view….. but like I said those choices are very limited and can be very
costly. I understand where they are coming from and respect their desires and visions, but at
the same time I want them to open their minds to explore other options Hawaii can offer.
For example… I personally think it is a great idea to go to a luau as a rehearsal dinner or simply
meet & greet with your guests the day before the wedding (a luau is a little cheesy for a wedding
but perfect for a rehearsal dinner), and have a formal ceremony at a historic church and a
stylish reception at a venue like Café Julia in Downtown. You can even plan a hike to Waimea
Falls or a brunch in Waikiki with your guests the day after the wedding. Your guests will love to
experience many facets of this beautiful island.
I want my clients to experience Hawaii as a whole not only on their wedding day, but on the
surrounding days as well. Sharing multiple days with your loved ones and extending the
celebration is the beauty of having a destination wedding here in Hawaii.
I would like to share some pictures from Tomo and Takashi’s wedding. When Tomo first sent
me an inquiry, she wrote to me that they were coming to Hawaii soon to attend their friend’s
wedding and wanted me to meet them while they were here. As it turned out, I was coordinating their friend’s wedding! What a coincidence!!! So they got to see me in action on the wedding day
(thank goodness I passed the test, lol), and I showed them the venue they were interested in
the day after their friends’ wedding.
They chose Central Union Church Atherton Chapel as a ceremony venue and Hau Terrace at
Halekulani Hotel for the reception. It was so adorable when Ann, their 2-year- old daughter ran
the aisle towards daddy, swinging the ring pillow (good thing actual rings were NOT on the
I love using light gray (matte silver) tablecloths. To be honest this color is a bit tricky and needs
to be used very carefully for a wedding, but by choosing the right shade and right material, it
adds such a sophisticated feel to the entire space.
Orange, peach, and yellow colors and abundant greenery were used for the centerpieces to create nice visual contrast. Guests enjoyed hors d’oeuvres and cocktails on the huge wraparound lanai overlooking
Diamond Head and the panoramic ocean under the twilight before the reception started. A jazz
trio played the music for the reception. It was a very beautiful and elegant wedding and I was
honored to be a part of it.
Event Planning & Design: Bliss Bridal
Ceremony: Central Union Church Atherton Chapel
Floral Design: Designs by Hemingway
Photography: Erin Paris Photography
Hair & Makeup: Bilino
Linens, Chair, and Charger: The Wedding Linen Company