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WEDDINGS IN HAWAI‘I


Beautiful and sensual, Hawai‘i is the ultimate destination for lovers. Everything you could want for the perfect romantic escape is here – balmy weather year round, magnificent sunsets, star-studded night skies, brilliant rainbows, fragrant blossoms, and magical settings. In this tropical paradise there is no end to the variety of ways in which you can get married. Exchange your vows barefoot on a sparkling white sand beach or by a secluded waterfall. Have a traditional wedding in a tropical garden or a picturesque chapel. Sail into the sunset for a ceremony at sea, or fill a formal ballroom with family and friends. You can even declare your love under the waves or while falling through the air.

WEDDING DETAILS

The range of professional wedding services on offer in Hawai‘i is as extensive as the choice of venues and ceremony types. Whether you want a wedding that is intimate, elegant, or unusual, wedding planners are available to assist in every way and can make recommendations to fit your personal taste and budget. The Hawai‘i Visitors and Convention Bureau and the individual visitors’ bureaux on each island have websites with sections on weddings and honeymoons. These include directories of services provided by their members.

Many hotels offer wedding packages that include everything from a champagne toast  to a private in-room dinner prepared by a top chef, and from a fragrant flower lei greeting to a Hawaiian blessing. If you decide to handle the details yourself, check the Yellow Pages phone book for the island in question. Local professional associations provide useful lists of coordinators, officiants, photographers, videographers, musicians, and entertainers. They also list bridal gown boutiques, tuxedo rentals, hair, makeup, and nail stylists, caterers, florists, and more.



A HAWAIIAN WEDDING

 A Hawaiian blessing is just one aspect of genuine islandstyle nuptials. Other special features include the blowing of the conch shell to signal the start of the ceremony, soft island music, the officiant performing the ceremony in the Hawaiian language (as well as in English), and fresh flower lei, worn and exchanged by the bride and groom.

It is also possible to opt for a Western ceremony and the limitless stunning locations available mean you can make your vows in a memorable setting.

BEACH WEDDINGS

 Hawai‘i offers countless golden beaches that make perfect wedding settings. If you get married at Kapi‘olani Park  on O‘ahu, your wedding photos could show the world-renowned Waikīkī Beach and Diamond Head in the background. Hāpuna Bay  near Kawaihae on Hawai‘i Island, has a gorgeous long stretch of white sand and sparkling turquoise water.

On Kaua‘i, one of the most spectacular settings is Hanalei Bay , where steep cliffs shrouded in emeraldgreen vegetation contrast against the dazzling white sand and deep-blue sea.

Maui has mile upon mile of beautiful beaches, but it may be difficult to find one that you can have all to yourselves. The bay at Kapalua , on the west side of the island, makes a pictureperfect wedding setting. The beach here is a white sand crescent that fronts the lovely bay, with the nearby islands of Moloka’i and Lāna’i floating

Hawai‘i’s state and county beaches allow beach wedding ceremonies without a charge, but you must obtain a permit Gardens that are administered by state and county parks do not charge a fee for wedding ceremonies, however it is necessary to apply for a permit in advance.

CHURCHES AND CHAPELS

Each island has a picturesque historic church built in the 1800s, when Christian missionaries first arrived. Today these churches are chosen as locations for many Hawaiian weddings. Honolulu’s grand Kawaiaha‘o Church  once served Hawaiian royalty. On Maui, the intimate Keawala’i Church in Mākena, built in 1832, is set on the edge of a peaceful bay and surrounded by palms gently swaying in the breeze. The oldest church on the islands, Moku‘aikaua Church  on Hawai‘i Island, is built of lava stone and its steeple is the highest structure in Kailua-Kona. The interdenominational Kōloa Church in the Po‘ipū area of Kaua‘i  also has a beautiful steeple, as well as ornate columns, high ceilings, and seating for over 200 guests.

Almost every hotel in Hawai‘i offers wedding packages and several have lovely chapels on their own grounds.

In Honolulu and Waikīkī, there are chapels at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort , the Sheraton Moana Surfrider , and the Renaissance Ilikai Waikīkī Hotel . Located on a magnificent stretch of O‘ahu’s south shore, the lovely Kahala O Ke Kai Chapel is part of the gorgeous Kahala Hotel . At Turtle Bay Resort , on the north shore of O’ahu, the Wedding Pavilion, located on the tip of scenic Kuilima Point, is a dramatic glass-walled sanctuary. Here wedding parties can arrive at and depart the ceremony in the utmost style, riding in Turtle Bay Resort’s own horse-drawn carriage. On Maui, the Wailea Seaside Chapel, part of the Grand Wailea Resort, is impressive and picturesque. Its exterior resembles

a New England church and inside there are chandeliers hanging majestically from the high vaulted ceiling and glorious stained-glass windows. On Hawai‘i Island, the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort  offers a romantic white seaside wedding chapel, Bayside Chapel, which is secluded from the rest of the property.

UNUSUAL WEDDINGS – LAND, AIR, AND SEA

 There are many out-of-theordinary wedding ceremony options to be enjoyed in Hawai‘i. For instance, couples can get married on the summit of one of Hawai‘i’s breathtaking dormant volcanoes – Diamond Head *on O‘ahu, Haleakalā * on Maui, or Mauna Kea * on Hawai‘i Island. Permits are needed, but the location itself is free of charge. Alternatively, you can let a helicopter whisk you away to your special beach or hidden waterfall. On Maui, Hawai‘i Island, and Kaua‘i Blue Hawaiian Helicopters can organize this. Another heavenly option is saying your vows while skydiving. On O‘ahu, you can arrange to do this with Skydive Hawai’i or the Pacific Skydiving Center.

There are a variety of possibilities for a romantic wedding at sea. You might choose to say your vows sailing into the sunset on the Alala Catamaran – or on a yacht provided by Kamanu Charters or ShangriLa Private Sailing Charters. Kaua‘i’s legendary Fern Grotto *, a natural amphitheater full of luxuriant greenery, is perfect for a secluded wedding. For the journey there, Smith’s Motor Boat Service will provide a private boat, on which musicians can serenade you with the romantic Hawaiian Wedding Song as you cruise up the Wailua River

In an underwater scuba ceremony, dolphins, turtles and colorful reef fish will be your witnesses as you write the words “I do” and exchange rings. Eve Eschner Hogan on Maui, or Beach Weddings Hawai’i on Hawai‘i Island can arrange to make this happen for you. On O‘ahu, Mau‘i, and Hawai‘i Island, another underwater option is to charter a private submarine cruise for your ceremony with Atlantis Submarines.

LEGALITIES

Both the bride and groom must be present when the license is issued and each must provide valid picture identification (a driver’s license or passport). Your birthplace, and the names of your parents will be noted on the license application. If relevant, final divorce decree information is also needed, as is written permission from a parent or legal guardian for those under 18 years of age. No waiting period, blood tests, or vaccinations are required. The license is good for 30 days and the $60 fee must be paid in cash.

The central marriage license office is located in O‘ahu at the Hawai‘i State Department of Health. An appointment to obtain the license should be scheduled directly with a license agent. For agent contact information, call the local branch of the Hawai‘i State Department of Health. After the wedding, the officiant sends the license for filing as the official marriage certificate. A certified copy is mailed to the couple around 120 days later. The license agent can speed up this process by forwarding a $10 fee.

VOW RENEWALS

Many married couples want to do it all over again and arrange a vow renewal ceremony. These can be as creative and personal as you want them to be and there is the same endless variety of locations and ceremonies available as there is for firsttimers. Since the ceremony is purely symbolic, not legal, a minister or judge is not required to perform it, nor is it necessary to obtain any form of marriage license. Outrigger Waikīkī on the Beach  and Outrigger Reef on the Beach  invite guests who are newlyweds or celebrating an anniversary to renew their vows at a complimentary ceremony on Waikīkī Beach. This nondenominational Hawaiian celebration is conducted by a practicing kahu (priest) and includes a traditional chant, hula , song, and flower lei garlands
WEDDINGS IN HAWAI‘I WEDDINGS IN HAWAI‘I Reviewed by MELANIE INFINITY on January 11, 2020 Rating: 5

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