6 Hidden Gems for Beach Weddings in Hawaii
If you have your heart set on a beautiful beach wedding, then there is truly no better place to look in the United States than Hawaii. Of course, you still have quite a search ahead of you, considering there are hundreds of sandy shores lining Hawaii’s six paradisical islands, each possessing their own distinct flair. But out of the vast, sunny collection, there’s bound to be a generous handful of Hawaiian beaches that will perfectly fit your desired atmosphere, location, and accommodations. Not sure which oceanside locale will be your perfect fit? To give you an idea, we've put together a list of Hawaii’s best beaches, ranging from the classic to the exclusive.
Ko Olina Beach Though much of Hawaii’s beauty was crafted by Mother Nature, Ko Olina Beach is one of man’s finest creations. Ko Olina is considered one of Oahu’s top three beaches, and once you visit, it’ll be easy to see why! Located on the island’s drier West side, Ko Olina is known for its iconic man-made lagoons enclosed by giant rocks, offering the most picturesque spot for an oceanside ceremony with a little more peace and quiet. Between the calm blue waters and the soft white sand imported from the neighboring island of Lanai, Ko Olina Beach provides couples with a truly unique spot for trading their vows.
This area has been recently developed, meaning that there are plenty of venues to choose from when considering your reception or wedding night. Options include the picturesque Ko Olina Chapel Place of Joy, where you can wed in a contemporary chapel overlooking the Pacific before holding a classic, Hawaiian reception on an oceanfront lawn. Alternatively, the nearby Ocean Gardens offers lush foliage and authentic la’au touches for your celebration. However, it’s important to note that the hotel selection here is slim and you may have to look elsewhere to enjoy your wedding night!
Kahekili Beach Romantic Maui lives up to its reputation with Kahekili Beach. If you’re looking for a slightly quieter setting for your ceremony without wandering too far away from the action, then Kahekili Beach might be the right fit for you! A few hotels can be seen at the outmost wings, but this beach lacks the impositions of towering resorts and touristy shops. Only a few feet away from the shore you can see shadows of the reef in the turquoise waters, making it a prime spot for snorkeling. An emerald patch of grass dappled with towering palms borders the white sands, making for a popular ceremony spot.
Right at the end of this gorgeous beach you’ll find the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa, which offers a fantastic tropical getaway only steps away from the ocean. Further down, Kahekili Beach transforms into the bustling Ka’anapali Beach, where you’ll find a clutch of beautiful resorts that provide luxurious accommodations and stunning panoramic views, such as the Ka’anapali Beach Hotel and the Royal Lahaina Resort Maui. Though Ka’anapali Beach has a similar topography to Kahekili, the surrounding hotels make Ka’anapali busier and thus makes it more difficult to throw an intimate ceremony directly on the sand.
Source: Maui Magazine
Waikiki Beach Oahu’s Waikiki Beach may not be the most secluded oceanside wedding locale in Hawaii, but it is certainly the most iconic! The surf is shallow and warm, and it seems as though the sun is always shining on the sparkling blue waters of the Pacific. Though Waikiki Beach is usually a little too crowded for an intimate ceremony during the day, taking a romantic walk at night when the water is illuminated by Honolulu’s city skyline is a truly singular experience!
Many of the surrounding hotels offer excellent spaces overlooking Waikiki, allowing you to have that beachy feel without the crowds. At the breathtaking Moana Surfrider Westin Resort & Spa, you can exchange your “I do’s” from a spacious lanai, a lush green lawn, or a beautiful beachside terrace--all overlooking the golden coast and the distant Diamond Head. Other nearby hotels with unforgettable Waikiki Beach settings perfectly suited for your vows include the Hilton Waikiki Beach, Sheraton Waikiki, Halekulani Hotel and Resort Oahu, and (of course) The Royal Hawaiian!
Hapuna Beach Situated just north of Kona, Hapuna Beach offers one of the finest waterside ceremony sites on the Big Island. With the Big Island boasting so much acreage and an abundance of waterfront space, you might be asking yourself what makes Hapuna so special. First of all, this beach is one of the widest in the area, boasting nearly 200 feet of sandy stretch during the summer months. This expansive beach also features silky sands that embrace your feet and gorgeous views of the turquoise Pacific, which remains rather calm throughout the majority of the year. Surrounded by flourishing greenery and the nearby emerald hills of a golf course, Hapuna can make an excellent oceanfront space for a small ceremony. Though it is a public beach, it is known as one of the cleanest beaches on the island.
The Hapuna Prince Hotel is one of the premier wedding destinations in the area. From the sumptuous suites to the romantic gathering spaces, this first class resort practically oozes elegance! Whether you want to relax poolside or dance the night away with friends on the one-of-a-kind terrace, you’re sure to find something to love at The Hapuna Prince.
Source: James Rubio Photography
Wailea Beach Wailea Beach runs in a wide, white strand right before a row of luxury hotels. This Maui beach is the quintessential Hawaiian ceremony locale, boasting soft white sands, glittering azure waters, and stunning resort architecture rising up between groves of towering palms. The only downside to the convenience and beauty of these hotels is the number of people that sometimes crowd the beach. However, having a sunset ceremony – right when many of the tourists have made their way back to their hotels – is nothing short of pure bliss!
Though there are a number of impressive resorts to choose right off the shore, the Grand Wailea and Fairmont Kea Lani are well-known for their luxurious atmospheres. The Grand Wailea is unrivaled in its beauty, providing everything from a gorgeous tropical garden to a grand ballroom with imported Italian chandeliers. The Fairmont Kea Lani offers an intimate outdoor pool grove surrounded by towering palms that’s perfect for a cocktail hour, reception, or simply relaxing with your new spouse!
Pali Ke Kua Beach If you’ve been searching for the perfect secluded spot for a romantic elopement or simply some intimate nuptials on the shore, then you should look no further than Kauai’s Pali Ke Kua Beach. Though you may have to take a little hike to get there, you certainly won’t regret the effort! The beach is mostly lined with natural rocks, though there are exquisite white sands on certain spots. Much of Pali Ke Kua is largely shaded by the lush trees and foliage around the perimeter, giving it an even more private and exclusive feel than many of the more traditional Hawaiian beaches. This idyllic spot is ideal for couples hoping to find a beach setting that’s more organic and off the beaten path.
Despite Pali Ke Kua’s isolated feel, there are a few resorts only minutes away, giving you easy access to a reception venue or a wedding night retreat! The St. Regis Princeville Resort offers breathtaking settings for a small reception, including a palatial covered terrace that’s surrounded by the ocean on three sides. Hanalei Bay Resort sits a little further from the coastline, but provides guests with a sprawling paradisical property and spectacular mountain views.