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Hawaii Wedding Help

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Nov 3rd, 2012, 10:24 AM
  #1
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Hawaii Wedding Help

We have no idea; which island, beach, or where to spend our honeymoon. Want to do it all somewhere in Hawaii and have NO clue where to start. So many websites out there! Anyone have a personal experience that they could share? Thank you!
(BTW - just us two and in January or February. Also moderate to luxe, it is our wedding.
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Nov 3rd, 2012, 10:40 AM
  #2
 
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There is a book called "Hawaii for Dummies" which is actually a very good resource and you should read so you can give us moe information.

Relying on anectodal information is not a good way to research.

Give an accomodation budget in $$$, not "moderate to luxe". At peak times of year, "moderate" can be very much like "luxe".

Decide how many nights you have available and tell us where you are starting from.

What are your interests? What do you not want to do?
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Nov 3rd, 2012, 02:11 PM
  #3
 
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I was married on a beach in Hawaii (on the Big Island). We had no guests except the couple traveling with us. Our wedding was completely handled by a staff person at the hotel and we were absolutely delighted with the setting, the minister and the service. Because it was so many years ago, I can't make a current recommendation, but I mention it so that you might consider selecting a hotel and having them coordinate it for you.


Best wishes on your wedding.
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Nov 3rd, 2012, 02:42 PM
  #4
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
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Best wishes, but...are you talking about THIS WINTER?

This is High Season in Hawaii. People book their *accommodations* a year in advance, let alone a ceremony. You may be choosing based on what's available in the way of hotels or condos. You'll also need a rental car everywhere outside of Honolulu.

Could you eliminate the wedding fuss by doing that very simply at home, and just enjoy a honeymoon in Hawaii? You'd still be starting married life in a gorgeous place.

If the sky's the limit, look at one of the Four Seasons resorts on Maui, Lanai or the Big Island of Hawaii. In Honolulu, the Halekulani and Kahala Resort are lovely. Whale Season is Jan. - Mar. Whales are most abundant in the channel between Maui and Lanai.

Winter is a time to stay south -- especially on Kauai and Oahu, and to some extent on Maui. It's not a good time of year for Hilo on Big Island or the Hana area of Maui, or higher elevations anywhere.

How long can you stay in Hawaii? What's your least stressful route TO Hawaii? Budget for lodging?

One other thought: If you can move this up to early December, you'll have your pick of lodgings and rental cars, restaurants and activities. It's THE least expensive time to visit.
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Nov 3rd, 2012, 07:30 PM
  #5
 
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I helped plan the honeymoons for 2 of my coworks who ended up going to Oahu for 3 nights and Maui for 7 nights. It really depends on what you are looking for, each island is different! I'll give an idea below, but know that this is just my opinion.

1) Oahu if you love history, activities, excitement, city life mixed in with tropical landscapes. Pearl Harbor is here as well as the Polynesian Cultural Center which both of my coworkers loved. It also has a ton of restaurants and is great if you love eating and exploring food.

2) Big Island - it's big and it's pretty amazing. you can hike on a live volcano, snorkel next to Captain Cook's monument and visit the peak of Mauna Kea, and the southernmost tip of the united states. There are a ton of activities to do and if you have a sense of adventure, it's a gold mine. However, there are long driving distances because the island is so big so I would only go here for at least a week. The Kohala coast has amazing resorts like the 4 Seasons Hualalai.

3) Kauai is just so beautiful and so relaxing. If you want to just get away from it all and relax, Kauai is perfect. Amazing resorts like the St. Regis and the Grand Hyatt. But do not miss out on doing activities like visiting Waimea Canyon and taking a tour of the Napali Coast either via helicopter or boat. Our helicopter tour was one of the most amazing things I have done!

4) Maui is like a honeymooner's paradise. It has everything, luxury resorts, great restaurants and food, great beaches, and lots of activities but not overwhelmingly so. I love this island!

I guess you can decide which island you want to do, and then plan your trip around it. If possible and if you have unlimited time, then i'd visit all 4 but know that you want to spend ample time on each island. if you only have a week - one island is ideal. If you have 10 days or more, then 2 islands would work. etc..

I agree with ChiSue in that if your honeymoon is coming up soon, that the booking should happen quickly because it is peak season. Also don't forget car rental, which is necessary on all islands, except for maybe Oahu but I'd still get a car anyways.
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Nov 3rd, 2012, 08:00 PM
  #6
 
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We just returned from our 7th trip to Maui. My niece was married on Maui in 2003 but her wedding was more luxe than moderate.

When in Maui, we stay at the Royal Lahaina Resort in Kaanapali, a lovely stretch of beach near Lahaina. Over the week we were there, they had at least one or two weddings/receptions every day. They have a wedding planning service that will take care of everything.

I suggest you decide rather quickly where you want to have your wedding and start contacting hotels about their wedding services. You ARE getting a late start for a Jan/Feb wedding.
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Nov 4th, 2012, 01:17 AM
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I like Mauna Lani on the Big Island. It's an historical and spiritual place with many picturesque locations. http://www.maunalani.com/r_w_overview.htm

A less expensive venue might be the Sheraton Kona http://www.sheratonkona.com/weddings/wedding-venues

It seems like hotel websites have wedding information, and every island will have some nice places to go to. I also think the Kahala on Oahu is relaxed and romantic, and Kauai is so pretty.

The Big Island is my favorite as I have a house in the country there, but all the islands have their fans.

I would just call around and see what is available. There are always cancellations with weddings, and tourism has been down in places.
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Nov 6th, 2012, 06:54 PM
  #8
 
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Aloha from Kauai...i am abit biased towards Kauai...it was my pleasure to coordinate an intimate wedding for some dear friends from Santa Barbara wanting a super local hidden valley waterfall overlooking a lush river not over used site, four course premiere Hawaiian food at the site, Hawaiian kahu "officiant' and a award winning slack key solo guitarist throughout...i'm born here and love to assist whatever guests are seeking! there are places like Smiths luau/weddings and St Regis on the lawn yet, pardon me, they are really pricey and perform hundreds of the same ones every year; nothing unique...i'd suggest finding a local coordinator and bounce off ideas/budget/ whatever resonates with your vision!! There are wonderful qualified super gracious wedding coordinators(not just me...)that are keen to make you happy! Just helped a group here to honeymoon after getting married on Oahu and wished they'd done the ceremony here...plenty of great connections to do a beach wedding( easy to get the permits...), secluded waterfalls or cute little coves...plus once here, you are immersed into the pulse of the islands lush slow motion savor....love to help if you have specifics...congratulations!!
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Nov 7th, 2012, 06:08 AM
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IMO - Kauai offers the most romantic choices of the islands.
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Nov 7th, 2012, 08:27 AM
  #10
 
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Congratulations. Years back I took a cruise around all the islands. Maui or Kauai I can't remember, its the one that they filmed all the movies on. I'm pretty sure that's Maui. That was by far my favorite island. I would definitely check that out.
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Nov 7th, 2012, 09:30 AM
  #11
 
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I like kauaistyles advice. There are a few really great coordinator services to plan a very special intimate ceremony. Stop by Pono Market for your Marraige Certificate and plate lunch and a big dose of Aloha to start the process. You can easily source your own flowers, and the coordinator/officiant can take care of permits, location, music, and photographer. The hotels will offer elegant cookie cutter experience with tons of tourists watching the festivities.

There was one coordinator that got some really bad press in Garden Island News. Perhaps k-style can steer you clear of that person.
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Nov 7th, 2012, 03:06 PM
  #12
 
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They filmed "all the movies" on the North Shore of Kauai - such as the award winning South Pacific in '57, the Thornbirds, parts of Jurrasic Park, the more recent Descendants with George Clooney - and part of Blue Hawaii - mid-island at the old Coconut Palms with Elvis Presley.
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Nov 7th, 2012, 05:44 PM
  #13
 
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My favorites are Kauai and Maui ... Kauai is quiet and more tropical. Maui has a little more activity. Both would have great places to hold a ceremony. On Maui, the Wailea area might be a good spot to look, especially weather-wise in the winter months.
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Nov 9th, 2012, 06:27 PM
  #14
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Oh WOW! Thank you all so much for all of your information. I will have to do some more detailed searching, but all very helpful. Your input is greatly appreciated!
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Nov 9th, 2012, 07:06 PM
  #15
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
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Best wishes processing your upcoming wedding. Take everything here with a grain of salt. I might suggest a paddleboard wedding with plumeria in the water, but you might like the attention of strangers as witness.....I have always enjoyed witnessing island weddings I happened upon.

Best wishes with your plans.
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