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Top 10 Wedding Venues in Hawaii

July 6, 2019

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Here are my top 10 wedding venues on Hawaii. Hawaii with all its beauty can be a tough decision to choose where to exchange your vows. Most Hawaii destination couples choose an outdoor wedding using the sublime beauty of Hawaii as their background.

Today, I’m going to share venues that offer outdoor ceremony and receptions, and outdoor ceremonies with indoor receptions. It’s up to you to decide but hey, if you’re making the trip all the way here, I would hope you’d want to take advantage of my sublime island home.

Having lived on Oahu for the past decade and being a wedding photographer gives me an unique perspective about what makes a venue fabulous. These top wedding venues in Hawaii are wonderful, visually impressive and bring out the beauty of Hawaii.

When it comes to planning your destination wedding, there is no better place than come to Hawaii. The Hawaiian islands offer some of the most picturesque places on earth. I know, I know, I may sound a bit bias but, I have traveled the world and there truly is no place that compares especially if you love nature and adventure.

One of the best things about Oahu is that it offers a wide variety of wedding styles – wether you want to have a casual beach wedding, an outdoor nature as your backdrop or a luxury hotel wedding, Oahu has it all. 

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Choosing Oahu as your Destination for your Hawaii Wedding

Oahu known as “The Gathering Place” isn’t the largest island in the chain but it is the most populated and is our top tourist destination. With the rich Hawaiian cultural, beautiful surf and beaches, and hiking, Oahu is has something for everyone.

Most people will fly into Oahu as it’s the easiest of our islands to get to from the US Mainland or far destinations such as Australia and New Zealand. There variety оf iconic spots to see while you are here for your destination wedding or elopement such as Pearl Harbor, Diamond Head, Makapuʻu Lighthouse and the famous North Shore in Haleiwa, so be sure to leave time to explore.

When planning your Hawaii destination wedding, think out of the box, I mean you want to get married in Hawaii, yes? Honolulu (locals call the actual city “town” because if you live in Kaimuki, Kahala, Hawaii Kai etc… this is technically still Honolulu), can be quite crowded and busy to navigate around but there are great restaurants and nightlife to entertain you with in “town”.

However there are many great wedding venues beyond “town” and all over the island, some of which I have listed, my favorites below (not in any particular order). Let’s get started shall we?

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  1. Kualoa Ranch

This nature preserve is home to over 4,000 acres of natural beauty cutting through the majestic Ko’olau mountain range. Still a full working ranch, with horsed, cattle and farming you’ll have views of steep mountain cliffs and the famous Chinaman’s hat in Kaneohe Bay.

With the preservation of the Hawaiian cultural Kualoa Ranch has sites and historic locations to its secret beaches, hidden valleys and secluded gardens, you will be wowed.

With multiple locations in which to choose from to have your ceremony and reception, my all time favorite is “Paliku Gardens”. It has both amazing water and mountain views. Exchange your vows with Chinaman’s Hat behind you and the Ko’olaus behind. 

Kualoa Ranch is also fabulous place to visit wether you have your wedding here or not, as they offer wonderful tours on ATV, zip line and their famous movie tour. Thinking some of these spots look familiar? 

Jumanji, Kong Skull Island, Jurassic World, Jurassic Park, Pearl Harbor, Godzilla, and 50 First Dates have all been filmed at here. Take the movie tour and see all the locations for yourself!

I personally love the “Paliku gardens” area as it offers both amazing water and mountain views. Get married with Kaneohe behind you and then off for your portraits in the tropical garden and mountain range. It has it all. The pavillion has an area to get ready in, bathrooms, and a kitchen area for your caterer.

Or take a short boat ride over to secret beach for your ceremony. Mostly private and picturesque, this location wins my heart for the views!

Types of locations: ceremony and reception: outdoor/tented/pavilion

Here is a full gallery of a wedding taken at Paliku Gardens.

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2. Ko’olau Ballrooms and Conference Center

Located on the east side of Oahu in Kaneohe, secretly tucked away from civilization and yet only minutes away from Waikiki and Downtown Honolulu, Ko’olau Ballrooms, is an oasis from the hustle and bustle of town. 

Thinking you may want an outdoor ceremony and indoor reception? This is the place to hold your wedding. Exchange your vows in the Outdoor garden and then take off in a golf cart for your portrait session with Ko’oalu’s stunning, lush, emerald green mountains as your backdrop. Here you’ll have images as beautiful and romantic as you want your wedding day to be.

It’s also a great location as it’s pretty much an all-in-one experience. They have their own in-house chef, bar, ceremony sites and several rooms to choose from for you reception. I personally am a fan of the Glass Ballroom as you can enjoy the magnificent panoramic Ko’olau’s on through your reception. 

Types of locations: ceremony: outdoor/indoor Reception: indoor 

Here is a full gallery from Karli and Max’s wedding

and also their feature on blog

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3. Royal Hawaiian Golf Club

This spectacular venue is not near the Royal Hawaiian Hotel but just about 30 minutes outside Waikiki in Kailua. Due to the contrary, it is a public golf course so no need to get sponsored to host your wedding here. Even better, host your guests for a day of golfing and drinks and lunch at the Olena Restaurant.

With its absolutely stunning views of the Ko’olau mountain range all around you will make for amazing ceremony and will show off the tropical beauty that this area has to offer. The Royal Hawaiian Golf Club is a venue is all inclusive with a getting ready area, a stunning and convenient ceremony space, and ballroom that holds up to 200 guests. After your ceremony, take a golf cart tour to get amazing imagery of tropical areas and mountains.

Types of locations: ceremony: outdoor reception: outdoor/tented indoor ballroom

Check out a gallery of images from the RHCC

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4. Dillingham Ranch

As you near Dillingham Ranch, you know you’re beginning to step back in time. This historic 2,700 acre ranch offers all the charm and essence of old Hawaii. The ranch, a rare property as it stretches from white sandy beaches of the North Shore to the Waianae Mountain range and wide open spaces.

I love the tree-lined road leading up to Dillingham Lodge. The lodge, is as elegant as it is beautiful. A 3,000 square foot great room with fireplace, you’ll greet your guests in style. Marry in the front under the large Monkey Pod tree and then move to the back to dine and dance the night away under the stars.

* You can even rent a horse to be photographed with for you portrait session.

Types of locations: ceremony and reception: outdoor & tented

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5. Waimea Valley

Nestled in the heart of Oʻahu’s renowned North Shore, Waimea Valley’s world class botanical gardens makes it a perfect backdrop for a tropical/jungle feel for your wedding celebration. It offers several locations for your ceremony and even more locations for you portrait session. The Valley offers inclusive wedding packages for your ceremony/reception and catering. Taking a little bit of the work of having to hire a caterer, bar and wait staff.

Even if you opt to have your wedding else where the Valley is a must see while you visit Oahu and take a dip in the falls!

Types of locations: ceremony and reception: outdoor/tented/pavilion

See a full Waimea Valley wedding gallery here

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6. Four Seasons Oahu

The Four Seasons Oahu, recently went under multi-million dollar renovation making it more luxurious than ever. The resort located out in Koolina where the weather is nearly perfect everyday.

Imagine sharing your vows on an oceanfront lawn or in an intimate, chapel, (it’s air conditioned yay!). Afterwards walk around for your photo session in and around the property lush wit tropical garden nooks and sweeping beach locations. Celebrate together in one of the restaurants, outdoor on one of their lawns or for a larger wedding, choose the Ocean Ballroom, need a bigger location? Get ready at FSO and host your wedding celebration at the Lanikuhunoa Cultural Estate.

Types of locations: ceremony: outdoor & indoor reception: outdoor, ballroom, on property restaurant

See a full Wedding for the Four Seasons Oahu

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7. Lanikuhonua Cultural Center

“Where Heaven Meets the Earth”, Lanikuhonua is offers lush tropical grounds located on the west side of Oahu in Koolina. It’s picture perfect for your Hawaii wedding and imagine yourself as you exchange your vows facing the warm waters of the Pacific. I love this venue as you can dream up your perfect wedding, making it as simple or lavish as you want. It’s easy in and out making it convenient as well as tons of parking or if you’re coming in from Waikiki, hire a bus or shuttle to take you back and forth.

Types of locations: ceremony and reception: outdoor & tented

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8. Halekulani Hotel

I know you’re probably thinking why do I have a Waikiki property on here if I believe Waikiki to be so crowded and busy. Well, two properties make the top 10 wedding venue in Hawaii. Let’s start with the Halekulani.

This luxury property in the heart of Waikiki offers several locations for your Hawaii Wedding. I love the Hau Terrace for it’s beautiful view overlooking Waikiki beach. You can exchange your vows, host your cocktail hour and reception all right here. The hotel has a beautiful garden area and several photo opts that makes it great. The Halekulani offers fabulous wedding packages and the staff here is second to none the best. Contact them for more information!

Types of locations: outdoor ceremony, outdoor reception, terrace, ballroom, on property restaurant

View a wedding day here

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9. Royal Hawaiian Hotel

Since opening its doors in 1927, The “Pink Palace of the Pacific” has been synonymous with luxury, romance and history. Located in the heart of Waikiki, Thе Royal Hаwаііаn has enticed couples from around the globe with іtѕ incredible Spanish-Moorish architecture, pink walls and stunning grounds and ocean views. The Royal offers everything from a small intimate wedding to a full house in the Monarch Room. 

I love this location for the tropical gardens and stunning view of the azure waters of Waikiki and Diamond Head especially at sunset.

Types of locations: outdoor ceremony, outdoor reception, ballroom, on property restaurant

See a wedding gallery here


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10. La Pietra

Once part of the Dillingham Estate, this now all girl’s рrераrаtоrу ѕсhооl is nestled at the foot of Diamond Head. It’s fashioned after a Italian Villa and makes this a totally unique location for your Hawaii wedding. Buіlt in 1910 by Wаltеr Dillingham fоr hіѕ ѕwееthеаrt, Lоuіѕе Gaylord, just adds to the romance of this stunning location and grounds. La Pietra offers several locations for your ceremony, mine being the Julia Brown courtyard with the iron gate all decorated with lush florals to exchange your vows. 

This photogenic and a stunning unique venue in Hawaii is for a who wants a little bit of old Europe in paradise.

Types of locations: ceremony: outdoor; reception: outdoor, tented

 

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Well there you have them! My top 10 wedding venues in Hawaii, best of Oahu edition. I hope this helps you narrow down to what type of wedding you’re looking to host. Outdoor, indoor, nature, hotel and golf courses. You can not go wrong with any of these! You have your own unique story to tell so choose what’s best for you! I’m happy to see that you’re choosing Hawaii to start your lives off together and begin the story of you here. On our sublime island home.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me. I’m here to help!

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Jeannemarie is a professional wedding photographer based on the island of Oahu, Hawaii and travels to neighbor islands and the world to capture the story of you.

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