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Popular Destination Wedding Locations in Hawaii and Tahiti

By Edited Jun 11, 2016 2 7

Destination Weddings

Romantic Pacific Islands

Many couples are choosing to take the money they would have spent on an extravagant local wedding, and using their wedding funds to go on a dream trip to the Pacific Islands, instead. In some cases, couples have actually discovered that they can save money by having a destination wedding in Hawaii or Tahiti with just a small group of their family and friends. Some people have also found that destination weddings can frequently be less complicated. The couple needs to do very little other than simply show up. The resort has everything prepared for them when they arrive. Whatever reason you have decided to have a tropical destination wedding in Hawaii or Tahiti, where should you go, and what will you need to do in advance to insure that your wedding goes smoothly?

 

Hawaiian Dancers

Before you leave on your wedding trip, you may want to register for your wedding gifts.  That will make it easier for your guests to order gifts, without having to lug gifts with them through airport security.  There are many sites you can use to register for wedding gifts, including Amazon.

Be sure to use this quick link to the Amazon.com wedding registry.

Tahiti Destination Weddings

Tahiti is part of French Polynesia. The islands have dramatic mountain peaks as well as gorgeous beaches. The water is so clear, that many people claim snorkeling there is like snorkeling in an aquarium. One popular resort is the InterContinental Bora Bora Resort and Thalasso Spa. It almost looks like a South Pacific movie set. The resort has a nice location for beach weddings, as well as a chapel built out over the water, with a glass floor, for a truly unique wedding venue!

The Four Seasons Bora Bora Resort is another popular Tahitian resort. It has a wedding chapel with a wall of windows behind the alter, featuring a wonderful view of the lagoon.

The Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort & Spa offers five different wedding ceremony packages, including the option to be married on a private island!

If you want to try a different island, instead of Bora Bora, you may prefer to get married on the island of Moorea, and stay at the Moorea Pearl Resort & Spa. The rooms are decorated in traditional Polynesian style, but also have luxurious amenities.

Hawaiian Destination Weddings

Hawaii boasts wonderful weather the year-round, as well as gorgeous beaches, fabulous resorts, and luxury amenities. Nearly all the major resorts can help you arrange a romantic wedding. Here are a few you may want to consider:

On the island of Oahu, just 45 minutes from Honolulu, is the Turtle Bay Resort which consists of ocean view cottages, and two championship golf courses. Another popular wedding spot on Oahu is Halekulani Resort, featuring one suite that was actually decorated by Vera Wang, the famous bridal designer. Since Honolulu is also located on the island of Oahu, you can also expect to be able to enjoy all the nightlife you crave, while staying in these more remote, romantic resorts.

On the Big Island of Hawaii, you might want to consider getting married at the luxurious Fairmont Orchid Hotel, the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel, or the Kona Village Resort. The Kona Village Resort is a good choice for the couple looking for an authentic, yet luxurious, Hawaiian experience. Guests stay in their own cottage, without a TV or telephone.  Our family has stayed at the Fairmont Orchid Hotel on several occasions and witnessed many beautiful weddings there.

Maui is a popular tourist destination with numerous golf courses, gorgeous resorts, great shopping, nightclubs and more. There are also lovely places to drive where you can see waterfalls and rainbows, especially along the amazing road to Hana. Two popular wedding destinations on Maui are the Fairmont Kea Lani or the Hooilo House Bed and Breakfast. The Hooilo House has just five rooms, which makes it ideal if you and your guests want to take over the whole property during your stay.

The Island of Kauai is called the Garden Island because of its lush, tropical landscape. It is one of the least developed islands, and is a wonderful spot to relax. It is also the site of the famous Hanalei Beach mentioned in the popular 60's song, "Puff the Magic Dragon." Although there are no dragons to be found, there are gorgeous beaches, fun boat rides, and beautiful canyons. One gorgeous hotel on the island is the Gran Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa. It features a Robert Trent Jones designed golf course and a fabulous spa. Another popular resort is the Hanalei Bay Resort, which is very nice, but more affordable than some of the other luxury resorts on the island.

If you decide that you cannot afford the South Pacific, you may choose to have an exotic wedding at a resort in Las Vegas, instead.  If you decide to go that route, be sure to pick up a copy of my Amazon book, available in both Kindle and Paperback editions:   Your Guide to a Fabulous Las Vegas Wedding

 

Arranging Your Destination Wedding

No matter where you choose to have your Pacific Island destination wedding (or a destination wedding anywhere else), you will want to start by contacting the hotels and speaking with their wedding coordinators. Ask about the prices for their wedding packages, their room rates, whether or not any meals or spa treatments are included, and the cost of any activities you hope to enjoy while you are there, such as golf fees. During this first phone call, just take notes. Do not give them your credit card information until you have spoken with the wedding coordinator at several resorts. If you are trying to choose between Tahiti and Hawaii, you next step will be to check out airfare prices. There can be a substantial difference in the airfares between the two locations. Once you have all your costs totaled up, you can see which islands, and which resorts fit into your budget.

After you have narrowed your resort selection down to just the ones that fit your budget, you are ready to call the wedding coordinators again, and discuss your ceremony specifics. Are there a bunch of "add-ons" that will change the price dramatically? Is everything still within your budget? If so, go ahead and make your plans.

Finally, find out what you need to do in advance, before you leave, to insure that everything goes smoothly once you arrive at your destination. For example, if you are going to Tahiti you need to plan far enough in advance to get a passport, if you do not already have one. Make sure you are clear about the identification and documentation necessary in order to get your marriage license. Is your American driver's license adequate, or do they have other requirements, as well? How expensive is the marriage license? You will have a lot more fun if you are not shocked by hidden fees. If you or your fiancé have been married before, are there any papers that you will need to bring with you? Once you have gotten everything organized, call the wedding coordinator again and run through the check list with her one more time. It will put your mind at ease.

One of the best parts about a destination wedding is that, once you have organized everything with the wedding coordinator and made your reservations, all you need to do is pack and go! The resort will have everything waiting for you when you arrive. Have a wonderful time!

For more wedding and gift ideas, you may also be interested in reading some of the articles listed below:

Buy Discount Wedding Dresses

Buy Discount Bridesmaid Gifts

The Fairmont Orchid Hotel: One of the Best Family Resorts in Hawaii

Budget for a $25,000 Wedding with 150 Guests

How to Create Thoughtful Wedding Gift Bags

Easy and Cheap Las Vegas Weddings

These Floral Wedding Invitations are Perfect

They are great invitations for a tropical destination wedding

Wilton Pressed Floral Wedding Invitation Kit
Amazon Price: $24.49 Buy Now
(price as of Jun 11, 2016)
You can order this wedding invitation kit and make your own invitations!

A Helpful Book on Another Type of Destination Wedding

Your Guide to a Fabulous Las Vegas Wedding
Amazon Price: $6.99 $4.96 Buy Now
(price as of Jun 11, 2016)
There are many types of resorts in Las Vegas, so it is a great place to have the type of wedding you have dreamed up.
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Comments

Mar 6, 2011 7:24pm
divaonline
Very well written article with great information. I have been to the Hawaiian Islands as well as those in Tahiti. I would not hesitate for a second to choose Tahiti over Hawaii. The sight of Bora Bora or Moorea starts Yani music playing in your head. But the other French Polynesian islands have the same mesmerizing effect. Since I have this lifetime warranty on my marriage, I won't be getting hitched again. But any of the Tahitian islands would be a dream spot to renew vows!
Mar 6, 2011 10:47pm
Deborah-Diane
Thank you for taking the time to comment, and for sharing your experience with the different locations a couple might consider when choosing a place to have a destination wedding. I think Tahiti would be the first choice for many people, because it is so remote and exotic; however, Hawaii is closer, can be more affordable and also has a lot to offer. I hope couples will investigate all the possibilities!
Mar 6, 2011 11:05pm
westernmom
I so agree with you! I really tried to talk my daughter (for her 2nd wedding) into going on a cruise or doing it in Hawaii but she didn't listen and then she wished she would have! I agree with Divaonline - renew the vows for a romantic anniversary... Thanks for a great, well written article!
Jun 24, 2014 2:41pm
Deborah-Diane
A destination wedding can truly be an event to remember and cherish for the rest of your life!
Mar 8, 2011 8:45am
pwarlick
My cousin got married in Tahiti and it was a beautiful romantic ceremony. I think this would be the perfect place to wed. Great stuff.
Mar 24, 2011 11:33pm
LoveSpaces
One of my friends that live now in Washington DC got married in Hawaii and he was happy with his choice. As my wedding already took place some good year ago - I hope that I will visit Tahiti as a tourist - as I love exotic places. Thanks for a well written and informative article.
Mar 15, 2013 10:22pm
Deborah-Diane
Everyone I know who has planned a destination wedding has had a good time. I hope more brides will consider this option!
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