If you’ve ever dreamed of a destination wedding, you’ve probably imagined a place like Oahu, warm and inviting with beautiful scenery. This populous Hawaiian island is home to the bustle of Waikiki and the slower-paced North Shore and wedding venues here offer the opportunity to experience the island’s landscape and culture in a very unique way.
We traveled from mauka to makai—from the mountains to the sea – to find the best wedding venues on Oahu. We also consulted Richel Cole, founder and lead organizer of For The Good Events, for expert advice.
Meet the expert
Richel Cole is the founder and lead organizer of For The Good Events, a Honolulu-based wedding planning and design company specializing in destination weddings.
“Oahu is known as the Gathering Island,” Cole shares. “Bringing all of your loved ones to these beautiful island locations is an amazing way to get a real taste of being in Hawaii and experience the aloha culture. It’s such a unique way to kick off your wedding and your life together.”
When to have a wedding in Oahu
Cole says most wedding venues will either be by the water, in the forest or mountains, or at a resort. Thinking about the location and atmosphere you want can help you narrow down your venue selection. Oahu’s microclimates cause additional rainfall at some sites, but there’s no need to plan your wedding date based on the weather seasons. According to Cole, the weather in Hawaii is consistent year-round, but travel prices and location availability can vary from month to month.
“If you can avoid the summer months, you have a lot more flexibility in your travels,” she said. Brides. She recommended March to May or September to November. These off-season months allow you to get the best return on your travel investment.
Average cost of a wedding on Oahu
Speaking of investments, Cole reveals that couples spend between $45,000 and $65,000 for a 100-person wedding on Oahu. However, this does not include vacation expenses, such as flights and hotels. A local wedding planner like Cole can help you manage your budget and navigate the destination wedding planning process, whether you’re new to Oahu or visiting for the first time.
“For many couples, Oahu holds a special place in their hearts,” Cole says. “There is a sentimental value that drives them to celebrate their marriage here. Alternatively, some couples hope for a new experience with their guests, a central memory they can build from their wedding. When they think of this experience, they think of a sunny, warm place, a change of pace from their daily lifestyle.”
For both types of travelers, and for any venue they choose, a wedding on Oahu is sure to be an unforgettable experience. We’ve narrowed down our 12 favorite wedding venues on Oahu. So mix up a Mai Thai and come check out some of the best sites on the island.
The current coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. As the situation remains fluid, we’ll be sharing tips and stories from industry experts to give you advice of the moment and help you navigate wedding planning today. For the most up-to-date guidelines and the latest travel restrictions and requirements, check the CDC and U.S. Department of State websites.