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How Much Is A Destination Wedding In Hawaii


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Noemi Brophy



Hawaii has long been regarded as a dream destination for weddings, with its stunning natural beauty, warm tropical climate, and rich cultural heritage. Couples from around the world are drawn to the islands’ enchanting landscapes, picturesque beaches, and breathtaking sunsets, making it an idyllic setting for a romantic and unforgettable wedding ceremony.


However, planning a destination wedding in Hawaii involves more than just picking a scenic location. It also requires careful consideration of various factors that can impact the overall cost of your special day. From venue expenses and travel costs to wedding planner fees and entertainment charges, it’s essential to have a clear understanding of the financial aspects involved.


When it comes to destination weddings, the costs can vary significantly based on individual preferences, wedding size, and the specific location within Hawaii. This article aims to provide you with a comprehensive overview of the various factors that can influence the cost of a destination wedding in Hawaii, ensuring that you have a realistic budget in place and can plan a memorable and affordable celebration.


So, if you’re considering saying “I do” in paradise, let’s dive into the factors that can affect the costs associated with a destination wedding in Hawaii.


Factors Affecting Destination Wedding Costs

Planning a destination wedding in Hawaii involves careful consideration of multiple factors that can impact the overall cost of your special day. Understanding these factors will help you create a realistic budget and ensure that you can have the wedding of your dreams without breaking the bank. Here are some key factors that can influence destination wedding costs in Hawaii:

  1. Season and Date: The time of year you choose for your wedding can have a significant impact on costs. Peak tourist seasons, such as summer and holiday periods, tend to be more expensive due to higher demand for venues and accommodations. Consider opting for a less popular time of year or day of the week to save on costs.
  2. Guest Count: The number of guests you invite will affect various aspects of your wedding, including venue size, catering expenses, and transportation logistics. Keep in mind that wedding packages or vendors may have different price tiers based on guest counts, so understanding your guest list can help you accurately estimate costs.
  3. Location within Hawaii: Hawaii consists of multiple islands, each with its unique charm and beauty. The specific island and location within the island can impact the costs. Popular tourist destinations like Oahu and Maui may have higher prices compared to less frequented islands like Kauai or the Big Island.
  4. Wedding Venue: The choice of wedding venue can significantly impact your budget. High-end resorts and luxury hotels may come with a higher price tag, while beach parks or private estates can offer more affordable options. Additionally, some venues may have exclusive vendor contracts, limiting your choices and potentially increasing costs.
  5. Catering and Bar Services: Food and beverage expenses can quickly add up, especially if you opt for a sit-down dinner or an open bar. Some venues may have in-house catering services, while others may allow you to hire external caterers. Be sure to consider any additional charges such as service fees, gratuities, and corkage fees for bringing your own alcohol.
  6. Wedding Planner or Coordinator: Hiring a professional wedding planner or coordinator can be an invaluable investment, ensuring that all the intricacies of your event are taken care of. Their fees can range from a percentage of the overall budget to a fixed rate, depending on the level of service and experience.
  7. Decor and Floral Arrangements: Creating a stunning ambiance for your wedding may involve floral arrangements, table settings, lighting, and other decor elements. These expenses can vary based on your design preferences, the seasonality of flowers, and the complexity of the setup.
  8. Photography and Videography: Capturing the precious moments of your wedding day is essential. The cost of photography and videography services depends on factors such as the number of hours of coverage, the experience of the professionals, and any additional services like drone footage or photo albums.
  9. Wedding Attire and Accessories: Wedding gown, tuxedo or suit rentals, accessories, and alteration costs should be factored into your budget. Keep in mind that the tropical climate of Hawaii may influence your choice of attire, and consider any additional expenses such as hair, makeup, or bridal party outfits.
  10. Entertainment and Music: Adding entertainment to your wedding celebration, such as live music, DJs, or cultural performances, can enhance the experience for you and your guests. The costs will vary depending on the type of entertainment and the duration of the performance.
  11. Marriage License and Legal Requirements: Don’t forget to account for the necessary paperwork, marriage license fees, and any legal requirements for getting married in Hawaii. These costs may vary depending on your citizenship and specific circumstances.

By considering these factors and estimating their associated costs, you can create a comprehensive budget for your destination wedding in Hawaii. Remember to have some flexibility in your budget for unexpected expenses and personal touches that will make your big day truly unforgettable.


Venue and Accommodation Expenses

One of the most significant expenses for a destination wedding in Hawaii is the venue and accommodation costs. The choice of venue sets the stage for your special day, and where you and your guests will be staying plays a crucial role in creating a memorable experience. Here’s what you need to know about venue and accommodation expenses:


Wedding Venue:


The cost of the wedding venue can vary greatly depending on factors like location, size, and amenities offered. Hawaii offers a wide range of options, including beachfront resorts, garden venues, private estates, and even traditional Hawaiian cultural sites. Popular wedding venues tend to have higher prices, so consider exploring lesser-known or off-the-beaten-path locations for a more budget-friendly option. Keep in mind that some venues may have a minimum spend requirement or package rates that include additional services such as catering and decor.


Accommodation for Guests:


Providing accommodation for your guests is a kind gesture and can enhance the overall experience of your destination wedding. Hawaii offers a variety of accommodation options, including luxury resorts, hotels, vacation rentals, and condominiums. Negotiating group rates with hotels or renting a group of vacation homes can help you secure affordable accommodations for your guests. It’s crucial to consider the location and proximity of the accommodations to the wedding venue to ensure convenience for your guests. Additionally, some venues offer on-site accommodations, which can be a convenient and cost-effective option.


Destination Wedding Packages:


To simplify the planning process and potentially save on costs, many resorts and venues in Hawaii offer destination wedding packages. These packages typically include the venue, basic decor, coordination services, and sometimes even accommodation for the couple. Though these packages can be a cost-effective option, be sure to carefully review what is included and any additional fees associated with customization or enhancements. Keep in mind, too, that package deals may have restrictions on guest count, available dates, and choice of vendors.


Additional Considerations:


When budgeting for venue and accommodation expenses, it’s vital to factor in any additional costs that may arise, such as insurance, security deposits, cleaning fees, or parking charges. These expenses can vary depending on the specific venue and accommodations chosen. Also, consider the need for transportation between the venue and accommodations if they are not in close proximity. Arranging shuttle services or organizing group transportation may be necessary to ensure the smooth flow of the wedding day.


By researching and comparing various venue and accommodation options, as well as negotiating group rates and exploring package deals, you can make informed decisions to fit your budget while creating a stunning backdrop and comfortable stay for your destination wedding in Hawaii.


Travel and Transportation Costs

When planning a destination wedding in Hawaii, it’s essential to consider the travel and transportation costs for both you and your guests. Getting to and around the islands can add up, but with careful planning and research, you can manage these expenses without compromising on the overall experience. Here are some factors to consider regarding travel and transportation costs:




The cost of flights to Hawaii can vary depending on several factors, including the time of year, departure location, and how far in advance you book. Consider comparing prices from different airlines and being flexible with your travel dates to find the most affordable options. Booking in advance and keeping an eye out for deals or promotions can also help reduce your flight costs. If you have a large number of guests traveling to the wedding, consider looking into group rates or discounted airfare for a more budget-friendly approach.


Inter-island Travel:


If you’re planning to have your wedding on one island but want to explore other islands in Hawaii, you’ll need to factor in inter-island travel expenses. Flights between the islands can be affordable, especially if you book early or take advantage of package deals. Another option is to consider ferry services or small aircraft for inter-island travel, which can offer unique experiences and potentially cost savings.


Ground Transportation:


Transportation from the airport to your accommodation and around the island during your stay is another important consideration. Rental cars are a popular choice for exploring Hawaii at your own pace, but they can add up in terms of cost, especially when factoring in parking fees and gas. Alternatively, many resorts and hotels offer shuttle services, or you can rely on ride-share apps, taxis, or public transport to get around. Assess your transportation needs, consider the convenience and cost-effectiveness of each option, and plan accordingly.


Vendors and Deliveries:


When hiring local vendors for your wedding, keep in mind that some may charge additional fees for travel or transportation to your chosen venue. This can include photographers, wedding planners, florists, and other service providers. Don’t forget to factor these costs into your budget, especially if your chosen vendor is located on a different island or will need to transport equipment or supplies to the wedding location.


Guest Transportation:


Consider the needs of your guests when it comes to transportation, especially if they are staying in separate accommodations or if the ceremony and reception will be in different locations. Providing transportation options, such as shuttle services, can ensure the convenience and comfort of your guests while minimizing the hassle and confusion of finding their own way. It’s a thoughtful gesture that can also create a sense of unity and togetherness during the celebration.


By researching and comparing flight prices, exploring transportation options, and factoring in vendor fees and guest transportation, you can effectively manage the travel and transportation costs associated with your destination wedding in Hawaii. Planning ahead and considering all possibilities will help you stay within your budget while ensuring a seamless and memorable experience for all.


Wedding Planner Fees

Hiring a wedding planner is a wise investment when it comes to planning a destination wedding in Hawaii. A professional wedding planner can assist you in navigating the intricacies of arranging your special day, ensuring that every detail is taken care of and allowing you to relax and enjoy the process. However, it’s important to understand the factors that can affect wedding planner fees. Here’s what you need to know:


Level of Service:


Wedding planners offer different levels of service, ranging from full-service planning to partial planning or day-of coordination. The more comprehensive the service, the higher the fees are likely to be. Full-service planners will handle all aspects of your wedding, from venue selection and vendor management to design and decor, while partial planners may only assist with specific tasks or offer advice on certain aspects. Determine the level of support you need and choose a wedding planner whose services align with your requirements and budget.


Experience and Reputation:


The experience and reputation of a wedding planner can influence their fees. Highly sought-after planners with a stellar track record and extensive industry connections may charge a premium for their services. Their expertise, attention to detail, and ability to execute flawless weddings justify their higher fees. However, it’s important to strike a balance between your budget and the level of expertise you desire. You can also consider hiring newer or up-and-coming wedding planners who may offer competitive rates while still providing excellent service.


Size and Scale of Wedding:


The size and scale of your destination wedding in Hawaii can impact the wedding planner’s fees. Larger weddings typically require more extensive planning, coordination, and logistics. This can involve managing a larger number of vendors, coordinating complex timelines, and overseeing a larger guest count. Consequently, wedding planners may adjust their fees accordingly to reflect the additional work and resources required to execute a larger-scale event.


Location and Accessibility:


Your choice of wedding location within Hawaii can also affect the wedding planner’s fees. If you opt for a more remote or secluded destination, the planner may need to travel a significant distance or deal with logistical challenges, resulting in higher fees. On the other hand, if the wedding venue is within close proximity to the planner’s office or base, it may reduce their travel expenses and potentially result in lower fees.


Additional Services:


In addition to their core planning services, some wedding planners may offer additional services, such as design and styling, vendor sourcing, RSVP management, and guest concierge services. These extra services can incur additional fees on top of the base planning fee. Carefully review the scope of services offered and any associated costs to ensure they align with your needs and budget.


Negotiation and Payment Structure:


When engaging a wedding planner, it’s essential to have open and honest communication about your budget and expectations. Some planners may be open to negotiation or customization of their packages to suit your specific needs and budget limitations. Additionally, discuss the payment structure upfront – whether it’s a flat fee, a percentage of the wedding budget, or an hourly rate – to ensure transparency and avoid any surprises later on.


By considering these factors and discussing them with potential wedding planners, you can gain a clear understanding of their fees and services, allowing you to make an informed decision that aligns with your vision, budget, and peace of mind for your destination wedding in Hawaii.


Decor and Floral Arrangements

When it comes to planning a destination wedding in Hawaii, decor and floral arrangements play a crucial role in creating a beautiful and memorable atmosphere. The vibrant tropical environment of the islands provides a stunning backdrop for your celebration, and incorporating local flora and unique design elements can elevate the overall ambiance. Here’s what you need to know about decor and floral arrangements:


Theme and Style:


Before diving into the specific details, it’s important to determine the theme and style of your wedding. Are you envisioning a modern and minimalist aesthetic, a bohemian beach-inspired celebration, or a classic and elegant affair? Having a clear vision will guide your decisions regarding decor and floral arrangements.


Local Flora and Foliage:


Hawaii is blessed with an abundance of beautiful flowers and foliage that can be incorporated into your wedding decor. From the vibrant orchids and fragrant leis to the exotic protea and lush tropical greenery, these floral elements can add a touch of Hawaiian charm to your ceremony and reception. Work with a local florist who specializes in tropical florals to ensure that you choose flowers that are in season and readily available in Hawaii.


Centerpieces and Table Decor:


The centerpiece of each table is an opportunity to showcase your style and tie together the overall design concept. Consider using a combination of floral arrangements, candles, driftwood, seashells, or other natural elements that reflect the beauty of the Hawaiian islands. Get creative and incorporate unique elements that represent your personal story or cultural background.


Ceremony Backdrop and Aisle Decor:


Create a stunning backdrop for your wedding ceremony with the help of floral arches, hanging installations, or cascading flower walls. These eye-catching features will not only enhance your ceremony photos but also create an enchanting ambiance for your exchange of vows. Don’t forget to add floral accents or aisle markers to guide your walk down the aisle.


Reception Decor and Lighting:


From string lights and lanterns to fairy lights and candles, the right lighting can transform the reception space into a magical setting. Consider incorporating local elements like Hawaiian-inspired fabrics, seashells, driftwood, or natural elements that reflect the island’s beauty. Enhance the ambiance with soft, warm lighting to create a romantic and inviting atmosphere.


Budget and Priorities:


When it comes to decor and floral arrangements, it’s important to set a budget and prioritize your preferences. Determine what aspects of decor and florals are most important to you and allocate your budget accordingly. Communicate your vision and budget to your florist and wedding planner, so they can provide options and recommendations that align with your goals.


Consider Sustainability:


As you plan your wedding decor and floral arrangements, consider sustainability and eco-friendly options. Opt for locally sourced flowers and materials, choose reusable or recyclable decor items, or consider donating floral arrangements to local hospitals or community centers after the wedding to minimize waste.


By carefully selecting decor and floral arrangements that align with your style, budget, and the natural beauty of Hawaii, you can create a breathtaking atmosphere for your destination wedding that will leave a lasting impression on you and your guests.


Food and Beverage Expenses

Food and beverage expenses can make a significant impact on the overall cost of a destination wedding in Hawaii. The islands offer a rich culinary scene, with diverse and delicious options influenced by the local culture and abundance of fresh ingredients. Here’s what you need to know about managing food and beverage expenses for your wedding:


Catering Options:


Hawaii offers a range of catering options to suit various budgets and culinary preferences. Many venues have in-house catering services or preferred vendors, while others may allow you to bring in your own caterers. Consider the style of service you prefer, such as plated dinners, buffet, or family-style, and discuss your options with potential caterers. Request sample menus and schedule tastings to ensure the quality and taste of the food align with your expectations.


Menu Selection:


Work closely with your chosen caterers to create a menu that showcases the flavors of Hawaii and accommodates any dietary restrictions or preferences of your guests. Incorporate local and seasonal ingredients to enhance the authenticity and freshness of the dishes. Discuss the overall flow of the meal, including appetizers, main course, and desserts, to ensure a well-rounded and satisfying dining experience.


Bar Services:


Whether you choose to have an open bar, limited bar, or a cash bar, it’s important to factor in the costs associated with bar services. Discuss your options with the venue or catering company, and determine whether they provide bartenders, glassware, and liquor licenses. Be aware of any additional charges, such as corkage fees for bringing your own alcohol, or fees for specialty cocktails or premium wine and spirits.


Wedding Cake:


The wedding cake is often a focal point of the reception, and it’s important to budget for this sweet treat. Discuss your cake preferences and design ideas with local bakers or pastry chefs who specialize in wedding cakes. Consider whether you’d like a traditional tiered cake, a trendy naked cake, or individual dessert options. Don’t forget to factor in any delivery or setup charges to ensure a beautiful and delicious cake on your special day.


Additional Considerations:


When estimating food and beverage expenses, consider any additional costs that may arise. This includes service charges, gratuities, cake-cutting fees, or dietary-specific meals for guests with allergies or special dietary needs. Depending on the venue and catering arrangements, there may also be charges for rentals, such as linens, tableware, and serving equipment.


Guest Count:


The number of guests attending your wedding will have a direct impact on your food and beverage expenses. Each guest requires a meal, drinks, and potentially even late-night snacks. When creating your budget, account for the total number of guests and anticipate the associated costs per person. Note that some venues or caterers may have different price tiers based on guest counts.


By carefully selecting your catering options, collaborating with local vendors, and discussing your preferences and budget, you can manage food and beverage expenses for your destination wedding in Hawaii. Remember to consider the overall guest experience and provide a memorable culinary journey that reflects the unique flavors and hospitality of the islands.


Photography and Videography Charges

Preserving the memories of your destination wedding in Hawaii is of utmost importance, which is why hiring professional photographers and videographers is a crucial investment. These talented individuals will capture the essence and emotions of your special day, allowing you to relive those cherished moments for a lifetime. When planning for photography and videography, here are some key considerations regarding pricing:


Experience and Reputation:


The expertise and reputation of photographers and videographers can significantly impact their charges. Highly experienced professionals who have garnered accolades and recognition in their field may command higher fees. Their ability to capture the essence of your destination wedding and provide exceptional quality in their work justifies the premium. However, there are also talented up-and-coming photographers and videographers who offer competitive rates without compromising on quality. Research and carefully review their portfolios to ensure their style aligns with your vision.


Package Inclusions:


Photography and videography packages can vary in terms of coverage, duration, number of photographers/videographers, and deliverables. Some packages may offer full-day coverage, including pre-wedding preparations, the ceremony, reception, and even an engagement or day-after session. Others may offer a more limited number of hours or focus solely on capturing the ceremony and key moments. Take into account the deliverables as well, such as digital copies, prints, albums, or highlight reels, and choose a package that meets your expectations and budget.


Additional Services and Enhancements:


Photographers and videographers may offer additional services or enhancements at an additional cost. This can include drone footage, same-day edits, extended hours, additional prints or albums, or even hiring second shooters or videographers for more comprehensive coverage. Discuss these options with the professionals you are considering to determine which ones align with your desires and budget.


Location and Travel:


When planning a destination wedding, it’s important to consider any travel expenses that photographers and videographers may incur. Depending on their location and the specific requirements of your wedding, there may be charges for travel, accommodation, and meals. Discuss these details upfront to ensure transparency in pricing and avoid any surprises later on.


Referrals and Reviews:


Word-of-mouth recommendations and reviews from previous clients can give you insight into a photographer or videographer’s professionalism, reliability, and quality of work. Carefully read reviews and ask for referrals, especially from couples who have had destination weddings in Hawaii. This information can help you gauge whether their charges align with their level of service and the final product they deliver.


Remember that photography and videography are essential investments to capture the magic and emotions of your destination wedding in Hawaii. While it’s important to have a budget in mind, prioritize the quality and reputation of the professionals to ensure you have beautiful and lasting memories of your special day.


Wedding Attire and Accessories

Choosing the perfect wedding attire and accessories for your destination wedding in Hawaii is an exciting part of the planning process. The attire sets the tone for your special day and reflects your personal style and vision. Here are some considerations and costs to keep in mind when planning your wedding attire and accessories:


Bridal Gown and Groom’s Attire:


The cost of a bridal gown can vary widely depending on factors such as brand, designer, fabric, and intricacy of design. Consider your budget and browse through various options, both in local boutiques and online. Keep in mind that lightweight fabrics like chiffon or silk are popular choices for Hawaiian weddings due to the tropical climate. Similarly, the groom’s attire can range from a traditional suit to a more casual linen outfit. Factor in any alteration costs and accessories like shoes, ties, or belts when planning for the groom’s attire, too.


Bridesmaids and Groomsmen Attire:


When considering the attire for your bridal party, take into account the number of bridesmaids and groomsmen and their individual sizes. Discuss color schemes and styles that complement the overall theme of your wedding. Bridesmaids’ dresses can range from formal gowns to mix-and-match styles, while groomsmen can wear matching suits, tuxedos, or more casual attire. Communicate your preferences and budget to your bridal party, and consider allowing them some flexibility in choosing attire that they feel comfortable and confident in.




Accessories add the finishing touches and personal flair to your wedding attire. Consider the cost of accessories such as veils, headpieces, jewelry, shoes, and boutonnieres. Research local artisans or specialty shops that offer unique and handmade accessories that reflect the beauty and culture of Hawaii.


Hair and Makeup:


Plan for hair and makeup expenses for both the bride and the bridal party. Research local hair and makeup artists who specialize in bridal styling and discuss pricing options. Consider arranging a trial session before the wedding day to ensure that the chosen artist aligns with your vision and offers the appropriate level of service.


Bridal Party Gifts:


Don’t forget to budget for gifts for your bridal party as a token of appreciation for their support and participation. Think about personalized items or experiences that will make your loved ones feel special and valued. It’s a thoughtful gesture to acknowledge their contribution to your memorable day.


Cleaning and Preservation:


After the wedding, plan for the cleaning and preservation of your attire. This can help maintain the quality and longevity of your wedding dress and groom’s suit. Consider professional cleaning and preservation services to protect these cherished items for years to come.


When planning for wedding attire and accessories, take into account your budget, personal style, and the overall feel of your destination wedding in Hawaii. It’s an opportunity to express your individuality while embracing the beauty and culture of the islands. 

Entertainment and Music Costs

Entertainment and music are vital components of any wedding, and they play a crucial role in creating a fun and lively atmosphere for your destination wedding in Hawaii. From live bands and DJs to cultural performances, there are various options to consider when it comes to entertainment. Here are some factors to keep in mind when planning for entertainment and music costs:


Live Bands or Musicians:


Hiring a live band or musicians can bring a vibrant and energetic element to your wedding celebration. The cost of a live band will depend on factors such as the number of musicians, their experience, playing time, and whether any additional equipment or sound technicians are required. Research local bands or musicians who specialize in the type of music you prefer, such as Hawaiian, jazz, or contemporary, and discuss pricing options with them.


DJs or MCs:


Hiring a DJ or MC can offer a diverse range of music selections and help to keep the energy level high throughout the event. The cost of a DJ or MC will vary depending on their level of expertise, the duration of their services, and any additional equipment or lighting setup required. Discuss your music preferences and the flow of the event with potential DJs or MCs to ensure they can deliver the experience you desire within your budget.


Cultural Performances:


Hawaii is rich in cultural traditions, and incorporating authentic cultural performances into your wedding can add a special touch. Consider hula dancers, fire dancers, ukulele players, or other traditional performances that reflect the spirit and heritage of the islands. Research local performers or entertainment agencies that specialize in Hawaiian cultural performances and discuss pricing options with them.


Sound Systems and Lighting:


Depending on your chosen venue and the scope of your entertainment needs, you may need to budget for additional sound systems and lighting equipment. This could include microphones for speeches, dance floor lighting, or a full-scale production setup. Discuss the technical requirements with your chosen entertainment or venue to ensure that you have adequate equipment to create the desired atmosphere.


Music Licensing and Performance Fees:


Keep in mind that playing copyrighted music at your wedding requires proper music licensing. Most venues will already have the necessary licenses, but it’s essential to inquire about any associated fees. If you choose to have live musicians, check whether they handle the necessary licensing or if there are additional fees for public performance rights.


Additional Considerations:


Depending on your preferences and the scale of your wedding, you may want to budget for additional entertainment options such as photo booths, magicians, or interactive activities for your guests. These extras can enhance the overall experience and create lasting memories for you and your loved ones.


By considering these factors and discussing your preferences and budget with potential entertainers, you can ensure that entertainment and music costs are well-managed for your destination wedding in Hawaii. Whether you choose live performances, DJs, or cultural experiences, the right entertainment will elevate your celebration and create a joyful atmosphere that your guests will remember for years to come.


Marriage License and Legal Requirements

Before tying the knot in Hawaii, it’s essential to understand the marriage license and legal requirements to ensure your union is legally binding. Each state and country has its own set of regulations, and Hawaii is no exception. Here’s what you need to know about obtaining a marriage license and meeting the legal requirements for your destination wedding in Hawaii:


Marriage License:


A marriage license is a legal document that allows you to marry in Hawaii. To obtain a marriage license, you and your partner must apply in person at any marriage license agent in the state. The application process typically requires presenting identification, such as valid passports or driver’s licenses, and paying a fee. It’s important to note that there is typically a waiting period before the license is issued, so plan accordingly.


Legal Age and Identity:


In Hawaii, both parties must be at least 18 years old to marry without parental consent. If either party is younger, parental consent or a court order is required. Additionally, valid identification documents, such as passports or driver’s licenses, must be presented to verify age and identity.


Proof of Single Status:


Before obtaining a marriage license, you may need to provide proof of your single status. This can be done by presenting a divorce decree, death certificate, or annulment papers if either party was previously married.


Waiting Period and Expiration:


Hawaii has a waiting period of one day before the marriage license is issued. This means that once you obtain the license, you must wait at least one day before the wedding ceremony can take place. The marriage license is valid for 30 days from the date it is issued. If you do not marry within the 30-day period, the license becomes void, and you will need to apply for a new one.


Officiant or Minister:


For your wedding ceremony to be legally recognized in Hawaii, it must be performed by an authorized officiant or minister. This can include religious clergy, judges, or certain government officials. Ensure that your chosen officiant is licensed to perform weddings in Hawaii to make your marriage legally valid.




Hawaii requires at least two witnesses over the age of 18 to be present at the wedding ceremony and sign the marriage license as witnesses to the marriage. Make sure to arrange for witnesses ahead of time to ensure a smooth and lawful process.


Post-Wedding Filing:


After the wedding ceremony, the officiant or minister will sign the marriage license, and it becomes the couple’s responsibility to file the license with the appropriate state agency within a specified time frame. This final step ensures that your marriage is officially registered and legally recognized.


Additional Considerations:


It is crucial to familiarize yourself with the specific legal requirements for your destination wedding in Hawaii. Consider consulting with a local wedding planner or researching official government websites to ensure that you have accurate and up-to-date information. It’s also important to budget for any associated fees, such as the marriage license application fee and officiant’s fees.


By understanding and fulfilling the marriage license and legal requirements for your destination wedding in Hawaii, you can have the confidence that your marriage is legally recognized and start your life together as a married couple in accordance with the laws and regulations of the state.


Additional Expenses to Consider

Planning a destination wedding in Hawaii involves more than just the major budget items like venue, accommodation, and catering. There are several additional expenses to consider for a comprehensive and realistic budget. By accounting for these costs, you can ensure that your dream wedding remains within your financial means. Here are some additional expenses to keep in mind:


Wedding Insurance:


Consider obtaining wedding insurance to protect yourself from unexpected circumstances such as vendor cancellations, severe weather, or personal emergencies. Wedding insurance can provide financial coverage and peace of mind, especially for destination weddings where unforeseen circumstances might have a greater impact.


Transportation for Vendors:


If you have hired vendors based outside of the wedding destination, such as photographers, videographers, or wedding planners, you may need to budget for their travel and accommodation expenses. Discuss transportation arrangements and fees with your vendors, ensuring that they are included in your overall budget.


Gifting and Favors:


Consider budgeting for gifts or favors for your wedding guests as a token of appreciation for their attendance and support. Examples include welcome bags, personalized wedding favors, or locally sourced souvenirs that reflect the culture and beauty of Hawaii.


Wedding Stationery:


Budget for wedding stationery, including save-the-date cards, wedding invitations, RSVP cards, and thank-you notes. It’s also important to account for postage costs, both for sending out the invitations and for any necessary replies. Consider incorporating some Hawaiian-inspired elements into your stationery design to add a touch of destination wedding charm.


Wedding Rings:


Don’t forget to budget for your wedding rings, as they are a long-lasting symbol of your commitment and love. The cost of wedding rings can vary depending on the metal, design, and gemstones used. Plan ahead and allocate a portion of your budget for this important purchase.


Pre-Wedding Events:


If you plan to have pre-wedding events such as engagement parties, welcome dinners, or rehearsal dinners, consider budgeting for these additional festivities. These events provide opportunities to spend time with your loved ones outside of the wedding day and create lasting memories.


Marriage License Copies:


You may want to have additional copies of your marriage license for name changes, legal documentation, or future reference. Check with the local county clerk’s office to understand the process and fees for obtaining extra copies.




It’s customary to show appreciation to the vendors and staff who have contributed to your special day. Plan to budget for gratuities or tips for your wedding planner, vendors, officiant, catering staff, and other service providers. Consult with your wedding planner or research local customs to determine appropriate gratuity amounts for each vendor.


By taking into account these additional expenses, you can create a comprehensive budget for your destination wedding in Hawaii. Keeping track of all potential costs will help ensure that you can fully enjoy your special day without any last-minute financial surprises.



Planning a destination wedding in Hawaii is a remarkable opportunity to exchange vows in one of the most beautiful and romantic settings in the world. However, it’s essential to consider the various factors that can influence the cost of your special day. By carefully budgeting and understanding the expenses involved, you can create a memorable and affordable wedding celebration that reflects your love and personal style.


Factors such as venue and accommodation expenses, travel and transportation costs, wedding planner fees, decor and floral arrangements, food and beverage expenses, photography and videography charges, wedding attire and accessories, entertainment and music costs, marriage license and legal requirements, and additional expenses should all be accounted for when planning your budget. Research local vendors, compare prices, and consider creative solutions to maximize your funds and create a unique and unforgettable wedding experience.


Remember to allow for flexibility in your budget to accommodate any unexpected expenses or additional personal touches you may desire. Clear communication with vendors and proper research will help ensure transparency and minimize stress while planning your destination wedding in Hawaii.


Keeping in mind that each wedding is unique, your budget will ultimately depend on your individual preferences, guest count, and the specific location within Hawaii. With careful planning and attention to detail, you can have the destination wedding of your dreams in Hawaii without overspending.


Above all, savor every moment of your destination wedding journey. Embrace the beauty of the islands, the warmth of the Hawaiian culture, and the love you and your partner share. Your wedding day will be a cherished memory for a lifetime, and Hawaii’s breathtaking landscapes and captivating spirit will serve as an enchanting backdrop to the beginning of your happily ever after.