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Hawaiian weddings are the ultimate in romantic perfection

Hawaiian weddings vs. Caribbean weddings
Here are some important differences
that may influence your decision.

You stroll down an outdoor aisle of perfectly manicured soft, green lawn to an altar in the cool, dry sand. The guests hold their breath at this vision in white linen, aglow with sunshine and fragrant flowers cascading from her hands. You move without effort, drawn to your gorgeous husband to be, who's looking radiant against a background of azure sky and gently rolling surf. A soft, warm breeze caresses your hair as you drink in what is truly a perfect moment in time. Aloha. Welcome to Hawaii.

If you're thinking about having your wedding or honeymooning in Hawaii, read on. If you're interested in a Hawaiian theme wedding, click here.

If you think that's dramatic, we're willing to bet you haven't been there. Because if you have, you know that there are places in Hawaii where just such a thing can happen every day of the year.

Allow us a moment to explain. Hawaii has just about every type of weather imaginable happening all at the same time on each island. There can be rainforest quality soaking to the tune of 400 inches a year just miles from a perfect resort beach that stays sunny all year. All of that just miles from a frigid mountaintop (volcano to be exact) that has whipping winds and maybe even snow!

There are beaches with gently curling surf and beaches that pound the shore with waves so strong that you'll stand in awe. There are waves that humble the world's best surfers and secluded coves gentle enough for a child. This beautiful picture is perfectly set amid a backdrop of flowers, fauna, and marine life that is unequalled in diversity among places to which you can easily travel. And the people there are so kind and eager to share this paradise that is truly theirs.

If you are seriously considering a destination wedding in a tropical setting, then seriously consider a Hawaiian wedding. This writer’s husband is an airline pilot for a major airline. He has traveled to many vacation destinations and extensively through the Caribbean. What's his favorite place? Hawaii.

Why? For the sake of argument, let's consider the competition for your wedding to be the Caribbean. It is true that the Caribbean has beautiful scenery, great hotels, and everything you might be looking for. There are a few things (when it comes to weddings) that are different.

NOTE: If you're interested in a Caribbean wedding, do not be discouraged by what follows. Read on to the bottom of the page. Our main recommendation is this: Do it yourself weddings are much easier in Hawaii. For Caribbean weddings, STICK WITH THE PROS like Sandals Resorts so that you will have your dream wedding with no surprises. Read on to the bottom of the page for more information. Okay, back to our discussion...

First, air travel to Hawaii is easy. There are tons of flights on every major airline plus Hawaiian and Aloha Airlines. Many are direct from gateway cities across the U.S. (good for traveling guests). Service to the Caribbean is much more spotty with few airlines serving all but the biggest destinations. Even the most popular destinations don't have the frequency of service that Hawaii's islands have.

And if you don't like propeller planes, stick with Hawaii. The Caribbean still has plenty of these around for service to the smaller islands, whereas you can find plenty of jet inter-island service in Hawaii.

Hawaii is part of the U.S. - cell phones work (without extra cost on many plans) and no need to get a passport. Plus, the currency is the same. Generally speaking, do it yourself wedding planning is easy in Hawaii because U.S. laws apply and many reputable businesses are easily reachable on your chosen island. On Caribbean islands, you really should stick with your hotel's recommendations as there are fewer reputable businesses available and they are harder to get to if you are staying at a resort with no rental car.

In many parts of the Caribbean, even near the best resorts, leaving the hotel grounds is a really bad idea (hence the all inclusive hotels). Even Hawaii has its bad spots, but they are A LOT harder to find than in some of the Caribbean islands.

Also, in the Caribbean, you may be tempted to scrimp and go for the discount hotel or tour operators. DO NOT DO THIS UNLESS YOU HAVE THOROUGHLY RESEARCHED REVIEWS.

Put your destination city in the search bar of their site - the date doesn't matter - and you'll see what we mean. Loads of great reviews will show up alongside the corresponding lodging options.

This is the most comprehensive site that we know of that dedicates itself to providing real, objective and subjective information that directly affects you and your trip. We use it every time we go anywhere.

Hotels in the Caribbean run the gamut from incredible resorts to absolute dumps that will horrify you. We have been stuck in rooms that had nothing but brown water, soaked carpets, and doors that wouldn't even close, much less lock. But it was oceanfront, just like the brochures said. There are plenty of oceanfront dumps in the Caribbean. By the way, do your homework on Hawaii hotels too - but more choices are available in Hawaii to offset the bad apples.

Finally, let's visit weather again. The Caribbean is a good bet from November to April, maybe even May. But if you're looking for an outdoor wedding in the summer, make it a Hawaiian wedding. On the West and South sides of the islands, you can have near perfect weather all year. Occasional brief rains can quickly give way to sunshine in minutes, revealing beautiful rainbows on a regular basis!

Lastly, having a Hawaiian wedding is not as expensive as you might think. After all, the best Hawaiian weddings are outdoor weddings - so Hawaiian beaches, rainforests, gardens, and mountains provide the perfect setting. And since the weather is so perfect why not have your wedding reception outdoors as well? By using the outdoors, you can save a huge amount of money. And outdoor Hawaiian weddings are common enough that you'll have no problem finding a place to have your event.

If you're interested in Hawaiian weddings, then you'll probably want to know how to "Hawaiianize" your big day. Whether you travel there or just have a Hawaiian theme wedding, you'll get some help decorating for the occasion by reading our other articles at Hawaiian theme wedding. Here you'll find links to information about Hawaiian wedding favors, the Hawaiian wedding shirt, the Hawaiian wedding dress, Hawaiian wedding leis, and even Hawaiian wedding songs. Hilo Hattie is an authentic Hawaiian store with great products for destination weddings in Hawaii or beach-themed events. You can find them in Maui, Oahu, Kauai, the Big Island, at, or even in some cities in the continental U.S. - San Diego and Orange, California, Las Vegas, and Orlando.

Keep in mind that planning a Hawaiian wedding, or any destination wedding for that matter, will mean that save the date cards (or some other method of advanced contact) is a MUST!


We have said a few things here that may have discouraged you from having a Caribbean wedding. DO NOT BE DISCOURAGED! You can have a fantastic Caribbean wedding if you do it right. There are three recommended ways to plan a caribbean destination wedding:

Get a caribbean villa rental and use a wedding coordinator.

Unless you know someone that you trust on an island, anything else is gambling on one of the most important days of your life. See our Caribbean wedding page for more information on this subject. For any destination wedding, you'll find it helpful to read reviews from travellers like you before you go.

Hawaiian Theme Weddings

Beach Wedding Theme Ideas