If your Hawaii wedding plans are just the two of you, plus an officiant and a few witnesses, here's a selection of options on Hawaii's main islands-the Big Island, Kauai, Lana'i, Maui and Oahu - offering privacy and seclusion.
With lava-strewn coasts and Hawaii's only active volcano, adventurous couples can have nature as their witnesses at locations such as:
The Mahinui Wedding Pavilion, located near the entrance gate to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, is a covered wooden platform secluded in the rainforest; wedding packages here include a night in the property's Mahinui Ma Lani eco-friendly tree-house with queen-sized bed, outdoor shower and lanai Jacuzzi for two.
The Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden, located near Hilo, has a wedding site overlooking scenic Onomea Bay.
This lush and less-developed island offers up dramatic backdrops galore, including:
The Na 'Aina Kai Botanical Garden, located on the island's North Shore, offers a variety of outdoor wedding sites, including the Ka'ula Lagoon, featuring a picturesque waterfall, and a striking Wild Forest lined with rows of hardwood trees.
Kauai has a variety of waterfalls-from Manawaiopuna Falls (seen in "Jurassic Park") to Wailua Falls (seen in the opening credits of "Fantasy Island")-and several can be wedding backdrops, often reachable via helicopter.
This small but scenic island is full of old-school Hawaiian charm and quiet spots to exchange "I do's," such as:
The beach overlooking Puu Pehe, or Sweetheart Rock, a legendary landmark on Hulopoe Bay, can be accessed via 4-wheel-drive Jeep and is a photogenic spot, especially just before sunset.
Garden of the Gods, also known as Keahiakawelo, a surreal red-rock landscape, also accessed via 4-wheel-drive Jeep, is a unique backdrop for a wedding ceremony.
This popular island still retains some rustic charm, with under-the-radar wedding locales that include:
Kula Botanical Gardens, located in Upcountry on the slopes of Haleakala, has several ceremony locales, including a koi pond and two gazebos.
Via a chartered helicopter with Sunshine Helicopters, you can be whisked to a private beach or cliff-top overlook for a ceremony that's as scenic as it is secluded.
There's a lot more to Hawaii's most populous island than bustling Honolulu and Waikiki Beach, as more remote options include:
Waimanalo Beach, one of Oahu's most photogenic white-sand strands, is located just a short drive from Honolulu but seems world's away.
Waimea Falls, located in a lush, tropical park on Oahu's North Shore across from a beach at Waimea Bay, offers a variety of dramatic backdrops.
PS: If you are early morning types, inquire about a sunrise ceremony. Many resorts will accommodate you-and the beach is practically guaranteed to be all yours as the justice or minister pronounces you husband and wife just as dawn breaks on your wedding day.
About the Author
Donna Heiderstadt is a New York City–based freelance travel writer and editor who has spent her life pursuing her two main passions: writing and exploring the world.