Friday, July 15, 2011

A Wedding In Paradise

I’ve recently had the good fortune to return to the Big Island of Hawaii. While spending part of the time relaxing in the sun and by the ocean, I’ve also been scouting out various wedding venues for our destination brides. The more venues I look at, the more convinced I am that Hawaii is the ideal location for brides considering a destination wedding.
Hawaii has always been synonymous with romance. What better location to hold your destination wedding? – Photo courtesy of Sheraton Kauai.
Why is Hawaii your ideal choice as a wedding destination?
Hawaii has one of the most moderate and consistent climates in the world. Temperatures usually hover around the high 70s to mid-80s. Tradewinds keep the islands from getting too warm, allowing island visitors to truly enjoy the tropics without having to deal with sweltering heat. We do encourage you to do some research as one island often gets more rain than the other. Find out which is the sunny side and head in that direction for your wedding.

Incredible waterfalls, lush tropical gardens, gorgeous beaches with turquoise waters – Hawaii has a variety of outdoor venue options. Many resorts offer all three, and the landscaping at most of resorts in impeccable, providing great locations for your wedding photos. Along with that, the Hawaiian resorts recognize that an outdoor wedding is ALWAYS a gamble. They reserve a secondary inside space just in case (at no additional cost), but careful design of some of the venues has also presented brides with creative options such as an indoor restaurant with a sliding wall, allowing one or more walls to be pulled back and opened to the outside allowing in the stunning views of the ocean and amazing sunsets. I know I would feel better knowing that there is a back-up plan just in case of inclement weather. 

Amazing natural backdrops, such as this beachside venue at the Four Seasons Hualalai allow you to have the ceremony of your dreams surround by nature at its best! – Photo courtesy of Four Seasons Hualalai
The application to get married is relatively simple. There is no waiting period and blood tests are not required! Although you can download the marriage license application online, the two of you must show up together and meet with a marriage licence agent and be able to demonstrate that you both are over the age of 18 (showing documentation such as a passport and/or birth certificate) and be able to pay the fee of $60.00 USD. If you have been previously widowed or divorced, you must also be able to show the original divorce decree or death certificate at the time of application. As soon as you have your license, you are eligible to married anywhere within the state of Hawaii for the duration of the following thirty days. 

You’re still in the United States, and the standards are much the same as you would find anywhere else in Canada or the United States. This includes accessibility to décor items, food quality standards and many choices of cuisine, and even options of using venues. (You don’t necessarily have to stay at a Hawaiian resort in order to have your wedding there.) Most Hawaiian venues only do between 12 – 20 weddings per month versus Mexico or the Dominican Republic where it is quite common for a venue to do 5 or more weddings a day at some locations. The Hawaiian venues understand that brides want their wedding to be customized and have ensured that their staff has the time to dedicate to the bride and groom and ensure that they receive the level of service that they deserve.  

Local musicians can perform on either slack-key guitar or ukulele to give your wedding that “island” sound. – Photo courtesy of Four Seasons Hualalai.
Hawaii has many rich and meaningful cultural traditions that can be included into your ceremony. Slack-key guitars, presenting your guests and each other with sweet-smelling plumaria leis, or arranging for a conch-shell blower to begin your ceremony are just some of the wonderful Hawaiian customs that can be included in your ceremony to make it special and more meaningful. How much fun would it be for your guests to turn your reception into a traditional lu’au, complete with the Imu (ancient Hawaiian custom of cooking a pig in the ground) and performers showcasing the songs and dances from Hawaii and the other Polynesian cultures, such as Tahiti, Samoa, Fiji, Tonga and Aotearoa (New Zealand)!

    A fire dancer could make be both an incredible and memorable addition to your wedding reception. – Photo courtesy of the Waikoloa Beach Marriott
    Each island of Hawaii offers its own unique personality. You might be the type of person who thrives on the excitement and the nightlife of Waikiki, or perhaps you prefer the quietness and tranquility of Kauai. Whatever your personality and desire, there is a Hawaiian island and a wedding venue perfect for the two of you!
    For more information or assistance in planning your dream Hawaiian destination wedding, contact Cathy at or 1-888-790-6986. 
    Hawaii has spectacular sunsets that are a photographer’s dream. This could be you… - Photo courtesy of Four Seasons Haulalai
    Edward Ross Photography
    Cathy MacRae is in the business of making dreams come true! In addition to being CEO of Creative Weddings and Occasions, she is also their lead wedding choreographer and design coordinator. Operating out of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, she plans weddings for couples in and around the Calgary, Banff, and Lake Louise area. Her clients want a wedding that is all about romance, elegance, and personalized style! Her experience in the wedding industry allows her clients to have that unique wedding celebration that tells a story and sets the stage for their own "happily ever after." As a destination wedding specialist, she also works with couples who desire to wed in various picturesque dream locations throughout the world, including such exotic locations as Hawaii, Mexico, Costa Rica, the Caribbean, and the South Pacific. Cathy is a member of the Wedding Planners Institute of Canada, the Association of Bridal Consultants, the International Special Events Society, and the Community of Wedding Innovators.
    For more information about planning your own wedding or for advice from Cathy, please contact her at or call 1-888-790-6986.

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