Courtesy of The Royal Hawaiian
Hawaii is the #1 honeymoon destination for U.S. couples, and why wouldn't it be? Miles of perfect beaches, temperatures that rarely dip below 70 degrees, fresh tropical fruit on every corner - paradise is not too strong a word to describe these islands. It's no surprise that Hawaii is also a popular destination wedding location. But even in paradise, a few savvy tips from Tammy Levent, CEO of Elite Travel, can help you make the most of your trip.
First, some basic information: Two of the most popular days to get married in Hawaii are Valentine's Day and New Years day, so avoid those dates unless you want to wait in line for a minister. The heat and humidity can melt both makeup and wedding cakes, so consider a shaded wedding site or an evening ceremony, especially during the summer. While there isn't really an "off" season for Hawaii, there has been a recent slump in tourism which means deals are easier to find, so don't be afraid to ask if discounts are available on rooms and car rentals (just don't get the convertible - rains are frequent, though usually brief). The State of Hawaii requires a Right of Entry Permit for most beach weddings which costs $75 for 10 guests.
While the South shore of Kauai is more popular - and more populated - the lush North Shore is remote relaxed and romantic. The St. Regis Princeville Resort is re-opening after renovation on October 1st and has stunning views of Hanalei Bay and the "Bali Hai" peak made famous by South Pacific, called "Makana" by locals. Just a short walk down the hill from the resort is a private cove, perfect for sunbathing or a romantic sunset swim. During the summer months, the ocean is calm and offers some of the best snorkeling on the island at Haena and Tunnels beaches. But in the winter, the waves can reach dramatic heights. There are plenty of activities for the family or honeymooning couple: ziplining, kayaking, hiking, and almost daily farmers markets, but a helicopter tour of the NaPali coast and Waimea Canyon is absolutely unforgettable. End a busy day at Tahiti Nui in Hanalei Bay with a Mai Tai and live music - to which local ladies sometime dance the hula.
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