Not that America’s mainland is devoid of breathtaking wedding venues—far from it. But sometimes a couple just craves some of that island spirit, and wants to give their guests an opportunity to really escape and celebrate. Oahu, home of Honolulu, Waikiki, and the surf-laden North Shore, offers just that, along with plenty wedding experts and world-class cuisine—not to mention those flowers!—to boot. Oh, and did we mention the beaches framed in surreally teal tones? Here, a handful of the most epic venues to consider.
This freshly imagined hotel relaunched last fall with enhanced wedding facilities that showcase spectacular vistas of Waikiki’s unmatched turquoise water and Diamond Head, just across the street. It’s the place for a classic Hawaiian wedding set against an iconic backdrop, with fragrant tropical flower accents and guitar accompaniment at a starlit Le’ahi Lani reception. The on-site team handles every detail for fully customizable affairs ranging from buffets (up to 350 guests) to sit-down banquets in a renovated ballroom seating 250, with a movie screen–like window framing the famous peak.
This sustainable North Shore gem is off the radar and endlessly dreamy. Botanical gardens, eco-friendly farmland, and horses stud this 30-acre private property with both mountain and ocean views, creating half a dozen uniquely epic spots at which to tie the knot. When booking a wedding, you get exclusive use of the entire bucolic estate, two guest suites, and any or all of the venues within it, so make sure to book the photographer for the entire day, and start dreaming up the ultimate fairy-tale entrance now.
Waikiki’s newest luxury tower opened in the fall with outstanding venues that will easily blow away guests. The debut of Diamond Head Tower brought with it sophisticated new spaces that appeal to lovers looking for chic cosmopolitan vibes with the tropical charm of the Hawaiian islands. The Horizon Lanai boasts incredible views for up to 100 wedding-goers, while the new Lau’ula Park can hold 800 people for an over-the-top affair or luau-themed nuptials more on the grand, magical scale of Crazy Rich Asians.
There are indeed amazing possibilities for having a beach wedding on Oahu, but in fact this North Shore delight is the only hotel on all of the islands that can guarantee a truly private ceremony on the sand. If that sounds appealing, its 18th Green Event offering (for up to 150 people) is the way to go: The ceremony takes place on the paradisiacal, completely private Keiki Cove under a bamboo archway as aquamarine water gently laps at the white sand, and is followed by tiki torch–lit dinner and dancing on the lawn fronting the final hole of the Arnold Palmer course.
For a modern, urban setting there’s one of Waikiki’s newest resorts, where the rooftop pool deck, Swell, can play host to intimate gatherings for up to 50 guests. There, with views of the Pacific stretching out before you, brides and grooms can exchange vows either by the infinity pool or a private cabana. An added bonus for spiritually minded couples seeking deeper symbolic connections is the resort’s new Plant Your Intentions experience, which starts with a pre-arrival astrological reading, workshop with life coach Tiare Thomas, and ceremonial tree-planting with a reforestation nonprofit.
If you or your groom are indecisive, you may want to avoid this gorgeous resort, since there are almost too many enticing options for wedding venue. But that’s a good problem to have, right? Indoor and outdoor, intimate and expansive, the Four Seasons offers many ways for you to make things official. A few favorites include the toes-in-the-sand Hale Wa’a traditional Hawaiian canoe house; the Wedding Hale chapel with soaring ceilings, vast amounts of glass for vibrant views, and elegant white pews; and the 3,200-square-foot Ocean Lawn, where you’ll want to time things just right to capture the sun setting over the Pacific in all its romantic glory.
Still fairly new to the Waikiki scene is this 251-room oasis of mid-century modern style blended with vintage Hawaii aesthetics. The combination makes for a photogenic environment in which to say your vows. Book out the poolside Hideout bar or restaurant for an intimate celebration that starts with tiki cocktails in the lush garden setting of the lanai.
If a rooftop pool or salty, sandy beach isn’t quite right and something a bit more traditional is in the cards, the picturesque white chapel overlooking Waikiki might just be perfect. The intimate Moana Chapel at this oceanfront hotel can seat 60 for a church ceremony preceding an indoor or outdoor reception in a number of lovely venues.