If you've ever dreamed of a destination wedding, you probably envisioned a place like Oahu—warm and inviting with beautiful scenery. This populous Hawaiian island is home to bustling Waikiki and the slower-paced North Shore and the wedding venues here offer the chance to experience the scenery and culture of the island in a completely unique way.
We traveled from mauka to makai—from the mountain to the sea—to find the best Oahu wedding venues. We also consulted Richel Cole, founder and principal planner of For The Good Events, for expert advice.
Meet the Expert
Richel Cole is the founder and principal planner of For The Good Events, a wedding planning and design firm is based in Honolulu that specializes in destination weddings.
"Oahu is known as the gathering island," shares Cole. "Bringing all your loved ones to these beautiful venues on the island is an amazing way to get a true taste of being in Hawaii and to experience the aloha of the culture. It’s such a unique way to kick off your marriage and your life together."
When to Host an Oahu Wedding
Cole says most wedding venues will either be by the water, in the forest or mountains, or at a resort. Thinking about the location and atmosphere you want can help narrow down your venue selection. Oahu’s microclimates cause some venues to get extra rain, but there’s no need to plan your wedding date based on weather seasons. Per Cole, the weather in Hawaii is consistent year-round, but travel prices and venue availability can vary month-to-month.
"If you can avoid the summer months then you have a lot more flexibility with your travel," she tells Brides. She recommended March through May, or September through November. Those off-season months allow you to get the best return for your travel investment.
Average Cost of an Oahu Wedding
Speaking of investments, Cole reveals couples spend about $45,000 to $65,000 for a 100-person wedding in Oahu. However, that doesn’t include the vacation expenses, like flights and hotels. A local wedding planner like Cole can help you manage your budget and navigate the destination wedding planning process, whether you’re familiar with Oahu or a first-time visitor.
“For a lot of couples, Oahu holds a special place in their heart,” Cole says. “There’s a sentimental value that inspires them to celebrate their wedding here. Alternatively, some couples are hoping for a new experience with their guests, a core memory that they can build from their wedding. When they think about that experience, they think about a place that is sunny and warm, a change of pace from their everyday lifestyle."
For either type of traveler, and for any venue they choose, an Oahu wedding is sure to be an unforgettable experience. We narrowed down our favorite 12 Oahu wedding venues. So mix up a Mai Thai and come along as we see some of the best sites on the island.
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Travel to the eastern region of Oahu, away from the hotels and the nightlife, and find Kualoa Ranch. This remote property features remarkable views and a quiet atmosphere. You’ll likely recognize the scenery here—Kualoa Ranch has been the setting for hundreds of TV shows and movies. Now it could be the setting for your wedding as well.
Choose to wed right by the water on its private beach, or on the hillside overlooking the ocean. Cole says that Kualoa Ranch’s versatility and scenery make it one of her favorite Oahu wedding venues. "You’re driving into Kualoa Ranch and seeing this huge mountainscape behind you and the ocean beside you, and it feels like you’re immersed in the environment," she shares.
The Four Seasons Oahu at Ko Olina offers the quintessential luxury vacation, and its weddings receive the same impeccable service. Our favorite spot at the Four Seasons Oahu is the wedding chapel. This oceanview building honors the architecture of Hawaii’s early churches but still features the classic elegance you expect from a Four Seasons venue. The resort also has an oceanfront wedding lawn where you can host a custom dinner or private luau.
If you walk down the streets of Waikiki, the Moana Surfrider is sure to catch your eye. Nestled among souvenir shops and high-rise hotels, this colonial-style building features an old-fashioned front porch lined with wooden rocking chairs. The setting invites you to slow down and experience what Hawaii was like in the early 1900s.
A wedding at the Moana Surfrider will feature that same old Hawaii charm that the hotel embodies. Wed in one of the property's tropical gardens and then celebrate as the sun sets over the iconic beach. Since it’s right in the heart of Waikiki, a wedding here will involve some noise and crowds. But if you want that classic Honolulu postcard wedding, this is the venue for you.
Waimea Valley is a lush venue near Oahu’s North Shore. This stunning preservation site is steeped in ancient Hawaiian history and features tropical jungle scenery. Marry among its super green plants and trees, and then take portraits by the natural waterfall. Your pictures will look like you hiked deep into the jungle for a dreamy remote wedding, but the sites are actually easily accessible—even in full wedding attire.
Couples who want a vibrant tropical wedding will love Paradise Cove Luau. This lively venue is in the idyllic Ko Olina resort area and features picture-perfect palm trees. Say "I do" on the open lawn or sandy beach, then celebrate at the nightly luau. It’s an easy way to treat your guests to dinner, drinks, and entertainment after the ceremony.
Turtle Bay Resort is a sprawling hotel set on its own quiet corner of Oahu’s North Shore. The resort has several lawns and beach settings for ceremonies of all sizes. A wedding here can have a laid-back surfer vibe, or it can be a chic, luxurious experience thanks to their attentive staff. Turtle Bay also has a picturesque indoor space with wall-to-wall windows that is perfect for an indoor ceremony or reception.
If you want something a venue that is rustic and homey then Dillingham Ranch is the venue for you. Its history dates back to the turn of the century when ranchlands stretched out over Oahu’s North Shore. Weddings here today can enjoy the quiet comfort of a rural retreat with a tropical flair.
"It really feels like you’ve been taken to a different time and place," Cole explains about Dillingham Ranch. She says her clients especially love the chance to book the ranch house and stay on the property during their vacation.
This 30-acre venue offers a lot of privacy with amazing views. Its open field and onsite barn allow for a rustic Hawaii wedding, and the dreamy fern garden is like something out of a fairytale. The estate is dedicated to land conservation and sustainability, so it’s also a great spot to host an eco-friendly wedding.
Loulu Palm is another spacious North Shore Oahu wedding venue. It’s a beachfront farm where you can wed between the mountains and the sea, then party the night away under the stars. The ceremony lawn is inches away from a secluded beach, and the property offers endless photo ops.
Your love will set sail on the Vida Mia. This antique yacht is a unique setting for an Oahu elopement or micro wedding. Enjoy sunset views of Waikiki from the privacy of a chartered cruise. We love Vida Mia’s Art Deco style with Hawaii-inspired details. You’ll love the entire experience of marrying on the water.
The scenery at the Royal Hawaiian Golf Club highlights some of Oahu’s best beauty. This venue features the accessibility and pristine lawns you expect from a golf course, but the views are rich with earthy character. Marry with the Ko'olau Mountains behind you, and then get portraits along the venue's jungle pathway.
You don’t have to book a private venue for your Oahu wedding. Instead, you can have your wedding right on one of the island's public beaches. This is a budget-friendly option, but it’s not as easy as showing up at your favorite beach and setting up your wedding. "There are a lot of permits and restrictions regarding beach ceremonies, and that’s just to be respectful of the local community, the animals, and the environment," Cole shares. The state only allows weddings at certain beaches, and there are limits on guest counts and decorations.
An Oahu wedding coordinator will know all the rules and can help you decide if an Oahu beach wedding will work for your vision. If not, venues like Kualoa Ranch, Turtle Bay Resort, and Paradise Cove Luau have sandy settings that aren’t under the same restrictions as public beaches.