Advice on getting married in Hawaii
April 27, 2010 7:33 PM   Subscribe

Getting married in Hawaii: Looking for details from locals, or MeFites who have dealt with logistics personally.

My dearest and I are contemplating eloping on the Big Island of Hawaii on an upcoming vacation (shhh! it's a secret). We have been investigating options and have spoken with some folks, but are looking for some details/perspective from locals or people have done this.

Doing a wedding at the place we're staying is ridiculously expensive and we don't want to do that. It's just the two of us and we want something simple and pretty minimalist, so:

* Is it possible to get married by a "justice of the peace" or something at the time we acquire our marriage license? (We understand what we need to do to get one).
* We are staying near Kona and have spoken with -- has anyone ever worked with them? Opinions? Alternatives?
* On the date we've picked (it's a secret), the above mentioned folks are booked for a sunset wedding and strongly argued against an afternoon wedding (too hot, too much sun, no good way to take pictures . . . not sure we care about that). They've recommended a 9am slot, which seems early but they said was a great time etc. Does this make sense? (we can be convinced that it would be more fun to do this early in the day and enjoy our first married sunset together without any wedding logistic stress)
* "Secret Beach" and "Green Turtle Beach" have been suggested as locations . . . I've been unable to figure out where these are, particularly in relation to our hotel at Ka`upulehu . . . would love to figure this out
* Any other tips/suggestions/warnings?

By way of background, we're in our 30s/40s, not our first wedding but definitely our last, want to optimize the fun/specialness of the entire trip which is a wedding/honeymoon so are trying to eliminate hassles/surprises/gotchas wherever possible.

Thank you AskMeFi.
posted by donovan to Travel & Transportation around Hawaii (6 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
OK... full disclosure here. After lurking for three (yes, THREE) years, I finally coughed up my $5 to tell you about a great destination wedding website. This site has helped me tons in the planning of my upcoming wedding in Mexico.

Congratulations, by the way!
posted by Cat Face at 9:00 PM on April 27, 2010

I'm in the exact same situation. I don't have any firm reason to believe that Revs. Dard and Penei Aller, aka is better than the people you refer to, but they allow you a choice of photographer, the featured photographs are better IMO, and they talk more about what kind of ceremonies they do, so I'm a bit more willing to trust them sight unseen. They also cost more, though.
posted by Hither at 9:04 PM on April 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

When we visited Hawaii, we tended to get up quite early, due to the time-change issues. Plus, even in mid-summer, you're looking at only 13-hour days. 9 am may sound early, and we are by no means early risers, but on our trip we would have definitely been up and at 'em by then. Sunsets are nice and all, but they happen surprisingly quickly there, so I'd be stressed out about timing the service to fit into the 10-minute Hawaiian dusk.
posted by MrMoonPie at 5:35 AM on April 28, 2010

We eloped to Hawaii, although it was way back in 1991. We got married at Waimea Falls Park on Oahu and we let their wedding department do everything. All I had to do was pick up my tux the morning of the wedding, and then we had to be downstairs at the appointed time to meet the limo for the ride to the park. They arranged for the minister, photographer, videographer, cake, limo, etc. Don't discount the late afternoon wedding, that is when we did it and it worked out great. We went to the zoo that morning, had lunch at Hard Rock, and then we were lounging on the beach when one of us we realized we needed to get dressed to get married. It was amazingly stress free. We were actually late for our own wedding as the limo got stuck in traffic. We ended up with about 30 "guests" at our wedding as visitors to the park gathered around to watch.
posted by COD at 5:45 AM on April 28, 2010

From a good friend:
Konaweddings is the same people we used. Secret beach is where we got married and it was super awesome! It's a private, gated area with multi-million dollar homes. However, since all of the beaches in hawaii are owned by the state, anyone is allowed back there. The guard just lets you in. It helps not to have random people in the background as you get married. Also, there are plenty of trees and lava rocks on the beach which make for great background items in pictures.

I loved the people at konawedding as they provide everything and are super sweet, however, they dupe you a bit with the pictures. :( We loved so many of the pictures that we ended up buying a package that was more than we had planned to spend.

As for a sunset wedding - ahhhh...they are the best. We had more than "10 mins" as someone commented. We also loved having the wedding later in the day because we were able to relax all day and even took a nap.
posted by mmascolino at 6:34 AM on April 28, 2010

Thanks everyone--all the comments have been very helpful!
posted by donovan at 3:13 PM on April 29, 2010

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