Popular Hawaii wedding locations
Wailalae Beach Park
Waialae beach park is one of the most popular beaches on the island for weddings. It is in Kahala on the south shore of Oahu. It is only 15 to 20 minutes from Waikiki. I shoot quite a few weddings here every year. The weather tends to be sunny and not too windy usually. There are some good spots for pictures. The beach isn't really big and there are usually a lot of weddings shot there on weekends.
Ke Iki Beach
Ke Iki beach is a nice beach for weddings on the North shore of Oahu. It is one of my favorite places to take pictures. It is a really big, clean, and empty beach. It's rare to see other couples getting married on this beach. The weather tends to be sunny on this North west facing beach. You can get a good view of the sunset from Ke Iki beach. This beach is about 60 minutes from Waikiki. That is probably the main reason why this beautiful beach is always practically empty. It can be a little windy here depending on the season. During the winter months you will have a great view of the large north shore waves.
Waimanalo bay is a really beautiful east facing beach on the south east side of the island. Is is relatively close to Waikiki (20-35 minutes depending on traffic.) It makes for really beautiful pictures. The only disadvantages that I can think about shooting on this side of the island is that it is a little windier than all the other sides. (The east side of Oahu is called the windward side because most of the time the wind is coming from the east. The mountains in the middle of the island block most of the wind to the other sides of the island.
Moana Surfrider Hotel
The Moana Surfrider is one on my favorite hotels to shoot at on the island on Oahu. I really like the architecture. It is one of the original hotels in Waikiki. There are several great spots for photography right inside the hotel.
The Hale Koa is one of the larger hotels in Waikiki. I always like shooting at Hale Koa because I love the gardens full of red ginger. The deep greens accented with red ginger make for a really beautiful backdrop. The beach in front of Hale Koa tends to be pretty crowded but it's a little less crowded than other spots in Waikiki.
Paradise Cove Luau
Paradise Cove is a really popular location for weddings. There are a few different spots on the property that are used for weddings. The weddings lawns face the ocean but there is a hedge of naupaka bushes between the lawn and the rocky shore line. The beach area is just a minute or so from the wedding spots. The weather out on the west side of the island where Paradise cove is located is sunny and dry most of the time. It's rare to have to worry about rain on the west side. One little note about shooting a wedding at Paradise cove is that if you want me to stay and take some pictures at the Luau you will have to get a ticket for me even if I am not eating. They are pretty strict about that. Another note is that they sometimes make people go all the way around the property to get to the beach after a wedding.
J.W. Marriot Ihilani
The Ihilani Marriot is right next to Paradise Cove on the west side of Oahu in the Ko Olina area. The weather on the west side is really nice almost all the time. There is a great little beach that is out of sight of the tourist just a few minutes from where the ceremonies are held on the property. I shoot several weddings every year at Ihilani.
Koolau Golf Club
Koolau Golf Club is in Kaneohe on the east side of Oahu. The views of the Koolau's from the greens are really amazing. Some of the best mountain views on the island.
Luana Hills Country Club
Luana Hills Country club is close to Kailua on Oahu's east side. There are some amazing views of the Koolau's from this location. It's also only about 10 mintues to zip over to Kailua beach for some photos after your ceremony.
Kailua beach is a really beautiful beach. It's pretty big and the water and sky tend be really blue. It's a pretty crowded beach, especially on the weekends. Like Waimanalo and other east facing beaches it is kind of windier and you don't get a direct view of the sunset. (It dips behind the Koolau's before it sets.)
Kahana is a green, lush little bay and valley right in the middle of Oahu's east shore. If you are looking for a some Hawaiian foliage and beautiful mountain views this is a great spot for you. The beach is pretty nice too though not as spectacular as other spots. Like all the east side beaches it is a little windier and you probably wouldn't want to do a sunset wedding here as the sun dips below the mountains before it sets.
I love Turtle bay. If you want to do a North Shore wedding but are looking for some thing a little more organized than a small group of people standing on the beach then Turtle bay is the place for you. Once you walk 2 minutes away from the hotel the beaches empty out. You get a great view of the sunset over the water from a rocky point right in front of the hotel.
Moili Gardens is a really beautiful spot on the east side. I love the gardens and the fish pond. You can see a the island we call Chinaman's Hat in the distance. There are lots of large old trees that make this garden particularly beautiful.
Kualoa Beach Park
This east side beach has a great view of Chinaman's hat. The beach is not to big but also rarely crowded.
Waimea is a favorite spot to shoot. There are all kinds of beautiful places to shoot. If you are looking for a lush green backdrop this would be a great choice.
Waimea Bay gets really crowded by afternoon but if you got there early enough in the morning you could have the beach fairly empty. The scenery is gorgeous.
Waikiki Outrigger Club
There are some nice garden areas on the the property and a little bit of beach. With some creative angles I can usually get most of the people out of the background.
Sandy's is one of the best beaches on the south shore. The far east side of the beach is better for weddings as it's less crowded typically.
This is probably my favorite beach to shoot at within 30 minutes from Waikiki.
I love the black lava rocks and the great view of the Koolau's behind you. The weather tends to be sunny. Sometimes it can get windy.
Halekulani is a popular hotel for weddings. The orchid garden makes a great photo backdrop. You can get a great view of Diamond head and the sun setting from the lawns in front of the hotel.
Sunset beach is like all beaches on the north shore very large, clean and beautiful. Like you might guess from the name you get great sunset views. Most of the beach runs right past the highway so it is one of the more crowded north shore beaches.
Lahikuhonua is a great choice for a wedding venue. The area is very large and in front of a nice little stretch of beach. The west side of the island is generally the sunniest. The grounds at Lahikuhonua have a big grove of coconut trees that always make a nice place for photos.
Laie LDS temple
I moved to Hawaii across the street from the Laie Hawaii LDS temple grounds in 1984 and I've shot dozens of weddings on the grounds. It is definitely one of my favorite spots to shoot at in Hawaii. I love the banyan trees behind the temple and the marble pillared courtyard on the southeast end is also really beautiful. There are so many great spots to shoot on the grounds it's hard to pick between them all.
Kawaiahao Church in downtown Honolulu is beautiful church with so much history. It has great natural light for photos. Probably my favorite of all Honolulu churches. The staff are very friendly and helpful.
Kilohana Carriage House Kauai
I love the grounds here. The old trains are a great place to take pictures. The gardens are in my opinion the perfect balance between wild and manicured. The trees are all the kinds of trees you would find in an old Hawaiian neighborhood. The reception area has great natural light. It's also not far from the beach.
Anahola Bay Kauai
This is a great little bay on the north side of Kauai. Not to crowded. Very beautiful.
Polynesian Cultural Center
Polynesian Cultural Center is a great place for a reception when you are getting married at the Laie Hawaii LDS temple. The luau, singers and dancers are the most authentic on Oahu.
Maui Prince Hotel
There is a great little strech of beach in front of the Maui prince. It's west facing so you catch a great view of the sunset.
Hilton Hawaiian Villiage
Right in the middle of the hotel there are some beautiful spots for photography. The gazebo makes for a nice outdoor wedding. The manicured gardens look really good in photos.
This is a great beach if you need something convenient to Waikiki. Popular for weddings. Tends to have a lot of people especially on weekends.
Kakaako Waterfront Park
Good views of Diamond head here. Can be a little crowded. You can get near the ocean on lava rock piers.
DT Fleming Beach Park Maui is a great beach park on north Maui. There is a lot of rocky coastline on this side so where ever there is sand there will be some people. Less crowded early in the morning. Very beautiful for photos.
Laie Point is a great spot for photos. If you took a walk to the end you could avoid the sightseers. There are a few islands right off the point and a great view of the Koolau mountains. 10 minutes from a pretty empty, small beach. This is a great spot to augment a Laie Hawaii LDS temple wedding as it is only about a 5 minute drive from the temple.