With all of Kauai’s white sand beaches, exceptional ocean views, lush tropical flowers and sultry sunsets, there’s a reason why there were nearly 11,000 weddings on Kauai in the last five years. It doesn’t take much convincing to know why photo-ready Kauai is the obvious choice when determining where to hold your destination wedding.
From beach permits to the ideal wedding venues, we have all the details to make your wedding planning smooth sailing. We interviewed Marie Foster, local wedding planning expert and owner of Legacy Events Kauai, for her insider advice to make sure your special day is perfect.
Planning a destination wedding can be intimidating for someone not familiar with Kauai, where do you begin?
Planning a destination wedding may seem daunting at first, but our job as wedding planners is to make it effortless because we know all the ins-and-outs of planning weddings on Kauai. And trust us, there’s a lot. Then, with today’s technology and abundance of information online, such as yelp, much of the information you need is right at your fingertips.
Step One: Decide how big or small you want your wedding to be and who you plan to invite. This will help with selecting a venue, finding hotel or vacation rental accommodations for your guests and defining a budget. Together with your fiance, put together a list of all the people you absolutely must invite to the wedding and from that list, estimate how many you think will actually come considering this distance, age and financial ability.
Photo courtesy of Sea Light Studios
Is it expensive to get married on Kauai?
That’s the great thing about working with a wedding planner, we will work with you to not only make your day perfect, but also stay within your budget. Some expenses that you’ll want to consider are venue site fees, vendor costs, wedding planner costs, travel costs and wedding attire. Making sure you have a budget that matches your vision and guest count is good to know before you begin the planning process so you don’t run into issues later in the process.
What are the legal requirements for getting married on Kauai?
Since wedding coordinators know the process so well on Kauai, it is helpful to have your coordinator involved in this part of the process. It is easy to fulfill legal requirements for your destination wedding, especially because there are no state residence or U.S. citizenship requirements. The State of Hawaii’s wedding website provides a ton of information on what you need to do and you can even apply for your wedding license online for a fee of $65. You will still need to appear together in person before a marriage license agent when you arrive on island.
The Wine Shop in Koloa is an authorized marriage license agent. The best way to kill two birds with one stone is to schedule an appointment with The Wine Shop Kauai to pick up your marriage license and stock up for the celebration with their amazing selection of fine wines and champagne.
Keep in mind that the marriage license expires within 30 days and is valid statewide. The legal age to marry on Kauai is 18. A valid I.D. or driver’s license is accepted for anyone 19 year of age or older, 18 must present a birth certificate. You will also need to verify that your wedding officiant is licensed in the State of Hawaii. When having a wedding on a public beach, a state permit is required.
Okay, we know that you have the inside scoop on the best wedding venues on Kauai. Where are some places that the future Mr. and Mrs. must consider?
This is the kind of question that we live for! Kauai has so many great locations for all different budgets and wedding sizes. The first thing to ask yourself is what do you envision when you think of your wedding day? Do you want the structure of a well organized hotel wedding with all the amenities that you need, such as rooms for your guests, on property restaurants, swimming pools and spas for relaxation? Do you envision yourself saying “i do” in a decadent botanical garden? Or, do you want to go simple with your toes in the sand and tropical trade winds blowing at the beach? There are many choices on island based on your preference. Some of our favorites in Poipu are The Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa and Plantation Gardens Restaurant.
Oceanfront wedding venue at The Grand Hyatt Kauai. Photo courtesy of Sea Light Studios
What about guests who want to incorporate some group activities before and after the wedding. Any ideas?
Yes! Group activities are wonderful for bonding with your guests and elevating the mood and excitement of being in a beautiful destination with all of your closest family and friends. We highly recommend attending the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa Havaiki Nui Luau for the complete Hawaii experience with food, hula and music. Depending on your budget, a sunset dinner sail on a large catamaran to the Napali Coast is great for accommodating large and small groups. You might even want to engage in a little brain teasing exercise at the Kauai Escape Room or ramble through Kauai’s back roads to a private waterfall with Kauai ATV.
Why should someone hire a wedding coordinator?
To put it simply, a good wedding coordinator will take the guesswork out of wedding planning. Our job is to keep you well informed when making decisions, factoring in every aspect of your wedding day. Local knowledge of weather during the time of year, traffic, driving times, sunrise and sunset times for photos and backup vendors can all come into play on your wedding day. Our services range from initial wedding advice with the DIY bride to full scale support and access to our list of the top vendors on Kauai.
And then there’s the most important part of all, your wedding day. Your wedding coordinator should provide customized timelines for the day and oversight of every single detail so that you don’t have to. We check and double check with our vendors to make sure everything is in place. We know when to make adjustments to optimize your wedding day experience because you don’t want to miss the perfect lighting for photos, serve cold food or have your event run past venue time limits.
Well, there you have it. Any closing comments for someone wanting to get married on Kauai?
At the end of the day, you want to be able to look back at your wedding day with the fondest memories and reminisce on your fabulous trip with all your closest family and friends. Having a good photographer to capture every moment is so essential. So is making sure that your guests are taken care of and enjoying themselves as much as you. Preparing to commit your life to one another can take a lot of preparation. A qualified and professional wedding coordinator exceeds expectations and eliminates disappointments, so you will never have to look back and wish you did anything differently.
If you would like to learn more about these services and planning a Kauai destination wedding, please visit www.legacyeventskauai.com and contact Marie for a free consultation.