Destination weddings are becoming more and more popular. It’s estimated that almost 20% of weddings between couples from the US are destination weddings (i.e., occur 200 miles or more away from the hometown of the bride or groom). There are lots of advantages to having a destination wedding besides the appeal of vacation – many of which will surprise you! We at BrideBox wedding albums have assembled a treasure of information that can help you decide if a destination wedding is right for you. We also have a variety of valuable resources to help you get organized with planning your destination wedding. Check out and download our free guide for destination weddings and read our articles about destination weddings that cover topics including how to plan your destination wedding, popular places and venues to get married, and much more!
Photo Credit: Andre Bogaert
When people think of a destination wedding, most likely what comes to mind is a place with a romantic, tropical atmosphere and beautiful, breathtaking scenery. Luckily for couples in America, such a place is part of the country and just off the West Coast of the US! Hawaii is a popular spot for destination weddings, and with obvious reason. This cluster of islands has wonderful weather year-round, gorgeous beaches with abundant tropical wildlife, and sunsets cast behind palm trees that make for a breathtaking scene (and not to mention an epic background for wedding photos). Each of Hawaii’s islands offers something unique to attract couples to tie the knot on their shores.
The Big Island of Hawaii is, as its name denotes, the largest of the Hawaii islands. Because of its vast land area, Hawaii holds a variety of climates from sandy beaches, to rainforests, to mountain peaks capped with snow. Given this climatic diversity, the Big Island has many wonderful attractions including clear waters for snorkeling, hikes along volcanoes and waterfalls, and botanical gardens to explore.
Photo Credit: PhotoBug Blog
The second largest island of the bunch, Maui is famous for having some of the best beaches in the world. Maui’s amazing coast offers whale watching and gorgeous sunsets that make it one of the most popular islands to visit.
Photo Credit: Amazing Tour Travel
For the true nature-lover, Kauai is the best island to visit. It is home to some of the most beautiful and natural seacliffs, tropical forests, and a river that winds through waterfalls and lush jungles. Offering breathtaking coastal hikes through canyons and snorkeling adventures, Kauai is well-known for being a remarkable exploration of natural beauty. It is less developed than the other islands, which preserves its stunning, pristine land.
Photo Credit: Greg Vaughn
In contrast to Kauai, Oahu is home to the state capitol, Honolulu, and most frequently visited by tourists. With a high population, Oahu is a very lively destination rich with culture, nightlife, and entertainment. Oahu’s vibrant cultural wonders are matched with natural beauty as you will encounter endless beaches with world-famous waves and amazing snorkeling spots.
Photo Credit: Joshua Rainey Photography
Known for its laid back, quiet atmosphere and natural beauty, Lanai is the perfect place for a romantic getaway! With the true feeling of tropical paradise, Lanai offers quiet beaches and luxurious resorts that are the perfect place to tie the knot.
Photo Credit: David Daniel Adventures
Here are a few keys steps to help you get started planning your special day and your destination wedding in Hawaii.
- Do some research. Find out more information on each island to decide which is the best one for your wedding. Then, conduct thorough research to find the perfect venue for your big day.
- Decide on a budget. One of the most important steps in wedding planning is to sit down with your fiancé and have a discussion about how you envision your big day in terms of ceremony, guest list, etc. Once you have a good idea of the details, figure out how much you can spend. There may be additional expenses associated with Hawaii weddings, such as flights, a welcome Luau dinner, and sight-seeing adventures.
- Plan for your party. You have to choose a date at least a year in advance so all of your guests can plan accordingly. Everyone will need to purchase flights, so monitor when airline prices rise or fall. Find a few hotel options for your guests because the main resort may not fit into everyone’s budget. Setting up a wedding website is a great idea so all the information and planning is in one place and easily accessible for your guests.
Photo Credit: Sheraton Maui
Don’t forget about a vital part of your wedding: the marriage license. Visit this site to find out the requirements you must meet to obtain a marriage or civil union.
Popular wedding locations in Hawaii
Hawaii offers hundreds of event locations, venues, and options that vary by style, price, and type of packages they provide. If you decide to find one of these yourself, you can do it via few different online resources like wedding wire, the knot, and many others. This is one helpful wedding planning website that helps you find the perfect venue by allowing you to compare 145 wedding venues based on style, price, location, and capacity.
Photo Credit: Aloha Island Weddings
Do I need a wedding planner?
One of the main benefits of planning a destination wedding in Hawaii is that there are numerous beautiful resorts and hotels in each of the most popular locations. As a bonus, many of these resorts, often the all-inclusive ones, offer wedding packages that usually include the services of an on-site wedding planner or coordinator. These on-site planners are very experienced and have trusted local vendors that you can work with. If you already have a venue in mind for your destination wedding, chances are you won’t need to hire a third party planner because your venue will offer one.
If, however, you know you want to have your destination wedding in Hawaii but are not sure where to start, hiring a third party planner may be a good idea. They can be in charge of researching different venues based on your needs and budget, and can also help you book all the travel arrangements and accommodations. Keep in mind that if you decide to hire a third party planner, you will most likely still have to work with your venue’s coordinator as well, which adds another level of communication. Here you can find a list of some of wedding planners in Hawaii.
Photo Credit: Sophie Asselin
Destination wedding etiquette
Having a destination wedding doesn’t mean that the rules of wedding etiquette go out the window. Who pays for what are some of the key considerations for destination wedding etiquette. The extra costs of traveling for the wedding or any sight-seeing activities are important points to consider when planning and setting your budget. Our guide to destination wedding etiquette can help with sorting all of this out.
Photo Credit: Love Train Studios
Creating your wedding album
Don’t let the craziness of wedding planning distract you from a vital component of your wedding: the photo album. Destination wedding photography typically includes shooting only, meaning the photographer will come take pictures and deliver you the images. When having your destination wedding in Hawaii, ordering an album from a photographer that resides in Hawaii doesn’t make too much sense for either party. BrideBox is your best option! Once you receive the professional, edited images from your photographer, you can easily create an amazing, professional wedding album with BrideBox at prices starting at just $89.99.
BrideBox Professional Wedding Albums
Some of the best wedding photographers in Hawaii
Shooting a destination wedding requires a high level of skill as the photographer must capture you and your partner, as well as the gorgeous scenery. Here are some of the best wedding photographers in Hawaii that offer different packages and styles of photography. Please note, this list is not in any specific order and each photographer would be a fantastic choice for your wedding day!
Pearl Wedding Photography
Jessica and her team at Pearl Wedding Photography capture Love. Clients describe her style as natural, beautiful, romantic, and fun. Jessica and her team go above and beyond in getting to know each bride and groom they work with. They pride themselves on capturing those special, candid moments of your wedding that you will want to remember forever. Their photos aim to tell a story and capture the feel of your unique wedding. Jessica’s main goal is for you to feel comfortable and stress-free on your big day, making sure you are able to enjoy every second of your wedding.
Jessica Pearl has a degree in photography and has been photographing weddings on the Islands for more than five years now, offering a variety of wedding packages to fit every couple’s personal needs. Packages start at $1050, but her most popular packages are for 4-6 hours from to $2400 – $3400.
Experience plays a big part in the photographs that are taken at weddings. Weddings generally happen extremely fast, so having someone there that knows how to handle different situations and keeps everyone calm is important. Eddy Fong of Renai Photography uses his experience as well as his artistic sense to create images that others may not think of. The best part of documenting someone’s wedding day is being able to tell a story using your images. From the wide landscape shots that showcase the islands to the close-up shots that concentrate on the raw emotions of the wedding, you can expect a variety of images documenting your special day.
Our basic 8-hour wedding day package includes an online gallery as well as a DVD of the final images. All final images are edited and enhanced similar to what you see on their website. This package includes a second photographer for added coverage and different angles. The rate for this package on Oahu is $4000.
Karma Hill Photography
Karma Hill Photography is a wedding photographer with a team of professional photographers available to capture any size wedding in Maui, Hawaii. Having shot over 1,500 events, Karma Hill and her staff make you feel at ease having a great knowledge of the different venue and beach wedding locations throughout the island. Having tons of experience with Maui’s harsh lighting and windy conditions, the Karma Hill Photography team knows how to produce the highest-quality wedding images in challenging conditions. Karma’s work has been featured in multiple wedding photography publications and featured on the web’s best wedding photography blogs.
Staff photographer pricing starts at $950 for the first hour and then $450 for each additional hour. This includes 75 high-resolution images through digital download with full personal usage rights and custom proofing website for sharing images and purchasing professional print products. Karma Hill’s pricing starts at $1200 for the first hour and then $600 for each additional hour and comes with the same added benefits.
Christie Pham Photography
Christie Pham Photography has a style that is documentary, modern, unobtrusive, and spontaneous. She creates memories through her photos by capturing images that are emotional and authentic. Christie and her husband Matt work as a team, and their goal is to tell your story as the day unfolds.
Basic wedding collection starts at $3600.
Joanna Tano Photography
Joanna Tano Photography captures both your attention and your heart with camera work that reveals the elegance of the natural world and the richly expressive personal moments of the wedding ceremony and celebration. With the combination of using natural light, utilizing creative lighting techniques, and having a keen sense of composition, Joanna honors the mood of each moment.
Joanna Tano’s packages include full-resolution images with printing rights. Her basic wedding package is $1500 for 2 hours of coverage. Full coverage collections start at $3000.
Kevin Lubera began his photography career on the East Coast, and then relocated to Los Angeles where he refined his craft while creating images for distinguished personalities and discerning couples from around the world. Kevin has been commissioned to photograph celebrations in over a dozen states as well as international locations, and his wedding images have been featured in media such as People, Grace Ormonde Wedding Style, InStyle Weddings, and Food Network. He has recently settled in his home state of Hawaii and welcomes couples who favor classic elegance and natural beauty in their photographs.
Kevin has 15 years of wedding photography experience. All coverage options include an online viewing gallery of color-corrected photos, starting at around $3500 for weekend dates. Potential clients are encouraged to inquire for details on packages as well as pricing for weekday celebrations.
Dmitri and Sandra Photography
Dmitri and Sandra strive to capture the essence of you and spouse, and your love for each other. They are inspired by the idea that these images will become your family history, and when your children and grandchildren look at them, they will know how it all started. Because legacy is future, people are more important than “stuff”, timeless is modern, and trends do die. Their goal is to deliver honest, uplifting, and truly gorgeous images.
Their most popular wedding package is a 6-hour “Classic Wedding” package, priced at $4500. This includes 6 hours of wedding day coverage with both Dmitri and Sandra, all of your photos professionally edited, high-resolution images on a custom USB drive with a print release, and an online gallery for sharing with friends and family.
We are Jonathan and Rebecca, the photo-junkies behind Tamiz Photography. We are obsessed with our three foxy pups: Sushi, Chosie, and Pesto. We live in Hawaii but love gallivanting and planning travel excursions at every possible opportunity. We eat way too much pasta and don’t exercise enough. Jonathan is a sommelier and gets pretty fancy with his wine skills. Rebecca does the same, only with Redbull. We try to live a life that exudes love and we owe all that we are to God and his amazing grace. We love light and taking photos and we love love. and photos. and photos. and photos.
Our sole package is $4800 for 6 hours of coverage, two photographers, and product. Additional hours and a USB of high-resolution images are available A La Carte. We are also available for worldwide travel and destination photography.
Kai-Photo is a boutique wedding photography company known for their innovative and artistic imagery. Their award-winning team of photographers has a passion for creating dynamic works of art and capturing the true emotions of everyone who has gathered for your special day. Kai-Photo was established in 2007 and has since photographed more than 1,000 weddings. Their work has been featured in Pacific Weddings Magazine, Hawaii Bride & Groom Wedding Style, Style me Pretty, as well as Forbes.com Lifestyle and the nationally acclaimed TV show “The Insider” for a celebrity vow renewal.
Kai-Photo’s packages are tailored to suit the unique needs of each couple. Simple elopements start at just $550, while their base package with 2 photographers starts at $2400 for 5 hours of coverage.
Anna Kim Photography
Embodying the warm, friendly spirit of aloha and glorifying the beauty of the Hawaiian Islands through her gorgeous photographs, Anna Kim travels throughout Hawaii and around the world to capture the magic of spectacular destination weddings and events. Well-known for her brilliant use of light, angles, and creative composition, she expertly captures images of honest emotion and remarkable authenticity for people who really care about their wedding photography. From fun-loving couples who have chosen to elope on the beach, to families and planners hosting large multiple-day events, Anna’s clients simply rave about her stunning work and caring, professional service.
Wedding coverage starts at $1900.
Photography started off as a hobby for Pinky Yoshimoto. She instantaneously fell in love with the art, light and details… but most of all the people. Pinky absolutely LOVES that special day where she captures her bride & groom’s special moments which are filled with genuine happiness and love. She channels all of this “genuine happiness and love” into unforgettable works of art for her clients. Pinky takes pride in taking photos that clients will cherish forever.
Performing Wedding Photography since 2008, Pinky’s Basic packages starts at $2200. This includes 5 hours of wedding coverage and includes professionally edited images placed on a custom flash drive with print rights. Clients may also create “custom” packages that fits their event!
Sea Light Studios
Sea Light Studios is a fine art wedding photography studio located on the beautiful island of Kauai. They are made up of a soon to be husband and wife team, Fawne and Sebastian, who share a passion for capturing a couples lasting legacy. Their style is natural, elegant and timeless. They combine a fine art approach with a documentary style to create real and beautiful images that reflect the love and joy of your wedding day. They have been featured in fine art wedding and lifestyle magazines such as Pacific Weddings, Hawaii Bride and Groom and have photographed the cover of Cottage Hill Magazine. They have also been featured across top online wedding blogs such as Style Me Pretty, Once Wed and Bajan Weddings.
Interested clients may contact Sea Light Studios directly for more information on pricing and collections they offer.