Hawaii has long been an extraordinarily romantic destination—from proposals to honeymoons to the wedding ceremony itself, the lush jungles, white sand beaches and crystal clear waves have drawn in couples from around the world. Jocelyn Luko from Transcend Photography reveals the top spots for a luxury wedding in her native Hawaii.
Kualoa Ranch, Oahu
This private nature reserve has been owned by the same family since 1850 and is picture-perfect Hawaii—dramatic cliffs rising out of the verdant rainforest and broad valleys that lead to secluded white-sand beaches. Indeed, you could be forgiven for thinking it all looks a bit familiar, as the ranch has featured in numerous movies, including Jurassic Park, Godzilla, 50 First Dates and more, as well as TV shows such as Lost and Hawaii Five-O.
There are several scenic spots within the reserve’s 4,000 acres that are perfect for a wedding and the working ranch offers a farm-to-table menu featuring its own Kualoa grass-fed beef, fresh seafood from its own waters and home-grown fruits and vegetables, allowing you to design everything you’ll need for a perfect wedding set in natural splendour.
Kualoa Ranch, 49-560 Kamehameha Highway, Kaneohe, Hawaii 96744, +1 808 237 7321, kualoa.com
Four Seasons Resort, Lanai
Lanai offers a glimpse of unspoilt Hawaii, best enjoyed from the unequalled luxury of the Four Seasons Resort, Lanai. The hotel’s Botanica and Cascades garden patios can each accommodate up to 30 people for cocktails, and both are nestled among secluded ponds and gardens. You may want to say your vows barefoot on the soft white sand of Hulopoe Beach. Larger weddings can be hosted at the Hulopoe Ballroom, where there is room for up to 300 guests for a banquet.
With renovations of the Koele Lodge to be completed in 2018, wedding parties will have the opportunity to enjoy a distinctive Hawaiian escape. Activities include championship golf, catamaran sailing and sunset experiences, whale-watching expeditions, off-road adventures, horseback riding, archery and clay shooting, tennis, mountain biking, hiking, yoga and, of course, a spa, which should provide enough diversity to guarantee a truly memorable experience for everyone.
Four Seasons Resort Lanai, 1 Manele Bay Road, Lanai City, Hawaii 96763, +1 800 321 4666, fourseasons.com/lanai
Haiku Mill, Maui
Haiku Mill on Maui’s north shore is a sensational wedding venue that has attracted celebrities such as F1 driver Jenson Button and rock legend Gene Simmons. With more than 150 years of history, this one-of-a-kind location juxtaposes refined, French-inspired décor with the vine-draped ruins of a historic sugar mill and lush, tropical gardens.
This is shabby chic, Maui style. The romantic botanical gardens are not only a spectacular backdrop for wedding photographs, but also provide a natural perfume of plumeria, night jasmine and mock orange. Menus show off locally sourced ingredients, including fruits from the gardens, and the venue can provide its own wedding-planning service for couples who want a fairytale celebration set in the middle of pure nature.
Haiku Mill, 250 Haiku Road, Haiku, Hawaii, 96708, +1 808 575 9994, haikumill.com
Na Pali Catamaran, Kauai
Interested in something a little more intimate? Sail away on a 65-foot luxury catamaran to enjoy a wedding with stunning views of the world-renowned Na Pali Coast, showcasing Kauai’s majestic ridges of Niihau, Polihale and Kokee, which are arguably the most visually stunning mountain ridges on Earth.
With catering services for a maximum of 49 guests, this is a boutique wedding option, but how many venues offer the chance of a surprise visit by a pod of spinner dolphins? When the moment is right, you can drop anchor in the perfect spot to say your vows against the setting sun and some of the world’s most dramatic views.
Na Pali Catamaran, 5-5190 Kuhio Highway, Hanalei, Hawaii, 96714, +1 808 826 6853, napalicatamaran.com
Laie Estate, Oahu
This is a Hawaiian experience that is far removed from the typical commercial wedding setting. The lesser-known option of renting an entire luxury estate comes highly recommended for those yearning to experience a tropical environment in a more comfortable villa-style setting, amid water fountains, a central courtyard pool area and well-manicured grounds.
The property has four bedrooms that sleep up to 10 people and can host up to 100 wedding guests for an outdoor ceremony or reception. With activities ranging from dips in the swimming pool to strolls along the white sandy beaches and campfires under the stars, the Laie Estate is a fantastic option for those wishing to create an intimate luxury beach wedding.
Laie, Hawaii, homeaway.com