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Hawaii Beach Weddings: What to consider for your beach wedding

What to consider for your beach wedding

Maui Beach Wedding planned by Tori Rogers, Officiant Kahu Alalani Hill, Flowers by Dellables, Photo by Tad Craig Photography

When people think of Hawaii, they think of  beautiful, magical, pristine beaches.  Many wedding magazines display beautiful photos of beach weddings that inspire couples to follow the beach wedding trend.   Beach weddings in Hawaii are handled a bit differently from beach weddings elsewhere.  Most  beaches are government property, even those fronting Hawaii’s hotels, resorts, and private homes. They are not private, so people may be enjoying the beach at all times of the day, even during your wedding. Most people are respectful, but they cannot be forced away from your site. However, rules and restrictions apply, so be sure to learn about  those before planning your wedding on a public beach.  Should this discourage you from having your wedding on the beach in Hawaii? NO WAY! Because when you HIRE the right people, we know where and when you should have your wedding so that you are not in the middle of the beach traffic.

Just because beach weddings  may present some special issues to consider, careful preparation and planning will help to eliminate any unpleasant surprises that may occur otherwise.  We hope this proves to be a  helpful resource to create a beautiful and joyous beach wedding  experience..

COSTS:  Sometimes a beach wedding can be less expensive than a  traditional wedding.  Be sure to collect estimates for both scenarios and  compare. It may be necessary to pay additional delivery fees, permit fees, and  set up fees.  It is best to select a beach that offers a pavilion or similar  structure that will shelter your food and guests at your wedding.  Most rental  companies will not set up tents on the sand. However, they will set up tents at  beach parks on the grassy area, if the government permits it.  Keep in mind that  you will need to provide lighting, which may require the rental of generators  for electricity.  You can use tiki torches, but the tropical winds may keep them  from staying lit. Battery operated lighting works wonders at a beach  setting.

TONE OF YOUR WEDDING: A beach wedding can be a casual affair. It allows  everyone to relax. Your guests can dress comfortably and affordably.  A beach  wedding allows you to involve everyone in the activities. Guests are not  restricted to sitting quietly in their seats.

CONVENIENCE: The ceremony and reception can all be held right there on  the beach. No need to travel to different locations. This is very convenient for  everyone. If you decide to have children at your wedding,  Check to see if  parking and bathroom facilities are available. Note how accessible they are from  your wedding location.

CREATIVITY:  A beach wedding provides an opportunity to be creative  with your wedding theme and setting. Some of our clients have incorporated a  very casual beach theme involving flip flops for all of the guests as favors,  beach balls, a volleyball game, and a clambake.  Others have created a simple  elegance of flowing fabric and lighting.  Your budget will determine just how  far you can go with your creative visions.  Your wedding coordinator will help  you adjust your budget to accommodate your beach wedding dreams.

Timing: The beaches and beach parks are very  popular venues, so make sure that other events are not taking place at your  wedding location.  It is best to have your wedding on a Hawaiian beach on a  weekday, when locals are not using it for their family picnics, barbecues, and  fishing adventures.  A little tip: when vacationing in Hawaii, every day is a  weekend day for you. Also, many wedding professionals charge less for their  services on a weekday.  Be sure to check the tide chart so that you set up at an  appropriate distance. You certainly do not want the unanticipated waves to wash  away your wedding.  Lighting will affect your photography and your guests’  comfort.  Check  where the sun will be at the time of your wedding.  It is in  your best interest to make sure there is shade to protect your guests and food  by providing  beach umbrellas, parasols, canopies, tents, and/or hold the event  in the beach’s pavilion.  Perhaps there is a cluster of shady trees under which  you can have the ceremony.  We discourage receptions under the trees due to the  amount of uninvited creatures that will be using them, as well.

WEATHER/BACK UP PLAN: Hawaii is a wondrous tropical paradise, complete with  lush green mountains, an abundance of flowers and plant growth, and tall swaying  palms.  This is part of what attracts us to the islands to get married.   Unfortunately, the rain that is required to maintain this beauty may cause some  disappointment on your wedding day if you are not adequately prepared.  The most  important thing to remember when planning a beach wedding is that you have a  PLAN B.  

OTHER PRODUCTS OF NATURE: Be prepared for the wind to blow sand around, so protect  your guests and your food. The wind and crashing waves may also make it  difficult for the guests to hear the most important element of your  wedding—the ceremony.  Be sure to ask your coordinator and involved wedding  professionals for advice regarding sound for the guests and for your video. The  seagulls and other uninvited creatures might be interested in your wedding  events, as well, so be prepared. Perhaps some citronella torches and candles to  keep away the mosquitoes?? You may also want to supply sunscreen and bug  repellant for your guests.  Keep garbage cans on the outside perimeter of the  wedding site so that the creatures stay away from the actual  festivities.

RULES TO FOLLOW: Make sure you check with the parks and recreation  department regarding the rules and regulations of the beach location of your  wedding. Ask about the following: Can you have candles on the beach? Can you  play music into the night? How late can you stay? Is there an area nearby for  open fires should you choose to barbeque? Can you set up a tent and rentals  (tables, chairs, etc.)? Are you permitted to section off an area? What type of  beverages can be served? Is glass permitted, or is plastic  required?

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS: Chairs may sink in the sand if you do not rent flooring  to place under them. However, if you are planning a “beach blanket” reception,  you will not need chairs. It is also important to consider the needs of your  guests with special needs. Plan for their safety and comfort. You will need to  provide them with chairs and beach umbrellas to protect them from the elements.  They will also need assistance accessing the wedding site and facilities.  Be  sure to keep an abundant supply of water and beverages to keep hydrated.  Keep a  first aid kit on hand to assist the adventurers and explorers at your wedding.  There are many shells and pieces of coral and lava that can easily cause  injury.

The most important item to consider is that you should go  with the flow of the day.  Regardless of the extensive preparations you consider  and put into effect, unexpected things will take place.  Just treat these  wedding imperfections as memories instead of mistakes.  Enjoy and cherish every  moment of this very special day! After all, the most important part of your  wedding is you, so celebrate each other. Everyone will follow your  lead.

photo by Joe D’Alessandro Photography

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