3 Things to Know About Planning a Wedding In Kauai, Hawaii

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Is Hawaii The Best Wedding Location In The World?

Waves gently lapping against colorful beaches, strings of bright tropical flowers around your neck, a soft, sweet-smelling breeze tickling the palm fronds high above. What could be more romantic than a Kauai beach wedding? If you ask us, all of Hawaii’s islands are incredible, and their beaches and resorts are known worldwide for the most unforgettable Kauai Hawaii weddings and celebrations. 

Read on to find out the top venues, most beautiful places, and best activities to do while visiting Hawaii for your Kauai destination wedding.

Hawaii is typically recognized by its four main islands

Made up of four main islands and many smaller islets, Hawaii is home to everything from buzzing metropolitan centers to remote historic cultural sites. To get around and from island to island, travel by boat, ferry, or airplane is typically required. 

Known for its biodiversity, tropical weather, and opportunities for relaxation, people visit the four main islands of Oahu, Maui, the Big Island, and Kauai, as well as smaller islands like Lanai for vacations, weddings, and honeymoons, and to catch the world-class surfing opportunities, wildlife sightings, and stunning sunsets.  

Get Married in Hawaii Legally

Even if you’re working with a Hawaii wedding planner to prepare for a ceremony and reception in Hawaii, you should be familiar with the legal requirements of the process. Luckily, compared to many other wedding destinations globally, the logistics required to get married at wedding venues in Hawaii are quite straightforward. 

To familiarize yourself with the legal requirements, ask yourself the following questions: 

Do you know who will be officiating your wedding ceremony? If your venue does not provide an officiant, or if you are providing your own, they will need to register to obtain an official license to perform marriages. 

They may file marriage licenses with the wedding venue island's Department of Health online or via snail mail and - this is important - they must file this within three business days of the ceremony. Your Big Island wedding planner can assist you with this process. 

Hawaii Wedding Dates to Avoid

While summer and fall are the peak seasons for weddings in Hawaii for a reason (think great weather with lower chance of rain), we recommend considering the months of May, June, September, October, or November. These “shoulder season” months typically see less tourism and fewer crowds, and may be more budget-friendly, as prices may become inflated during times of busy tourism. These times of year are also great to explore Hawaii elopement packages and Kauai beach wedding packages.

The tropical location of the Hawaiian islands also means that although it may be slightly cooler or have a slightly higher chance of rain, the weather is generally gorgeous in Hawaii year-round, so you won’t be sacrificing much if you opt to have a Kauai wedding in spring or in fall. 

3 Things to Know About Planning a Wedding In Kauai, Hawaii

1. Top Wedding Venues in Kauai

Grand Hyatt Kauai

Situated on Kauai’s sunny south shore, the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa’s luxury wedding venues range from lush gardens to lawns to ballrooms. Your guests will love the private lanais for each room, the resort’s pools, and the white sand beaches nearby. 

With a number of Hawaiian wedding packages, catering options, and venue locations onsite, the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa is the perfect destination for Kauai weddings. Whether you are eloping, hosting a small wedding, or celebrating with lots of guests, this venue can accommodate to make your vision a reality. 

Learn more here. 

Royal Sonesta

Royal Sonesta Kaua'i Resort Lihue is located on Kalapaki Beach - an incredible location for  exploring attractions such as Hanalei Bay and Waimea Canyon State Park - or just relaxing to the sound of the waves. It’s the ideal venue for Kauai weddings, as it blends refined luxury with tranquility and adventure. 

Just renovated in 2021, the location offers dazzling ballrooms, a dedicated catering staff, gardens, suites that overlook the ocean, and multiple activities nearby. Check out their Kauai Hawaii wedding packages and then stay as long as you like by enjoying your honeymoon after the festivities. With helicopter trips, whale watching, surfing, markets to wander through, and hikes, there’s something for couples of all kinds. 

Learn more here. 

Princeville Makai Golf Club

Located on Kauai’s North coast, Princeville Makai Golf Club can accommodate 250 guests at its cliffside wedding and event venue. This world-class golf club is fantastic for outdoor ceremonies, receptions, and rehearsal dinners, as it offers catering services, sound system, and year-round availability. Wedding planners in Kauai Hawaii appreciate this venue’s style, ease, and astounding scenery.

According to their website, “Princeville Makai Golf Club is proudly known as one of the "Top 5 Most Scenic Golf Course Setting in the World" by National Geographic Traveler Magazine. Boasting numerous breathtaking locations that are perfect for you and a loved one’s special occasion.” 

Learn more here. 

Princeville Ranch

A gorgeous and rustic working ranch on 2,500 acres, Princeville Ranch is a breathtaking setting for weddings that differs from other Hawaiian venues as it is not beach-oriented. With waterfalls, an open meadow, mountain ranges, or shore views to serve as your backdrop, your wedding will be unforgettable. 

Perfect for weddings of any size, this family-run ranch is a dreamy getaway unlike any other - great for elopement packages Hawaii. We also appreciate that it is a good venue for the adventurous-minded, as there is no onsite Internet, indoor venue accommodations, or other services. Working with a Kauai wedding planner for this location will almost certainly make for a more enjoyable planning process. 

Visit the ranch website here. 

Beach House Restaurant

This amazing venue has it all - from intricate wedding cakes to dance floors under the stars, we can’t imagine a more romantic venue to say your “I do’s” and celebrate the night away. Located on the Poipu Beach coastline, you can expect top-notch service, incredible sunsets, fantastic Pacific Rim cuisine, and spaces to chat, dance, enjoy music, and watch the stars come out. 

The Beach House Restaurant also offers a number of packages to make wedding planning a breeze, especially with the help of a Hawaii wedding planner or day-of wedding coordinator Kauai. This incredible Kauai venue is popular and picturesque - get in touch to check availability early! 

Learn more here.

National Tropical Botanical Gardens


The perfect place for nature-loving couples, the National Tropical Botanical Garden, a 2,0000-acre property in the Lawa’i Valley can accommodate up to 350 guests. There are numerous locations onsite for your event - a meadow, a lush tropical garden, or a cascading waterfall! 

With a staff known for their helpfulness and flexibility and so many opportunities to make the day feel extraordinary, the National Tropical Botanical Garden is also a wonderful venue for engagement parties, bridal showers, and rehearsal dinners. Wedding planners in Hawaii can assist with the selection of outside vendors for your event, making this location a dream destination. 

Sheraton Poipu Kauai


With numerous outdoor wedding venue sites, Sheraton Poipu Kauai is a great location for couples and guests wishing to enjoy all of what Kauai has to offer from a comfortable home base. With snorkeling, whale watching, golf, tennis, and more nearby, there’s something for everyone.

Located on the South shore of the island, this Kauai wedding venue’s sunset views will complement your vows, whether they’re beachside, near a cove, in a garden, or on a lawn. Sheraton Poipu Kauai’s experienced event and catering staff can assist with the selection of a locally-inspired menu and decor. 

Hanalie Bay Resort


At Hanalei Bay Resort, your dreams of hosting a romantic microwedding or elopement may just come true. With a picturesque bluff in the background and waves crashing below, there is magic in the air at this venue, as well as multiple Kauai wedding packages to make the experience even smoother. 

Accommodating up to 50 people, this location feels intimate, the setting is private, and the views are expansive. With mountains reaching up out of the bay, many opportunities for snorkeling and other outdoor activities, Hanalei Bay is a favorite among Kauai wedding venues for wedding planners and visitors alike.

2. Could It Be The Most Beautiful Island In The World?

Are you still trying to decide which of Hawaii’s islands you’d like to choose for the setting for your wedding celebrations? As you may know, all of the main islands in Hawaii are spectacular for their own reasons - and all of the Kauai venues we’ve overviewed are fantastic. While you can’t really go wrong (it’s all paradise, trust us!) we have a special spot in our heart for Kauai. Read on and see for yourself! 

Oahu, with 4.7 million visitors annually, is definitely the most metropolitan of the islands. Boasting incredible restaurants, shopping, and nightlife, Honolulu is the hub and home to the primary outgoing and incoming international airport. For those wishing to explore the outdoors of Oahu, there are lots of opportunities as well. Visitors can check out the white sand beaches, rainforests, and even volcanic craters.

Maui is known as The Valley Isle for its verdant landscapes and unmatched biodiversity. When visiting Maui, expect to witness world-class surfers catching the waves - the beaches and opportunities for fun in the sand are never ending. Be sure to sample some of the mouthwatering local cuisine after visiting the many historic and cultural sites on this island. 

If you’re hoping to learn more about the volcanoes that formed this island chain, be sure to visit The Big Island. It is home to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and Mauna Kea, Hawaii’s tallest mountain. With expansive landscapes, golf courses, jungle, lava fields, beaches and more, The Big Island’s vast diversity won’t disappoint. 

The most famous attraction on The Big Island is Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, which is home to Mauna Kea, Hawaii’s tallest mountain peak. If you’re looking for a Hawaiian island where you can go snorkeling, traverse through the jungle, and potentially even see snow, the incredibly diverse Big Island is your best bet.

Kauai, as we’ve mentioned, is a secluded-feeling island, offering the most coastline of any of the islands. It’s far less touristy, and the island feels natural and uncluttered. There are incredible features found nowhere else in the world, such as the dramatic Waimea Canyon, incredible Na Pali Cliffs, waterfalls, and even meadows to be explored on Kauai. With options for both recreation (think snorkeling, hiking, surfing, fishing, and more) and relaxation on its pristine beaches, we truly love Kauai.

3. Main Locations + Things to do 

While you’re visiting Kauai, whether it’s for your wedding, honeymoon, Kauai elopement, or on a vacation, you will never need to worry about being bored. From relaxing days on the beach to exciting excursions all over the island, there are unmatched opportunities to enjoy all that this tropical paradise has to offer - at each of the Kauai venues, while passing through towns, and on the roads that wind around the island. Here are some of our favorite things to do on Kauai. 

If you’re visiting Kauai, a little understanding of what and where the island’s best attractions are is a great place to start. There are two main hubs of resorts - one on the north shore, at Hanalei and at Princeville, and one at Poipu on the south shore. One main road connects the island. While visiting the area near Hanalei and Princeville, don’t miss Kauai Tunnels Beach - it’s well-known for it’s great snorkeling opportunities!

The West side of the island is where you can find the world-famous Nāpali Coast. Because of its protected status, this coast doesn’t have any development, and you can explore its jagged coastline on foot, by boat or kayak, or by taking a helicopter tour.

On Kauai’s East side, you’ll find Lihue, the island’s capital. This is where you’ll be able to stock up on groceries or convenience items, and you can visit the Kauai Museum to learn more about the island’s history as well. North of the town, you’ll come upon Kapaa, which is an old plantation settlement that is now bustling with souvenirs, food trucks, and markets. 

Kauai’s south shore is where Poipu, another resort hub, is found. With its great weather (don’t forget your sunscreen!), tropical gardens and landscapes, golf courses, and beaches, this is perhaps the best place to get married in Hawaii, and a fantastic choice to call home for your stay on Kauai. It’s ideal for an iconic wedding landscape. 

When you’re on the island of Kauai, there are a few not-to-be-missed experiences that will make your experience unforgettable, no matter if you’re getting married yourself as part of one of the many Kauai elopement packages, or if you’re a guest at a large wedding celebration for a loved one. Whether you’re into adventure and action-packed activities like hiking, horseback riding, or taking a helicopter tour of the coast, or if sunbathing on the beach is more your style, there’s definitely something for everyone. 

Many visitors report that a helicopter tour is among their top memories of their Kauai experience. Our advice is to book this early in your stay, in case weather requires the outing be rescheduled. 

An alternative way to see the Kauai coast is by boat. Whether you choose to visit the natural Napali Coast or focus on trying to spot whales, a sailing trip is an incredible way to see cliffs, beaches, lagoons, and coves. You can even book a dinner cruise for a truly memorable evening. 

Tip: Ask your hotel’s concierge for their advice on these activities, and if any of them are offered through the hotel as part of Kauai small wedding packages.

Another must-see while visiting Kauai is known as the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific” - Waimea Canyon. This 14-mile long, 1-mile wide, and 3,600-feet deep canyon is known for its extreme beauty. The colors range from golden to bright red, and are augmented by brilliant green vegetation. The canyon can be driven, with multiple stops for views, or can be explored through a network of hiking trails. 

Speaking of hiking, there are trails everywhere on the island that visitors can enjoy to get close to lava fields, feel the spray of nearby waterfalls, or reach private beaches and whale-watching spots. Whether you opt for a short hike or an all-day guided adventure, it’s best to check the weather forecast, and always be sure to bring a raincoat, snack, water, and reef-safe sunscreen on hikes on Kauai. 

While you’re visiting Kauai, be sure to visit the multiple beaches throughout the island. The South shore is especially known for its beach-hopping opportunities, sea turtle viewing, snorkeling, and incredible sunsets. Learn more about the beaches and other must-see sites here


Kauai is a place like none other. Idyllic for weddings, with Kauai venues that range from rustic ranches to cliffside settings to beaches that boast the world’s best sunsets, and Kauai elopement packages all inclusive, we can’t get enough of the romance of this island. If you’re looking for a natural setting with less tourism than other Hawaiian islands but still lots of opportunities for your guests to have fun and see the sights, consider Kauai. 

As you start imagining your dream wedding day on this island, be sure to review the legal requirements and check out the many venues to choose from. Big Island wedding planners can help you understand the best Kauai wedding packages and vendors on the island and before you know it, you will find yourself with sand between your toes, holding hands with your love. I do!

Additional Reads:


10 Top Maui Venues and Wedding Packages that We Love!

3 Incredible Options for the Perfect Hawaiian Wedding

5 Tips to Know Before Planning Your Wedding In Maui + Lanai Hawaii


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