Top 8 Reasons to Get Married on Kauai
There are MANY reasons the Garden Island of Kauai is alternately dubbed, “the Wedding Island” and has been the chosen wedding spot for thousands of couples. These are just a few:
1. Unblemished BeachesIf saying “I do” to the sound of the surf is your idea of heaven, you’ve come to the right place. Kauai is home to beautiful, unblemished beaches — many of them quiet, secluded and perfect for an intimate exchange of vows. (Better yet, public beaches and parks are available free of charge — but may require a permit to occupy. Check with the County of Kauai for information.) A few sand-strewn suggestions:• LUMAHAI BEACH — Talk about magical…The musical, “South Pacific,” was filmed along this superb stretch of sand on the North Shore, where Mitzi Gaynor “washed that man right of her hair.” Remember Bali Hai rising in the distance? You’ll find it here, at Kauai’s most photographed beach, just a few minutes’ walk from the highway. The given name of “Bali Hai” is actually Mt. Makana.• MAHAULEPU BEACH — You’re likely to find this romantic beach on the south shore quiet and largely uninhabited. Getting there is a bit of an adventure. A dirt road will take you to a security shack where you’ll be asked to show ID and sign a liability release before continuing on to private property. The payoff? A good possibility of your own private piece of golden beach or sea cliff.• POLIHALE BEACH — This remote expanse of shimmering sand, translated as “home of the spirits” in Hawaiian, is framed by dramatic cliffs. Located on the west end of the famed Na Pali coastline, this state park houses picnic facilities and restrooms.• SHIPWRECK BEACH — Even the name sounds exotic, inspiring images of swashbucklers and buried treasure. Located on Keoneloa Bay, Shipwreck Beach is one of the biggest in Poipu and particularly suited to stunning wedding photos, especially with rocky Makawehi Point in the background. Several beautiful resorts lie conveniently near its sunny shores.• POIPU BEACH — Plenty of sunshine, cool trades and soft white sand make this south shore location a favorite with travelers. Rated a “top beach in America,” this sweep of shimmering shoreline is perfect for pictures, especially at sunset, and is conveniently located near Poipu resorts. The adjacent Poipu Beach Park, also encompassing Brennecke Beach, has an expanse of green lawn, towering palms, and picnic and rest facilities.• LYDGATE BEACH PARK — This beach on Kauai’s Coconut Coast seems to have it all: more than two miles of golden sand, grassy spaces nearby, picnic pavilions, shade trees, rest facilities PLUS a playground! (Keep that young ring bearer or flower girl happy!)• WAIPOULI BEACH or ALA KUKUI POINT — Head to Kauai’s east side for this picturesque garden setting: palm trees, a profusion of flowers, white sand and mountains rising in the background.• KE’E BEACH — Considered “the place” to watch the sun set on Kauai’s North Shore, this stunning beach boasts a lava peak that trails into the sea and emerald mountains beyond the beach. Consider an early, weekday wedding at this popular and often-busy beach.• HANALEI BAY — Situated at the foot of a sheer cliff and bordered by a rocky point, picturesque Hanalei Bay is renowned for its unparalleled natural beauty. The sandy beach wraps around a shoreline at different times of the year calm and surf-strewn, but always lovely. The Pier at Hanalei is another option, promising magnificent memories and photos.• PRINCEVILLE BEACH — This lovely spot on the celebrated North shore offers a white sand beach and Mt. Makana (“Bali Hai”) as a backdrop.
2. Tropical RetreatsThe Garden Isle is known for its lush landscape, so consider a tropical garden or other green retreat for your special day. Explore these possibilities:• NA ‘AINA KAI — This once-private estate spans 240 acres and encompasses 12 distinct gardens, a hardwood plantation, an orchard, and an untouched beach between a meadow and the ocean. More than 60 bronze sculptures dot the landscape. Site fee • KILOHANA PLANTATION — Charming Kilohana Plantation takes visitors back to the days when sugar was king in Kauai. The 36-acre estate offers idyllic garden wedding sites plus a horse-and-carriage tour of the property, which also houses a renowned, romantic restaurant, Gaylord’s at Kilohana. Free admission with dinner at Gaylord’s • KUKUIOLO GARDENS — These beautiful gardens on the island’s south side feature ancient rock walls and tropical flowers. $50 fee • WAIOLI GARDENS — This charming and private setting showcases expansive flowering gardens, waterfall views and a 200-year-old missionary home with a white picket fence. Free • JAPANESE GARDEN/Kukuiolono Golf Course — This pretty garden features lovely flowers and foliage plus a footbridge. Free • WAILUA TROPICAL GARDENS — Step back in time — about 2,000 years — to marry amid this authentic Hawaiian village with lush flowers, peacocks and a pond graced by white swans. Site fee• KUKUI HEIAU — One of only a handful of heiau — sacred ancient Hawaiian sites of worship — open for weddings, Kukui is near the mouth of the Wailua River and is especially scenic at daybreak.
3. Charming ChapelsThere’s nothing ordinary about a church wedding in Kauai, home to charming, historic churches as well as lovely wedding chapels. Here are a handful of serene and spiritual settings to consider:• CHURCH OF THE PACIFIC — This pretty Princeville church lies on a peaceful country road and overlooks the ocean and mountains. You can select the sanctuary or an outdoor gazebo.• CHURCH AT KOLOA — Built in 1859, the landmark Church At Koloa is one of the oldest and most gracious churches in Kauai. • ST. RAPHAEL ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH — The island’s oldest Catholic church, St. Raphael’s was founded in 1841 in Koloa on land originally owned by King Kamehameha III.• CHRIST MEMORIAL EPISCOPAL CHURCH — Built with native stone in 1941, this Kilauea church has stained glass windows and a hand-carved altar.• UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST — This charming green church in Waioli was shipped in pieces to Kauai from New England in the 1920s.• WAIOLI HUI’IA CHURCH — Dating from the 1830s, this church in Hanalei is a fine example of the merging of traditional Hawaiian taste with New England architecture.• ST. SYLVESTER’S ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH — Lava rock and wood form this octagonal church near the banks of a stream that flows through Kilauea. Artist Jean Charlot painted its interior frescoes.• THE CHAPEL AT COCO PALMS — The chapel made famous in Elvis’ “Blue Hawaii” offers a picturesque setting — thatched roof, swaying palms and nearby lagoon — in the celebrated Coconut Grove.• CHAPEL BY THE SEA — Designed just for weddings, this exquisite, octagonal chapel at the Kauai Marriott Lagoons has European flair in a tropical setting with tranquil lagoons.
4. Romantic ResortsKauai has a number of romantic resorts to choose from, each with its own distinctive character. All happily accommodate weddings and honeymoons, and can offer the convenience of an “all-in-one” package plus show-stopping grounds and shorelines. Find Some Romantic Kauai, Hawaii Accommodations