Congratulations! You are finally engaged to the love of your life, and you’re planning a gay wedding in Hawaii! You couldn’t have chosen a better location to tie the knot. Hawaii has been one of the best wedding destinations since time immemorial.
But is it a suitable location for same-sex couples? And if yes, what are the best locations for a gay wedding in Hawaii? How much should I budget for my wedding?
Check out the list below for a quick look at our favorite Hawaii gay wedding destinations. Then, read on to find the answers to these questions.
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Is Hawaii LGBTQ Friendly?
Hawaii’s economy heavily depends on the tourism sector- especially for weddings and honeymoons.
Over the years, Hawaii has become one of the best destinations for LGBTQ travelers because of the state’s general open-mindedness towards people from all walks of life.
Besides the open-minded citizens, the state legalized gay weddings in 2013. Lesbians in the state are also given access to IVF options, and all same-sex couples can adopt kids.
Hawaii also has strict discrimination protections for the gay community, barring discrimination on the basis of gender identity, sexual orientation, public accommodation, or employment. Last, but far from least, Hawaii also makes it easy for transgender citizens to change their names in a short process.
How Much is a Destination Wedding in Hawaii?
Like any other wedding, it depends on your budget. Hawaii weddings can cost anywhere between $5000 to $3300 or more.
This is based on the reception costs, food, travel & accommodations. For example, if you live in Hawaii, you won’t have to pay for plane fare or a place to stay, so your wedding may be on the lower end of the cost spectrum.
On the other hand, if you’re flying in from the mainland and paying for family or friends, a place for everyone to stay AND the cost of the wedding itself, that price can quickly skyrocket.
Can Gay Couples Get Married in Hawaii?
Yes, gay couples can get married in Hawaii as long as they’re eligible. As mentioned earlier, same-sex marriage was approved in 2013. The requirements are the same as those of heterosexual couples.
Some of the basic requirements include:
- Both you and your spouse are 18 years and above.
- You have proof of age – driver’s license or state-issued I.D.
- Partners who have been married before have to show proof of divorce or death. Both certificates must’ve been finalized at least 30 days before applying for a marriage license.
- Blood relationships can’t be more than first cousins.
Be sure to check other legal requirements before planning your wedding in Hawaii.
4 Best Places for a Gay Wedding in Hawaii
Although all of Hawaii is LGBTQ-friendly, there are hot spots that are more popular to the LGBTQ community than other parts of the country.
These are the places that commonly hold Pride festivals and have amazing gay hotels and services.
Here are the best places for a gay wedding in Hawaii.
1. The Big Island
Big Island is one of the best same-sex wedding Hawaii destinations. It has a big selection of beautiful beaches that you can choose from as your wedding venue.
Also, getting a wedding permit in Big Island is very easy, and we all agree that any relief from the legal process is a bonus.
Some of the best beaches for your wedding on the Island include:
Mauna Kea Beach
The Mauna Beach is one of the best beaches in the US. It’s scarcely populated, and you can see Mauna Kea Volcan from the island. You can get a great room and food from the Mauna Kea Beach hotel.
This beach is just a mile south of the Mauna kea beach. The white sand is soft, and the aquamarine waters create a perfect photo drop for your photos. The Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel where you can sleep and eat.
The best thing about this beach is the seclusion. If you’re lucky, you’ll see a few green sea turtles. You can get food and accommodation from the elegant Four-season resort Hualalai.
When many gay couples think about getting married in Hawaii, Oahu is what first comes to mind.
Oahu is the state capital of Honolulu. Some of the things that make it gay-friendly include the Honululu pride festivals, speaker panels, exhibitions, singalongs, and pool parties.
Here are the best beach selections for your wedding at Oahu.
This is one of the most beautiful places to get married in Oahu. The turquoise waters and fantastic backdrop make it the best place to say, ‘I DO’ to your partner.
This is the closest beach to Waikiki. The tall, beautiful palm trees and long beach make it a fantastic wedding spot. The rocky, shallow waters discourage swimmers, making it easy for you to take photos without distractions.
If you want something between Sherwood forest and Waialae beach, then the sandy beach is a great spot. Since this is a popular hanging spot for locals, it’s advisable to do your wedding early on in the day.
Some of the best hotels in Oahu include Halekulani, Turtle Bay Resort, Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort; you can check out other options here.
Kauai is popularly known as the “Garden Isle” thanks to its laid-back space. This beach is for gay couples who want a private and intimate wedding ceremony.
Here are some of the best beaches in Kauai.
Lydgate Beach, Wailua
This beach is on the East Side of Kauai, and it’s a gem, yet many people ignore it. The beach is very private, and you can have the whole beach to yourself on your wedding day.
Shipwrecks Beach, Poipu
This is the most popular wedding venue choice in Kauai. The beach has awesome backdrops of ocean cliffs, and you can enjoy the sunset most evenings. It rarely rains, so if you’re worried about rain on the wedding day, then this is your best venue. The con is that you may have to share the venue with 2-3 couples since Shipwrecks is popular.
This magic isle has many beautiful experiences to offer, from the breathtaking volcanos to rainforest hikes.
That said, although Maui is gay-friendly, it has fewer gay joints compared to Oahu.
So, what are some of the popular Maui best beaches that make a good gay wedding venue? Here are some of my top picks.
Many gay couples think that Kapalua Bay has everything that a wedding needs. The bay has palm trees, white sand beaches, lava rocks, and spectacular sunsets. This venue is best for those who are only holding a small intimate wedding ceremony.
Although this is a secret beach, you can expect some company. The best time to say your vows on this beach is in the morning and midday. There are beautiful sunsets, and Molokai provides a fantastic backdrop.
This is another location for those who want a quiet ceremony. It’s near the Kea Lani resort so you can be assured of great food and excellent accommodation. After the wedding, you can take a walk along the path that connects the beach to Wailea.
Related: Top 5 Best Costa Rica Gay Resorts for Your Honeymoon
What You Can Wear to Your Gay Wedding in Hawaii
For your Hawaii beach wedding, everything goes! From a bikini or shorts to complete formal dresses or suits, these are things most couples have put on.
Note that there are no restrictions and whatever you choose to wear all depends on you. However, below are some pointers for you.
Several couples choose to dress formally for their beach wedding. Lesbian brides have donned lavish ball gowns, and gay grooms have slayed three-piece suits or tuxedos. Although a beach wedding usually takes place in a less formal setting, formal wear always looks beautiful.
However, considering that Hawaii experiences warm weather year-round, the typically heavier fabrics of formal clothing aren’t particularly ideal.
Instead, in Hawaii, shorts can be great for gay grooms to wear. Khakis and short sleeve button-down shirts are a cozy choice and a great way to stand out from any guests is to wear a shirt with an aloha or Tommy Bahama print.
As for lesbian brides you can choose a sundress that complements your personality best.
At the end of the day, having your wedding in Hawaii is already unique in of itself, donning unique attire is therefore only natural. And with some of the informal options, you maximize comfort. Nothing beats being calm enough to enjoy this time with your lover.
No matter what you are wearing, you should plan on wearing flats, especially if your destination has lava rocks.
Please ladies, since most formal attire is floor-length, nice flip-flops or jeweled sandals will do. Why? Well, walking in heels or wedges on the rocks and sands of Hawaii is more difficult than you’d think. And it can be quite unsafe.
So, it is best to plan on being practical rather than extra to avoid slipping as you walk down the aisle. You can of course bring your heels along so you can change for a few photos.
For the grooms, if you’re thinking about wearing shoes, remember that you’ll probably be walking on sand, which will likely go inside your shoes. For a more relaxed appearance, leather sandals are a popular choice.
However, going barefoot might also be a good option. Yes, you read right. For one, it is simply easier to navigate the sand barefoot. If you’re going with that option then you can go to the venue with flip flops or sandals on then take them off on getting there or get the “barefoot sandals” for a unique touch to your outfit.
Bonus Tips for a Perfect Beach Wedding in Hawaii
Simply following these few fundamental tips will take you much closer to having the perfect gay beach wedding in Hawaii.
- Don’t forget the rings. This is obvious but it happens more likely than you’d think.
- Prior to your wedding, ensure you eat. This is because many couples forget to eat because they are too busy getting ready for their big day. So be careful not to arrive at your wedding venue on an empty stomach, because you definitely don’t want to be in a “hungry-angry” state on your special day.
- Hawaii enjoys cooling trade winds, which are a blessing. However, it is best you consider this when choosing your hairstyle.
- To enjoy a stress-free wedding, arrive on time. Also, if you’ll be having guests, ensure to tell your guest how important it is that they arrive on time.
Gay Wedding Hawaii (Conclusion)
Hawaii is the holy grail of gay weddings, and that’s not for no reason. Hawaii has beautiful beaches and incredible views that make you feel like you’re tying the knot in paradise.
It also has several gay hotspots that allow gay couples to be themselves. Also, since Hawaii legalized same-sex marriages, gay couples from other countries yet to legalize gay marriages come to get married here. As a result, Hawaii has become one of the best LGBTQ destinations.
What are your thoughts about planning a gay wedding in Hawaii? Share with us below!
I’m a freelance journalist/writer/content marketer with BA Hons in Journalism.
Last update on 2023-05-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API