It would be hard to plan an unsuccessful destination wedding in Hawaii. These green velvet islands floating in the Pacific hit all the tropical high notes: sandy beaches, wind-ruffled palm trees, ravishing sunsets. And since you’re in America, there’s no language barrier, no currency confusion, and no passport control. Marrying here has been a popular wedding fantasy for over 50 years, ever since Elvis tied the knot in 1961’s Blue Hawaii, so there’s a considerable infrastructure of party planners, florists, photographers, and ministers who specialize in destination vows.
So why single out the JW Marriott Ihilani Resort & Spa at Ko Olina as wedding headquarters? Four reasons:
1. It’s easy to get to. When your guests are traveling from the mainland, one key consideration is getting them to the wedding with minimal hassle and cost. Honolulu International Airport has by far the most flights of all the islands—over three dozen daily nonstops from LAX, for starters—and once you’ve landed, you can jump in a taxi and be at the Ihilani is 25 minutes.
2. Though getting here is a breeze, it still feels far away. And at a destination wedding, that’s key. While Honolulu has its share of high-rise office buildings and traffic jams—not to mention rivers of tourists clutching bamboo beach mats—the Ihilani is a comfortable distance from town and shares its four lagoon beaches with just one other resort. You and your crew can pretend you have the place (at least part of it) to yourselves.
3. You can pretty much do anything you want. There’s precious little pretension at the Ihilani, which extends to its wedding offerings. They’re happy if you want to keep it super-simple with a few rows of white chairs on the Lagoon Lawn at sunset. They might be just a little more happy if you book the salon suite for a day of primping, drape a grove of trees with ropes of frangipani blossoms, and opt to serve your guests a farm-to-table menu featuring veggies from the Lualualei Valley, Big Island beef, and fresh ahi.
4. The fire pit is fab. Whether you book it for a rehearsal dinner or a small wedding reception, the resort’s new beachfront fire pit, surrounded by flaming torches, has to be one of the coziest, most sensual gathering spots on the island. And that’s saying something.
Want to know more about planning destination wedding travel to the J.W. Marriott Ihilani Resort, or anywhere else in the world? Our travel partners at Coastline Travel Advisors, a Virtuoso agency, are ready to help.