Opened in 2011, the Aulani, a Disnery Resort and Spa on the island of Oahu has been praised for its embrace of Hawaiian culture: It shelters the largest collection of local art in the state, there’s a taro patch, and the architecture, while mega, also references traditional Hawaiian buildings. There are Disney details, to be sure—the fellow on your dresser holding the ukelele is indeed Mickey Mouse. But if your wedding will be a family affair, you couldn’t find more child-friendly facilities in all of Hawaii—there’s a lazy-river pool, water slides, a platoon of lifeguards, a calm swimming beach, scavenger hunts, a shave-ice stand, character breakfasts, storytelling hours, a 5,200-square foot kids’ clubhouse (free childcare!)…and a Pack ‘n’ Play in every guest room closet.
With one of Disney’s Fairy Tale Wedding planners overseeing the details, pretty much anything is possible, from a spa day for the girls to an aisle of orchid petals to a hula troupe at the reception. Aulani beach is the resort’s signature ceremony location, and you’ll find lawns as flat and green as a billiards table; a pool with a Pacific view; and the Kipuka Courtyard, with a mod wall of water. If you want a beachside setting without the sand (something your older guests might appreciate), the Ama Ama Patio can accommodate up to 100 people literally steps from the water.
The Aulani sits comfortably on 21 acres in the Ko Olina area of Oahu, close enough to the airport to make getting there easy; far enough from Honolulu to feel like a true escape.
Keep in mind
While you can ask Mickey and Minnie or even Stitch (of Lilo and fame) to stop by the reception, they aren’t allowed to officiate or sign the marriage certificate.