Destination I Do

Hawaii's Big Island Weddings

Words by Sarah Padilla
Photos courtesy of Aloha Photographics
From the world’s most active volcano to snow-capped mountains to secluded black sand beaches, Hawaii’s Big Island offers attractions that appeal to almost anyone. big island weddingsThe youngest and largest of all the Hawaiian isles, the Big Island is also the most diverse – it boasts 11 of the world’s 13 climatic zones within a little more than 4,000 square miles.

But don’t let the island’s size (it’s roughly the size of Connecticut) intimidate you, especially if you’re looking for an intimate experience. With an estimated population of only 155,000, the Big Island is the least densely populated of all the islands. And despite its reputation as the playground of the Pacific, locals and visitors alike are also drawn to a slow, laid-back lifestyle that offers brides and grooms a chance to relax and rejuvenate.

The island’s diversity is part of the reason that more than 2,000 marriage licenses are granted here each year.

"The Big Island truly offers something for everyone," says Jessica Ferracane, Public Relations Specialist for the Big Island Visitors Bureau. "There’s a wide range of accommodations available, from luxurious resorts to beautiful and more affordable Bed and Breakfasts. You could have a high-end celebration where money is no object, or still have a gorgeous Hawaiian wedding on a budget." 

Jessica adds that for destination couples who are bringing along guests, there’s a multitude of activities for everyone. Every corner of the Big Island offers a variety of things to do. The west side of the island, the Kona Coast, is well-known for its beaches and ocean excursions. Two of the more popular locations for weddings in this area include Kikaua Point Beach Park and Pu'uhonua o Honaunau. The Kohala Coast is home to some of the island’s most luxurious resorts, such as the Mauna Lani Resort, and gorgeous white sand beaches.

The island also boasts several national parks, and the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is the most popular visitor attraction in the state. One of the world’s most active volcanoes, Kilauea’s living lava gives the island its vitality. The Big Island includes some of the best spots in Hawaii to explore colorful coral, exotic reef fish and observe wild dolphins, by snorkel, with scuba gear or kayak.
When Jennifer and Manuel Martins of central California received a free trip to the Big Island as part of a time share purchase, the couple knew it was the perfect opportunity to have the simple, intimate beach wedding they had envisioned. The second wedding for both of them, the Martins wanted a small, simple – and affordable – ceremony.

While searching online, Jennifer found Weddings A La Heart and the Reverend Libby Kelson-Fulcher ( Jennifer immediately felt so comfortable with Rev. Libby that she entrusted her to take care of every detail, including arranging for a hairstylist to come to her room and hiring a photographer, videographer and musician.
The result was a romantic, sunset ceremony on (this beach) on the Kona coast, where the only guests included a group of sea turtles who swam up on shore to witness the nuptials.

"Everyone went out of their way to make things perfect for us; that’s just the way the Big Island is," says Jennifer.

n a land of wonderful people, spectacular landscapes, and countless activities – not to mention world-famous coffee and macadamia nuts – it’s hard to imagine how any couple could not want to wed on the Big Island. Whether elaborate and festive or small and intimate, there’s one thing that all Big Island weddings have in common – they couldn’t be more perfect.

Rev Libby Kelson-Fulcher, DD.
Weddings A La Heart

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