Outdoor Wedding Venues on the Big Island

By Hawaii.com Team

Sunset at Puako on the South Kohala coast.  Photo  courtesy of Thilo Salmon.

Sunset at Puako on the South Kohala coast. Photo courtesy of Thilo Salmon via Flickr.com.

Some of the most breathtaking and dramatic scenery in the world is found on the Big Island, also known as Hawaii Island. Surprisingly, much of this natural beauty is available free of charge — or at nominal cost — to wedding parties. This makes the Big Island a prime place for an outdoor wedding, whether you prefer a beach wedding, a garden wedding, or a wedding a little more off the beaten path.  Of course, some settings are more secluded than others, which may mean you’ll have to share the shoreline (and those first moments of wedded bliss) with other outdoor enthusiasts.

It’s wise to allow a day before your ceremony to visit your planned location to ensure it’s picture perfect. If you choose a tropical or mountain locale, ask about the chance of “liquid sunshine” — a.k.a. rain in Hawaii. You may need a back-up plan or covered pavilion so a cloudburst won’t dampen your spirits and photo ops. Beaches can be blustery and blistering at certain times of day so ask an expert or research thoroughly before your big day. Keep in mind also that some beaches and beach parks may require a permit for weddings; check with the Hawaii County offices for information.

Nevertheless, if you’re looking for a picture perfect Hawaii wedding without the high expenses of a private venue, this is the place to start. Here are our top picks for heavenly outdoor spots on the Big Island.


Kukio Beach


Photo courtesy of Troy McKaskle via Flickr.com.

Adjacent to Four Seasons Hualalai, this beautiful beach has lovely landscaping and truly amazing sunsets.

Hapuna Beach


Photo courtesy of Mark via Flickr.com.

This long stretch of beach is an island favorite so it’s usually busy until late afternoon. Beware brisk winds at times.

Anaehoomalu Beach, Waikoloa


Photo courtesy of Troy McKaskle via Flickr.com.

This Kohala Coast beach is one of the Big Island’s best — white sand, whales and stunning sunsets — and was once a gathering ground for Hawaiian royalty. Quieter early mornings and evenings.

Manini Beach, Kealakekua Bay


Photo courtesy of Mike via Flickr.com.

Captain Cook’s Monument marks this historic spot blessed with blue waters, breaking waves, a palm grove and great sunsets.

Old Kona Airport State Park


Photo courtesy of Blake Handley via Flickr.com.

This lovely stretch of sand — just 2 minutes from Kona — nearly secluded at sunset and a picture perfect setting for wedding photos.

Punaluu Black Sand Beach

AN Big Island Punaluu Sunset

Punaluu. Photo: Alena Nicholas Photography.

Looking for a dramatic backdrop for your wedding day? Share the black sands with sea turtles in this stunning site.

Richardson Ocean Park/Leleiwa Beach Park


Photo courtesy of Anokarina via Flickr.com.

Considered Hilo’s best beach park, this popular stretch of sand framed by trees has covered pavilions, restroom facilities and easy access to the ocean.


Kona Outdoor Circle


Photo courtesy of Chuck B. via Flickr.com.

This shady, landscaped setting is especially suited to formal and mid-day weddings and has a nearby beach park perfect for sunset photos. Call for prices.


Puuhonua o Honaunau National Park


Photo courtesy of Prayitno via Flickr.com.

This special, spiritual place, also known as the Place of Refuge, is the true essence of old Hawaii and located about 30 mile south of Kailua-Kona. Permit fee.

Waipio Valley


Photo courtesy of Paul Bica via Flickr.com.

Imagine your own private perch overlooking lovely Waipio Valley, a spectacular setting if a bit wet and windblown at times. No site charge with vacation rental.

Kaloko-Honokohau National Historic Park


Photo courtesy of Blake Handley via Flickr.com.

Close to Kailua-Kona, this pretty and popular beach — frequented by Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles — is usually quiet at sunset. Permit fee.

Volcano National Park


Photo courtesy of Colleen McNeil via Flickr.com.

It would be hard to top the excitement of this experience in secluded woods overlooking Kilauea, the world’s most active volcano. Permit fee.

Bird Park

Photo courtesy of Benny Mazur via Flickr.com.

Just across from Volcano National Park, this quiet, natural setting is a sanctuary for sweet-singing island birds. Free.

Akaka Waterfall


Photo courtesy of Waifer X via Flickr.com.

These shimmering falls, located in North Hilo, form a beautiful backdrop for wedding vows and pictures. Permit fee.

Visit www.hawaii.com/weddings for more ideas and information.

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