Outdoor Wedding Venues on Oahu

By Hawaii.com Team

couple

Perhaps no place on earth is better suited to an outdoor wedding than the paradise known as Hawaii. Miles of sun-kissed shoreline, golden sands, vast views of islands rising from the sea, flowers blooming in fragrant profusion, tropical lagoons and gardens of vivid green — our Islands offer some of the world’s most spectacular and romantic settings.

Surprisingly, much of this natural beauty is available free of charge — or at nominal cost — to wedding parties. 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.

A few things to keep in mind: 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. Also, beaches can be blustery and blistering at certain times of day so ask an expert or research thoroughly before your big day.

If you choose a remote location — like a secluded mountain waterfall — you may need to spend more for transportation and travel fees for your officiant and other participants, like musicians or caterer. And don’t forget about those rain showers!

Where to turn for help? You can “do it yourself” with thorough research and planning — our guide to the great outdoors is a start — or turn to one of the many wedding planners who provide services throughout the Islands. Most offer weddings from “sweet and simple” to “lavish and luxurious” and everything in between.

Oahu’s Heavenly Spots

Gardens

Olomana Gardens
Exotic plants, winding paths, natural streams and terraced gardens make this setting a masterpiece of Mother Nature about 30 minutes outside Honolulu. A gazebo overlooks a lily and lotus pond — perfect for pictures. Site fee.

Foster Botanical Garden
This 14-acre oasis in downtown Honolulu is home to unique tropical plants and trees dating from the 1850s, and is a favorite photo spot for local weddings. Permit required.

Haiku Gardens
Long a local favorite, this lovely spot is lush, tropical and — beware — sometimes a little wet. Site fee.

Senator Fong’s Plantation and Gardens
Choose from five gardens on 725 acres filled with palms, fruit and nut trees and fragrant flowers just a short drive up the Windward coast from Kaneohe. Site fee.

Heʻeia State Park
This pretty park on Kaneohe Bay features an oceanfront lawn, pavilions and native plants like bananas, coconuts, breadfruit, taro and sugarcane. Site fee.

Hoʻomaluhia Botanical Garden
“A Peaceful Refuge” is the fitting Hawaiian name for this lush 400-acre expanse of tropical plants. Permit required.

Koko Crater Botanical Garden
While there are no paved trails or facilities, this rustic garden in East Oahu has sun-loving plants and flowers. Permit required.

Liliʻuokalani Botanical Garden
Another downtown sanctuary just north of Foster Garden, this property with 7+ acres devoted to native Hawaiian plants once belonged to Queen Liliuokalani, Hawaii’s last reigning monarch. Permit required.

Lyon Arboretum
Rainbows, bird calls, winding trails and more than 5,000 tropical plants greet visitors to this verdant garden paradise, a 124-acre University of Hawaii research site in Manoa Valley. Call for details.

Moanalua Gardens
This pretty, private park just northwest of Honolulu is open to the public and well know for the sprawling monkey pod trees that shade the grassy lawns, streams, a taro patch, carp pond and set of petroglyphs. Call for details.

Wahiawa Botanical Garden
Considered a “tropical jewel,” this 27-acre garden and tropical rainforest is home to a multitude of plant life. Permit required.

By the Sea

Magic Island
Overlook Diamond Head and Ala Wai Yacht Harbor from this popular point near Ala Moana Beach Park, where crowds fade and sunsets appear most nights.
Diamond Head Park/Leahi Park
Imagine marriage at the foot of one of Hawaii’s most famous landmarks at this pretty public beach park complete with picturesque palms, ocean waves and sunsets — no facilities, though.

Waialae Beach Park
Located in one of Honolulu’s most prestigious neighborhoods, this popular public beach has pavilions, restrooms and easy parking PLUS the striking Koolau Mountains in the distance.

Kakaʻako Waterfront Park
This grassy expanse of rolling green lawns lies right on the ocean, overlooking the coastline from Diamond Head to Aloha Tower and features trellised pavilions and park facilities.

Waimanalo Beach Park
Standing in the shadow of the majestic Koolau Range, this expansive white-sand beach lies in picture-perfect contrast to the sparkling blue waters beyond.

Makapuʻu Beach
This dramatic stretch of sand and rocky coastline is a favorite of surfers and body-boarders and overlooks vast blue waters and Rabbit Island.

Kailua Beach Park
Sunny Kailua Beach is home to gentle surf, wide white-sand beaches, windsurfers and beach strollers. Free.

Lanikai Beach
Pretty Lanikai Beach is a silver stretch of white sand, calm turquoise waters and a picturesque view of two islands that lie off the Windward coastline.

North Shore Beaches
Home to dramatic surf in winter and quiet waves in summer, beaches like Papaola, Puena, Lanikea, Sunset and Three Tables afford panoramic views on the quieter, more charming side of Oahu.

Off the Beaten Path

Mount Tantalus Park
Enjoy fantastic sunsets over Honolulu from this grassy park atop Tantalus Drive in a quiet residential neighborhood.

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

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