Creative Wedding Ideas

By Team

Photo:  Kit Furderer.

Photo: Kit Furderer.

While there’s something to be said for a traditional wedding ceremony, “creative” (non-traditional) weddings can hold just as much charm. Whether that means tying the knot a mile out to sea or putting your wedding party (bride and all) on Harley Davidsons, couples should celebrate their marriage in a way that is special to them.

Looking for some inspiration? We offer a few ideas to get you started:

Weddings Afloat

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Get married on your own private love boat! Many sea captains in Hawaii are also licensed ministers, which means there’s no shortage of officiants who can perform your ceremony afloat. Vessels range from intimate teak sailboats to magnificent cruise ships, so you’re sure to find something that, uh, floats your boat.

Note: Weddings at sea must be performed within three miles of shore to be considered legal in Hawaii. (Beyond three miles is outside Hawaiian waters). There is one exception to this: if you’re cruising between Hawaiian Islands and are more than three miles offshore but are within a designated area of water between islands (such as the channel between Oahu and Molokai), you’re still in Hawaiian waters.

How Deep is Your Love?

Cathedrals off the shores of Lanai.  Photo:  amysjoy.

Cathedrals off the shores of Lanai. Photo: amysjoy.

If you and your spouse-to-be are both certified divers, you can exchange vows under the sea. Etch your vows on slates with waterproof pencils, or dive with special equipment that lets you speak, and be heard, underwater.

Note: As with topside weddings, underwater ceremonies must be performed within Hawaiian waters to be considered legal. That means you must be no farther than three miles off shore, unless you’re within a designated body of water between islands. And while no legislation seems to exist concerning depth, it might be wise to stay fairly close to the surface.

Horseback Weddings

Photo:  Kit Furderer.

Photo: Kit Furderer.

Hawaii’s ranching heritage dates back to the 19th century, and the paniolo (cowboy) culture still thrives. Couples of an equestrian bent can take part in this rich heritage with a horseback wedding ride through some of Hawaii’s most beautiful rural areas.

Weddings Aloft

Photo:  Kit Furderer.

Photo: Kit Furderer.

A ceremony in the sky is an exhilarating way to tie the knot. Consider chartering a plane or helicopter for a marriage two miles up. If you’re truly adventurous, strap yourself and your betrothed to expert skydiving instructors, say your vows in the aircraft, then take the ultimate leap of faith. (Drop zones operate on Oahu only; inquire about requirements and restrictions.)

Note: If your plane or helicopter isn’t pressurized, it’s best to stay below 10,000 feet during your ceremony to prevent hypoxia (oxygen debt). According to the Federal Aviation Administration, however, there is no altitude ceiling in order for an airborne marriage to be legally binding.

General Tips:

Photo:  Kit Furderer.

Photo: Kit Furderer.

• You are not legally required to have witnesses present at your ceremony. Although some wedding consultants and officiants will offer to provide you witnesses (for a fee), they are not required by state law.

• The sky is the limit when it comes to weddings in Hawaii, but the key is finding an officiant who’s willing to ride in a plane, bike through Haleakala crater, or do whatever else it takes to get the two of you (happily) married. Keep looking if the first person you approach can’t make your dreams come true. Somebody out there can.

• Planning a barefoot beach ceremony? Keep in mind open fires are not allowed in Hawaii’s public parks and beaches, and a park-use permit may be required.

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