Hawaii Wedding Checklist
Follow these guidelines for a beautiful, traditional wedding in Hawaii or anywhere. Find out what you should do at every planning stage:
You can download the list as a pdf.
12 Months Before Your Wedding:
• Announce your engagement.
• Decide what kind of wedding you want to have. Outdoor? Indoor? How formal or informal will it be?
• Select the date for your ceremony. Be prepared to be flexible if there’s a location you really want; it may already be booked for the date you had in mind.
• Select the location for your ceremony. If you’ve got a special date in mind, be prepared to be flexible on the location.
• Select a location for your reception.
• Set a budget for the wedding and reception.
• Decide if you want to use a wedding coordinator. If you’re getting married in Hawaii, it’s best to select a Hawaii-based consultant. They’ll know all the do’s and don’t’s of getting married in the Islands.
• Decide the size of your wedding party. Select attendants. If you’re traveling to Hawaii for your wedding, keep the cost of airfare and lodging in mind when asking friends and family to accompany you. (Note: Some consultants believe it is proper for the bride and groom to cover the cost of lodging for their attendants where “destination weddings” are concerned.)
• Shop for a wedding dress and accessories. If you’re traveling to Hawaii for your wedding, it may not make sense to wait until you arrive to shop for an outfit. To make things easier, consider shopping with Hawaii’s fine retailers online for either formal or informal attire.
• If you’re not using a wedding consultant, begin shopping for vendors. These include photographers/videographers, musicians/disc jockeys, florists, and caterers.
• Determine who will officiate your ceremony.
• If you plan on registering with a bridal gift registry, do so now.
• Order wedding invitations and stationery.
6 to 10 Months Before:
• Establish a guest list.
• If you’re traveling to Hawaii for your ceremony and want family or friends to travel with you, send invitations now to those people.
• Select and order attendants’ gowns. (Note to non-residents: Keep Hawaii’s tropical climate in mind when selecting gowns. Long sleeves and heavy fabrics may not be appropriate. Also keep footwear in mind if you’re planning a beach wedding; wearing high heels in sandy areas is downright dangerous.
• Get fabric samples to match shoes.
• Select and order men’s attire. Again, keep Hawaii’s climate in mind.
• Make reception plans; discuss details with vendors and the manager of the reception facility.
• Shop for honeymoon travel deals and make reservations.
4 to 6 Months Before:
• Order a wedding cake.
• Arrange a car, limousine or other transportation.
• Arrange Hawaii accommodations for out-of-town guests.
• Schedule a consultation with a hair and make-up stylist.
• If you’re traveling from another country, make sure you have a passport.
• Make arrangements for a rehearsal dinner. (This is traditionally the responsibility of the groom’s family.)
3 Months Before:
• If you’re a resident and your guests live in Hawaii, send wedding invitations now.
• Choose gifts for attendants.
• Arrange for special musical selections during the ceremony and/or reception.
• Schedule hair and make-up appointment for wedding day.
• Write thank you notes for gifts as they arrive.
• Open a joint checking and savings account, if you don’t already have one. (Note: Some couples prefer to keep separate accounts.)
• Name your fiancee as beneficiary to your insurance policy and will, if appropriate.
• Plan a bridesmaids’ luncheon. If you would like to do this in Hawaii, find a good Hawaii restaurant
• Finalize all travel plans.
2 Months Before:
• Schedule final fitting of bride’s gown and bridesmaids’ dresses.
• Confirm details with all vendors.
• Meet with, e-mail or call your officiant to discuss ceremony details.
• Make transportation arrangements to the airport for the day you leave and for when you come home.
• Take care of all business and legal affairs. Make appropriate changes to insurance policies, medical plans, wills, bank accounts and credit cards.
3 to 4 Weeks Before:
• Contact guests who have not responded to the invitation to more clearly determine the head count for the caterer.
• Notify caterer of final guest count.
2 Weeks Before:
• Get necessary forms to change names on driver’s license, etc., if either bride or groom will be changing surname.
• Gather all necessary documents for travel: airline tickets, hotel and car rental reservation documents, vouchers for wedding services. Put these in a safe place where they won’t be forgotten. (Tip: Pack these in your carry-on, in case your luggage is lost or delayed.)
7 Days Before:
• Make a final check with vendors and officiant.
• Pack for your trip. You may want to carry your wedding attire onto the plane to avoid problems associated with lost luggage.
• Put wedding rings in a safe place. If you’re traveling to Hawaii for your ceremony, make sure to pack the rings in your carry-on.
• Arrange head table seating.
• Reconfirm honeymoon/travel arrangements.
• Make certain attendants and others helping out have instructions and are prepared with any special readings or performances they’re expected to give.
• Pick up wedding gown and attendants’ gowns. Make sure all attire fits.
3 Days Before:
• If you’re arriving from out of town, be sure to obtain your marriage certificate
1 Day Before:
• Have your nails manicured.
• Attend ceremony rehearsal.
• Greet out-of-town guests.
YOUR WEDDING DAY:
• Have hair and make-up done.
• Allow at least 3 hours to dress and relax.
• Enjoy your special day!
Visit www.hawaii.com/weddings for more ideas and information.
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