You Don't Need a Passport to Host a Destination Wedding

You Don't Need a Passport to Host a Destination Wedding

By:Diana Oates
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Luxury wedding photographer John Sargent of John Cain Photography has noticed the comeback of the domestic destination wedding, and says he is back in full force and traveling now more than ever. He and his team recently set off to Pebble Beach, Scottsdale and Lyford Cay to shoot various wedding-related festivities. 

“Aside from weddings that were planned in 2020 and 2021 being postponed, there is also an unprecedented number of couples that have just been waiting until now to become engaged and start planning a wedding because of the pandemic.” Sargent said. “We’ve observed couples choose destinations because their top choice venues where they live aren’t available.” 

Sargent says that the pandemic seems to have refocused couples who want a destination wedding on all the amazing destinations that are available to right here in the U.S. 

“The honeymoon is no longer the only/primary traveling experience surrounding the engagement season or wedding,” Sargent said. “I think couples and guests alike are going to be very excited to travel for the next few years because they haven’t been able to for so long.”

Couples are Saying “Aloha” to Hawaiian Wedding Venues 

Couples ready to plan the destination wedding of their dreams without leaving the country are flocking to resort destinations across the U.S. for an exotic feel sans travel restrictions and passport stamps. Destination weddings are in demand, and account for one in four of all weddings in the U.S., according to The Knot. 

What better destination to say “I do” to an exciting new life together than the gorgeous islands of Hawaii? This clean, safe state is one of the top three for destination weddings in the U.S. This storied vacation destination has long been a favorite of domestic and international tourists alike because of its distinct beaches, creative cuisine and rich history. Each of its many islands offers a distinct feel depending on the couple and what type of wedding they are organizing. 

“I Do” in Oahu

halekulani

photo courtesy of Halekulani

The recently reopened Halekulani and Prince Waikiki resorts are two first-class options on Honolulu for those traveling with a large group who want to see a little bit of city and sand. With both located 10 miles from the Honolulu International Airport, those flying from a variety of larger cities in the continental U.S. can instantly unwind and enjoy their time on Oahu. Spa Halekulani offers a luxurious option for brides wanting to get pampered with their pals in style, while Prince Waikiki’s Bird of Paradise venue at the Hawaii Prince Golf club gives golfing enthusiasts a look at the Waianae Mountain range while exchanging vows. 

turtle bay

Wanting an Oahu adventure that is set outside of the city? Look no farther than the reimaged Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu’s North Shore. Located just under 40 miles from the airport, this dreamy destination allows guests to truly unwind and leave the hustle and bustle of Honolulu behind. With 10 event spaces and 452 rooms, the options for a truly exceptional seaside ceremony are endless. 

 

Island Hopping to Tie the Knot

royal sonesta kauai

Hawaii aficionados set on saying “I do” amid endless adventure for the entire wedding party will find the perfect retreat at the Royal Sonesta Kauai Resort in Lihue. Just two miles from the Lihue Airport, couples can escape to the property’s Luau Gardens for an intimate ceremony among exotic flowers, lush greenery and the breathtakingly beautiful blue water of the Pacific Ocean. A Jurassic Falls helicopter tour, which includes landing at the base of a 400-foot waterfall, could be the perfect photo op for a new couple looking forward to an exciting new life together. 

The Island of Hawaii, or “Big Island”, is home to the Fairmont Orchid located along the Kohala Coast and is an ideal place to have a wedding ceremony and kick off the honeymoon with family and friends. With 32 oceanfront acres of lush landscape, waterfalls and amenities, the wedding team at the resort is ready to listen to your exact needs and execute. From the open-air freedom that Coconut Grove allows to the intimate feel of the Wailana Garden, there truly is a perfect choice for each bride and groom. Don’t miss the island’s various black-sand beaches, which set the Big Island apart from the rest. 

To explore the full collection of ALHI properties available for planning a dream wedding, click here

Editor’s Note: As of October 29, 2021 visitors to Hawaii must either be fully vaccinated or provide proof of a negative COVID test taken no more than 72 hours prior to departure in order to bypass Hawaii’s mandatory 10-day quarantine for incoming travelers. Proof of vaccination or negative test must be uploaded to Safe Travels and printed out prior to departure.