The romantic Hawaiian Islands are the perfect place for an unforgettable honeymoon. In fact, the climate, ocean, sand, sweet smelling flowers and grand hotels have made the islands the world's number one honeymoon destination. Many couples go for the wedding ceremony, too, and then just slide into honeymoon mode.
Hawaiian Island Weddings is a company with 30 wedding packages to choose from, catering to all tastes and wedding fantasies. Owners Tim and Sheri Clark have 25 years of wedding planning experience and are experts in Hawaii's wedding industry. They can make a dream wedding come true by sourcing everything you want cake, flowers, photographer, even the marriage licence.
Traditional Hawaiian weddings are full of fanfare. Handmade feather standards (royal kahilis) are carried in a procession. A conch shell is blown in all directions to summon the gods and begin the ceremony. Musicians and the graceful hula tell the story of the couple in song and dance. The Hawaiian Wedding song is always played, as well as two pieces of music chosen by the couple. Ministers are non-denominational and marry all faiths.
Flowers are also traditional maile leaf lei with fragrant tuberoses for the groom and a three-strand lei of tuberose, pikake and white ginger for the bride, as well as a cascading bouquet. They can arrange flowers for the rest of the wedding party nosegays, corsages, bouquets, boutonnieres, hair flowers and head leis.
The Renaissance Wailea Beach Resort, on the pristine Mikapu Beach, is large and luxurious with 16 hectares of lush gardens and waterfalls and views of the 3048-metre high Mt Haleakala crater. While you can exchange vows on the beach or in the gardens, most couples prefer to use the beautiful Seaside Chapel. It is white with a high, pitched roof, bell and clock tower, 17th-century chandeliers and magnificent stained-glass windows, set among palms and manicured lawns.
A wedding package at the Renaissance includes the honeymoon suite with champagne, chocolate-dipped strawberries and a flower-filled bath. You can even have a his-and-hers massage on the edge of the beach.
One of the more unusual wedding locations is 50 metres underwater in a submarine! Atlantis is a comfortable and spacious air-conditioned submarine, capable of diving into the habitat of exotic sea creatures and natural coral reefs.
Couples board a boat at Lahaina Harbour for a 10-minute cruise to the submarine. The ceremony takes place in front of a large viewing portal at the bow of the craft in front of up to 40 guests.
For a wedding totally out of the ordinary and one that takes the worry out of choosing the right wedding dress, couples can have a totally nude wedding on Makena's Little Beach. That's right, everyone, even the minister, is in their birthday suit!
Around three kilometres south of Wailea, Makena has two of the island's prettiest beaches. Fine soft white sand and some excellent body-surfing attracts nature lovers in the real sense of the word. Topless and nude bathers head there in droves and between 8am and 5pm a stream of couples arrives to be married on Little Beach.
Hawaii's beautiful year-round tropical climate means couples can marry at any time of year and makes optional clothing easier to cope with. Around 30,000 couples tie the knot there every year.