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Tips to Plan a Hawaiian-themed Wedding

Planning a Hawaiian-themed wedding may seem overwhelming, but with the right guidance and some time, you can have the wedding of your dreams. Let Buzzle be the helping hand at bringing a gorgeous Hawaiian-style wedding at your doorstep.
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Tip for a Hawaiian-themed wedding photography
Bride's Dos and Don'ts
  • Do take the time to visit all your wedding guests.
  • Don't drink too much at your own reception.
Groom's Dos and Don'ts
  • Do help your bride-to-be during the wedding weekend.
  • Don't go missing during the reception.

Index
A Hawaiian-themed wedding is a wonderful and gorgeous way to celebrate the union of two souls. But before you set the planning in motion, it is essential to figure out where the ceremony and reception will be held. For this theme, you can choose to have a destination wedding in Hawaii, or bring the beautiful islands to where you live. If you're planning a wedding in Hawaii, the first task is to choose one of the islands for your wedding. Either way, you can definitely coordinate the wedding with ease and finesse.

And to help you get started, we have compiled some important elements of the wedding which can be transformed into your wedding theme. So, read through the following information on how to plan a Hawaiian-themed wedding, and make notes for future reference.

'Save-the-date' Cards

Hawaiian-themed Wedding Save-the-date Card

Save-the-date Card for Hawaiian-themed Wedding

When you are sending out these cards, do so at least 6―8 months before the wedding, depending on a local or destination wedding. At the moment, you don't necessarily have to provide response cards, wedding registry, etc. Select elements that reflect your wedding theme, not necessarily the colors, and your guests will know what to look forward to.

Wedding Invitations

Hawaiian-themed Wedding Invitation

Invitation for Hawaiian-themed Wedding

If not via 'save-the-date' cards, then your wedding invitations have to be theme-centric. You need to let your guests know if there is a dress code for the ceremony and reception. A simple mention of the location is basically a dead giveaway. Send out the invites at least 6―8 weeks before the wedding, (again) depending on the location and the convenience of the guests to make necessary travel/lodging arrangements.

Also, a good way to send details to your guests about the wedding is with a wedding website. It will include detailed info about the date, venue, planned itinerary, flight details, affordable lodging options, transportation, weather forecast, and other wedding-related points you may want to highlight.

Bridal Bouquets

Bridal Bouquet for Hawaiian-themed Wedding

Hawaiian-themed Wedding Bridal Bouquet

Pick a bouquet that not only is in sync with the theme, but also complements your wedding gown. And speaking of gowns, there are many options to go with. From a traditional gown to a bohemian-style white dress, it is your decision to either splurge or be thrifty about it. But remember one small tip―if you're planning a beach wedding, a traditional gown might not be the smartest move.

Bridesmaids and Groomsmen

Bridesmaids and Groomsmen Attire for Hawaiian-themed Wedding

Usually, the bridal party incorporates the theme into their attire as well. Combining the elements related to your wedding theme with some quirky, out-of-the-box ideas is excellent. Seek help from your maid of honor and bridesmaids for the design, color, pattern, and style of dresses they'd like to wear; and choose the accessories wisely. Ask your groom-to-be to do the same with the best man and groomsmen.

And on the day of the wedding, take loads of pictures while you and the bridesmaids are getting ready, and again with everyone else right after the ceremony is finished. Before you go to the reception, take the entire bridal party and take pictures as newlyweds with all them.

Ceremony Décor

Beach Ceremony Decor for Hawaiian-themed Wedding

Hawaiian-themed Wedding Beach Ceremony Decor

Garden Ceremony Decor for Hawaiian-themed Wedding

Whether the ceremony is being held on the beach, or in a garden, there are several ways to keep the theme of your wedding alive. Use fresh flowers to decorate the arch, the aisle, the pews, and any other place you'd like for the ceremony. Now even after all the planning, organizing, and delegating the details of the décor, if something goes wrong; don't freak out. Take it as it comes, and just have fun on your day.

Venue Décor

Beach Venue Decor for Hawaiian-themed Wedding

Lights Venue Decor for Hawaiian-themed Wedding

First of all, if the wedding is taking place on the beach, make sure you have the necessary paperwork to hold the ceremony there. Also, confirm in advance about noise ordinance as you don't want anything or anyone to spoil your big day/night.

Now when picking an outdoor venue for the wedding, do have a backup plan ready. For any odd reason if there are issues with the current venue, you need to be able to enjoy the event without being stressed out. For example, your rehearsal dinner is by the beach. Check whether you can set up an open pagoda so that even if it rains, everyone wouldn't have to rush back inside the hotel. On the other hand, let's say, you choose tiki torches to decorate the venue. Have other sources of lights as well, such as candles, lamps, and lanterns as a backup.

Escort Cards

Hawaiian-themed Wedding Escort Cards

There are many theme-related escort cards that you can choose from for the reception. Apart from the cold soda bottles to greet the guests, place pineapple-flavored lollipops, seashells, cocktail umbrellas, hibiscus flowers, or even miniature beach chairs along with the cards. Even though these cards are tiny, they serve a crucial role in your wedding reception.

Wedding Cake

Hawaiian-themed Wedding Cake

Apart from choosing quirky cake toppers, there are three things you need to concentrate on before finalizing the cake―flavor, fillings, and icing. For the flavors, you can choose from the classic vanilla cream, coconut, red velvet, or lemon. The fillings can be creative like lime curd, pineapple curd, lilikoi (passion fruit), haupia (coconut custard), or even strawberry buttercream. And finally for icings, go with either Italian buttercream, ganache, or fondant.

Table Décor

Hawaiian-themed Wedding Table Decor

From orchid centerpieces to elegant white tablecloths, the decoration for the tables is also quite essential. If you're hosting the reception dinner outdoors, make sure there is an option for windproofing it (i.e. sand). Choose elements that complement one another (color wise and your budget), and keep the décor to a minimal. That way, you won't be stressed about getting every item ready and will be able to enjoy the day.

High-resolution Photographs

Bride and Groom Holding Banner at Hawaiian-themed Wedding

Bride and Groom Walking on Beach at Hawaiian-themed Wedding

Bride and Groom Kissing on Beach at Hawaiian-themed Wedding

Bride and Groom Sunset Picture on Beach at Hawaiian-themed Wedding

Whether you're planning an elegant, grand wedding with every individual you know in attendance, or would rather spend the day celebrating with family and close friends, you need to hire a GREAT photographer. For any wedding to feel larger than life, photographs will be the only evidence left behind to keep the wonderful memories alive. Which means, asking your photographer to provide you high-resolution, non-watermarked images. So, before you sign a contract, do make it a point to speak to him/her about it.

Remember, planning an ideal 'fairy-tale' wedding can be expensive; even if you do away with some of the fancy, elegant stuff. You don't want to put yourself in debt in order to throw a blowout wedding. And, only if your budget allows it, hire an experienced wedding planner to help you deliver the wedding of your dreams. As wedding planners often work with a variety of themes, you can be sure to get the best ideas and advice for your unforgettable wedding.
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Published: June 24, 2014
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