Wedding Economics 101: How to Save on Your Oahu Wedding
Make the most of your Oahu wedding budget with smart tips from leading island wedding planners.
Dreaming of saying “I do” on Oahu, but concerned about costs? Carolee Higashino of White Orchid Weddings, Jane Park-Gonzales of Moana Belle Events, Lindsay Castro of Current Affairs, and Susan O’Donnell of Aloha Wedding Planners share their ideas for saving on your Oahu wedding.
Make Oahu your wedding AND honeymoon destination.
Oahu is ideal for both weddings and honeymoons. Eliminate a stressful post-wedding rush to the airport and spend your first night as a married couple enjoying not on a plane but already in your honeymoon paradise.
Related: Oahu Honeymoons: Romantic 4- to 8-Day Itineraries
Less Traditional, more Tropical, more Affordable
An Oahu destination wedding is a very special occasion that does not necessarily require all the traditional elements. You might consider eliminating the champagne toast and having guests drink a more budget-friendly, colorful tropical drink that will pop in photos or just toast with current their drink on hand. With the casual island environment, you can also easily opt out of tuxes and overly formal bridal party attire.
Avoid the Crowds AND higher prices; Choose the low travel season.
If you come in the low Oahu travel seasons (April – mid-June and September – mid-December) and avoid peak seasons and holidays, you and your guests can potentially save on airfare, hotels, and even flowers.
Choose an alternate route – Go boutique or non-traditional
Waikiki’s newer, boutique properties like the The Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club and The Laylow offer settings for modern romantic weddings at a more favorable price point along with moderate room rates. There are many alternate less expensive Oahu wedding venues including the Waikiki Aquarium and restaurants with private rooms including Duke’s, The Signature Prime Steak & Seafood, Stripsteak, and Café Julia.
Weeknights and Daylight SAVINGS
If you choose a weeknight wedding reception over a weekend, vendors like caterers and photographers may require a lower minimum fee. A wedding lunch reception may provide you with a lower bar bill. And you can also save if you decide to do without a band and dancing at a luncheon wedding reception.
Hire a local EXPERT – Best rates and services
Oahu wedding planners are local experts with extensive networks and experience working with other island wedding professionals: caterers, photographers, videographers, entertainers, florists, and more. They will know the best wedding professionals to match your vision and budget. Leveraging the relationships your wedding planner has with local vendors will help save you time and money.
Search for local wedding vendors through the Oahu Wedding Association.
Visit the Oahu Wedding Association to search for Oahu-based wedding planners, entertainment, photographers, videographers, venues, and more. You’ll save time in vetting potential vendors who meet your budget and your vision. And you’ll also be able to tap into the local networks these wedding professionals have developed on Oahu.
Prioritize what is most important to you for your wedding. Is it food and music or is it flowers and photography? Make a list of all the elements you need for your wedding and decide where to allocate more and less of your funds.
Only Pay for the services you need and want.
Whether you want comprehensive wedding planning services or more limited wedding planning consulting, look for a planner who will listen to your needs and work within your budget.