Romanticholics and Beach Wedding Bunnies Can’t Deny that Kauai Offers the Perfect Island Romantic Getaway or Its Beaches are the Perfect Accessory a Wedding
by Heather Cassell
I stretched my arms out from beneath the fluffy bead spread and peaked out from the corner of the bed looking out the window at the waves softly lapping at the beach of Hanalei Bay and running along the tropical coast of Kauai.
It was simply stunning, beautiful, “Who wouldn’t want to escape here with the love of their life for a romantic getaway or to have their dream wedding on the shores of this island paradise?”
The “Garden Island,” is well-known for romance, healing and rejuvenation, and outdoor adventure attracting visitors from all over the world.
Located far to the north of the Big Island, Maui, Molokai and Oahu in the Hawaiian chain of islands and with a majority of its landmass covered by rainforests it’s somewhat remote and not nearly as commercialized as the other islands. Time slows, the days become longer, and the stress of your other life simply melts away on Kauai: Making it a true getaway where the only other person you focus on is your lover.
There’s something about Kauai that allows couples to reconnect and strengthen their bond with each other. One of the first things I noticed was the meditative atmosphere that instinctually inspires you to pause, take a deep breath, and slow down to the island’s pace. In doing that, you are left with no distractions only an opportunity to strengthening your relationship with yourself and your partner.
Outdoor enthusiasts love the small island because it offers hiking, golf, zip lining and much more. Hikers especially like walking the trails that lead them through the Waimea Canyon and the Nounou Trails traversing the Sleeping Giant ridge, but that’s not the reason why my love and I were waking up in this paradise.
“I believe it is one of the most beautiful places in the world. The sky is always beautiful colors,” says Joe Moore, owner of the Mahina Kai Ocean Villa, Kauai’s only LGBT bed and breakfast. Joe, who is also an officiant and wedding planner, regularly climbs over the rocks to relatively untouched beaches to watch the sunset. “It’s really a remote island, how romantic can that be?”
My love was already up and running along the shore for her daily workout and was due back at any moment. Quickly, I got up and rang the butler to make us our freshly brewed French Press coffee, a service reserved for elite guests staying with the St. Regis, where we were being pampered in Princeville.
This was the ultra luxury portion of our romantic escape to Hawaii as guests of the Kauai Visitors Bureau. We were there on a romantic escape to experience what Kauai offer couples, about-to-be newlyweds, and honeymooners.
Super G and I had already fallen into the habit of getting ready for our daily adventures on the island with this service before breakfast. It was the perfect way to start our day sitting at the table slowly sipping our coffee and looking out the window at Hanalei Bay taking in the dramatic cliffs and lush forests that demark the island before making ourselves presentable to the rest of the world.
Honeymooners abound while we were out horseback riding and zip lining, sailing along the Na Pali Coast, and being bathed in mud while ATVing through the forest, which are some of the bonding activities available for couples and guests of the bride and groom throughout the island.
Planning Your Big Day
People choose to get hitched on or escape after the craziness of the wedding day to Kauai for three great reasons:
- Dead set on a beach wedding? The island offers more beach per mile of coastline than any of the other Hawaiian islands and the beaches are semi-private, as beaches in Hawaii are public land, to say your vows simply due to the bays, cliffs, and strategically built resorts that deter strangers from wandering through your nuptials or uninvited guests joining your special day.
- Intimate is Kauai’s middle name. If an intimate wedding is your goal, Kauai has it from resorts and beaches to unique locations.
- Need help? One of the best things about Kauai is that if you are planning a destination wedding or honeymoon you have plenty of assistance. Nearly all of the hotels and resorts offer wedding planning services and if you choose a place that doesn’t have wedding planning services in house, you can get help from the Kauai Wedding Professionals Association (; KauaiWedPro.com). At the Kauai Wedding Professionals Association, you can find all of the services you need to create your special day: caterers, entertainment, event planning, florists, location providers, ministers and officiants, photographers, salons, wedding planners, videographers, and more.
The St. Regis Princeville (5520 Ka Haku Road; 808-826-9644; StRegisPrinceville.com) in Princeville offers top notch wedding planning services and several locations right on the shore of Hanalei Bay, in cabanas along the cliffs, or small halls overlooking the bay and Pacific Ocean.
The Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa (1571 Poipu Road; 808-742-1234; ; Kauai.Hyatt.com/en/hotel/home.html) also offers a stunning location for beach weddings along the Keoniloa Bay and various locations to say, “I do,” and celebrate with family and friends in the beauty of the Hawaiian outdoors around its expansive resort.
The Kauai Beach Resort (4331 Kauai Beach Drive; 808-245-1955 or toll free at 866-536-7976; KauaiBeachResortHawaii.com) in Lihue offers eco-friendly accommodations with customized wedding planning services at its intimate wedding locations along the beach, tropical lagoon pools, and banquet halls at a reasonable price.
The island also offers unique locations to walk down the aisle. One of the newest locations is the historic Kauai Plantation Railway/Kilohana Plantation (3-2087 Kaumualii Highway, 808-245-5608; ; KilohanaKauai.com) in Lihue. Newly restored to its former glory, the former plantation’s main house is perched above Lihue, on a crystal clear day the plantation overlooks the island and the Pacific Ocean.
A train takes guests through the large orchard of fruit trees, pineapple, sugar cane and taro fields, as well as a tropical rainforest up to the top of the mountain where the Kilohana Plantation house, which has been converted into an event hall stands. Guests can also be escorted up to the house in private vans through the single lane dirt road to protect and preserve the environment of the plantation.
Joe, who owns the bed and breakfast, also searches for secluded beaches for couples to officiate their nuptials.
Falling in Love All Over Again
I’m not sure Super G, my “urban cowgirl,” was very happy with me during our adventure at the Princeville Ranch Adventures (5-4430 Kuhio Highway; 808-826-7669; ; PrincevilleRanch.com) in Princeville or Kauai ATV (3477A Weliweli Road; 808-742-2734; ; KauaiaTV.com) in Koloa. At the ranch she was put on a real horse and the horse got spooked and did a little trot or it could have been hooking her up to a wire and flying over several ravines high above the tree tops. She took the wheel while ATVing, just as she does every day at home, she worked hard attempting to control the buggy as we slipped and slid in the mud around sharp corners and up and down hills and splashed through puddles. Mud ended up in places that I’ve only experienced in Calistoga at the mud baths. For a couple of days we found mud in the oddest places on our bodies wondering how it got there (just be forewarned).
All was forgiven after a sunset dinner cruise along the Na Pali Coast aboard Captain Andy’s Sailing Adventures’ Southern Star Napali Coast Dinner Sunset Sail (Port Allen Marina Center, 4353 Waialo Road, Ste. 1A-2A; 808-335-6833 or 800-535-0830; ; Napali.com) in Ele`ele and a day of hitting the green at Puakea Golf Course (4150 Nuhou Street; 808-245-8756; PuakeaGolf.com) with general manager Kellie Hines.
Our daily adventures built up an appetite. In the evenings we got dressed up for romantic meals as guests at some of Kauai’s best restaurants, such as the Kauai Grill at the St. Regis Princeville, and we enjoyed a privately catered meal at the Kilohana Plantation.
Each dinner was accompanied by Hawaii’s spectacular sunsets and at the St. Regis we got an extra special treat with its sunset Champagne Sabring ritual to Super G’s and our group’s delight.
Kauai knows romance in a subtle way that is like a gentle breeze that warms your heart and soul. It is one of the rare places on earth truly devoted to nurturing relationships and allowing love to blossom naturally.
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